Hate Speech Vs. Free Speech: Videos of Racist Incidents Ignite Freedom of Expression Debate

Published September 26th, 2019 - 09:40 GMT

A video of a woman yelling "if the law didn't ban killing black people they'd all be dead" at a pharmacy in California has triggered online debates over racism and free speech.  

Some argued that her actions go beyond racism and could be inciting violence.

Meanwhile, others who don't necessarily agree with her stance, have suggested she has a right to express her opinion and should not be arrested. 

This incident has also divided people over her mental state. Some are suggesting that her behavior may be attributed to mental illness, and therefore is justified. However, others have disagreed, stating that mental illness does not justify racism.

In a similar event, a video of a man harassing a young Hispanic girl for speaking Spanish with her friend at a McDonald's in Georgia has also circulated the Internet, causing outrage among social media users.

Several people started a debate over whether or not the man should have been escorted out of the restaurant for his remarks, some arguing that "America is the land of free speech."

These incidents raise the question: what is the line between hate speech and free speech? And should there be repercussions to such behavior? 

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