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Friday, December 20, 2013

Hate Speech. Freedom of Speech. Free Speech.

PREFACE: You will really need to open the embedded links to take a look-see and read in order to truly get the gist of this Roland Hansen Commentary.

First an excerpt from an article on the internet:
"Hate speech is speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits. Should hate speech be discouraged?"
Now, go read the entire article:

Next up; for a good visual, click onto this link to some really interesting images and take a good hard look. I dare you!

Okay, another excerpt, another source:
"The United States is almost alone among Western liberal democracies in not punishing what is called hate speech"
Read the entire article from which it was taken:
McConnell, Michael W., You Can't Say That, 'The Harm in Hate Speech,' by Jeramy Waldron, The New York Times Sunday Book Review, June 22, 2012.

One last excerpt from yet one more source:
"... we have overprotected speech that not only causes significant harm to the dignity of minority groups but also, more importantly, diminishes the public good of inclusiveness that is an essential attribute of our society."
And now, read the entire article:
Stevens, John Paul, Should Hate Speech Be Outlawed?, 'The Harm in Hate Speech,' by Jeramy Waldron, The New York Review of Books

I sure hope you took the necessary time to read all that to which I linked. If you did, what do you think of it all as a whole?


Chili Dog said...

Among the problems with criminalizing hate speech is that there can be no standard set that would satisfy completely.

With physical acts, there is a notion that you accept your victim as he is; the egg-shell skull theory, so that if you use little force but the result is grave injury, liability is fixed, even though that same blow to most other people would result in no injury at all.

I think the old "sticks and stones" adage still applies for there really is no better alternative. As a society, we can all strive to act in a civil manner, but many of us have no manners.

Remember as well that words have meaning and that words alone can give rise to liability and culpability. It is one thing to say God Hates Fags, and it a far different thing to say God Hates Fags but I Intend Them Harm.

Judy said...

I took a good look and for me they all boiled down to the one of the map of the US draped with the flag with the words,"Free Speech Zone"

CWMartin said...

Also, there is an aspect of the whole story that both sides overlook. From a Christian viewpoint, we live by "Love the sinner, hate the sin." This becomes difficult with homosexuality, where we see it for the sin it is according to our faith, where the homosexual bases his/her self-esteem on the concept of "it's not a choice", and cannot understand how we can divide what he/she considers part of what he is. To a practicing, conscientious Christian, such as myself or say Phil Robertson, there is no hate involved in the disapproval of homosexuality. To the homosexual, it becomes a "hate crime".

Unfortunately, these days, anything a Christian desires for humanity is considered hate. Nobody stops to think whose hand that plays into, because no one wants to believe in personified good and evil. Satan has the most receptive audience he ever had without anyone having to believe in him, and what's better, one can follow him and still be convinced they are being loving and righteous. It took him two millennia to figure out that tactic would work OUTSIDE the church as well as it has INSIDE.

Not trying here to rope in all that might be hate speech, I agree that it is both complicated and pervasive. But it doesn't start with what the GOVERNMENT allows- but what we allow in our hearts and teach to our children.

Roland Hansen said...

Thank you for your comments, Chili Dog, Judy, and CWMartin. I appreciate your perspectives, as well as your comments.