Hate Speech


             Have you ever just wanted to speak your mind on a topic that you are completely against and end up offending the people who are for that topic? Some would consider that to be a form of hate speech. Hate speech is a type of speech that offends, threatens, or has insulted groups, that are based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits. Hate speech has limits, before being considered has hate speech. It Now the question is should hate speech be protected by freedom of speech/ the first amendment? Or should it be given disciplinary action? However, developing such policies runs the risk of limiting an individual’s ability to express themselves. When a conflict arises when debating the importance of protecting community interests and safeguarding the rights of the individual. There are multiple main points to this conflict with hate speech, which is that if hate speech should be defended, along with if the first amendment protects this speech, what kind of damage does hate speech cause, who do hate speech affect the most and how to deal with this kind of speech.

           When debating the topic of defending or protecting hate speech there is much controversy pertaining to and it becomes a very argumentative topic. It is very hard to find which side is of hate speech is more correct than the other, but there are so many strong points it is very had to decide.  According to Abigal Hauslohner, In her article “Free Speech or Hate Speech? Campus Debates over Victimhood Put Universities in a Bind.” racist speech takes the form of face-to-face insults, catcalls, or other the assaultive speech aimed at an individual or small group of persons, it falls directly within the “fighting words”.Hate speech should be aloud and legal but to a limit. That is the main part of protecting hate speech as well as the most controversial topic. Some people will say yes the first amendment should indeed protect the hate speech because it is an expression of free speech and that it doesn’t matter if what is being talked about peace for all to saying some hate full stuff about certain races or people its freedom of speech no matter what the topic, but there will be others that say no hate speech should not be protected by the first amendment. They say that because it causes problems for one another and harms them. The people say no because it supposedly causes multiple problems from hurting others mentally from racial slurs or even physically from people beating other people up because of the way they feel on the speech being given. Hate speech should be limited to just a group of people speaking their mind to what or whoever, but a’s soon as it reaches threatening words it should not be protected. It is a very controversial topic but there seems to be the equivalent backup on both sides. There is an exception to First Amendment protection and because of this, our government needs to ensure that we attain and sustain polite society. There isn’t a legitimate side they seem to both be equal to the argument about defending or not to defend hate speech.

            Next is a big question which does the first amendment help protect hate speech. The answer is kind of confusing but it’s both yes and no. The reason why there are some that are protected by the first amendment is that it is not illegal. In certain situations where there is a group attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, or gender. This is legal because it is a big group acting on freedom of speech. According to Eric Tucker’s article “How Federal Law Draws a Line between Free Speech and Hate Crimes.” It is claimed to be an act of freedom of speech and not hate speech, but it is also is legal when it’s one person speaking to a group of people because that is also a form or free speech. Now to what makes it illegal? When there is some that say threatening another person it then becomes not protected against the first amendment. According to Anthony Lewis’s book “Freedom For the Thought That We Hate” Ch 10 Thoughts that We Hate, the United States are different say like Germany and other western societies because it is illegal to have hate speech. Why? The reason why it illegal to attack a person one on one is because freedom of speech is because it’s illegal to threaten or attack someone with words. Illegal threats include threats to do bodily harm, threaten to destroy property or threats to do anything which is maliciously intended to substantially harm the person threatened or another with respect to his or her physical or mental health or safety.

           Now onto how much damage does hate speech cause to society and who does it affect. Hate speech will never really end up causing physical damage but it can do things but it will cause mental damage to other people. According to Anne Walsh’s article “Effects of Hate Speech”, one of the largest consequences of hate speech is the effect that it can have on people’s mental health. Many of those that are affected by hate speech may cause self-harm, or become suicidal, their confidence and self-esteem may be affected, as well as many more consequences. While many people believe that how someone interprets their words is not their problem, this is not true. It is a responsibility to ensure that your words aren’t hateful. Who it affects the most would have to be students. These experiences can affect students and their school performance. Victims of hate speech are more likely to express fear of violence traveling to and from school and at school, which can lead to avoidance of school, classes and extracurricular activities. They may also feel anger, personal hurt and betrayal, and/or a sense of powerlessness and isolation. Targets of peer harassment which may include hate speech experience loneliness, depression and low self-worth. There will sometimes be hate speech will get out of hand and people will change from using their words to fight to using their hands to fight people that don’t agree with them, but that is a rare case to see. People will hurt others just because they don’t agree with what they are saying.

           Last, but not least how to deal with hate speech as a person. In order to resolve these issues of hate speech and what it causes to people, one should state the necessary balance between personal liberties and public safety. However, there should be some restrictions placed on hate speech, including the expression of hateful ideas. It is important that hate speech is limited down to most cases, such as those where it could pose a serious threat to the surrounding environment. The only way hate speech can be controlled is with very strict guidelines and probable hate speech situations left up to on a case-by-case basis. This is especially true when words are added into the speech that has a significant meaning to one person, but not another. Many people use very racist words when speaking to another. However, too many of them do not realize that some words carry with them a history of malignant oppression. The Federal Government should restrict hate speech on all college campuses. This is due to a lot of reasons of hate speeches. The first point of is, one can observe that hate speech and have a tendency to foster a more appropriate environment by teaching a difference between right and wrong . Often times, college students do not realize the impact of their words may have on others. The problem is rarely found in primary and secondary schools, and could get worse as the students approach the college level.

         In conclusion, hate speech is a very controversial topic.There are equivalent arguments on both sides of either to defend hate speech and consider it to be an act of freedom of speech or not to defend hate speech and say that it’s not a form of free speech and causes too much harm to people. Als,o the way around to make hate speech be protected and if that hate speech isn’t protected by the first amendment, which is that a’s long it’s not a threat to a direct person it’s legal. Then there’s what kind of damage hate speech brings and it isn’t just mental damage it can cause physical damage from people beating up the ones who disagree to them. Many people who are affected by hate speech may self-harm, or become suicidal, their confidence and self esteem may be affected, as well as many more consequences it brings and last is how to deal with hate speech.In order to resolve the issues of hate speech, there should be a balance between personal liberties and public safety. There should be a limit on what is considered to be hate speech and how offensive it could be to others.

Annotated Bibliography

Source #1: Nouvelage, Elijah. “The Free Speech-Hate Speech Trade-Off.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 13 Sept. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/09/13/opinion/berkeley-dean-erwin-chemerinsky.html.

At the university of michigan a hate speech code was made at the school to to some incidents that had occured at the school. After the code was declared some students that wanted to challenge the law. This source will be helpful in my essay on hate speech because it deals with fighting the controversial topic. This source is reliably by being still being a new topic of the past year and it is based on experiences that actually happened and it’s made by a new york times.


Source #2 : Hauslohner, Abigail. “Free Speech or Hate Speech? Campus Debates over Victimhood Put Universities in a Bind.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 20 Oct. 2017, www.washingtonpost.com/national/free-speech-or-hate-speech-campus-debates-over-victimhood-put-university-officials-in-a-bind/2017/10/20/7f610dfe-aa07-11e7-92d1-58c702d2d975_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.eda9691d90c7.

Abdulhadi is San Francisco State University’s sole Arab Muslim professor teaching at a San Francisco College of Ethnic Studies. She is a frequent targeted because of her criticism of Israel. One day at the school her face, and the names of her students, again plastered all over campus below these words: “TERRORIST SUPPORTERS.” The reason why this source became help full is because it explain the fight for hate speech to be illegal and that it’s not a form of free speech nd that the students that protest these facts have very valid points on hate speech. The reason why this source is reliable is because it comes from a situation that happened it was real. Als,o the students trying to make themselves know to fight the cause.

Source #3: Tucker, Eric. “How Federal Law Draws a Line between Free Speech and Hate Crimes.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 31 Dec. 2015, www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/how-federal-law-draws-a-line-between-free-speech-and-hate-crimes.

In this article, it explains the controversy between freedom of speech whether hate speech should be illegal or legal. It dwells into the cases of hate speeches over the years. This article is relevant to my essay because it touches up on the topic of where to draw the line on freedom of speech to hate speech. This source is reliable because it explains the political standpoint on it rather than a school fighting it.


Source #4 “Hate Speech: Strategies.” Take Back The Tech, 29 Dec. 2015, www.takebackthetech.net/be-safe/hate-speech-strategies.

This article explains what do do and how to handle hate speech if it is being said to you. It brushes up on so things to do when it comes to this type of situation and how to act or not act on it. This will help with the research due to the fact that since there is not solving hate speech ny time soon the best option is how to live with it. It is reliable because it relates to people dealing with hate speech and there is very rarely nothing they can do.

Source #5: Costelloe, Lorna. “Effects of Hate Speech .” No Hate Speech Movement Ireland, 20 Apr. 2015, www.nohatespeech.ie/effects-hate-speech-lorna-costelloe.

In this article, it examines how much damage comes from people performing hate speech. It explains how it affects people and what damages it causes to them. This will help my paper due to the fact that we need to know the kind of damages hate speech brings because is it shows no effect it people then it doesn’t become an issue. It’s reliable because it gives examples in detail on how it affects the people.