There is no workable definition of hate speech. This is a law that invites misuse as you could define any speech that you don't personally like as 'hate speech' if you personally judge the motivation behind it to be hatred.
Sometimes people behave in a way that we consider hateful, sometimes people really should just shut up, mostly we wish that people could be civil to one another, but it should not be the role of the state to regulate interactions between citizens when no physical harm has been caused.
Banning certain forms of speech and pursuing them with the full force of the law confers martyr status on the speaker, draws attention to and dignifies their argument. We saw this effect very clearly when Margaret Thatcher sought to deny the IRA and Sinn Fein the "oxygen of publicity".
To enforce hate speech laws to their ultimate end would require a volume of police enforcement that would be impossible to support with the diminishing tax revenue many nations are becoming plagued by. A lack of finances will only get worse. You need to lay off mind control. You'll have your hands full repelling riots as government benefits begin to dry up. And who decides what is hate speech? Is it not hate speech to speak against another's beliefs with judgment and condemnation? Is it not hate speech to decide an entire religion is offensive? Or an entire political platform? ANYTHING can incite the insane to violence! You can step on a crack and outrage a murderer! ANYTHING can become offensive to the screwballs of the world!
By censoring certain opinions you damage the ability of society to discuss difficult subjects. Far from preventing any kind of hate and violence, they serve only to prevent it from being worked out through free conversation, and debate, whilst creating a society in which reason is valued less than obediance to the political will of the establishment and outsider groups become increasingly angry and prone to violence due to their oppression by the state and their inability to have their voices heard in a non-violent manner.
Ever moving target of someone Else's perception of what is hate and what us not is no way to run a legal system . Crime used to be about deeds irrespective of thought or words said . Now if one has an argument with any number of group members be they gay muslim or orther you can be sure that since it is their perception that counts, any opposition is classed as hate speech or motivated.
Question .. What if the speech is perceived as hate and is factually true. Its a special plea for special treatment under the law. Are redheads and short people afforded this special status? . Its a tool of the left used to drive their agenda .
If the law was against words motivated by "hatred", you'd have to define the word, which no-one has ever done.
Then we need to realise that one can never KNOW if hatred lies behind someone's thoughts, words or deeds - if the law pretends that we can legislate against thoughts and feelings then is claiming the impossible for itself.
Because if this, you get a law that could convict someone because someone else perceives that hatred could be stirred up by your words - but how do you decide that?? This has serious consequences - anything critical that you say about any group can now be classified as hate-speech. Surely an attack on freedom of speech.
It is also interpreted in a very selective way. When Diane Abbott (or anyone in the Guardian newspaper) makes remarks about white people, noone minds too much.
So basically you have a law that is applied unequally, and everyone knows it. It's a disgrace that people are foolish enough to be persuaded that we can do away with free speech without consequences, and allow such casual discrimination - having spent years saying that discrimination is wrong.
How can liberal Western society place such a value on free speech and yet imprison those who may express their frustrations out loud? And where do we draw the line between freedom of speech and hate speech? If a line is drawn, then consider the fact that the law becomes open to various interpretations, and it's possible the law/politicians/what have you may stretch it's interpretation too far into the "free speech" range. Authoritarian governments start out with little laws like these, and I am for one on preserving individual freedom.
An example would be quite a few conservative Christians in Great Britain who were either fined or jailed for speaking their opinions (however inflammatory it might be) on Gay Marriage, a controversial issue.
To those who believe hate speech may incite people to commit acts of violence or abuse, etc. do not place blame on that person alone squarely. It is also up to the people to control their own behavior and not be motivated so easily by someone else's words.
Some people tend to argue the free speech side, to basically allow any negative public communication. However the freedom of the people to live without being bullied by haters is way more important than free speech in all circumstances. Let's reduce the hate in our society and assure that the good and reasonable voices are protected.
No one can yell "fire" in a crowd without being punished. Hate speech has no place in certain circumstances and should be limited. However, we live in a free world where people can have their opinions no matter what. Hate speech is not pleasant and shouldn't be banned altogether. However, limits should be in place to prevent people from getting hurt or killed.
I think there SHOULD be common sense used in terms of determining what is hate speech and what is not, but I don't think all hate speech laws should go away. Going too extreme in either direction is no good. If you're too lax, then people can get away with all types of abuse. If you're too harsh, then you punish people who really shouldn't be. There needs to be a happy medium found somewhere in the middle for the best results. So no I don't think all hate speech laws should be repealed, just that common sense should be used in when to apply them and when not to.
I do not feel that hate speech laws should be repealed because they are currently in place to serve as a deterrent to hateful speech that has been shown to incite violence and cause a disturbance to the general public. Our laws should be in place in order to discourage ignorance and hateful speech.