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William John Cox – The Pornography of Hatred

There is danger in the pandering of hatred that goes beyond the freedom of expression. Is there a right to profit from supplying the seeds of destruction to those who have the need to blame others for the poverty of their existence? Bar owners who continue to serve drunks can be held responsible for the deaths of those later killed in traffic collisions, but to what extend should those who peddle the rhetoric of hatred, bigotry, and violence be held responsible for the consequences of their merchandising?

These were some of the questions that confronted us in 1980 when I represented a survivor of Auschwitz against those who denied the Holocaust. Alleging an “Injurious Denial of an Established Fact,” I argued that someone should not be able to grasp a blatant lie in one’s hand and slap another person in the face with it. The matter was resolved when a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled: “this Court does take judicial notice of the fact that Jews were gassed to death at Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland during the summer of 1944 . . . . It is simply a fact.”

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