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Is "Hate Speech" Out Of Control?

So, what is "hate -speech", anyway? Is it just what it sounds like, or is it something which can only be defined through 'legalese' (i.e., what the laws say)?

According to Wikipedia™, "hate speech" is defined like this:

"Hate speech, outside the law, is speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation."


"In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group. The law may identify a protected group by certain characteristics."

These definitions are surely different from one another, although I believe they are intended to represent pretty much the same thing...that is: 

"Hate speech", whether IN LAW or OUTSIDE LAW, is something which is not appreciated and not welcome and not acceptable in a civilized society which professes to promote and foster better things than that.

But what about "freedom of speech" and the First Amendment of the (U.S.) Constitution? 

  • Are we not allowed to freely voice our sentiments or opinions, even if those might "offend" some? 
  • Are we not allowed to 'point fingers' at others who we collectively agree 'deserve it'? 
  • Are we not allowed to apply 'labels' to certain individuals or groups or behaviors, practices, etc.?
  • Are we not allowed to 'openly criticize or insult' those who might be disabled, dysfunctional, diseased, deviant, devisive, decrepit, or otherwise "distasteful"?
Of course, this example is intended to bring to light some of the things I believe are bordering on 'hate-speech', that we seemingly have come to 'expect' and even 'tolerate'. 

IS "hate speech" out of control?

In my (humble) opinion, it is.

What do YOU think? 

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