How Do You Define “Hate Speech”–and Who Gets To Do This?
The Democrats have become increasingly concerned with limiting speech in this country and it tremendously alarming to me how little attention is paid to their efforts. I’m no expert on the Bill of rights but luckily I don’t need to be since the Founders were pretty clear on the right of free speech protected under the First Amendment:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
See how clear that is? Congress shall make NO LAW. Yet Congress has. And the Democrats would like there to be more laws restricting what we can say. Senator Edward J. Markey (MA-D) has proposed legislation called The Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014 (S. 2219) that would direct the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to monitor television shows, listen to talk radio programs and supervise the Internet for any type of speech that they say could encourage “hate crimes.” If passed, this legislation would also initiative the creation of a study which would make recommendations to address such crimes.
Some people are rightly concerned that this effort is coming about due to the left’s profound abhorrence of talk radio, which is a hugely successful medium for conservatives. There are no shortage of left wing groups and individuals who accuse Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin and other popular talk radio hosts of hateful rhetoric. If the government had the power to define and regulate hate speech, you better believe these guys and others who disagree with the left would be some of the first to get shut down.
Alan Dershowitz, a law professor at Harvard University told Newsmax that adopting hate speech laws is a “dangerous trend” because such speech is hard to define.
“It is a worthy effort, but my prediction is that it either leads to the conclusion government cannot do it, or that they will do it and that will infringe on First Amendment rights.”
Politicians have a hard enough time coming to an agreement on much more trivial issues and problems facing the country. Why on earth would we want them to take on the nearly impossible task of trying to define ‘hate speech’? The Democrats find it hateful to be a practicing Christian who speaks out about traditional marriage. They find it hateful to call abortion what it is – child murder. If we give them the opportunity to regulate what they deem to be ‘hate speech’ I suspect these types of things will be on the ‘not okay to say’ list. Democrats like Senator Markey have no problem taking us down this dangerous, and clearly, unconstitutional path.
I would rather have some of the unfortunate byproducts of liberty in our society, instead of the alternative, which in this case is some version of the thought police.