The Left’s Next Step: Redefining ‘Hate Speech’ as Violence

An article in the Sunday Review section of the July 16 New York Times posed a question which, once upon a more innocent time, would have been considered nonsensical: “When Is Speech Violence?” The response of any person who cares about the clarity of language would properly be “Never,” but Lisa Feldman Barrett, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, asserts in the Times piece that the science is settled: “speech that bullies and torments” is “literally a form of violence.”

  • Alain

    No, it isn’t the next step, as they have already been doing that, most likely encouraged by our ridiculous “hate crime laws”.

    • Clausewitz

      HRC trials show that this is happening already. Just ask Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    If so, then the Left is guilty as charged.

  • If as claimed “the science is settled” and “speech that bullies and torments” is “literally a form of violence,” then the author of this thesis is guilty of bullying and tormenting and therefore of violence, since after all the object of this thesis is to justify and encourage repression of some people’s free speech. In any case, it is of course absurd – speech my well hurt people emotionally but it is not literally violent. Of course, speech that ADVOCATES VIOLENCE against someone is akin to violence. But even then, the question is against whom? Because that determines its moral status. For instance, to advocate violence against common criminals (killers, rapists, robbers and the like) or against a foreign enemy (including local terrorists) may well be said to be akin to violence, but it is quite moral and commendable.

    • Blacksmith

      “quite moral and legal, and commendable.”
      Will always be moral and commendable, not legal if they have their way.

      • Lol. It is for now. I am referring to legal violence, principally advocated by legislators and enforced by police, army, etc. I am referring to violence against the initiators of violence, to individual and collective self-defense against the truly violent.

        • Blacksmith

          Yeah, I was just making my sarcastic comment. I do always appreciate your well thought out and stated comments. I saw something about that yesterday but hadn’t seen a good article on it, thanks for the link.

    • Minicapt

      Violent speech should be caring, and endeavour to provide guidance to the recipient.


  • Blacksmith

    The problem is the leftist activist judges will only rule in favor of it when perpetrated against another leftist. When perpetrated BY a leftist it is not violence.

  • Liberal Progressive

    What are the talking about? Hate speech as violence?

    It isn’t only hate speech that is violence but all offensive viewpoints and incorrect thinking that is violence that should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!

    It’s the progressive thing to do.

    • A Hamilton Guy

      Hey dummy! Have you forgotten the wee rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

      • Clausewitz

        I just assume that everything he says is sarcasm. No one can be that stupid.