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No. of Recommendations: 6
I have a problem with using speech to define hate crimes. So much is gained or lost when a single word is removed from a situation or taken out of context.

Also, we tend as a society to judge some words as more detrimental than others. If one derogatory word is deemed hateful and punishable, shouldn't all of them be? Then you have to start defining what is offensive to whom and why.

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"?
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