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Forum Post: Should hate speech be illegal?

Posted 11 years ago on April 30, 2013, 9:15 p.m. EST by Narley (272)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I’ve seen a lot of what I consider hate speech here, all of it directed toward conservatives (Tea Party, Republicans, etc..) I also visit a conservative site which does the same thing, but directing the hate talk toward liberals. Also if you read very many comments on MSM stories there is a lot of hate speech, much of it racist and demeaning to some ethnic or social group.

So, this prompts me to ask if hate speech should be allowed. The UK and Canada have hate speech laws. To my knowledge the US has no hate speech laws. As long as Americans don’t yell fire in a theater, don’t threaten people or libel people we can say pretty much what we want.

I’ll say up front I prefer it the way it is. People should be able to say anything they want, regardless of how hateful it is. Just don’t threaten or libel and you can say anything. But there appears to be some here who disagree with that premise.



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[-] 2 points by highlander21 (-46) 11 years ago

No. Who gets to define hate? Those who do not agree with the opinions expressed?

[-] 2 points by Shule (2638) 11 years ago

Hate speech is just as damaging, maybe more so, than threatening language, or libel. It has nothing to do with free speech and probably should be illegal. The question then becomes what exactly is hate speech.

Try saying something about the doings of our current President, and next thing you know your a racist, or say something about the doings of the State of Israel, and next thing you know your being labeled as anti-semtic.

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 11 years ago


Have you been watching the above?

We have four limitations, as it stands now, and which you have already acknowledged.

Most people will annihilate you verbally if you pop off something that uses a derogatory ethnic name. However, if someone picks up stats and says something like.......African Americans and Latinos are overrepresented in the prison system, therefore, there is a criminal component to their race---it gets a free pass. When money is funneled into promoting that stance it is called public relations or social engineering and it's ok. This forum has multiple threads that have that crap in it.

And then there is the Libertopian crowd. The Right pretending to be the Left.

They just change IDs and bring the same shit up, act beleaguered and then cry.

Then they want everyone to get along and it's in an effort to silence criticism.

Less to do with free speech and more to do with recognizing a bunch of bullshit when you see it.

[-] 1 points by redandbluestripedpill (333) 11 years ago

No, but speech that promotes constitutional intent should be empowered.

[-] 0 points by farmer88 (40) 11 years ago

Depends on what this "hate" actually is. People often have a very biased idea of what "hate" entails. Hate speech to one person may not be to another.

[-] 0 points by eterna (-93) from Montauk, NY 11 years ago

If someone asked me how they look and i say fat ( and that person is) will that considered hate speech?

[-] 0 points by Narley (272) 11 years ago

Probably rude speech, but not hate speech.

[-] -1 points by eterna (-93) from Montauk, NY 11 years ago

i know that it would be rude,..............but isnt funny, when someone asks how they look and you you think they look terrible, you're not supposed to say that because you might hurt their feelings. what ever happend to truth?

[-] 0 points by Narley (272) 11 years ago

In your specific example. It’s a matter of how you say it. Telling someone a specific dress makes them look chunky is better than saying “you’re fat”. Sometime a little white lie is better than the truth.

[-] 0 points by eterna (-93) from Montauk, NY 11 years ago

all those little white lies dont do any good. you want to not hurt feelings but you owe a friend the truth.

[-] 0 points by Narley (272) 11 years ago

Fat people already know they’re fat. Smokers already know it’s bad for them. Reminding them of it and telling the truth in these cases may be worse than the truth. Nothing wrong with an occasional white lie to keep the peace.

[-] 0 points by eterna (-93) from Montauk, NY 11 years ago

smokers never ask if they smoke too much,...........people offer them unsolicited words about it. when a fat woman puts on a short unflattering skirt and asks how does she look,..............a friend should tell her the truth.