Hate speech can be defined as a speech which attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as race ,religion ethnic origin ,sexual orientation ,disability or gender. legally a “hate speech” is defined as a speech that is intended to offend ,insult ,intimidate ,or threaten an individual or a group based on a trait or attribute , such as sexual orientation ,religion ,colour , gender , or dis ability. The united states having people from different part of the world without different believe and orientation has had cases of hate speech hence the Us law on hate speech. it is known that one of the fundamental human right is freedom to speech ,little wonder people have abused this right. Defending freedom to speech means defending freedom to any speech including hate speech which happens to be abusive and offensive most of the time. example of hate speech includes name calling and racial slurs.
In the US ,US law on hate speech has not been legalised but the citizens are able to different free speech from hate speech. Americans have been protective of their first amendment right to speech .There have been a debate on hate speech and free speech and Americans has argued that the priority should be for the well-being of the community ,and that a person right to freedom should be limited in order to checkmate hate speech .
some cases of hate speech in the us includes;
Ruling on swastika as hate speech
the case referred to as Skokie affair dealt with the swastika symbol in particular and concluded that the symbol itself was protected by the first amendment and also it is an expression of free speech ,and it is a symbol and doesn’t speak so it doesn’t embody the idea of hate speech.
Hate speech at a soldiers funeral
The Westboro Baptist church picketed the 2011 military funeral of a soldier sued Fred Phelps and his church for international infliction of emotional distress after the group prostested his son’s funeral with signs that carried messages like “thank God for dead soldiers” and God hates theUSA/thank GOD FOR9/11.
The church prevailed as the supreme court ruled that the church was expressing their discontent and not just targeting the family .
Us law on hate speech hasn’t been passed yet as their has not been any law passed but if you read on the American Bar Association page on the hate speech debate ,you could come across a paragraph that says “in this country there is no right to speak fighting words -those words without social value ,directed to a specific individual ,that would provoke a reasonable member of the group about whom the words are spoken to.Hate speech can also cause emotional imbalance to its victim or victims , citizens are hereby mandated to limit their freedom to speech.