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23.01.2018

Hate speech: should we allow it?

By Lorcan Crone, age 12, from London (published without alterations to text)

Hate speech seems pretty simple, right? Well from a simple view it is, from a simple view it is hating something/someone and is usually associated with racism, which is linked to right-wing groups and views, however, does hating someone like trump count as hate speech or is it just free speech?

Should we be free to hate? Lorcan Crone. Photo: Crone family album.

There is hate on the right and the left, such as the alt-right on the right, which are usually white ultra-nationalists which believe in racist beliefs, however extreme left groups have the same hate speech, but it’s slightly different, we can divide this into ‘left hate speech’ and ‘right hate speech’. The hate speech on the left is that you need cultural diversity to not be racist and that every single tiny thing that you do may be racist.

An example of this is when BBC released what they called ‘digital blackface’ and claimed that every white person using gifs (moving images, usually used in a reaction when referring to this) that had black people in them was doing the equivalent of blackface, but there’s one problem, the gifs they showed were almost entirely made of black entertainers, people which would gif-worthy moments   now this is a small example, which, when it would come from a smaller company, it would’ve not been mentioned, but it came from the BBC, a very popular television network in the UK (I’m sure we’ve all heard of it), I don’t believe this was ever broadcasted on primetime television, but only on their website, but the fact the BBC allowed this is pretty worrying, as it shows left racism seems to be more acceptable on mainstream media. (footnote: the video did get heavy criticism from people who had seen it)

Right hate speech is very centred around the alt right in general, they believe that there has to be no racial diversity and that anyone different from them (racially wise) is not a ‘real’ citizen of the country (for example, the alt right in America believes black people are not ‘real’ American people, in some extreme cases, alt right members believe in killing them), however this logic is flawed as a lot of them are not actually ethnically from their country, for example the alt right Americans are almost never ethnically American, as America is mainly made up of immigrants from other countries.

Some extreme alt right people believe that pretty much everyone that is not like them is plotting against them and they need to gotten rid of (ethnic cleansing). Another example of right racism (right wing racism) that is not linked to the alt right is the situation in Myanmar, with the rohingya Muslims being murdered by the military in Myanmar, this is an example of hate speech getting dangerous, causing the direct persecution of a certain ethnic group of people.

No violence no hate speech No violence, no hate speech (photo: flikr/John S. Quarterman)

When hate speech gets dangerous

Hate speech getting dangerous has been evident throughout the last 100 years of history, for example the rise of fascism, Hitler, to be more specific, as he gave the people a common enemy to hate, the Jewish people (and other groups), eventually leading to the death of millions, the reason he got into control was because, as said, he gave the people a common enemy to hate, the common enemy which brought Germany down, this is what he made people believe, to get him in power, which resulted in WWII and the holocaust. This is a major example of when hate speech gets dangerous. An example on a smaller scale are the anarchists in America, which are extremely physically violent to those who disagree with them, usually causing damage to property and people and cause violence where ever they can. However, the alt right are similar, usually getting into fights with the anarchists, and on one recent occasion, resulting in one death at the Charlottesville riots.

Charlottesville is just one of many clashes the two sides have had, usually fuelled by both sides’ ideological differences, which involve hate speech. If clashes happen like this over hate speech, it is surely a dangerous result of hate speech.

No Hate_900X600

Reasons for hate speech

The causes of hate speech are varied, there are different reasons for each type of hate speech.

Right wing hate speech

Right wing hate speech seems to mainly come under a reason, a simple answer for a complex issue, it may be a lie or diluted, for example, Trump gave a simple reason for all the unemployed people, the Mexicans came and took their jobs, when in fact the companies that let the people work went to Mexico, for cheaper labour, it links to hate speech as the simple ‘answer’ usually attacks a group of people, it was seen in Nazi Germany during Hitler’s rise to power, blaming most things on Jews.

Left wing hate speech

Left wing hate speech comes from opposition to right wing hate speech, as the right wing are seen as people not to associate with due to their hateful beliefs, making the left believe that they must keep away from the right wing beliefs to make sure they are not seen as a racist, this eventually mutates into hate for people who disagree with what they believe in, as they are seen as ‘racist’.

Conclusion

Hate speech is necessary to a certain extent for free speech, as free speech needs hate speech to operate, as without hate speech opinions are limited, as hate speech is so broad, you may as well not have free speech if you are not going to have hate speech, as it covers so many opinions. We need not to stop hate speech, but to figure out the causes of it and try to understand why people are using hate speech, to be able to understand why this is happening and to try to stop from becoming dangerous. Hate speech is at its peak nowadays with the internet and rise of extreme groups.





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