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Hate speech breeds hate and worse
Letter to the Editor
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Published: 8/17/2008 12:03 AM

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A gunman enters a church and shoots several worshippers. Books by prominent talk show hosts known to encourage hate for liberals and other groups were found in his home.

Another gunman enters the Arkansas Democratic Party headquarters and shoots the head of the state party. At this time we can only guess at his motivation.

It doesn't take a mental health expert to realize that someone using inflammatory rhetoric against a particular group encourages those with pent-up anger and possible prejudices and mental problems to act on their emotions.

We have laws against hate crimes but hate speech remains undefined and relatively free from prosecution.

Our society seems much more concerned about sexual references in actions and speech. Public figures have talked about lynching liberals and shooting illegal immigrants with few repercussions.

The current campaign for the White House has resulted in those with racial prejudices becoming increasingly more vocal.

Maybe it is time for our morality police to turn their attention to the new purveyors of hate, flooding airways across our nation every day.

Talk show hosts may insist their words provide only entertainment with no thought of action, but listeners may not be able to make this distinction.

Karen Wagner

Rolling Meadows