Freedom vs Hate: Words Are Actions
Let’s put some things in perspective. There’s a difference between free speech and hate speech. Yes, our First Amendment right in this country gives us the right to speak freely on our differing opinions without the fear of persecution. But let’s be honest, in some cases there are consequences to the words we use to express how we feel. If someone threatens another citizen of this country with physical harm, they can be criminally charged with that perceived threat. But what if the motivation of the threat comes from hate because of circumstances or something innate like gender, race, or sexuality?
There are laws that protect against race and gender but it’s not always the case with sexuality. What happens when someone is bullied to the point in harming themselves or others? Or when it potentially provokes others that support that particular sentiment and leads their actions? These actions directed towards someone because of race, sexuality, gender, and even ability. There’s a difference between free speech and hate speech.
While most states in the US have hate crime laws but they vary. Barely 1/3 of the states in our country have laws that protect from discrimation and harassment at the workplace of LGBTQ people. So I can not only be fired from a job because I’m gay but also be harassed and bullied because of my sexuality as well. Am I supposed to just endure this type of hate speech at work? These words of actions can affect every aspect of my life but words are just words? Not in this context.
Despite what some conservative zealots would have you believe, saying of words never hurting is a lie. Words do hurt. Tired of denouncers of homosexuality failing to realize how much bullying can affect gay’s likelihood of committing suicide How is it Christian or Godlike to not care about another human being whose sexuality does not affect their life? Words are powerful enough to build civilization or destroy it. And this is not about taking rights away from anyone or amending those rights in anyway. But there is a a great need for the laws that govern us to protect all of the citizens in this country.
The point is that yes you can say whatever you wish and even though they may not have legal ramifications you damn well better believe that they’re just as powerful and do cause harm. This shouldn’t be a debate about free speech. This is not about taking rights away but ensuring everyone is protected by laws that affect us. Laws, that while protecting one citizen have the potential to be unjust for others. And all should have the moral compass to be mindful of how our words affects others.
Maybe it’s the love everyone hippy mindset of mine, but I don’t want to see anyone hurting. The pain inflicted on the gay community; the threats, the bullying, the “Appreciation Day” are nothing more then expressions of hate. Words are actions too,and our laws should protect everyone.