Prove your humanity


 

DISCLAIMER: The author of this article may or may not share the same point of view as the story.  

Hate speech is something our society sees a lot. People fight about religion, politics, morals, humor and everything else in between. Our generation loves to fight and disagree on everything. However, hate speech is something we are allowed to express and is something we need.

Reason.com states in an article that “The First Amendment protects all ideas, loving, hateful, or in between.” Something that makes America different from other countries is that we all have the opportunity to put our opinions out there. It is hard to determine what in our world is “hateful.”

The issue that we face in having the ability to post whatever we want online is that everyone’s idea for what is “fair game” to say is different. What is hurtful to you may or may not be hurtful to me. Someone might believe that removing religion from politics is evil and others may believe the opposite option is evil. That said, if we try to shield everyone from what offends them, no one will ever talk freely again. 

Allowing people to say what they wish is not a new feature of the First Amendment. History shows that it was able to be used as a source of protection. 

According to an article by ACLU, “Our history shows the same First Amendment that protects hateful, racist speech can be and has been used by civil rights advocates to protect historically vulnerable communities.” The article recalls the actions of Charles Evers, a civil rights icon and NAACP leader at the time. 

Evers decided he was going to boycott racist, white business owners and claimed that he would “break the damn neck” of any activist who broke the boycott. These white business owners weren’t too happy and decided to sue him for incitement with the argument that his voice led to violent riots. 

The court has previously come to the conclusion that “before the government can punish speech, there has to be an immediate and specific risk of actual violence to a real person.” 

In today’s world, the words of Evers would be considered hate speech because he was offending a group of people. This event separated the term “hate speech” from real threats. “Hate speech” does not put you in danger and does not deserve much of a court’s attention. 

Although it sounds strange, hate speech is something that can inform our society on what is going on around them politically, religiously and economically. Kialo.com has a list of pros and cons of banning hate speech. One of the pros of keeping hate speech is that “The people of a nation should be free to hear ideas that the government doesn’t want them to hear.”

It is true that elected officials don’t often mention views that differ from their own. This is also a reflection of our parents, pastors and some of our peers. Many times, people are told to listen to these people and most people will just agree with it instead of thinking freely.

Hate speech is something that can show an uneducated soul the negatives and positive effects of something. For example, someone might have a fixed view on immigration but when they hear a perspective of an opposing side through a hate tweet or post, it could potentially be enough to get that person to change or think about their current views. 

Hate speech is something that pops up a lot during our daily lives. We log into Twitter or Facebook and there is something new to debate about. Of course, though the arguing will never stop, the important thing to remember is that there is not always one right answer.

We all have opinions and everyone is free to voice them.