Vultures Row: Why Hate Speech Should Be Protected

Why Hate Speech Should Be Protected

Gays, Muslims, Christian, Capitalists, Buddhists, Communists, Minimalists, Cowboys, Hicks, Rednecks, Yankees, Frenchmen, UN Supporters, Liberals, Conservatives, Catholics, NASCAR fans, Fat people, Skinny people, Jews, Europeans, Asians and thousands of other groups all have a few things in common. In each group there are those that are hated and those who hate. Lately more and more is being made of the problem of hate speech. It has been popping up in more and more news stories and the sometimes drastic responses to it.

What is Hate Speech? According to there is one entry found for hate speech.

Hate speech
Bigoted speech attacking or disparaging a social or ethnic group or a member of such a group

A quick Google search for the words “Hate Speech” will turn up 2,800,000 hits. The links will take you to sites decrying Hate Speech and tell you all about the need for outlawing it. There is one that endorses it.

According to the ACLU Briefing Paper Number 16 “Many universities, under pressure to respond to the concerns of those who are the objects of hate, have adopted codes or policies prohibiting speech that offends any group based on race, gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.” Surprisingly I have to agree with the ACLU and the position they take. They state in their Briefing Paper:

“How much we value the right of free speech is put to its severest test when the speaker is someone we disagree with most. Speech that deeply offends our morality or is hostile to our way of life warrants the same constitutional protection as other speech because the right of free speech is indivisible: When one of us is denied this right, all of us are denied. Since its founding in 1920, the ACLU has fought for the free expression of all ideas, popular or unpopular. That's the constitutional mandate. Where racist, sexist and homophobic speech is concerned, the ACLU believes that more speech -- not less -- is the best revenge.”

I do not agree with the message of many people who do practice Hate Speech. When I hear something that is outlandish I do try to engage in debate, when that fails, I tune them out and move on with m y life. I understand that I am never going to be able to nor would I wish to live in a world where everyone agreed with me. I am offended by people’s words, just as anyone can be. I also know that no where in my well worn copy of the Constitution and its amendments and I can find no where in it that says Americans have the right to never be offended.

I disagree with most of what I occasionally hear on Michael Savage’s show. In my humble opinion I feel he is a fear monger, and he is full of hate and rage; however I have never heard Mr. Savage call for any one to commit acts of violence, and there in lies the heart of my position.

Hate Speech and Incitement of violence are two very different things. I disagree with Mr. Savage so I tune his show out just as I do with Quenelle X when he spouts his racist mantra. They both offend me, but my world does not end. I do not break out in hives. When militant homosexuals wear leather chaps and vests and square dance on public streets and call it a pride festival, I do get offended that they are so in your face about it. What do I do? I don’t attend. I simply choose not to be a part of their celebration.

I even support the rights of the above individuals to say what they will and make their position known. I defend their rights right up to the point where some one calls for violence against any one else. At this point it becomes a crime and it becomes intolerable. I am not a holocaust denier, I do believe it happened. I will support the rights for anyone to claim it did not. I will, civilly, point out the evidence of the holocaust to them and mention that extremist views are not likely to win any debate on the matter. I will even pity the people continuing such a preposterous notion. If the argument the leads to the person saying all Jews must die, then I will be outraged and I do think that constitutes a lack of humanity, a lack of character and should not be tolerated.

Outlawing the act of speaking words we do not agree with is not the answer, holding people accountable for their actions associated with those words is. Deeds and actions are what matter. When some one claims to hate me, I get my feelings hurt. When someone threatens to hurt me because of their hate, well they better bring a lunch. Simply banning anything that might be offensive is not just simplistically idiotic, it would lead to stagnation of thought and innovation. Who is to decide what is not offensive? Easy listening music is offensive to me, so should that be banned? Where would it stop?

People need to learn to brush off the stupid comments others make. They need to hold people accountable for what they actual do. I admit it is a fine line sometimes, but what we really need to do is to practice some good old fashioned common sense.



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