Read the two statements below and ask yourself which is hate-speech and which is a policy proposal, a proposal that is perfectly consistent with most members of the group being unproblematical:
1). Someone is described as a: "racist, anti-Semitic boor, a drink-sodden, self-hating reviler of women, gays and liberals"
2). "The Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order. What sort of suffering? Not let them travel. Deportation - further down the road. Curtailing of freedoms. Strip-searching people who look like they're from the Middle East or from Pakistan... Discriminatory stuff, until it hurts the whole community and they start getting tough with their children..."
It will be not be the slightest surprise to hear that the kneejerk response to the second utterance above was to label it as "hate speech" -- but it in fact says nothing at all about any characteristic of the Muslim community or any member of that community. It is simply a harsh proposal about how to deal with the aggression that emanates from some members of that community. One may disagree with the proposal as unlikely to be fruitful (etc.) but that is another matter.
The first statement above, however, could not be more derogatory and is as hateful as can be. That statement is undoubtedly the work of a hater. And you may not be surprised that the one undoubted hater out of the two mentioned above was a Marxist -- Terry Eagleton. Marx hated just about everyone and most of his followers do likewise. The man of the extreme policy proposal was Martin Amis and it is HE, not Eagleton, who has been accused of hate speech. It was, incidentally, Martin Amis's father whom Eagleton described so derogatorily.
The latest shot in the war of words is here. Hitchens defends Amis here and Amis puts it all into context here
The most important context however is that whether a thing is called "hate speech" or not depends on who said it. Leftists just CANNOT utter hate speech, by definition, apparently. Cindy Sheehan wrote in her book Peace Mom: "I fantasize about killing Bush when he was a baby." Hate speech? Of course not! Hate-filled speech need not be hate speech, in the wonderful fantasy world of the political Left. Who the REAL haters are is crystal-clear, however.
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