Wednesday, February 15, 2006

America: Land of Hate

The most powerful tool that a society has to protect the most vulnerable among us is an effective Hate Speech Code.

Simply put, it is not only wrong, but it is illegal to say anything to anyone that can be construed as offensive or hurtful. And by enforcing this rule, we can ensure that no one will ever be exposed to insensitive comments. Yes, we have free speech in this country, and I for one, will defend that right no matter what -- and would do so even if I did not have tenure.

But free speech ends when other people's feelings are concerned.

Let's examine typical examples of hate speech:

A) Man to Woman: "May I hold that door open for you?"

This example of sexism conveys a dangerous gender-based threat with undercurrents of spontaneous violence. And it tacitly conveys a vile misogynist hatred that is deeply offensive -- and must be countered with immediate legal action.

B) An Ice Person joins a supermarket line with an Ice Cashier instead of joining a line with a Sun Cashier.

This explicit expression of racism sends a message of intimidation and fear -- while diminishing the contributions of an entire people and threatening the slavery of many generations to come. The offense warrants incarceration and reparations.

C) The graphical display of deities and prophets.

Religious faith is sacred, and any attempt to contravene another's beliefs is the moral and physical equivalent of genocide. As such, the offended party has an unquestioned right to respond in any way deemed appropriate, as the point of "legalities" is meaningless in the context of defending one's faith from insensitive attacks. (And maybe those theocratic Christian monsters in the White House should read that last paragraph again.)

In summary, there is no room in a progressive society for hate. And that includes any comments, questions, or insinuations that are based on race, color, creed, sex, age, weight, height, disability, national origin, religion, political opinions, veteran's status, conviction records, or anything else that might possibly cause emotional harm to another. A just society will punish, educate, and isolate offenders.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Doctor- (doctors???)

Thank you for teaching me that my shamefully low level of self loathing is in itself an act of pure hate. I am a white male upperclass....American who used to feel redeemed by giving to the UNCF and voting Democratic. Now the level of bitterness I feel to myself is borderline suicidal. I'll continue to stucy your writtings and perhaps one...might have the wisdom and sensativity to commit the one true act compassion and kill myself.

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