In America, Hate Speech is not only NOT illegal, it is protected by the 1st Amendment. This needs to change.
The president of the United States openly calls the COVID-19 virus the “Chinese virus.” Underlings follow suit using language such as the “Kung-flu.” When language like this hits the streets, Asians are targeted with violence. News outlets across the US are reporting stories of violent crimes against Asians, many of whom are not Chinese.
Click here to read my blog post about how post-9/11 hate speech towards Muslims opened the door for the generalized political hate speech we see in today’s world.
I only recently learned from civil rights attorneys and the ACLU that hate speech is not a crime. It is only when a hate crime is committed that hate speech is examined and used as evidence that a crime may be classified as a hate crime, with harsher penalties. Reminds me of the battered wife who can’t convince a judge to give her a restraining order until she ends up in the hospital, or worse.
This is not an insurmountable constitutional issue. In the wake of Hitler’s Holocaust, German legislators adopted tough anti-hate speech laws at the political level, and recently enacted an online hate speech law. First Amendment protection of hate speech is not acceptable. Watch this space to stay abreast of developments in this area and learn what you can do to help those who find themselves targeted by violence.