Tanya K. Hernandez, LAPA Fellow; Fordham University

Hate Speech and the Language of Racism in Latin America: A Lens for Reconsidering Global Hate Speech Restrictions

Date: 
Mon, 11/08/2010
Location: 
4:30 PM, Library Lounge, Bendheim Center for Finance

* Please note new location *

 Please join us for a LAPA Seminar with Tanya K. Hernandez,  for a discussion of "Hate Speech and the Language of Racism in Latin America: A Lens for Reconsidering Global Hate Speech Restrictions." The commentator will be Imani Perry, Professor of African American Studies.

As always, the LAPA format asks that seminar participants familiarize themselves with the paper in advance. The commentator will open the session by summarizing the main themes in the paper and presenting some topics for discussion. The author then has the right of first response before we open to the floor for questions. The seminar will end with a brief reception in the Library Lounge at the Bendheim Center
for Finance
, giving everyone a chance to mingle and meet. 

From Tanya Hernandez:  "In Latin America, like many countries in Europe, hate speech is prohibited.  Yet, Latin America is rarely included in the transnational discussion regarding the regulation of hate speech.  Instead, the discussion is captured by the binary comparisons between the advisability of Europe's hate speech regulations as opposed to the United States free speech acceptance of hate speech.  As a result, the ability to fundamentally examine the connections between hate speech and inequality, in addition to the most effective legal mechanisms for addressing it, is undermined.  It is especially critical to broaden the hate speech debate now that we are seeing an apparent rise in the occurrence of hate speech worldwide.  Expanding the transnational hate speech discussion to incorporate the Latin American context can help to provide insights about which legal structures are pragmatically more effective.  For persons of African-descent frequently subjected to the blows of racist hate speech in Latin America, there is little effective enforcement of the criminal law sanctions that predominate.  In contrast, civil law remedies may better address the harms of hate speech while still pursuing the goal of fostering a productive public discourse."

Tanya K. Hernandez is a professor of law at Fordham University School of Law, where she teaches Comparative Employment Discrimination, Critical Race Theory, and Trusts & Estates. She received her A.B. from Brown University, and her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she served as Note Topics Editor of the Yale Law Journal. She has served as a faculty fellow at the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University, and as a scholar in residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. In 2009, Professor Hernandez was elected to the American Law Institute and in 2007, Hispanic Business Magazine selected her as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics. Professor Hernandez serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Legal Education, and the Latino Studies Journal published by Palgrave Macmillan Press. Professor Hernandez’s scholarly interest is in the study of comparative race relations and anti-discrimination law, and her work in that area has been published in the California Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal amongst other publications. With George Washington University Law School colleague Robert Cottrol, Professor Hernandez wrote the forthcoming volume The Long Lingering Shadow: Law, Liberalism and Cultures of Racial Hierarchy and Identity in the Americas (UNC Press, 2010). While at Princeton, she will conduct the research for her next book, which is focused on the topic of Latino inter-ethnic racism in the workplace and its implications for the enforcement of employment discrimination laws.

Imani Perry is an interdisciplinary scholar who studies race and African American culture using the tools provided by various disciplines including: law, literary and cultural studies, music, and the social sciences. She has published numerous articles in the areas of law, cultural studies, and African American studies, many of which are available for download at: imaniperry.typepad.com. She also wrote the notes and introduction to the Barnes and Nobles Classics edition of the Narrative of Sojourner Truth. Professor Perry teaches interdisciplinary courses that train students to use multiple methodologies to investigate African American experience and culture.