President-elect Joe Biden’s transition leader for U.S.-owned media outlets, Richard Stengel, supports restricting free speech and creating new guidelines that would make “hate speech” a crime.
In a Washington Post op-ed published last year, Stengel, who served as President Barack Obama’s Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, suggested the government should make “statutes to penalize speech” that is offensive.
“Hate speech has a less violent, but nearly as damaging, impact in another way: it diminishes tolerance,” Stengel wrote. “Why shouldn’t the states experiment with their own version of hate speech statutes to penalize speech that deliberately insults people based on religion, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation?”
“All speech is not equal. And where truth cannot drive out lies, we must add new guardrails. I’m all for protecting ‘thoughts that we hate,’ but not speech that incites hate. It undermines the very values of a fair marketplace of ideas that the First Amendment is designed to protect,” he added.