(GATESTONE INSTITUTE) Two students at the University of Connecticut have been charged with the crime of ridiculing African Americans by shouting the N-word as part of a childishly inappropriate game. A video of the incident went viral and generated protests on and off the campus.
Outrageous as shouting this racist epithet is, the First Amendment protects it from criminal prosecution or other governmental sanctions. The Connecticut General Statute under which the students were charged is just about as unconstitutional as any statute can be. It is not even a close case. Here is what the statute criminalizes:
Section 53-37 - Ridicule on account of creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race.
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Any person who, by his advertisement, ridicules or holds up to contempt any person or class of persons, on account of the creed, religion, color, denomination, nationality or race of such person or class of persons, shall be guilty of a class D misdemeanor.