Hate speech is not progressive but regressive. It solves zero issues and intensifies friction. Its purpose is not to express an opinion, but to cruelly slander another’s. Although it is thin, a line exists between what is considered hate speech and harsh opinion.
When a person shares a strong opinion, he or she wants to be heard; and it is the absence of slander that separates the opinion from hate speech. However people identify by particular subjects and will feel attacked when an opinion combats their own. Feeling threatened is the birthing ground for hate speech.
This is a direct result of a lack of social empathy. People cling onto their beliefs in a state of blindness, unable to see the reasons why other’s opinions may be different and equally as strong. Having empathy does not devalue or negate one’s own beliefs. An empathetic person contemplates another’s beliefs in addition to his or her own, not as separate, superior, or inferior. Opinions exist because different values exist and their worth is incomparable.
If we, all human beings, heightened our awareness of empathy along with our technological innovations, our means of communication would be twice as effective.