While I do not condone or support ugly, mean, inappropriate, or slurred references to people, I want to bring this subject up for consideration, NOT DEBATE. Anyone who wishes to leave a comment about this post is free to do so, but it's something to contemplate, not necessarily defend or refute.
The definition of "hate speech" is not categorical and is subject to change at a whim. Depending upon whom you're talking to (or, about), any word, sentence, or phrase can be construed as "hate speech." This is a moral and ethical dilemma because nobody can possibly know if any given person is going to interpret a string of words as "hate speech," from one moment to the next. In my most humble opinion, "hate speech" is the appropriate definition only if physical violence is implied or inferred. Otherwise, it's just speech.
"Hate speech" is a term that has been invented by Social Justice Warriors and Millenials, in particular. Because this demographic has largely raised itself without guidance or boundaries, some of these individuals (not all, mind you) believe that anything that hurts their feelings is "hate speech." Nothing is more glaringly clear on this matter than the outrageous notion of "fat acceptance." This concept is not only ridiculous, but it is expensive, dangerous, and extraordinarily unhealthy. There is nothing "beautiful" about adipose tissue - if anyone has ever attended an autopsy, they will identify with this fact. There is nothing "beautiful" about Type II Diabetes, blindness, amputations, or dialysis. There is nothing "beautiful" about cardiac arrest. Is it unkind to say that someone is fat? Of course, it is. But, it isn't a crime to make this observation, and it's now considered a form of "hate speech" because it hurts an obese person's feelings. Perhaps, if the obese person realized that they were NOT normal, healthy, or vibrant, they might reconsider their own plight and desire to take action. Or, not.
Is it a crime for someone to tell a Jewish person that The Holocaust was fabricated or a joke? No, it is not, but it is ugly. Is it a crime to tell a German that everyone in their country is a Nazi? No, it is not, but it is mean and absolutely not true. Is it a crime for a U.S. Southern White Baptist to call a person of color a n*gger? It is not a crime, but it is horrible to say to someone.
Wise and enlightened individuals can walk away from individuals who are using inappropriate language or slurs, and pity those people because they are speaking through fear and anger.
When we take away a person's right to speak freely, we are hindering their potential to grow up, to learn, to adapt, or to fail to do these things, altogether. We are creating an atmosphere of stifling that has never been seen in the History of Humanity. Human speech and contemplation is one of the things that sets human beings apart from other species, and we are hard-wired to notice differences and develop concepts, even if they're unfair or outright wrong.
I do not agree with being cruel, vicious, or mean, nor do I support or condone it. But, I will also say that I am not perfect. In fact, I am prejudiced in some respects, and I do not feel badly about this. This is part of the Human Condition, and I do work on this.
Until we realize that we cannot and should not attempt to direct everyone's thinking down the same tube, we will continue to allow someone else to determine whether we're feeling confident, or hurt.
Each human being should be allowed to think what they will, even if it's wrong. Otherwise, how will they have an opportunity to grow?
"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." George Washington
"America's greatest contribution to the world is its concept of democracy, its concept of freedom, freedom of action, freedom of speech, and freedom of thought." Benazir Bhutto
“To find yourself, think for yourself.” Socrates
"This is slavery, to not speak one's thought." Euripides
"Be not a slave of words." Thomas Carlyle
"Just telling the facts are no longer enough. You now have to be persuasive, charismatic, interesting, and funny. Just telling people things isn't enough anymore." Milo Yiannopolous