International Day for Countering Hate Speech falls on June 18. The U.N. General Assembly adopted the resolution to counter hate speech and set up this milestone in the fight against hate speech. According to the UN, hate speech is any kind of speech or writing that attacks or discriminates against a person or a group based on religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, color, descent, gender, or any other identity factor. Speech should not be a weapon for creating more mayhem in this volatile world; thus, the International Day for Countering Hate Speech will help to stop hate-mongering.
History of International Day for Countering Hate Speech
Hate speech involves speech, actions, and gestures that are intentionally hateful. Thus, it should be regulated and criminalized. For years the U.S. has been attempting to prohibit hate speech and crimes, such as violent acts like the cross burning by the Ku Klux Klan. Efforts have expanded over the years to include alleged ‘speech and thought’ crimes. Currently, any public statement against illegal immigration or same-sex marriage is termed ‘hate speech.’ The Southern Poverty Law Center includes pro-family groups in the list of hate groups for their opposition to same-sex marriage.
By law, the two types of threatening speech that could be restricted included ‘gesture or speech used to incite violence’ and ‘obscene or libelous words.’ In 1919, Oliver Wendell Holmes stretched this further when he argued in Schenck vs. the United States that falsely shouting ‘fire’ in a theater was prohibited. However, the law retained the argument for preventing physical harm from hate speech.
In 1992, Congress asked the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (N.T.I.A.) to examine the role of telecommunications in instigating hate speech and inciting violence. By 1993, N.T.I.A. had reported that a climate of hate induces violence. After the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, ‘the hate speech concept’ was brought into political discourse after President Bill Clinton alleged that it happened because of loud and angry hateful voices. The definition of hate speech changed in 2009 after the National Hispanic Media Coalition outlined that it had the following four parts: false facts, flawed argumentation, divisive language, and dehumanizing metaphors. Hate speech was not limited to inciting violence but also included an atmosphere that could encourage violence.
International Day for Countering Hate Speech timeline
The definition of hate speech stretches after Oliver Wendell Holmes argued in Schenck v. the United States that falsely shouting ‘fire’ in a theater is prohibited.
Congress asks the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (N.T.I.A.) to examine the role of telecommunications in instigating hate speech and inciting violence.
After the allegation by President Clinton that the bombings occurred because of loud and angry voices of hate, the ‘hate speech concept’ is a political discourse.
‘Hate speech’ is changed following the National Hispanic Media Coalition’s outline of its four parts.
International Day for Countering Hate Speech FAQs
Is hate speech protected by the First Amendment?
No. It is not a legal term in the U.S. because, under the First Amendment, most of what qualifies as hate speech in other countries is ‘legally protected’ free speech in the U.S.
Is hate speech a crime in India?
Indian Penal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, prohibits hate speech.
How does Canada define hate speech?
Canada defines hate speech as publicly communicated statements to incite hatred against an identifiable group.
How to Observe International Day for Countering Hate Speech
Research about what constitutes hate speech and what does not. Learn how freedom of speech differs from hate speech.
Speak up whenever you see instances of hate speech. Make people aware that hate speech is a crime with repercussions.
Always be mindful of what you say. Never say something that can hurt people, even in jest.
5 Facts About Hate Crime
Hate crimes in California
Hate crimes rose to 47% between 2009 to 2010 in California.
Crimes in the U.S.
In 2011, there were over 6,222 reported hate crime incidents.
Black people are more susceptible
Black people are more likely to experience a hate crime in every tally of bias.
Hate crimes dwell on differences
Hate crimes are motivated by race, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, and disability, respectively.
Hate language is involved in hate crimes
Between 2003 and 2009, approximately 99% of hate crime victims encountered hate language.
Why International Day for Countering Hate Speech is Important
It unites people
This day unites people. People come together to fight against hate speech and crimes.
It’s a day to stop hate
This day is for mitigating hate. It seeks to improve the world.
It’s for a noble cause
This day is for a noble cause. This day seeks to end hate speech and spread the message of peace.
International Day for Countering Hate Speech dates