“Fox News should be shut down and Hannitty (SIC), Beck, Savage, O’Reilly and Limbaugh should be indictedas (SIC) accessories to murder…That’s because the Right has all the SCUM and Fox News riles them up by bypassing thinking and discourse for appeal to the above emotions. FOX News ansd ABC Radio are the equivalent of Goebbels and the Ministry of Propaganda-and they will continue unless stopped-period.” – Blogcritics Commenter
If it is hate speech to attack someone on the basis of their race, or their sexual preference or their gender, why is it not hate speech to attack them on the basis of their political associations or affiliation?
At the root of the idea of hate speech is the principle that you are judging someone unfairly and expressing a hatred for them which they do not deserve as individuals. It is the idea that just because some black men are criminals you call the whole race criminals, or that because some gay men are pedophiles you condemn them all as pedophiles, or because some Jews are wealthy you condemn them all as misers. This is bigotry and it can be expressed as hateful speech.
If you accept this premise, then why is it not just as much hate speech if you call all white men racist because some white men are racists, or declare that all members of a political party are homophobes because some are homophobes, or condemn everyone who wants to change government a terrorist because some wish to change government by force? Shouldn’t these people be judged as individuals for their actions rather than for the dubious ideas of other people to whom they have only the most superficial connection?
In a nation where we have guaranteed freedom of speech, how can any kind of speech be a crime at all? Yes, it is a crime if you kill someone or encourage others to kill someone, but it cannot be a crime to criticize the actions or beliefs of others. That makes a crime of opinion and a crime of thought and a crime of dissent. That’s the worst form of oppression.
As demonstrated in the quote above, there are many in this nation who desperately want to silence dissent and to criminalize any ideas with which they do not agree. If there is a hate crime in a nation where we have rights guaranteed in our Constitution, shouldn’t the greatest hate crime be the desire to take those rights away? Free speech is the first of those rights for a reason and attacks on it are inexcusable.
Someone who hates free speech hates liberty and if you hate liberty then you hate every person in this country who wants to be free. You attack everyone who would like to be left alone to live their life in peace. You express a willingness to punish thought and impose your model of the world on others against their will through the coercive force of the state. You place your opinion ahead of the rights of others and that kind of selfishness is inexcusable in a free society — not that you want a free society. You want to be free to do as you please while others also do only as you please—your idea of liberty is pure selfishness.
The person who would shut down a radio station or a television network or a journalist hates the very principles America stands for. Whether the target is Julian Assange or Rush Limbaugh or some guy at a Tea Party with a stupid sign, the principle is the same. If you are willing to take away their rights then you are willing to take away everyone’s rights. You are a bigot, and even worse you become a tyrant when you ask government to enforce your bigotry with the power of the law.