This is the seventh in a series of columns based on my research as a former fellow of the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. In these columns I have discussed what I call the diversity movement — the composite of the myriad individual, group, and organizational efforts to reduce societal inequities that penalize people because of their actual or perceived membership in certain social groups. In particular I have focused on the various issues raised concerning language and the exercise of speech.
In the past two columns I compared two threads of that diversity movement: intercultural diversity and equity-and-inclusion diversity. For the most part interculturalists emphasize voluntary speech restraint through the development of intergroup understanding. In contrast, while they often draw upon interculturalist principles, some inclusionists are more willing to pursue direct speech restraints, such as through regulations. When it comes to the third strand of the diversity movement, critical theory, its advocates tend to take an even stronger position in support of the direct restraint of speech, including through laws and codes.