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Alan Dershowitz says free speech is under attack 'from every corner'

"To get membership in the First Amendment club you have to actively support the right of people you strongly hate," Dershowitz said.

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Alan Dershowitz seen in a screenshot from a Senate Television webcast
Alan Dershowitz seen in a screenshot from a Senate Television webcast
(Senate Television via Getty Images)
Updated: October 27, 2020 - 11:59pm

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Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz, during an interview on the "John Solomon Reports" podcast, said that free speech is under attack from multiple fronts.

"We're seeing free speech attacked from every corner: From the media, from the social media, from students, from liberals, you name it, we're seeing it attacked, and it's really, as you say, on life support," said Dershowitz, the author of the forthcoming book "Cancel Culture: The Latest Attack on Free Speech and Due Process."

"To get membership in the First Amendment club you have to actively support the right of people you strongly hate," he said. "If you're a Jew you have to be out there supporting the right of Holocaust deniers to preach their horrible evil in the court of public opinion. If you're African-American you have to be out there being able to defend the Ku Klux Klan or anybody else's right of free speech. You have to be willing to support the free speech of your enemies."

He explained that during his five decades as a Harvard Law professor he never aired his personal opinions in the classroom.

"My job was to teach the students not what to think but how to think: How to analyze problems, and how to debate all sides of an issue, and how to intellectually focus on how to get to the truth. I didn't try to teach my students what the truth was, that's up to them," Dershowitz explained.

He said that students can currently face penalties for diverging from their teacher's viewpoint.

"Today it's propaganda, it's ideology, and if you don't express the ideology of the teacher, you're not gonna get the recommendation, you're gonna be graded down, and you're gonna be discriminated against," he said. "That's just not right."

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