In an article titled, Is Hate Speech Terrorism, we wrote how the war of words over the use of words is intensifying and dividing us as a nation. Our national correspondent Shireen Qudosi weighed in with a podcast.
We then asked you, our readers, to give us your opinions by answering our poll on the subject.
Is hate speech terrorism?
- 83.5 percent said, “No. You can say what you want. If someone choose to act on your words, that’s their issue, not yours.”
- 16.5 percent said, “Yes. You are encouraging acts of violence — that’s tantamount to terror.”
Here are some of your comments:
Part of the problem is that anyone can define any speech they dislike or disagree with as hate speech, shutting down any further discussion.
The issue is not really about hate speech, it’s about those with a totalitarian mindset telling people the words they are allowed to use and the ideas they are allowed to have. It’s a form of control used by every dictatorship.
Hate speech is only hate speech when someone disagrees with you but hasn’t got a valid argument to answer you with.
Free speech is free speech, full stop. Anything less is censorship.
Hate speech is hate speech. Quit trying to associate it with a more serious term or the word terrorism will become meaningless.
This issue of free speech is absolutely gone off the track. Hate speech is NOT terrorism. Terrorism requires “action.”
“Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.” If we want a free society that solves it’s problems peacefully we need to adhere to this adage and become a little more thick skinned. Unless you are directly and blatantly inciting violence, you should be able to express all your ideas whether they offend others or not.
Is hate speech often even hate speech? Or just reality speech painted hate by political correctness and the REAL haters?
Do any of you recall the principle of free speech”? Do you call to mind the very definition thereof? Allow me to assist. We must — in a free and open society — allow for ALL and ANY opinions to be freely expressed regardless how extreme or horrible we find them to be. The answer to them is not banishment. The answer is your equal right to express your opinions in opposition to those you are offended by. That is the nature of freedom.
The Phrase: “Sticks & Stones May break my bones but WORDS will never hurt me.” This is FALSE! Words are truly harmful. People are influenced by what they hear. People that SPEAK harm and SPEAK UNTRUE WORDS are wanting to do HARM!
This will become a very slippery slope
Hate speech in itself is not terrorism, however, it is what one does during or after the hate speech that could possibly be terrorism.
There is a Nazi in every one of us. We must keep him silent, without any strength.
The time is past for people to OWN their actions, good or bad, not blame others for their actions.
There is already a word for hate speech that leads to violence: incitement.
The First Amendment is there to protect unpopular speech. Legally, the only speech that is not protected speech that causes harm to society such as, yelling “fire” in a crowded movie theater.
Hate speech laws are mental terrorism.
Simply wish people would be more respectful when sharing their opposing opinions. Dr. Martin Luther King is a wonderful example of how to do this with integrity, in my humble opinion.
Hate speech is subjective, actual terrorism is factual.
Keep speaking, Ms. Qudosi. Perhaps common sense as you and (too few) others express it will win the day. The formers of the U.S. Constitution and its amendments (in particular, Thomas Jefferson and his First Amendment) would find this business of hate speech being terrorism as nonsensical as it sickening.
I vote YES! However: Hate Speech itself is a specious subjective category, and the questions of this poll are badly conceived!! Hate Speech, a PC creation of the Left, is defined by the American and European Left as any speech it disagrees with
Hate speech is like Islamophobia & not defined & so can be anything anyone dislikes. Both terms need to be banned as terms!
Here in Europe we urgently need something like your First Amendment.