How President Trump’s Rhetoric Is Changing The Way Americans Talk Listen

Another topic Crandall explores is when and why people turn to free speech arguments to defend racist speech.

“People pull out free speech when they’re defending racist speech, but not when they’re defending simply aggressive, or negative speech,” he says.

The United States goes further than many other countries in its legal protections for speech — even hate-filled speech. Some people have used free speech claims, for example, to defend the white nationalists and neo-Nazis who took to the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia several weeks ago.

In this episode, we look more closely at how people use free speech defenses, and why their true motivations might not be apparent — even to them.