Here Thar Be Monsters!
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For Hate's Sake I Spit At Thee
I looked up the definition of "hate speech" on Google and got this, "Hate speech is speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits." So, according to this definition, almost every human alive in every context and every day commits "hate speech."
Schoolboy taunts are "hate speech." Calling Nazis evil is "hate speech." Saying that Attila the Hun was an invader rather than an immigrant is "hate speech." Hell, even referring to "white privilege" is "hate speech," except that it's quite in vogue right now. And therein lies the issue.
"Hate speech" is one of those amorphous things used to paint anyone we don't like with the brush of "political correctness." You see, it's OK to bash the white race, and for non-white races to bash each other, but it is a sin of the highest order for white folk to say even the least derogatory thing about anyone else. It's OK to bash Nazis and fascists, but not socialists and communists. In fact, the borders of "hate speech" keep moving to suit whatever the Gatekeepers want. In other words, "hate speech" is a tool of a controlling elite to stifle free and open discourse on whatever topic they don't like.
There is no right not to be offended or insulted. Sorry, but that is a fact. Trying to skate through life without someone somewhere offending and insulting you is a hopeless and ridiculous exercise. For example, if you are fat, then at some point in your life, someone will call you "fat." It is an accurate description of you. It's a fact, get over it. If it offends or insults you, then shutting up the person saying it will not change the fact. Only direct action on your part to lose weight will do that. If you don't take action, then you have chosen to be fat, and if you are insulted by someone noting that fact makes you an oversensitive idiot, as well.
Since records began, humans have had prejudices. Every sub-group of society bashes every other sub-group to make themselves look superior and thus attract and keep members in the group. Exclusivity is a selling point. People want things that no one else has, and feel superior when they have them. Whether your group feels snobbish because you eat at the finest restaurants, or your group has a lock on eternal salvation, everyone everywhere at all times has felt superior because of their membership in some group - and they have bashed other groups for not having the same thing.
Every race has bashed every other race for being inferior. Every religion has bashed every other religion for not having the secrets to eternal truth. Every political party has bashed every other political party for not having the answers. And every individual has bashed some other individual for not being in their group.
It is a fact of life and the human condition that we define ourselves in opposition to others. It is also a fact that at some point in our life, we will feel insulted or slighted in some way. For crying out loud, siblings fight at the dinner table because one of them got a piece of pie that was slightly larger than another. People get their feelings hurt. So what?
The thing about "hate speech," and other terms, like "conspiracy theorist," is that they are a way to stifle thought and expression that are not in line with our own. And when you put the deadly force of law behind it, you have a formidable weapon to shut down dissent and control the boundaries of public discourse.
Puppeteers control their marionettes using strings and sticks to animate the bodies and mouths. Ambiguous terms like "hate speech" are nothing more than those strings and sticks making us dance to whatever tune the Puppeteers wish.
The terms are so vague that they seem reasonable, until you think a little deeper, but the Puppeteers control thinking with "conspiracy theorist" to prevent folks from doing that. It's a vicious merry-go-round designed to entice people to jump on for the ride, and then slamming the gates behind them so they can't jump off. All the pretty lights and organ music make the ride seem so cool and reasonable, but you are not allowed to wonder why you would want to ride in endless circles.
In the end, "hate speech" can be defined as just about anything the Puppeteers want, while at another level it's a means of having society itself limit each other from expressing opinions and facts that might hurt someone's feelings. Anyone who speaks against a protected group or idea is using "hate speech." You can't even defend freedom of speech without crossing this arbitrary border.
If you start thinking for yourself and offering alternatives to the sanctioned mindset, then you are a "conspiracy theorist," and again free speech is shut down.
The truly amazing thing is that this form of "political correctness" is a classic case of Double Think. In effect, the individual ends up suppressing others' right to free speech by labeling what they say as "hate speech," while at the same time the individual believes he is protecting free speech. It's a ghastly mind twist that has been installed in our minds.
Finally, these labels release us from having to think. We don't need to respond intelligently, or formulate arguments to refute, we just utter "hate speech" and walk away. No effort. No thought. No danger of actually using our minds and reason. Good little marionettes.
It is time to eradicate these terms from our vocabulary. They are too glib and vague to be useful in the best case, and deeply dangerous and controlling in the worst. The control is not on others, it is on ourselves. We close and lock our own cages when we use these terms.
There is no right to be un-offended, un-insulted or inconvenienced. You have a right to pursue happiness, which means you can walk away or change the channel. The other guy has the same right and is using his speech to seek that happiness. He doesn't have a right to force you to listen, but you don't have a right to shut him up. This is what used to be called being an adult.
If someone says or publishes something untrue about you, we have slander and libel laws to protect you, and if someone incites violence, there's laws for that too. Otherwise, get over it and deal with it like an adult.
(By the way, the title of this article is taken from Moby Dick, so sue Herman Melville)