Hate Speech

Law, 1948

An attempt to politically separate some words from other words by inferring a person’s invisible and immeasurable intent, to make it possible for the State to prosecute them.

Hitler made “hate speeches”. The first emergence of the intent behind “hate speech” laws is evident in the negotiation between the UK and USSR while drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UDHR), wherein the Soviets fought to include “hate speech” provisions which were resisted on the basis they were intended to be used to silence freedom of expression and ideas like liberal democracy with vague definitions such as “the bloody dictatorship of the most reactionary section of capitalism and monopolies” (fascism). Modern legal usage was popularised by critical race theorist and self-acclaimed “activist scholar” Mari Matsuda in her 1989 article Public Response to Racist Speech: Considering the Victim’s Story”.