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Old 03-08-2004, 04:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Discussion: Hate speech. Outlawed or Allowed?

Well..What do you think about this?

Should hate speech be outlawed because it encourages or have the potential of encouraging hate crimes and other misconducts?

Or

Hate speech should be allowed because of freedom of speech?

This is the topic that my Pol 200 teacher assigned to my group, and a really tough one. I'm torn in between so I thought I'd give it a shot at TFP.

It'd be great if I can get inputs on both sides.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-08-2004, 04:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm about as conflicted as you can imagine on this one..

on the one hand...it's free speech, i can say what i want, period. Of course, When and where is up to the situation...I wouldn't exactly walk down my street saying, "F*** THE N******" bc that would be stupid and would result in my getting shot..repeatedly...several thousand times probably...

I also think that is disturbing to society adn just plain wrong.

On the other hand, i would fully accept getting shot for saying something like that...i would NOT accept getting shot by a policeman for saying something like that..at least not shot bc it was against the law.

I think a lot of it has to do with common sense, which isnt' so common anymore.

Overall, i don't believe in limiting speech. i think the gov't should stay out of my bedroom, my head, and my mouth. With that said, i don't think certain things should be said at certain times by certain people...like anyone in my neighborhood spouting racial slurs, you'll get shot..

Hmm..that wasn't too clear.

I'd say, it should be allowed bc it really could lead to more censorship, but i honestly believe people should monitor what they say themselves. I think this hsould be under the law against shouting "FIRE" in a crowded theater...

Hmm...it is perplexing
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Old 03-08-2004, 07:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hate speech in private, as long as it doesn't advocate specific and illegal action toward a particular group, shouldn't be regulated at all. That said, while saying "all (insert group here) should all be killed" is allowed, if not in poor taste, making plans to actually follow through is considered (and rightly so) conspiracy to commit a crime.

Same goes for such speech in public. Getting your point across is one thing, inciting action against a specific group is entirely different.

You are free to say whatever you want; you're not free to bring harm to others.
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Old 03-08-2004, 07:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This isn't a tough decision at all. Hate speech is just that, speech. Unless they are giving orders or suggesting violence, or causing potential physical harm to others(i.e. yelling fire in a crowded movie theater when there is no fire) then they have the right to say it. That's what makes America great, my ability to walk you to anyone and say "Fuck you asshole" or "I love you" with nothing happening to me(in terms of the law, the guy might kick my ass for either/both).
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Old 03-08-2004, 07:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally posted by MadHatder
my ability to walk you to anyone and say "Fuck you asshole"
This is a crime in every state I've lived in.
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Old 03-08-2004, 08:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Why is this even a question?!

For my leftist pals who support restricting our freedom of speech, what's to stop the current administration from declaring negative opinions of GWB to be "hate speech" and criminalizing them?
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Old 03-08-2004, 10:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by irseg
Why is this even a question?!

For my leftist pals who support restricting our freedom of speech, what's to stop the current administration from declaring negative opinions of GWB to be "hate speech" and criminalizing them?

oh come on, keep the whole left/right thing out of this. it has nothing to do with it. and if you're gonna bring it in, then back it up with an example (more so cause it might help with kellyc's paper).
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Old 03-08-2004, 10:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by irseg
Why is this even a question?!

For my leftist pals who support restricting our freedom of speech, what's to stop the current administration from declaring negative opinions of GWB to be "hate speech" and criminalizing them?
Well then, perhaps we should make sexual harrassment comments acceptable then? It IS freespeech after all....

(I don't know if its appropriate or not, so I'll just go with my gut and put it there...)

thanks for all the input so far people.
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Old 03-08-2004, 10:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Whoa since when did the left start restricting freedom of speech? And how the hell did that get in there?

To me its simple - say what you want, but you are responsible for it yourself (if you get your ass beat, too bad).

But there is a limit in that if you go about it to do illegal actions to harm others (as in calling up a group to go murder someone) then that's pushing free speech.
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Old 03-08-2004, 11:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thats the point Zeld2.0. Is hate speech pushing the boundary of free speech? and therefore should be outlawed?
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Old 03-09-2004, 12:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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"Hate speech" should absolutely not be outlawed. It is an arbitrary label and more of a fuss is made over it than is necessary. If someone says that "fags and niggers go straight to hell, and do not pass go," they have a right to say that -- no matter how ignorant and moronic such a statement would be. To start labeling some harmless speech as "hate speech" and to ban it, but not other similar speech, is a step in the wrong direction just like affirmative action.
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Old 03-09-2004, 06:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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So called "Hate Speech" is an integral part of Free Speech. For example, the KKK is free to assemble, and to speak their mind. I, however, am just as free to either (A.) ignore them. (B.) Listen to them, or (C.) organize a counter-demonstration.

When you start to ban, or to outlaw, certain "types" of speech, then the lines that seperate those boundaries become hazy, then blurred. Never, would any two groups of people, agree on the language that would constitute "Hate Speech".
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Old 03-09-2004, 09:59 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bill O'Rights
So called "Hate Speech" is an integral part of Free Speech. For example, the KKK is free to assemble, and to speak their mind. I, however, am just as free to either (A.) ignore them. (B.) Listen to them, or (C.) organize a counter-demonstration.
you forgot (D.) laugh at the atiquated (sp?) ideology and insecurites that make them lash out.
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Old 03-09-2004, 10:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I would support the criminalization of hate speech, certainly - the cult of the freedom of speech doesnt make sense to me really. I am free to act as I wish, but not when I hurt other people - the same logic that applies to any other human action should apply to speech and incitement.

I do not claim that my freedom is curtailed because I am not allowed to strike or attack people I dont like; how can I claim it is when I say things to incite other people to attack, beat, murder, denigrate other people or ethnicity's?
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Old 03-09-2004, 10:41 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I don't think it should be limited by the gov't. that would set a very scary precedent as well. You could have the gov't intially outlaw certain words..then more..and more..eventually you'll get down to realspeak and goodspeak...
more and more..and bammo, you have a 10,000 word dictionary that you are allowed to use...then 1000 words...then 10...then 4.."I love big brother"


not quite that bad, but i don't see how it would be enforceable and the moment it would be put on the books, there would be such an outrage.

with that said, i still believe you should personally be held responsible for your speech.

If you think about it, there are limits to the freedom of speech "cult" that most agree on. You can't scream "FIRE" in a crowded theater/space, you can't commit perjury, you can't really lie to authority figures and get caught..etc.

But hate speech is still there, still allowed and if you put it out for others to hear, you're pretty much on your own with the consequences.
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Old 03-09-2004, 10:43 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Alot of people support free speech. We are nothing more than "a cult"? Ouch, that hurt.
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Old 03-09-2004, 10:53 AM   #17 (permalink)
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If you can't yell "FIRE" in a crouded theater, i don't see it as a huge stretch to be prohibited from yelling "KILL ALL _____(choose your group)" to a crowd of people.

I'm not certain, but i think inciting violence through speech is already illegal in the u.s.
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Old 03-09-2004, 10:56 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Hate Speech, and hate crime is a type of tool to elevate the rights and protections of one group over another group, not to equalize. For instance, I am a white hetero 30 year old married male. If I kill a black person or homosexual for whatever reason, it could be construed as a hate crime. Tack on hate crime, and my sentence and jail time immediately go up, and the paper will have a field day with me. If a gay man or black person kills me, it is not a hate crime. They will serve less jail time and not be pilloried in the newspaper. Therefore, whoever yells "that's hate speech, or hate crime", gets more protection. Crime is crime. You advocate killing people, you do kill or maim people, you face the punishment. The end result is the same. Someone got hurt. Does it make any difference to the white widow that her husband was killed by Asian gangsters? "Oh, Frank was killed for money, at least they did not call him a roundeye gaijin".
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Old 03-09-2004, 11:03 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I think that's why I"m fully against hate crime legislation. It's valuing one life above another, and to me, that is just wrong.


I mean, if you kill someone bc they are gay and you are INCREDIBLY brutal about it, you'll get a huge sentence bordering on life/execution depending on the state...

If you brutally kill someone bc they are a republican..you get the normal sentence..unless that republican is black or gay or whatever adn you happen to be hetero white male. (sorry, couldn't resist)

And if you kill the typical white male, you'll get the slap on the wrist and 7 yr sentence...

Doesn't make sense, but it makes you choose your targets wisely.

But the end result of it all is that a life is gone, you committed the crime, yet who you killed makes your sentence worse...

I do believe hate crimes exist, as in, someone kills someone else bc they are different in one way or another, but the end result is that a LIFE is gone. either make the non-hate crime punishment worse or lessen the hatecrime punishment.
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Old 03-09-2004, 11:12 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I thought that hate crimes don't take into account the race or orientation of the vicitim, just the specific motivations of the perp. That is to say, a hate crime can be committed against a white, male, hetero if it can be proven that white-male-heteroness was the motivation for the perp.

If as a white hetero, you kill a black homosexual, you are not automatically up for hate crime classification, unless it can be proven that race or orientation was part of your motivation.
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Old 03-09-2004, 11:40 AM   #21 (permalink)
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But that is the point, we don't punish people for their words, we punish people for what they do. If you start analyzing motives, then you end up with a whole mess. "My black client was not commiting a hate crime, he felt oppressed by the white man and it was a cry for freedom". If you murder someone, you are guilty of murder, be it for money, lust, or because you hate mexicans.
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Old 03-09-2004, 12:24 PM   #22 (permalink)
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What are you talking about? Motives are always relevant. If we didn't care about motives, "self defense" and insanity would be irrelevant. If we didn't consider motives there would be no such thing as manslaughter. Murder one would be the only charge taking a life would get you. Justice is never cut and dry. Call it a "whole mess" if you like, but motivations are very relevant when determining punishment and hopefully always will be.
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Old 03-10-2004, 03:34 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Self defense and insanity are not motives they are affirmative defenses to a crime.

Motive is a reason why a person might want to have commited the crime they are accused of, and essentially only important for the crime of Murder, afaik. I believe lack of motive is also an affirmative defense to murder, but it is not a pre-requisite for conviction of murder.

The motive is not a factor in what crime someone is charged with except in the case of hate crimes, which elevates the 'hated' to a protected status. Pure unmitigated discrimination, just like affirmative action. Their merits are debatable, but that doesn't change their color.

Back on topic.

Hate, just like love, is a natural human emotion, and should remain protected.

I do not believe that ANYONE has the 'right' to not be hated...nor should anyone be restricted from hating and expressing said hate. I could care less what offense you take from it, or what 'damages' or 'harm' someone could convince you that this offense, manufactured or otherwise caused you.

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Old 03-10-2004, 05:11 PM   #24 (permalink)
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So just let them say what ever they want eh Bear? Ok..what about Hitler using hate speech to propagate his call to kill all those jews? Suppose someone still use that kind of hate speech today, would you still let them do it? Is that kind of speech still worth protecting?
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Old 03-10-2004, 06:14 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I would hate them, and speak out hatefully against them.

Plain and simple. I need that very tool to defend against it, prevent it from ever rearing its ugly head. I have and I will.

What would you do?

You are correct, let them say what ever they want.

It wasn't his hate that ~we~ hate Hitler for. It is the genocide he commited. I strongly believe the world will never see another figure quite like hitler because of mankinds hate. I am thankful for that.

It's a very important emotion.

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Old 03-10-2004, 06:58 PM   #26 (permalink)
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"Ok..what about Hitler using hate speech to propagate his call to kill all those jews? Suppose someone still use that kind of hate speech today, would you still let them do it? Is that kind of speech still worth protecting?"

Not a great analogy. Hitler's hate speech was effective because those with dissenting views were killed or jailed.

Don't get me wrong I am no fan of hate speech, but I am a fan of free speech and dont feel others should be allowed to regulate what I or anyone else says.

Any implication of planning to act on the hate however is a totally different case and grounds for a criminal charge.
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Old 03-10-2004, 07:06 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally posted by theusername
Any implication of planning to act on the hate however is a totally different case and grounds for a criminal charge.
I was with you till this. Planning to act...no, only actually acting, imho.

'Conspiracy to commit...' gives me the heebie-jeebies. Especially when added in addition to the actual crime. It is an end run around double jeopardy, or shitty prosecutors, or exceptionally gifted defense attorney's. What ever. Smacks of totalitarianism...and I'm not even sure exactly what totalitarianism is

-bear
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Old 03-10-2004, 07:23 PM   #28 (permalink)
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There's a difference between saying all ****'s should die and shouting out All ****'s will die and we're going to kill them. Then making orders on how, where, when people should kill ****'s and to say o well the governments not allowed to arrest them until they actually do it is a little much.

Of course just my opinion but if there is evidence of planning for harm to others then it becomes more than just hate speech.

Totalitarianism is when the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control over all aspects of life (thanks to dictionary.com .)

Anyways, I understand your point and it is a valid one however I think there are lines that can be crossed in both directions that will seriously hurt society.

The government should not take over our lives but then again it should be able to protect it's citizens (after all thats the purpose of government)

Last edited by theusername; 03-10-2004 at 07:31 PM..
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Old 03-10-2004, 09:42 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by j8ear
Self defense and insanity are not motives they are affirmative defenses to a crime.

Motive is a reason why a person might want to have commited the crime they are accused of, and essentially only important for the crime of Murder, afaik. I believe lack of motive is also an affirmative defense to murder, but it is not a pre-requisite for conviction of murder.

The motive is not a factor in what crime someone is charged with except in the case of hate crimes, which elevates the 'hated' to a protected status. Pure unmitigated discrimination, just like affirmative action. Their merits are debatable, but that change their color.
I'm just saying that motives and intent are taken into consideration when the prosecutor is deciding whether to prosecute a crime. i.e. inadvertant violations might result in lesser charges than outright disregard for the law. It happens with more than just murder charges. They also take account of motive and intent during sentencing. To claim such things have no sway in the meting out of justice seems, at the very least, inaccurate.

Also, i fail to see how hate crimes legislation gives one group a "protected status" when said legislation can be applicable to any group. You can commit hate crimes against anybody. How is that discriminatory in the least? Affirmative action? Please.
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Old 03-11-2004, 06:44 AM   #30 (permalink)
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No, hate speech should not be outlawed.

We're turning into a bunch of pansies, if you don't like what someone says, don't cry about it and tell on them, ignore them and go about your business. If someone elevates it to violence, defend yourself with your right to bear arms and inform the police to come pick up the body.
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