I’m not going to say that this is the most depressing thing I’ve read in ages…
…oh, the hell I’m not. It absolutely is:
YouGov’s latest research shows that many Americans support making it a criminal offense to make public statements which would stir up hatred against particular groups of people. Americans narrowly support (41%) rather than oppose (37%) criminalizing hate speech…
And yes, as PJ O’Rourke reminded us, the ones who’d burn the Rights of Man to save the snail darter are mostly left of the aisle:
…but this conceals a partisan divide. Most Democrats (51%) support criminalizing hate speech, with only 26% opposed. Independents (41% to 35%) and Republicans (47% to 37%) tend to oppose making it illegal to stir up hatred against particular groups. Support for banning hate speech is also particularly strong among racial minorities. 62% of black Americans, and 50% of Hispanics support criminalizing comments which would stir up hatred. White Americans oppose a ban on hate speech 43% to 36%.
And just so we’re clear – “stir up hatred” doesn’t mean “actively advocate violence”, which is already illegal. This refers to, for lack of a better term, offensive speech.
I’m becoming genuinely depressed about the future of this country, as a country.