Hate Speech : Considering The Victim 's Story Essay

847 Words Oct 17th, 2016 4 Pages
In “Public Response to Racist Speech: Considering The Victim’s Story” Mari J. Matsuda addresses the topic of hate speech, and the legal rights surrounding it. She argues for the implementation of legal restrictions on hate speech. She makes the theoretical arguments that hate speech can be a causative factor for legitimate harm to individuals; she justifies the need for restrictions on hate speech by citing the various harm that can be conducted by individual that possess such speech. She claims hate speech can cause: psychological effects, internalization which in turn leads to low self-esteem, violence and discrimination, alteration in the mind of others and a feeling of not being protected by a governing body or exclusion from a community.
1. Psychological Factors and Internalization
Matsuda argues that the impact of hate speech can lead to both psychological factors that are expressed physically and internalization. Psychological factors can include: “fear in gut, rapid pulse rate and difficulty breathing, nightmares, PTSD, hypertension, psychosis and suicide” 1 These factors aid in building her point of the physical damage words can cause onto an individual that is subjected to such speech. She also argues for internalization, because an individual that is perpetually targeted by hate speech will begin to feel worthless about themselves which in turn can cause a gradual loss in self-esteem.
2. Violence and Discrimination, Alteration in mind of others and Feelings of…

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