Letter to the editor: With hate speech reporting line, we are teaching an entire generation to be constantly offended


I am writing in opposition to Washington state’s new law establishing a “hate speech” reporting line.

It is a shame that our state has succumbed to writing and passing needless laws designed to create a “tattle tale” system of government, similar to the one established by the Nazis during World War II, an evil regime that murdered over 70 million people, and where neighbors were encouraged to “report” other neighbors.

While many brave men and women stood up against their brutality, most either ignored it or joined in.

Our nation has always held freedom of speech as a high honor and rare privilege, and while many choose to abuse this freedom, is it wise or democratic to criminalize people’s words?

This weekend, I was in Costco where I could have reported a man for “hate speech.”

His voice was loud, obnoxious and spewing hatred toward several entities.

But did his uncontrolled speech constitute a crime?

In wisdom, our laws in the past were written to punish actual crimes, not words, which do not carry any weight without action behind them.

I can say “I’m going to rob a bank,” but unless I actually do it, no crime has been committed.

Will we now have people reporting on each other like a child tattles to his mother because his brother called him a “fatty, fatty two-by-four,” a taunt often flung out by ill-mannered children?

With a hate speech reporting line, we are teaching an entire generation to be constantly offended, and that when they are, they can “get someone in trouble.”

It is time for Washington state legislators and our governor to grow up, and to uphold the right to speak about personal convictions without fear of retribution; or it will only be a matter of time until those who oppose current societal trends will be labeled as criminals-maybe even shuffled off to death camps?


Virginia Schnabel