And they are not protected.
I’m a free speech guy, and figure this sill stuff about hate speech isn’t really about an increase in violence in the “wake of the election of Donald Trump whose rhetoric was supported by the alt-right, neo-Nazis etc.”
[I’m mocking the news-typers who constantly link Trump to hate speech. – Dave]
Hate speech as a concept is a leftist response to losing influence and elections.
But some hateful speech is illegal.
In Danbury, Connecticut, about 60 miles northwest of Manhattan, Michael Pelella (31) and his little brother (22) lived at their mom’s house. When Pelella’s little brother said that he wanted to move up to the attic, Pelella objected—purportedly because Pelella had some of his stuff up in the attic. Pelella allegedly told his little brother, “If you go in to the attic, I will hurt you,” causing the brother to feel threatened and to fear for his safety because Pelella had physically hurt him before.
The police were called because of the domestic disturbance, and Pelella was eventually charged with two counts of threatening to commit a crime.
They were not 9-year olds. Grown men cannot threaten to kill someone without being taken seriously, by police, courts and potential victims.
The Court had to determine whether Pelella’s statement “reasonably would be interpreted as a serious expression of intent to harm.” Because Pelella was moving to dismiss the criminal charges against him and there had not yet been a trial, the Court couldn’t say one way or the other. Recognizing that it was a “very close case,” the Court ruled against Pelella allowed the state to take him to trial.