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Hate Speech Phenomenon - Essay Example

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Hate speech is a very common phenomenon which is present in all cultures and societies. A vast majority of people regard it as a negative phenomenon however there are a considerable number of people who think of hate speech as a natural tendency and a legitimate behavior which is a part of the basic right of freedom of speech and expression…
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Hate Speech Phenomenon
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"Hate Speech Phenomenon"

Download file to see previous pages There is a consensus among the leaders of the international community that hate speech needs to be prohibited by law but the compatibility of the hate speech legislation and the free speech laws is yet to be established. A large majority of people support legislation against hate speech but there are other perspectives as well. The adversaries to the legislation against hate speech present freedom of speech as the strongest argument however there are other arguments besides this. According to some people hate speech should be tolerated because it allows people to release their hatred towards a particular group of people in a much softer way. According to them hate speech helps people releasing the pressure of hatred that is built up inside their minds through their tongue and thus it helps preventing the threat of physical violence. However the case of human beings is different from mechanical pressure vessels and tolerance of hate speech promotes it in most of the cases. The first amendment to the constitution of the United States ensures the freedom of speech and expression however it has certain shortcomings regarding the saving of the minority groups from hate speech; free speech as a phenomenon ensures the provision of human rights however free speech clause has failed to do so because it has been used as a tool for spreading hatred on numerous occasions. People who are against the hate speech laws argue that hate speech cannot be abolished by enforcing laws against it because it is a moral and social issue which can be solved through arbitration and changing the mindset of hate mongers. Hate speech laws at times ‘overprotects’ minorities like blacks and Jews who exploit these laws while expressing their own hatred towards majority groups so the whole legislative process against hate speech is very critical and laws should be formulated by keeping into consideration all the possible ways in which the laws could be misused (Delgado). In places where hate speech laws have been formulated and are being enforced, some people have reported the presence of ‘underground racists’. These people are those racists who do not openly express their hatred towards the minority groups because the law bars them to do so, consequently they keep their feelings hidden, working silently to cause damage to the minority groups and thus pose a greater threat. So the challengers of the hate speech laws use the case of underground racists as another argument against the enforcement of hate speech laws because according to them a person who hides his hatred is much more dangerous than a person who openly admits his hatred towards other people. Thus the adversaries argue that formulating laws against hate speech is not the solution, moral solutions are much better. For example one of the solutions that they propose is that a person who confronts hate speech should learn to ignore it because ignorance discourages the hate mongers whereas reaction is considered as offensive and further encourages the hate mongers to continue spreading hatred. But ignorance is sometimes considered as weakness, under such circumstances, the minority groups should learn to reply back. So the person who confronts hate speech is in a much better position to resolve the issue than the authorities who can only impose law which are not effective in stopping the incidents of hate speech. The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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