| We will control|
what you think with
|Here's how we do it|
Hate speech refers to inflammatory statements made directly or indirectly towards a group based on said group's skin colour, religion, beliefs, background, social class, sexual
preference orientation, gender and so forth that may incite violence.
 What is hate speech?
It can range from racist comments made amongst a small group of people to standing up in public and preaching death to a group of people. The term can be used in all directions of the political and opinion spectrum; a cleric saying that Christians are going to hell is just as guilty of "hate speech" as an anti-war protester who spouts hate about a ruling politician.
Two important elements of hate speech are the sender and the receiver. If the sender intends his/her statement to be mean, vindictive or demeaning (among things) or if the receiver perceives it as such, then whatever was said is hate speech.
Hate speech often occurs when the speaker thought that his/her microphone was turned off.
 Difference from hate crime
It's generally distinguished from a "hate crime" in that no one is physically hurt by it and it isn't illegal (in the United States, at least), although any incitements to cause crime, or speech that meets the legal standard of "aiding and abetting" such crime, can fall under other laws which prohibit such behaviour. However, in the United States, "incitement" is narrowly defined as "advocacy [that] is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action." Hate speech used in the commission of a particular crime may be taken as evidence that said crime is a hate crime rather than a crime of the more ordinary variety (for example, a physical assault committed while yelling homo- or transphobic slurs at the victim). There is, of course, a distinction between spouting hate in the street and actually ordering and telling people to kill and maim.
 Freedom of speech
Such hate can be considered to be when someone just uses their freedom of speech to say something that you don't like. It is often used as an excuse to curb freedom of speech laws. Often, a balance is sought between freedom of speech (which people should have) and people's right not to be offended (which is, let us face it, complete bullshit; just look at what offends the average creationist — this goes way beyond any free speech issue). The counter to any restriction of freedom of speech because of this is the argument that curbing hate speech will lead to the curbing of critical speech. Indeed, the fact that some Christians regard any critical examination of Christianity or the Bible as hate speech against Christians shows that one person's hate speech is another person's critical speech.