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Hate Speech in the US

Hate speech in the United States can be examined in a research paper that explicates the laws and social mores against hate speech. Have our writers custom write you an essay on hate speech in any format you need.

One of the most valued rights in American society is the right to freedom of speech. Unfortunately, this right is often abused by individuals or groups who are intent on spreading messages of hate against others. Hate speech is generally defined as speech designed to foster prejudice and hate against a specific individual or group. It can be identified relatively easily by the fact that it uses discriminatory or inflammatory labels to insult and stigmatize a specific individual or group. Hate Speech in the USA primary example from world history is the hate speech directed at the Jews by Adolf Hitler and Nazi sympathizers during the 1930s and 1940s. Today, hate speech is similarly directed at lesbians and gays in American society. Unfortunately, hate speech against most diverse individuals or groups is so common that it rarely garners any attention from authorities or society at large as unacceptable.

The fact that hate speech does not garner a great deal of attention in American society can be attributed to strong perceptions about freedom of speech. It is ironic that one of the main reasons that many people are reluctant to speak out against hate speech is because they believe that to do so undermines another individual’s or group’s freedom of speech. What must be considered however is that hate speech almost always works to undermine the basic right to live in American society without being the target of hate mongers.

Hate speech is defined as face to face, assaultive speech directed at an individual or small group. The following is considered hate speech:

  • Any words that are uttered with the clear intent of inflicting injury or inciting and immediate break of the peace will be considered hate speech.
  • Verbal utterances that are not words but inflict injury by their intent and known connotation, such as catcalls, will be considered hate speech.
  • Likewise, printed pariphinalia such as posters and fliers which support racist beliefs or contain injurious statements.  

Individuals who choose to disregard policy on hate speech will have sanctions imposed upon them. On college campuses, incidences of hate speech may be reported to any university employee, but in all substantiated cases a report will be filed and held with the campus police. Repeat offenders may face more significant sanctions.  

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