At what point do we, as progressive, secular humanists take off the gloves? Careful language, professional restraint and sober deliberation must be backed by the willingness to act. (#NonViolentProtest #PostFactual) We are still talking around the fact that the abhorrent narrative of fear, hate and bigotry is being accorded the same respect as rational discourse. Call bullshit when you see it. Stop hate speech in its tracks by sharing over and over the truth. Out shout and out share hate speech. The alternative is polite acceptance. Polite acceptance normalizes hate and fear as legitimate tools of our republic.
Hate speech is speech which attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation. In the law of some countries, hate speech is described as speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it incites violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected group, or individual on the basis of their membership to the group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected group, or individual on the basis of their membership to the group. The law may identify a protected group by certain characteristics. In the law of other countries, hate speech is not a legal term. In some countries, a victim of hate speech may seek redress under civil law, criminal law, or both. A website which uses hate speech may be called a hate site. Most of these sites contain Internet forums and news briefs that emphasize a particular viewpoint.
However, keep it clearly in mind that hate speech is protected as free speech under the First Amendment. From ACLU:
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects speech no matter how offensive its content. Speech codes adopted by government-financed state colleges and universities amount to government censorship, in violation of the Constitution. And the ACLU believes that all campuses should adhere to First Amendment principles because academic freedom is a bedrock of education in a free society.
More from same terrific article:
Q: Aren't speech codes on college campuses an effective way to combat bias against people of color, women and gays?
A: Historically, defamation laws or codes have proven ineffective at best and counter-productive at worst. For one thing, depending on how they're interpreted and enforced, they can actually work against the interests of the people they were ostensibly created to protect. Why? Because the ultimate power to decide what speech is offensive and to whom rests with the authorities -- the government or a college administration -- not with those who are the alleged victims of hate speech.
In Great Britain, for example, a Racial Relations Act was adopted in 1965 to outlaw racist defamation. But throughout its existence, the Act has largely been used to persecute activists of color, trade unionists and anti-nuclear protesters, while the racists -- often white members of Parliament -- have gone unpunished.
Similarly, under a speech code in effect at the University of Michigan for 18 months, white students in 20 cases charged black students with offensive speech. One of the cases resulted in the punishment of a black student for using the term "white trash" in conversation with a white student. The code was struck down as unconstitutional in 1989 and, to date, the ACLU has brought successful legal challenges against speech codes at the Universities of Connecticut, Michigan and Wisconsin.
These examples demonstrate that speech codes don't really serve the interests of persecuted groups. The First Amendment does. As one African American educator observed: "I have always felt as a minority person that we have to protect the rights of all because if we infringe on the rights of any persons, we'll be next."