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For example, if the kid had called a straight kid a "faggot" it's no longer a hate crime? What if he had called a fat kid "fat ass"? I bet he wouldn't have been charged with a hate crime then, but really is the situation that different? Or what if it was a girl and he called her a "slut"?

What bothers me is that these words, essentially tied to a group of people, are used as epithets.

If I think someone is an asshat, that's what I call them. Same thing for sihthead. I don't dislike gay people so to call someone a faggot doesn't seem to be telling them how I really feel, which is that I think they're complete jerks.

It's the fact that calling someone a faggot, whether they're gay or not, has come to be an insult. That's the problem. At its heart, to be gay is a "bad thing", so to call someone gay is a bad word. Same for being fat, same for slut.

But I would guess that none of those things is WHY the fight started in the first place, it's just a way to try to hurt someone with words.

If the fight is about the kid being gay, that's a whole different issue.
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