Disclaimer: None of the examples I use are my own personal views of any one person or group.
I don’t consider his examples of hate speech to be hate speech. Censoring a Bible verse that promotes anti-Semitism is not the same as censoring a living, breathing individual saying, like one person I got banned from Tumblr, “put Jews in ovens.” Verses promoting hatred against Jews, Christians, practitioners of other religions, homosexuals, and women are often overlooked because religious people, especially in the West, tend to be pacifist moderates – and thank goodness! The hate speech I have in mind is the hate speech of the alt-right, White supremacists who have turned their hate speech into hate crimes.
When a little boy is lynched, in the modern day, there’s a problem. When these same White supremacists become police officers and cut the life of Trayvon Martin short, there’s a problem. When these same officers are choking and shooting Blacks and getting away with it, there’s a problem. The hate speech of the alt-right and a huge number of Trump supporters has translated into hate crimes: beatings, lynchings, shootings, and even a case in where a crazed driver mowed down some 20 people, injuring 19 of them and killing one. Unless we focus on extremists, the hate speech of the religious is more so an annoyance that their religion doesn’t prove itself true by winning everyone over; the mere fact that other religions exist is irritating to some Christians and sometimes that’ll lead to derisive speech against Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and so on.
That doesn’t, however, translate to a Christian murdering a huge number of Muslims or Hindus or what have you. Sure (!), it’s happened, most recently in Norway. In such cases, it’s best to consider the kind of speech being used. “I hate Jews because they crucified our Lord and Savior” is a far cry from “I hate Jews and they should be put in ovens.” “I hate Muslims because to them Jesus is a mere prophet that’s inferior to Muhammad” is a far cry from “I hate Muslims and I think we should murder them where they stand.” As with anything, there’s nuance; there are degrees. People like dichotomies and binaries and Hitchens, for all the talk of small prefrontal lobes and the idiocy of our species, falls into the same trap of making this a black and white issue. It’s not!
The gray areas are there! How many of us, in general, speak to the air when we’re angry and say “oooohhhh, I could kill someone right now!” Does this qualify as hate speech? Not necessarily, especially since it’s directed at no one in particular. And how many of us actually go out and kill someone because we’re angry? Now, if you go to church and are made to feel vile because they talk about the lifestyles of a homosexual or a promiscuous individual, and you then get so angry that you talk about killing Christians, now we have a problem! So before you even have the chance to hurt one of the congregants, you should either be hit with a fine or put in jail for, at the very least, a misdemeanor. When you have Bible Belt Christians threatening to put a shot in me if I ever step foot in their state, that’s dangerous hate speech against atheists. When you have a politician or public figure fueling hate against a religious or ethnic group, you have an individual who is attempting to incite violence against a group of people.
Joshua Feuerstein, for instance, is on record saying that BLM protestors should be filled with lead because, to his small mind, they’re a threat to police. Protesting police brutality isn’t a protest against police; it isn’t a call to arms against the police. It isn’t even a call to arms against racist officers. It’s a call for departments in every state to screen their would-be officers; it’s a call for stricter background checks and more important, it’s a call to acquit these officers should they abuse the power of their badge!
There’s no hate in that, but there’s certainly hate in asking people to fill BLM protestors with lead. Joshua Feuerstein, for that reason and a host of others (e.g., letting his kids handle firearms), should already be serving the minimum sentence for a felony, a full seven years. That kind of hate speech, especially when you have millions of subscribers who admire you, is unacceptable! Hate speech, like pretty much anything, has degrees of severity. It can be as minor as “I hate so and so sports player for hurting my team’s chances and I’d kick him right in the ACL if I could!” to “I hate so and so group of people and I’d love to watch them suffocate.” The former is minor and is that sort of heat-of-the-moment thing you find when people are watching sports events; the latter is repulsive and should be prosecuted the same way a crime should. We shouldn’t wait for someone to be injured or murdered to take action.
The US, at the moment, is filled with hate against minorities and women. The ICE is snatching up immigrants while they’re trying to make a living for their families. They’re not doing anything wrong and here they are being treated like animals. This is all because of an Administration that has declared war on everything the Left stands for. Religious freedom only matters for Christians; human rights belongs only to citizens and men – and at this (!), not even all men, but White men; even children’s rights are being violated as there’s been an assault on education in inner cities.
Speaking about Mexicans, women, Blacks, and Muslims in such generalities has fueled much of the hatred we see. We are literally in a time in where Trump supporters think the country belongs solely to them and not also to people who stand for everything they’re against. Enough is enough! This video isn’t a defense of free speech. It’s tip toeing around what severe hate speech looks like. “Hasidic Jews look funny” is anti-Semitic no doubt, but it’s not hate speech. All freedoms have limits and that’s been lost when it comes to freedom of speech, so as long as people are free to say whatever manner of violence they think, they’ll act on those thoughts as well. And if that’s a rod for my own back, it’s only because I’m dumb enough to be a hypocrite and speak in a violent and hateful manner about a given group. That’ll be my own fault. But aside from racists, who have drawn first blood for centuries, I have never incited hatred against a group; nor have I called for the injury or deaths of groups I disagree with. People lack nuance and any defense of free speech that defends hate speech proves that.