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The Contender
Con (against)
9 Points

Hate Crime Legislation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/31/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,511 times Debate No: 18128
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (3)




Ladies and gentlemen, we live in an age where society is becoming increasingly integrated and multicultural. This is a more tolerant and liberal era than any in human history - in most of the world, people of every nationality, religion, age, gender, gender identity, sexual identity, language and social status are not only accepted, but valued. On side affirmative, I contest that this is a very good thing. This is for two reasons - first, freedom is at the heart of democracy, which is fundamental to our political reality. Second, it makes people happy. It ensures their fundamental human right to self-expression. These are self-evident verities that I doubt my opponent will contest.

What kind of legislation are we talking about here? We're talking about laws such as the Spanish and Swedish Penal Codes, which increase sentences if the crime was done on the basis of bias against the victim's circumstances. We're talking about laws like the Kazakhstani constitution, which prohibits propaganda promoting ethnic superiority. We're about US laws such as the Matthew Shepard Act, which makes hate crime an aggravation in any circumstance [1]. I will openly admit that hate crime isn't a big problem that needs to be solved right now. Not banning hate crime, however, will undo the good work we have done in establishing our multicultural society.

Where do we draw the line? The line is drawn at the point of fact. If hate towards a particular group aggravated an attack, or caused one to utter hate speech, then that should at the least be taken into consideration by the courts. However, if I say "white people aren't as good as black people at running" then that is simply a statement of fact (if you look at the men's 100M Olympic finals over the past century). Even if the fact is misinformed, the point is that I did not intend to promote the inferiority of white people, but rather summarise what I knew about Olympic athletics. As with any criminal trial, consideration must be given to the Mens Rea.

In order to win this debate, my opponent needs to prove to you that hate crime legislation, a fact under the status quo, is actually causing some harm to our society. My opponent must then show that this harm would not exist without hate crime legislation. Additionally, he must show that this harm outweighs the numerous benefits I will bring you. My burden of proof is to undermine my opponent's problems and show why anti-hate-crime laws are vital to our tolerant society.

1. Importance to multiculturalism
The mechanism by which anti-hate-crime legislation works to ensure multiculturalism is three-fold. First, it acts as a counterincentive to people's natural xenophobia and thus ensures people's fear of foreigners does not translate into higher crime rates when people immigrate there. For instance, people will be more likely to think twice about how they phrase messages that they graffiti if it can yield higher penalties. Second, it encourages foreigners to move there. When people in Turkey see that France has an anti-hate-crime policy, they are more likely to want to move to France. This potentially means more foreigners in France, creating multiculturalism and normalising the Turkish culture in French society. Third, it fixes the double standard by the government that I alluded to earlier. Democratic governments are based around being able to take any idea to the legislature with a fair and equal process. When participants in this process are allowed to discriminate, the process is no longer democratic.

2. Benefit to society
Even if multiculturalism is not a good thing, it is the reality we live in. Taking away a policy of supporting multiculturalism ensures society is able to be fractured along ethnic, religious, sexual etc lines. Persecuted groups become angry at perceived injustices, dehumanisation and degradation. History shows us that this is a recipe for disaster. Hate crime polarises our communities in three ways. First, it legitimises ideas about society to the people that commit it. If the KKK is legal and conducts ceremonies, members of the KKK will strengthen their belief that black people should be lynched. Second, in hurting others, hate crime has the ability to breed resentment and possibly retaliation. For instance, after the KKK goes around lynching some blacks, black people might rise up and seek to attack known KKK members. Third, when these messages are legal, it becomes more likely that the media will report on them. The reason the media doesn't tell you what the latest KKK propaganda campaigns are is that the KKK is taboo. By legitimising the group to the eyes of the media, you help spread their polarising messages to new audiences. What does this lead to? Essentially, we jump straight to step five of the genocide scale of Gregory Stanton [3].

3. Why this is a justifiable limitation on free speech
Hate speech is classed by every western country (save for the United States) as a crime under the status quo [2]. I'm going to argue what it seems everybody in the world (except the US Supreme Court) can see - that this is a legitimate time to restrict people's free speech. Let us take a typical example of hate speech - "The Japanese Are EVIL! Invade Them!" - and replace the subject with some random person - "Mr. Nayamoto Is Possessed By Satan!". Now, Mr. Nayamoto is probably going to sue me after this debate, for I have committed the crime of defamation (funnily enough, against the law in the United States). Defamation is almost universally considered to be a classic reason for restricting free speech. In this sense, hate speech is doing nothing different. The difference is that whereas defamation protects people against lies told about them, hate speech protects people against others inciting hate crimes against them. What makes it a justifiable limitation, however, is in the reasoning. The reason for defamation crimes is to protect people from others who may buy in to the defamatory material. It is significantly harmful to the individual because they have no control over it. Hate speech, however, conforms to exactly this line of reasoning. The reason for anti-hate-speech law is to protect people from others who may buy in to the hateful material. It is significantly harmful because they have no control over their sexual identity, age, ethnicity and so on.
Even if they did have control, however, the speech must actually be hateful. In this way no group is actually prevented from stating their point. It's perfectly okay to make an economic argument for why Mexicans should not be hired in Arizona, for instance. That's different from inciting others to hate Mexicans, but rather to not hire them. This is good, because it fosters intelligent debate and allows Mexicans to respond without having people torch their houses. It also encourages hate groups to use their freedom of speech more intelligently rather than appeal to emotional arguments about racial superiority.

With that said, I look forward to reading my opponent's opening statement, and wish him the best of luck for the debate.

1 - list of hate crime laws:
2 -
3 -


I thank PRO for instigating the debate. I reject the premise that I need to prove that hate crime legislation causes more harm then good. First, the burden of proof is equal. He has to prove that hate crime legislation benefits society and I have to prove that it harms society. I will show that hate crime legisation is unjustified, counteproductivce, and is a waste of money.

1) Protected classes are arbitrary: Justifies hating certain people

Why would a person commit violent crimes against a person? Well, it’s because he or she hates the person. This is obvious. However what hate crime legislation states is that you can get charged with harsher penalities and another crime, based on the arbitrary reason why you hate the person. Why should it matter why you hate the person?

One is charged with a hate crime If he or she attacks a person based on If the person is part of a protected class. However, these protected classes are arbitrary. For example some places contain protected class based on race, age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or political affiliation. Other places exclude other protected classes. But what does it mean to be a protected class? It means that If you assault the person then If you hate the person based on X, then you should be charged with a hate crime. If you hate a person that is not a protected class, then you just only get arrested for assault.

For example, let’s say a person hates a person from the following groups: fat people, skinny people, flat-chested, ugly people, beautiful people, etc. and decides to punch a person that belongs to this group, then he or she is just charged with assault. However If a person hates a person based on race, or gender then the person is charged with a hate crime and is charged with a second offense and harsher crime. Why? In both scenarios the person is assaulted for something that he or she cannot control.

Assaulting and attacking a person is a crime within itself. It’s a horrible crime. That’s why a person should be arrested and convicted for the assault itself, not why he or she committed the assault.

Through such an arbitrary system, hate crime legisation only legitamizes hating certain attributes, people and not others. This is unjustified, and counterproductive.

2) Waste of litigation resources

If, for example, a straight person is arrested for punching a homosexual, then he or she must not only defend him or herself from the assault charges, but also the hate crime charges. So this means that the person has to prove that he or she hit the person, not because he or she was a homosexual, but for another reason. Obviously, trying to defend against a hate crime charge is a more difficult task, since proving motive is difficult. The person could even actually plead guilty to assault, but not guilty to the hate crime charges, just exacerbating the trial process.

. This is a waste of time and money. The state could use the resources in much better ways: Balancing the budget, improving infrastructure, etc.

3) Wrong Conviction

Let’s say I punch a black person, but only punched the person because he was fat. Now I am unfairly getting charged with a hate crime, when the only reasons I punched the person was because he was fat, not black.

4) No proof that it works

Does hate crime legislation mke us less likley to hate certain groups? There is insufficient proof. For exaple, evevn though South Africa has hate crime legislation, lesbians are raped by homophobic groups[1].


1) Forced multiculturalism is morally wrong

As stated earlier, hate crime legislation doesn't stop hate, but only makes certain forms of hate and discrimination more 'acceptable' then others. All violent crimes should be punished.

My opponent states that his policies will encourage immigration, yet provides no proof that immigration is inherently good.

I reject the premise that multiculturalism is innately good. Societies have different forms of value and belief systems. If groups of people with different values and belief systems come together, the result is disastrous and conflict. For example, one culture does not believe that property rights should exisit while another group does, is that really a good idea?

Second, Is society really better off If we are forced to like one another? If both group hates enough, but is afraid to say anything, are they better off? No, they are not. It would be better if the groups lived segregated from one another, since they would both be happier, rather than living a lie of multiculturalism and become worse off.

My opponent believes that through controlling certain thoughts, socially desirable results can occur. Let's say multicultralism is good. Should we then make it acceptable to then prevent political beliefs. Religous people are more likley to give[2], should we then force people to be religious?

A nation should accept multiculturalism If it’s citizens are ready to accept multiculturalism, not forced through its throats through legislation.

2) Does not Benefit society:

PRO uses a slippery slope fallacy. First, legalizing an idea does not legitimate the ideas. If I believe that “2+2 =5”, the speech is legal yet certainly not legitimate and I will only be ridiculed. Likewise, a racist living in an integrated world will likely not be taken seriously. While there are members on DDO that have racist attitudes, this has not spiraled into a racist community. The KKK still exists in the United States, yet the US has not spiraled into a racist society and elected a black president.

Second, my opponent states that if the KKK lynches, then others might retaliate. However lynching and violence is a crime within itself. Needing addition legislation so that it is a greater punishment to lynch certain groups but not others only makes it more acceptable to hurt other people like the overweight, socially awkward people, etc.

Third my opponent states that “The reason the media doesn't tell you what the latest KKK propaganda campaigns are is that the KKK is taboo.” My opponent contradicts himself in two ways. First, hate speech is legal in the US. Second, notice that my opponent states its because “the KKK is taboo” not because “it is illegal”. Thus natural order prevents this.

3. Why this isn’t a justification of limited speech

My opponent states that “Mr. Nayamoto Is Possessed By Satan!" is a form of defamation and one should be sued for this action. However, there are many problems with this. For one, this statement is unfallsifiable, so it is impossible to know If the statement is indeed false. Likewise the statement “Japanese are evil” is subjective and depending on what one considers evil, could be true. If one believes that eating meat is evil. The Japanese eat meat, and through extension, are evil.

Through Con’s own standard stating that “My. Nayamoto is an Angel” or “The Japaneese are good” should both be liable, since these are both possibly false statement. The current and past presidents of the United States can be quoted as evil, yet none of these websites are liable for defamation.

My opponent believes that such statements will cause people to believe the statements to be true. Yet a person maintains their right to believe claims to be true or false. Nobody forces one to believe a statement to be true.

Second, If a person starts spreading hateful statements with dubious proof, then the person tends to be disliked, and is naturally punished.

Punishing speech through whether they speak ill about one another is wrong since it violates basic freedom of speech. If it is illegal to state that “The Japanese are evil” is it then wrong to state that certain figures or people are evil? Is it then wrong to crititize others? Can no acts be considered evil? Should it only be legal to say "nice" stuff about others? This is what PRO implies.[1][2]

Debate Round No. 1


I thank my opponent for his reply. First I will very quickly deal with my opponent's points, which unfortunately were largely based on a misunderstanding of the law and my model. Then I'll work my way through my points, where my opponent made some more interesting responses.

1. Arbritrary
My opponent has a warped view of hate crime law. Many fat people are not fat by choice. Most hot people are not hot by choice. If I commit a crime against these groups on the basis of one of their circumstances, that's an example of a hate crime. Most of my cited examples from round one will cover all of these bases. My model (as defined in my third paragraph, round one) takes every group into account, not an arbritrary selection. Therefore this claim, while perhaps problematic for some jurisdictions (such as your own, with the Matthew Shepard Act), is not problematic for my much broader model of taking all hate crime into consideration.

He also says it's not about the reason. First, yes it is. All criminal law is based on proving both the crime and the reason [3]. Second, yes it should, because particular reasons cause massive social harms. I've outlined these at length. For more details see my substantive points.

2. Waste of litigation resources
It is not the defendant that needs to prove motive, but the prosecution [3]. This is already the case for the vast majority of criminal offences. If you propose changing all criminal law just so that you can reject the motion, then I'd like to hear your counter-model.

3. Wrong Conviction
How do you prove it was a hate crime? You look at the intention, as I said. That is normal practice for all criminal law, as I said. This argument appears to be nothing more than a summary of your previous two arguments. If it isn't, please clarify.

4. No proof that it works
Err ... what about all my analysis!? His sole source is South Africa, which doesn't have enforced hate crime legislation [2]. Obviously my model won't achieve anything if not enforced, but worse still is if justice against hate criminals is not able to be enforced because there is no legislation.

Now on to my points...

1. Multiculturalism
My opponent accepts that hate crime legislation is good for multiculturalism, but rejects that multiculturalism is good. My opponent has three objections. First, he says other hate is legitimised. No, hate towards Bengal Tigers is not increased by increasing sentences for beating someone on the basis of their skin color. My opponent does not show the causal link. Second, that different groups with incompatible views cause conflict. Naturally, some groups don't like each other. The good thing is, however, that with hate crime law they won't kill each other. I think people will come to like each other over time, make concessions and eventually compromise, but even if they don't, hate crime law helps prevent a serious harm. Third, that we are no better off if we can't voice our hate. Actually, we are. Me not being able put up a cool billboard saying "Kill Transgendered People!" makes transgendered people a lot better off.

I do not advocate controlling thoughts. People have freedom of conscience, and I respect that. Hate crime legislation ensures nobody is afraid to exercise their equally-important right to freedom of expression, religion, and so forth. It does not mean I will not think a religion is bad, but it might mean I don't go blowing up their house of worship. Thinking will never be a crime under my model, but wrongful action based on certain beliefs will.

My opponent also does not contest the self-evident veritable good side of multiculturalism I said in paragraph one. First, it is inherant to democracy. Second, it is vital for social happiness. Unless these are fully rebutted, multiculturalism is good.

2. Social Benefit
First, the legality of certain groups does not increase the size of those groups. I agree. I don't think everyone will hate gays and blacks without hate crime legislation. I do think, however, that hate crime laws lessen the resolve of those people who do subscribe to those views to commit terrible crimes against these helpless marginalised groups. Increasing sentences will discourage criminals. My opponent has not really engaged with that point.

Second, while lynching is a crime, once it has been committed the harm has been done. Hate crime legislation prevents a major mechanism that incites people to commit such heinous offences. If you'd like to see the rate of such terrible crimes increase, vote con. I reject that because of hate crime legislation, fat people etc are targeted for lynching under the status quo. I showed you, clearly, why retailatory crimes increase without hate crime laws.

Third, in my opponent's country hate crime may be unconstitutional (but defamation is legal, creating a double standard) but ibn the United States, there are strong media restrictions on broadcasting hate speech [1]. Second, my argument is precisely that the KKK is taboo BECAUSE it is illegal. Finally, without analysis, my opponent claims "natural order" prevents genocide. Oh, that worked so well for Rwanda, right?

3. Why this is a justified limitation on speech
My opponent's argument here is absolutely wonderful. The only little problem - it's an argument not against hate crime legislation, but against defamation legislation. All I had to prove was that the two crimes were fixing the same social harm. This isn't a debate about defamation, which is already well-accepted in our society. This is a debate about whether hate crime legislation is justified, in particular, whether such restrictions on free speech are valid. Even if we were to reject the premise that defamation is good, it is still a double standard of governments to accept defamation and reject hate crime. My opponent offers no response to this, the crux of my case. That, rather than pandering to certain groups, is the reason why it is justified.

Then he makes the beside-the-point case that though justified, the law is unjust. He says it's unfalsifiable. Even if true, why does this validate your right to speak? Have we no right to speak falsifiable things? Can scientists be jailed for making a hypothesis? This is a stupid test for determining what we can and cannot say. The real test, as I told you, was the third-party harms directly caused by our words. I described at length the mechanism by which that works. My opponent does not engage with this lengthy analysis. That's my standard, as I actually directly told you, not the fact we're making judgements about others. He also says I'm restricting the freedom to choose to hate. No, people still have that choice under my model. I'm just restricting the advertising of hate (on that note, advertising standards in most countries don't allow hate speech either). He also doesn't respond to how I described alternative ways of stating the same point, and the social benefits thereof.

Finally he asks "is it then wrong to state that certain figures or people are evil?" Yes, that's called defamation. That's what this whole case was based on. That proves my opponent doesn't understand the argument.

In conclusion...

Because I have shown you that multiculturalism is pretty cool, and because I have shown why there are more horrible crimes without hate crime laws, for worse reasons, and because it fixes the double-standard with defamation, and because my opponent has raised no other problems with the societies which, under the status quo, have similar laws, I believe my burden of proof has been met. None of my opponent's harms stand, my benefits do, I am therefore most proud to affirm. I look forward to the final round.

1 -
2 -
3 -


Many thanks to my opponent.
  1. Arbitrary

PRO states that his model takes every group into account, not just “protected group”. He states “If hate towards a particular group aggravated an attack, or caused one to utter hate speech, then that should at the least be taken into consideration by the courts.”

Note that he uses the word particular group, not just any group. This ambiguous wording gives the appearance that well, particular groups are protected through hate speech, and not others. He also cites the “Spanish and Swedish Penal Codes” as his model for hate speech legislation which uses: “penalty-enhancement provision for crimes motivated by bias against the victim's ideology, beliefs, religion, ethnicity, race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, illness, or disability”[1]. Obvious, this means that the groups listed above are “protected groups” while other groups are not.

However, let’s state for a moment that hate crimes do not involve “protected groups”. Well, in that scenario, it would be impossible to distinguish between a hate crime and a violent or assault charge. Let me explain.

As I stated earlier, one commits a crime because he or she hates a person. Second, a person can be classified into a near infinite amount of groups. People are classed into groups based on how people perceive others based on behavior, appearance, etc. Since languages contain many words, there are many words that one can find to attribute a person into a single group. One can even form a few words together to form a type of group. For example, “rock-n-roll fans” uses two words to describe a group.

A person attacks another person based on certain characteristics. These characteristics can be classified into a group, and then, bam, you just arrested a person for a hate crime.

Even If a person that appears to be a part of a group “through no fault of his or her own” has a choice. For example, a fat person could possibly lose weight, even through liposuction. A gay man can ignore his urge to have sexual or romantic relations with other men. In the “Spanish and Swidish Penal Codes”, religion, belief, and ideology are all protected groups, yet these are obviously choices. A person can choose his or her religion. Why should some forms of behavior, and appearance receive extra penaliy and recive extra protection and not others?

Extend this analysis. Assault is a crime within itself. Hate crimes just changes the basis of what characteristic are alright to attack and which ones are not.

2) Litigation Costs

CON does not address the argument, only corrects a “mistake” I made. First, jury members are told that the suspect is innocent before proven guilty, however this does not mean that jury members have a emotive bias.

If the jury sees a defendant on trial and prosecuted, then he or she automatically might think the person is guilty.

Second, this still does not address that expensive resources are used to prove that an assault was a hate crime or not, even though the person will already be arrested for assault.

3) . A person can be convicted for a hate crime without actually commiting a hate crime.

PRO seems to have a naïve approach to the courtroom. It is quite easy for a crime that is not “hate-based” to appear to be a “hate crime”. For example, If a white man is known to hate black people, but assaults a man for reasons other than he or she was black, the white man can be put for jail. An angry person can yell a racist or ethnic slur meant to attack the person, however it comes out as hate speech or racial-motivated.

As stated earlier, what constitutes a hate-crime is quite subjective, and the defendant might not even know what his or her motive for the crime was. .A well played prosecutor could easily convict a man for a hate-crime that he or she did not commit. Police interregotars are so effective they make an innocent man appear guilty[3] . Even in well-defined cases like murder cases, where prosecution is objective, the Innocence Project has found 250 innocent people in jail for murder.

4) PRO states that his analysis is sufficient proof. However, the analysis is based on no empirical evidence. His analysis only works if we assume certain assumptions. The assumption, “people will be more likely to think twice about how they phrase messages that they graffiti if it can yield higher penalties.” He believes that an increase in penalty will decrease behavior.

This is not necessarily true. For example, in Portugal drugs were decriminalized, including heroin. Based on my PRO’s assumption, this should mean that more people used drugs in Portugal. Well it turns out drug use actually decreased [2]. This renders PRO’s assumption as false.

There is no evidence that hate crime legislation is effective [3].


1) Multicultralism

I do not state that crime legislation promotes multicultralism. At least, not true multiculturalism. I already questioned the effectiveness of hate crime legislation as stated above. However, even if hate crime laws are effective, I do not believe forced multiculturalism is true multiculturalism.

As a though experiment: Let’s a group of people are yelling at one another, and generally aren’t getting along. Now, I put a gun at them, and command them to all get along. They suddenly do, not because their problems have been solved, but because of force. Does this actually believe solve the problem? No

My opponent does not demonstrate that multiculturalism is vital to social happiness and democracy, just asserted without substance.

PRO stated that he does not advocate controlling thoughts or freedom of expression. However, his justification for hate-crime legislation is to control people’s speech to create multiculturalism. That’s quite the contradiction.

2) Does not benefit society

CON rejects the claim that hate cannot be redirected, however this is a natural contradict of basic psychology of defense mechanisms and in-group and out-group theory. In general, we have a natural tendency to create in-groups in which the in-group feels superior to the out-group. It does not matter the characteristics of the in-group, but the results are the same. Hate crime laws don't change this effect. We also have a natural tendency to scapegoat as a defense mechanism[5][6]

Pro also states that natural order failed to protect Rwandian Genocide. However it should be noted that assault and murder is already a crime and that it was a government carried out project.

3) Why this isn’t a justification of limited speech

PRO states that my argument is against defamation legislation, not hate speech. However since PRO’s argument states that since defamation legislation is justified so is hate speech, the fact that I negated the justification of defamation demonstrated that hate speech is also unjustified. PRO states that defamation legislation is already accepted in our society, however he even states that US does not restrict defamatory speech, ignoring a society of 300 million people in the developed world, and is making a massive Ad populous fallacy. I successfully demonstrated why defamation legislation is wrong.

PRO then contradicts himself through stating: “Have we no right to speak falsifiable things?”. Not only did I never once state that “we have no right to speak falsifiable things”, he agrees that people do in fact have the right to state false things, thus demonstrating that even false statements about “protected groups” should not be banned.


PRO has not show the effectiveness of hate crime legislation. Since assault is already a crime, it does not make to increase sentences based on arbitrary group charchteristiscs. Speech hate crimes limit the freedom of expression and try to control one’s thoughts and pursuit of happiness. I look forward to the final round.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Debate Round No. 2


Thanks to my opponent for an engaging discussion. In this round I will offer a quick summary of what just happened. First, let's look at what pro said:

1. Arbitrary
My opponent first tried to say I was only protecting some groups at the expense of others. I responded in round two by saying that my model clearly wasn't. Then he said that in Spain and Sweden, they do things differently. Even if true, this does nothing to rebut my more general proposal. However, by my opponent's own link, the Swedish code includes a provision for any "other circumstance" of the victim, which is precisely what I'm proposing. It was my understanding that the Spanish code was the same as the Swedish.

Next my opponent tried to argue that all criminals do crime because they hate some class. This is not always true. We hear all too often of psychopaths who kill not out of hate, but lust or insanity, or something else. Second, he asserts all criminals target based on certain characteristics. I'm afraid to inform you that many criminals do not target. The 9/11 anniversary the other day was a good reminder of that. Many more criminals want to hurt people not because of their circumstances but their individual past actions. For instance, a murderer may want to kill his wife not because he hates all women who cheat, but because that particular woman cheated on him. That's not a hate crime.

Lastly, he argued that "Hate crime just changes the basis of what characteristics are right to attack and which ones aren't." Not at all. Assault will always remain a crime. Some assaults are, however, indubitably worse than others. That does not make the less serious assaults "right" - again, my opponent has missed the causal link.

2. Litigation Costs
First he stated that money spent on proving hate could be better spent otherwise. I corrected a minor mistake and pointed out the this money is already being spent, because the prosecution already has to prove the intent in the vast majority of criminal trials. I asked my opponent if he would propose changing criminal law to save some money. He did not respond (so I'm assuming no), but rather accused me of not answering his points. You can't just ignore everything I say and claim I'm not saying anything!

He also says that "If the jury sees a defendant on trial, then they might automatically think the person is guilty." They also might think they're innocent. I agree. Jury bias is a big problem. My model won't magically fix every problem in the justice system but it will fix one big problem in society. I call that problem "hate crime."

3. False Conviction
The point here is that some prosecutors are so great they can convict the innocent. This is true. Innocent people are convicted for murder, or any other crime. Should we therefore abolish crime? No. Crime and law enforcement is still important in maintaining our society. So if the possibility for false conviction does not prevent us from having laws against murder, rape and arson, why should the possibility of false conviction prevent us from having laws against hate crime?

4. No proof that it works
My opponent asks for an empirical example, to counter his US-specific example of a single man in Texas being hurt despite hate crime laws (abandoning South Africa, I note, probably on realising that it is a bad example). First, didn't you say the US didn't have any hate crime laws? Second, the US laws are nowhere near as comprehensive as my proposal. The best example is Sweden, where there are laws similar to my proposal, and hate crime has been on a decreasing trend [1].

That's everything my opponent tried to tell you. Now let's move on to what I have consistently told you:

1. Multiculturalism
This is really what the debate is about. I gave you plenty of solid reasons in round one as to why you need hate crime laws for multiculturalism. This analysis has gone uncontested. My opponent briefly stated that it was just asserted, which would be true if I had stopped at paragraph one - but, if my opponent had bothered to read any further, he would have noticed that I added analysis under the point of "multiculturalism" a few paragraphs later. Then in round two I told you why multiculturalism is so good, rebutting my opponent's view that it wasn't.

All that he still argued, in the face of my comprehensive analysis, is two problems. First, he says it's not really multicultural if enforced. Even if true, I told you last round that it still prevents a serious harm - people beating others up because they're "different." I also disputed my opponent's narrative of a "thought experiment" before he actually did it, wherein I argued that diverse groups eventually compromise and learn to live together. Once, Asians and Maori were treated very poorly by settler colonials in New Zealand. I believe the story is similar with the American Indians. Now, we have compromised and live together much more peacefully. Whichever narrative you buy, however, I still win the point because either way the harm of people hurting each other is removed.

Lastly he notes "his justification for hate-crime legislation is to control people’s speech to create multiculturalism." That's the argument my third point deals with. Asserting it here makes it no more valid.

2. Society
Let's go through this one backwards, just for fun. Lastly, I told you genocide can happen. Con told you genocides happen through governments. No, they happen by people, spurred on by hate, spurred on by governments. If you make the hate a crime, you therefore entirely prevent genocide. If you legalise it, as I told you in round one, you're one step away from genocide.

Secondly, I told you hate crime prevents the crime before it happens. My opponent had no response to this point.

Firstly, I said it discourages would-be hate criminals. My opponent said that we make scapegoats for ourselves. Wonderful argument. I agree. The difference is in whether we murder those scapegoats or live on happily without committing any crimes. I'd prefer the latter option. The point is that while you have proved hate will remain, I have proved hate-crime will go away.

He did not otherwise engage with my points about backlash or media control.

3. Free Speech
My opponent now says that defamation should be banned (which, by the way, it blatantly is in the United States [2]). In doing so he is going against the unanimous judgement of his own supreme court [3] which found penalty-enhancing laws such as my proposal to be constitutional. He is also going against one of the oldest and most well-supported crimes in the world. Even so, I've already told you this debate is only about hate crime law. Even if it's not (check the motion, it blatantly is) then I've already told you the massive social harms not having defamation can bring, back in round one. No rebuttal was given to this analysis, therefore it stands.

Then he cites my earnest view that "people do in fact have the right to state false things." Yes, but not when those things cause massive social harms. That's the real test, as I told you last round, not the falsifiability. You'll note that my opponent had no answer to this analysis. While we're on the subject, my opponent still has no answer to my claim that no expression is in fact prevented, only the manner of expression.

Every culture benefits. Society benefits. Free speech is practically uninhibited. My opponent has been unable to point to any real problems with my model. That is why I win the debate. That is why you should vote pro.

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I thank PRO for this great debat

1. Arbitrary

PRO cites the Swedish-Spanish model. Although the Swedish model uses “other circumstances” as bases for what constitutes a hate, it should be noted that the Spanish model only protects special classes. Also note that the Swedish model lists many other “protected classes” before it lists “other circumstances”. Therefore, it is much more likely that those listed “victim's race, color, nationality, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion” will receive special treatment under this model.

Next PRO tries to demonstrate an example of an assault that is not hate-crime motivated. According to his model it “takes every group into account”. He cites an example of a crime that he believes isn’t class motivated, a man beating up a wife that cheated on him, but can still be considered a class under his mode.

For all we know, there could be a whole group of women that have cheated on him. This qualifies as a group. PRO states that the man does not hate all women who cheat, just this particular woman that cheated. However this is just breaking a group into a subgroup. If one hit a person another “not because he is black, but because he is black AND gay” the Swedish-Spanish model would still committing that a hate crime.

But let’s say there she was the only person that cheated on the man. Does this female still qualify as a group? Technically a group is more than one person, but is that fair? If there is only one person in the world with green skin, should a person receive a greater punishment for hitting a black person but not a green person?

PRO says that “past actions” do not qualify as a hate crime, yet his own model describes attacks on “sexual orientation, religion, and beliefs” as hate-crimes which are ALL actions.

Not only is the legislation for hate crimes arbitrary, but PRO’s own model is contradictory.

2) Litigation Costs

I am not debating how to make the system more affordable. My contention is that litigation costs are expensive, so these costs need to be factored into analysis of whether to implement a law or not. If a law has little to no benefit, it is best not to pass it since the cost of litigation will occur at the expensive of alternative ways to spend money.

3) False Convection

This again relates to my second point, that if a law has very little or no benefit, it should be implemented due to the harm done through false convections. Rape and murder are serious crimes, so the benefit of enforcement outweighs the cost of possible false convections.

Physical assault is already a crime, and the act of assault should be punished. Hate speech is a form of freedom of expression.

Crimes like rape, assault, and murder are also objective and can be proven through evidence, hate crimes are very subjective and are more likely to yield a false convection. For example, If I punch a black person and state “You stupid n***ger”, I might just be really upset at the man, and not really a racist. I explained this in Round 2.

4) No proof that it works

PRO’s own source shows that “, the share of islamophobic hate crimes increased with 40 percent”. That does not seem to show effectiveness. Also, a single data point stating that hate crimes have decreased in 2010 is not even close to proof. In order for PRO to demonstrate that hate crime are effective, he would have had to find a peer review journal showing a decreased rate of assault occurring on “protected classes” after hate crime legislation was passed. He has not done this, so he has failed his burden of proof.


1) Multicultrualism

PRO asserts that he demonstrated the positive effects of multiculturalism. I was unable to find where PRO proved that multiculturalism is indeed virtuous, just some non-sequitur statements. If my audience believes he logically demonstrated the benefits of multiculturalism and I did not refute them in previous rounds, then I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

However, I especially did not find where forced multiculturalism is a good idea. Finally, as my last argument stated, I definitely did not find where it is proven that hate crime legislation leads to multiculturalism.

PRO states that people eventually learn to compromise and live together, but this is just false. Sure, sometimes it works, but not always. Israeli and Palestinians have hated each other for over 50 years now. There are people that I know who I will never like.

PRO states that I asserted that I just asserted that "his justification for hate-crime legislation is to control people’s speech to create multiculturalism.". However, by definition hate-crime legislation, especially If we consider hate speech, controls people’s speech and PRO even states in his analysis “be more likely to think twice about how they phrase messages that they graffiti”, I do not see how my statement above can be considered just a “bare assertion”.

2) Social benefits

I have responded in the first round about “hate crime prevents the crime before it happens.”. Assault is already a criminal offense, so the government is already doing stuff to prevent it. The idea that complex political and social conflicts such as the Rwanda Genocide would not have occurred “If only hate crime legislation was passed” is absurd. The entire argument is a slippery slope fallacy.

PRO states that Rwanda is an example of the failure of “natural order”. However, natural order is by definition “It encompasses the natural relations of beings to one another, in the absence of law, which natural law attempts to reinforce.” [1]

It is government that creates propaganda to demonize other races and does the killing.

My analysis of “in-group” and “out-group” theory was to demonstrate that even If you create “hate-crime legislation” people will always find other groups to dislike. It's natural psychology that cannot be avoided. Even if hate-crime legislation is effective at protecting certain groups, it merely shifts the focus to other groups. That’s why one should specifically punish assault, not creating hate crime legislation that picks which groups it’s alright to hit and which ones aren’t.

3) Damages to freedom of speech

PRO states that through stating that defamation should be banned, I am going against the judgment of the US Supreme Court. First off, he links to a Supreme Court case whether hate crime legislation is constitution, but not hate speech. Hate speech is allowed in the United States and is protected under the Constitution [2]. PROs own source on defamation shows that is very difficult to be prosecuted for it and that public figures are mainly except from these laws. Protected groups are basically public figures since they are well known.

Second, the US Supreme Court only decides whether a law is constitutional, not whether the act itself is good. There’s a difference. Third, PRO is committing a massive appeal to authority fallacy. The US government is not the authorizer of what is and is not moral. Extend my analysis on defamation laws.

PRO agrees that people have the right to state false statements. Yet, they do not have the right to state possibly true statements about others. In other words, this makes it very difficult to reveal corruption of public figures, and it is harmful to democracy if politicians cannot be exposed.

I already gave my analysis that defamation is not wrong in round 2.


Hate-crime legislation is an ineffective tool. Throughout this debate, PRO has not proven its effectiveness. PRO’s own model of hate-crime legislation is contradictory. The damage of litigation costs and false convictions damages any benefit PRO made. Hate-crime legislation is damaging to liberty and to democracy. It is a form of behavior and speech control that states that it is alright to harm some groups but not others. Assault is already an illegal offense. If violence is a problem, crack down on assault, not hate crime.[1][2]

Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
I just skimmed through so I am not going to vote but in my opinion, LarztheLoser made stronger points because punching a black person is not a hate crime. Hating a certain group of people and using that hate to commit crimes against is a hate crime. So there is a difference between hate crime and punching a black person.
Posted by larztheloser 6 years ago
9/11 was a hate crime. That's just a fact, and I didn't use it for emotion. I used it to say criminals don't often target. That's relevant because one of your rebuttal points was premised on all criminals targeting on characteristics. 9/11 is an example of criminals not doing so. What crime would you have preferred I used as an example for my case? The Bali bombing? The London or Madrid trains? Is not every non-targeted crime emotionally charged?
Posted by darkkermit 6 years ago
Alright,larz, so seriously what was up with the 9/11 argument in the third round. It literally had nothing to do with the debate. Trying to use an emotional charged argument by using a tragedy that happened a decade ago?
Posted by goodgravy 6 years ago
you are 100% correct on the arson comment which is actually the same thing im saying, I understand that not all hate crimes have to be violent. The fact that this focuses around the word "crime" makes it nearly synonymous, and like I said even though they may not be violent it is still hard to get an "intent" like you said in your arson example, the problem that im talking about is falsely accusing someone of these crimes. Were not going to see eye to eye on this but I thank you for responding to me on here :D
Posted by larztheloser 6 years ago
To say I intended or did not intend to commit arson is also a very broad thing, yet our justice systems allow the crime of arson, and in most circumstances the prosecution still needs to prove intent. Do you think it's fair every time somebody starts a fire they can be put on trial for arson? They've certainly done the act every time, but the intention is very, very hard to prove. There just isn't a way to tell motive. Your argument, it seems, is leveled at the whole justice system (applicable to almost every crime) rather than the specific crime of hate crime.

I think there are inequalities in the justice system, but like I said in round one, the harm would exist both with and without hate crime legislation. Therefore it has no bearing on whether we should ban hate crime.
Posted by goodgravy 6 years ago
I actually didn't create an account just for this topic, there is a lot more to this site than I had ever imagined, didn't know you'd go to a personal level but that's not important.

You did actually mention that about "whether you act on them" However anything can be used as a hate crime even if the motive was something else, you have to admit to some extent that our justice system isn't exactly "just" lol. To say that is, or isn't a hate crime is a very broad thing. I'm not saying that there isn't or never were hate crimes, it's very evident that there is in-fact those cases. Do you think it is fair that every case should be considered for a hate crime? I'm sure you will say yes to this as you are pro. There is no actual way to tell what a persons motive is, there just isn't. For example some white guy could beat up a black guy just because he's black, and come up with an elaborate story about how said man stole his money, So yes this is a hate crime, that isn't disputed between us, i'm sure. Now on the flip side said man actually did beat up black man for his money back. Granted this isn't an actually good story lol but still you get the point. I just don't agree with this because it's just not an accurate way to punish people, it is not fair for a man to get blamed of something he did not commit.
As far as the law is concerned it is in place to cover any act whether big or small, whats the difference between me hurting and killing someone? well, that's a no brainer. You say it can create polarization in our society which is odd in a society that just made this law in the 60's and had accepted(mostly) all races and religions. I guess all in all what i'm trying to say is this is an innocent man/woman's worst nightmare. I'm not condoning hate crime, oh! it's bad! However for the majority of us, this isn't fair.
Posted by larztheloser 6 years ago
No, the law does not cover the additional harm of polarization/fracturing society/destroying democracy/reducing immigration etc (over and above the actual fact of the crime). The issue in this debate is whether a multicultural (as opposed to a polarized, mono-cultural, "us and them" society) should be protected in law. Without hate crime, it isn't. I argue that it should be. As to the "restricting people from their true beliefs" thing, as I said in the debate, it is not your belief that makes you a criminal, but rather whether you act on them. My model is only penalty-enhancing.

I'm sorry my argument didn't live up to your expectations, and I'm touched you created an account just to make that comment. Sadly, as that was the final round, I cannot offer any more.
Posted by goodgravy 6 years ago
I think the Con is making a more compelling argument with the multicultural argument. Mostly due to the fact that he IS pointing out that laws are already in place for injustices in any cases. I don't understand the point behind the support of the Hate Crime Legislation. The only thing I've seen so far is "I told you last round that it still prevents a serious harm - people beating others up because they're "different."" Like I said, doesn't the law cover that anyway? Lets just double whammy people for their opinions, and yes restrict them from their true beliefs. I'm hoping for something more from pro.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
Good luck to both of you!
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
This is one interesting topic that I want to follow round by round and vote at its conclusion.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by ReformedArsenal 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: The arbitrary nature of protected groups as an argument against hate crime legislation was novel and compelling. Larz tried, but didn't successfully overcome it. Plus "Let’s say I punch a black person, but only punched the person because he was fat" made me laugh out loud in the Library... and that's hard to do.
Vote Placed by Double_R 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Much of Pros case was built on predictions with no historical precedent or logical justification for why the results should be assumed. Con brings up a very good point that the crime should be what is punished, not the reason the crime was committed. Pro had no successful rebuttal to this.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: A very good debate. In his opening argument, Pro used laws against hate speech as an example of what he advocated. Thus he had to defend restrictions on free speech, wherein the government gets to decide what is hate speech and what is not. In American courts, it's not required to establish a motive in any criminal case, so proving hate requires additional court costs. I think con argued successfully that illegality of hateful thought is likely to lessen it.