home GLBTQI, North America, Society Lessons from KRXQ-FM: hate speech shouldn’t go unchallenged

Lessons from KRXQ-FM: hate speech shouldn’t go unchallenged

In the wake of the KRXQ-FM controversy in which Sacramento, CA based shock-jocks Arnie States and Rob Williams attacked a transgender child during a May 28 on-air diatribe, the station’s defenders, most of whom just happened to be conservative, male and white, claimed that these radio hosts’ First Amendment rights were being trampled on.

Yeah, right. Peddle that bull feces somewhere else.

With free speech come consequences. For example, I express my opinions on my blog on a daily basis. Some agree with what I have to say, while there are others who don’t. If you express dissent in a respectful manner, I’ll listen to it and probably leave your comments on the thread.

In the United States, the First Amendment is used by conservatives and others as a shield to stifle criticism of their reprehensible commentary. Yes, the United States Constitution’s First Amendment guarantees your right to free speech. At the same time, it guarantees that others with views contrary to yours get their say too.

The problem comes when your so-called free speech is inciting or advocating violence against a minority group. Far too often in American history, white males wallowing in vanilla flavored privilege have repeatedly done just that.

Their hate speech has had terrible consequences for the minority groups targeted.

Do the Holocaust, the African Slave Trade, the wars against Native Americans, and the terrorism executed by the defenders of Jim Crow segregation ring a bell?

From where I sit, as an African-descended transperson who is cognizant of her history, hate speech leads to escalating violence which can ultimately lead to genocide.

It’s no accident that since anti-transgender rhetoric has increased over the last few years, with much of it coming from so-called religious leaders, the level of assaults and violence against transpeople around the world have increased as well.

Free speech isn’t a monologue, it’s a dialogue. A multicultural democracy cannot afford to have unchecked hate speech in its midst. If the minority group has the power to resist it, it should execute every option at its disposal to counteract the message of hate.

Hate speech should never go unchallenged. Minority groups cannot ever let hate speech slide without commentary or get to the stage where it escalates to violence.

If anyone thinks that the trans community was ‘overly sensitive’ in responding to the transphobic comments of Williams and States, you must understand that history has taught us to be vigilant.