Posted by Kirby Harris
First, I must say I find any kind of hate or hate speech despicable and whish it didn’t exist. But do I or many of us through our government have the right to silence it?
The First Amendment protects free speech. Should that include hate speech? What is hate speech? Who decides what hate speech is and hate speech is not?
Is saying you believe homosexuality is immoral hate speech? When a black leader says white people are this or white people are that and stereotype them negatively is that hate speech?
If I say black people are A or B based on my assumptions could that be considered hate speech?
If a person whose ancestors are from India says a lot of white people in West Virginia inner cities are uneducated (note I did not say stupid) and poor. This is a fact for whites in West Virginia inner cites just like it’s a fact for blacks in many other inner cities around the nation based on the statistics. Are facts hate speech?
Does the old adage about indecency, smut or pornography apply? I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.
What if someone decides something is hate speech that isn’t hate speech? Could you find yourself at the wrong end of law based on your statements? Should we try and define hate speech in legislation that could be wildly misinterpreted or liberally applied, making criminals out of people who are not criminals? Are people free to espouse their hate, no matter how unpopular?
A Facebook Friend of mine, Randal Loftland, eloquently put it like this:
“The first amendment protects speech, however popular or unpopular the speech might be.
Likewise, freedom of association protects us from the government managing our relationships however popular, unpopular or distasteful others might find it and a free market capitalist economic system punishes (see Paula Deen) businesses that partake in practices that run counter to the sensibilities of our culture. Businesses that are openly bigoted will pay the price in the free market.”
Again, I personally find any kind of hate or hate speech despicable and whish it did not exist. But I also am a strong advocate of the First Amendment and the that it protects Free Speech, no matter how disgusting or popular. This is because I am against the tyranny of the majority against the minority just as I am against the tyranny of the minority over the majority like we witnessed during apartheid in South Africa, where the minority of whites tyrannized the majority black population.
No majority should harm minority and no minority should harm a majority. We should all be equal under the law, that includes haters. If we want our speech to be always free, then we must protect even the vile speech of bigots.
Sir Thomas Moore, expert legal scholar said it best in this exchange:
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!
Replace the word devil with Hater, Bigot, Klansman, Nazi, Westborough Baptist, Black Supremacist or some may replace it with Christian, and then you should see the flaw in taking away the right of vile or unpopular speech.
It fully sums up the fact that if you allow the government to create a law that takes away any man’s rights, afforded to him by nature, no matter how vile or unpopular, then when the vile and hateful people come into power, like they did under Apartheid in South Africa, then they can use those same laws to take that right from you.
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