Before you complain about why am defining things, know that there is a foundation to everything. You don’t come out of the blue and start talking about things people don’t understand.
With that said, one of my blog readers recommended that I have a write-up on hate speech and that’s what we shall be talking about for the rest of this article.
So, what is hate speech?
There is no legal definition of hate speech. Depending on where you come from, the definition of hate speech may vary.
Hate speech is usually abusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses hate against a group of people based on ethnicity (tribal lines), sexual orientation, religion, or race.
If hate speech is not quickly resolved, it can lead to acts of violence and conflict on a wider scale.
You will witness hate speech when people start showing a feeling of strong dislike, ill will, or enmity that displays itself in action for example a deep-seated animosity between two sisters or animosity against one’s neighbor
Other times it can be seen in the act of speaking about someone or something in a way which shows that you do not have a good opinion about them (disparagement)
In South Sudan, hate speech can be witnessed when individuals from one tribe start calling the other names like animals, wives, inferior, or cowards.
Therefore hate speech always opposes the existence of democracy in society, rule of law, and the protection of human rights.
So everyone must take responsibility to tackle hate speech starting with the individual men and women, the private sector, societies, and the central governments.
Addressing the issue of hate speech doesn’t mean prohibiting the freedom of expression. It means preventing the hate speech from escalating to a level that can lead to violence and hostility which is prohibited by international law.
Here are some changes that can be done to minimize hate speech in society today
In this digital age, support should be given to a new generation of digital citizens like bloggers, influencers, brand ambassadors, empowered to recognize, reject and stand up to hate speech.
People need to know more about hate speech in order to act effectively. The root causes and conditions that fuel hate speech should be thoroughly researched and identified.
The traditional media such as radios, newspapers should also be strengthened to address hate speech narratives and promote the values of tolerance, non-discrimination, pluralism, and freedom of opinion and expression.
Solidarity should be shown with victims of hate speech and implement human-rights-centered measures which aim at avoiding retaliatory hate speech and escalation of violence. The rights of the victims should also be upheld, and their needs addressed, including through advocacy for remedies, access to justice, and psychological counseling.
Problems related to hate speech should also be presented in ways that make solutions more attainable. Introduce independent mediation and expertise and build coalitions.
There should be measures put in place to identify and reduce misuse of the internet and social media for spreading hate speech and violence online.
Mass awareness programs about the respect of human rights, understanding cultural diversity, and religions should be established.
Hate Speech trends vary from country to country. We should all stand up and advocate against hate speech and express sympathy and support to targeted individuals or groups. Share with us in the comments your thoughts on hate speech.