OPINION: Stop the Hate

`The Societal Impacts of Hate Speech & Discrimination



Stop. The. Hate.

It doesn’t matter who a person is, they do not deserve hate⎼YOU do not deserve hate. No one, no matter race, age, gender, sexuality or religion deserves that negativity. No one deserves that hurt, that pain, that comes as a result of slurs and discriminatory remarks.

Discrimination and hate speech are both very serious issues in the United States and can be found in every corner of the country, including Azle High School. The negative effects of these practices can be extremely detrimental to everyone.

Hate speech can lead to feelings of unimportance, helplessness and depression. These feelings in combination with an ongoing mental health crisis have caused teen suicide rates to rise. I don’t have to explain how suicide is a very serious issue and should not be taken lightly. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please use one of the hotlines included at the bottom of this story.

According to the CDC’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 23.4% of LGBTQ high school students reportedly attempted suicide in the last year, as compared to 6.4% of heterosexual youth. This scary statistic shows how minority groups are more susceptible to self-harm and poor mental health.

If everyone was truly treated equally, these stats would not be nearly as daunting.

It is not uncommon to hear some form of discriminatory speech in school, on social media or even from famous celebrities and politicians. People like rapper Kanye West, social media influencer Andrew Tate and even some politicians have produced content perpetuating anti-Semitism, sexism, racism or homophobia.

With these negative influences feeding into children and young adults, this content becomes harmful as they start to gain support from people who agree with the discriminatory line of thinking, furthering their prejudiced line of thinking into easily-impressionable youth.

Discrimination isn’t just spoken words but also includes processes embedded within society that purposefully set minority groups apart from other people. The continuation of hateful thoughts and policies is brought through generations when we continue to reinforce discriminatory laws, stereotypes and prejudiced influencers and celebrities. Continuing to support and consume these things gives them power and removes the idea of unconditional equality.

The usage of slurs is also a major issue embedded in American society. Within the school system, I have heard several instances of students and staff using these types of hateful and discriminatory language, intentionally or not.

This kind of behavior shouldn’t be found in an educational space. It is sad that people see this as acceptable behavior. Adults teach young people that this hate is innately deserved and is acceptable to use when talking to other people or posting on social media.

None of this is right. None of this is OK. None of this should be overlooked with phrases such as “they came from a different generation” or “boys will be boys.”

This hate must be stopped.

Crisis Hotlines:
National Suicide and Crisis Hotline: Call or Text “988”
Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to “741741”
The Trevor Project Hotline for the LGBTQIA+ Community: Call or Text “866-488-7386”