October 2 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm PDT
Hate Speech: How Does It Affect Us?
Hate speech is a term that is often used for “abusive language specifically attacking a person or persons because of their race, color, religion, ethnic group, gender, or sexual orientation”*. While some countries have laws against hate speech, the US does not. Instead, citizens decide for themselves what speech they object to, and how, if at all, they want to deal with it.
Some Americans argue that the government should ban hate speech. For this meeting, rather than dive into that particular discussion, we will focus our attention on why people are concerned about this topic. In most cases, the rationale boils down to the harm hate speech does, and assessment of how any particular statement impacts another person is likely to vary according to each individual’s beliefs and lived experiences.
At this meeting we will explore the types of speech our members consider to be hate speech and discuss two types of harm:
- Harm that comes from restricting this type of speech.
- Harm that comes from not restricting such speech.
We will ask such questions as:
- What harms come from unrestricted hate speech?
- What harms come from restricting speech?
- When and how do speech and violence connect?
- Does your assessment of harm change according to context or the intent of the speaker?
Note: If we hear enough interest in discussing whether hate speech should be banned, we can hold a follow-up to this meeting.
* From the First Amendment Encyclopedia, https://mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/967/hate-speech
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