Blog8 770x430 - Social Justice Discussion: Free Speech versus Hate Speech

Social Justice Discussion: Free Speech versus Hate Speech

The Constitution of America protects the right to free speech. This is a freedom that we have used liberally. However, where do we cross the line between “free” and “hate” speech? We take a closer look at that today.

What is free speech?

As a part of the First Amendment, Americans enjoy the freedom of speech. This means that they have the legal right to express any opinions, which may include offensive words or phrases, without censorship or restraint. To further explain, if you’ve ever heard the sentence “I may not like what you say but I defend your right to say it” that’s free speech. This covers written works as well.

What is hate speech?

Hate speech is a verbal or written attack on a person, group or culture on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and many more. Hate speech, as we’ve seen through history, can be dangerous if and when it is allowed to prosper.

sp - Social Justice Discussion: Free Speech versus Hate Speech

What’s the difference between the two?

Hate speech often incites violence and promotes prejudice. Free speech does not include the right to incite any form of action that causes direct or indirect harm to others.
What’s sad about this discussion is that now there are people who make use of “free speech” as a cover for their vitriolic views.

Do they have a legal leg to stand on?

The answer is both yes and no.

It is yes in the sense that in 2011, our Supreme Court favored the rights of the Westboro Baptist Church to hold protests with offensive signage. It was all under the provision that the speech does not lead to imminent violence.

As for the no part of the legal standpoint, it was just this past June where our Supreme Court affirmed that there is no ‘hate speech’ exception to our First Amendment law.

If that’s the case, why is the free speech excuse still being used?

The people who use hate speech on a regular basis make use of “free speech” as a shield simply because they can. Also, there has been no outright condemnation from our governing body. In the eyes of the law, as long as a group or a person does not use their speech to incite violence or imminent harm, they get a pass.

It should be pointed out, however, that white supremacists have always included a violence-driven narrative in their speeches. Over recent events, several chapters of the ACLU have declared that they will no longer defend the free speech rights of armed protestors.

This comes at the wake of the deadly Charlottesville clash a month previously. We, as a people, need to become more aware of the intrinsic differences between free speech and hate speech. The last time hate speech was allowed to take root in a nation, world war broke out. So it’s doubly ironic now that our nation seems to be diving in headfirst into chaos and fascism. We need to take a stand against hate speech.

Blog5 770x430 - What in the World is a Social Justice Warrior?

What in the World is a Social Justice Warrior?

What on God’s green Earth is a “Social Justice Warrior“? Today, we take a better look at this apparently derogatory term for anyone who has socially progressive views. The term social justice warrior or SJW wasn’t always derogatory in its usage.

What did it begin as?

First spotted on the social media platform Twitter, an SJW was pretty much anyone who wanted to promote social progressiveness and equality. However, in its more recent incarnation, an SJW is a ‘slur’ used against people who engage in prolonged and aggressive debates against others about a range of topics. The topics closely associated to an SJW are politics, political correctness, feminism, and social injustice.

w1 - What in the World is a Social Justice Warrior?

What’s so bad about that?

It would seem that the enthusiasm and self-righteousness of several bloggers and activists all lent credence to SJW becoming a derogatory term. The phrase ‘Check Your Privilege’ was a favored rhetoric of SJWs. It was a concept that expressed the idea that the body and life you are born with carries its own set of privileges that others do not have. While true in a sense, it was thrown in arguments a lot.

What made the idea of the SJW become so toxic is the fact that there are people out there that were overboard when it came to discussing social issues particularly those that revolve around gender equality.

So they’re all bad?

Not in the least. It should be noted that the term SJW is now a favored method of dismissing often valid views. When it comes to the concept of social justice, it is important to remember that it is not only what you are fighting for that should be thought of. The way in which you fight for your cause must be thought through carefully.

In its most toxic sense, an SJW was anyone who was thought to engage in lengthy and vitriolic debates for personal validation. The ideas of ‘tall privilege’ and disuse of gender pronouns for all have been credited to SJWs. Rather than bringing people together, they are divisive.

In its truest and original sense, an SJW is crucial to spearheading the awareness campaigns both online and offline. They are a credit to social awareness.

What should I do if I am called one?

First off, consider if your arguments were constructed based on calm and grounded logic. It is often easy to be carried away due to conviction. If you believe that your arguments do not warrant the degrading term, disengage from the conversation.

While it is important to fight against social injustices, it is ultimately more important to care for your mental health. Online discourse is often a murky swamp which never ends. Always remember: what other people think of you is more indicative of what sort of people they are. You have the choice to continue to engage or to walk away. It is ultimately up to you.

If you ever feel that your safety is in peril, never hesitate to consult legal avenues immediately.

b1 770x430 - The Rabid Teeth of Social Justice

The Rabid Teeth of Social Justice

Just what is social justice? It’s a term constantly thrown around yet what does it really mean? Today, we take a closer look at what social justice is and its effects in our society.

What is social justice?

By definition, it should be the fair and equal distribution of resources and opportunities. There should be no category of people that should have any leverage over the other. In the early eras of social awareness, the term social justice was directed toward those in dire poverty. The emphasis was placed on the need for the equal distribution of resources.

In other words, everything is equal. This, however, is hardly what our society at large gets to experience. This fact is particularly true today.

img1 - The Rabid Teeth of Social Justice

Who should be responsible for social justice?

The common belief was that it was only the government that should keep a watchful eye on social injustices. However, what is to occur when it is the government itself that doles out injustices?

In a nutshell: everyone. When people turn a blind eye to the wrongdoings done to others, they are complicit in allowing the injustice to continue. This is why the terms like ‘woke’ are constantly being used in social media today. The younger generations are realizing that they need to fight in order to still have a world to live in. They understand that what’s happening lately is not okay.

What social justice issues persist today?

To be honest, there are so many issues that are occurring all at the same time. The ones that are at the cusp of heated discussion would be the Charlottesville White Nationalist Rally. It could be said that the clash that occurred there was the result of rabid social justice standpoints from both sides.

Both sides equally believed that they had something to legitimately fight for. Where do we draw the line? While social responsibility is a lovely theory, the actions undertaken by a person or a group should benefit the whole of society and not just the sect they belong to.

What we have now are people who ride the idea of social justice without really understanding or putting into effect what it actually means.

img2 - The Rabid Teeth of Social Justice

What can one person do?

One person, with the right words and the right crowd, can change the world. We’ve seen it happen. This is why it is extremely crucial for individuals to educate themselves and develop critical thinking. We need to sift out what are actual issues from what is simply noise. We also need to come together to peacefully attain a solution that’s beneficial to all parties involved.

Most people confuse the idea of satisfaction versus justice. Instead of having those who are only after personal satisfaction, justice is an idea that must be upheld in its truest sense. We all need to stop shouting at each other and really listen.

In the same vein, we need to constantly reevaluate the methods in which social justice is fought. We all have to live here.