media politics Psychology

Hate Speech: Caveat Emptor

It is no surprise, really, that hate crime has surged.  As a far-flung observer of these events it has always been apparent (because it has always been the case) that politicians who do not cautiously vet their own words and public statements can let loose all manner of idiotic behaviour.  A politician who rails against immigrants and minorities creates a cascading sequence of events and consequences which may be interpreted (by anyone seeking an excuse) as justification for subjecting others to the intellectual poverty and ethical impropriety of discrimination and vilification.
Anyone who speaks with influence in the media without cautious consideration of the possible gravity and consequences of potentially or intentionally inflammatory statements is either: callously unconcerned about causing harm to others, or – possibly not clever enough to be given trust with such a powerful platform for influence and ideological self-assertion.  At best, inflammatory statements such as those most recently aggressively trumpeted in the US Election could be seen as pure political spectacle and opportunistic attention-seeking; at worse, these can be interpreted as existing on a spectrum ranging from sociopathy through to unwitting incompetence.  Even post-facto statements of contrition or disavowal can not put the genie of hate back into its bottle.
Political debate has now devolved to a level of sophistication akin to professional wrestlers hurling soundbytes, Twitter feeds and rotten fruit at one another.

2 replies on “Hate Speech: Caveat Emptor”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.