LETTER: Words are not hate speech just because they offend someone


I am writing to address the dubious claim made in a letter to the editor in last week’s Ozaukee Press that an older gentleman stopped at the Democratic Party booth at the County Fair to tell them all Democrats should be wiped from the face of the earth.  

If indeed these words were actually spoken, the two women who signed the letter are sadly mistaken if they don’t think the same thing (and worse) is happening to Republicans thousands of times per day across this country.

If the statement was made, was it hate speech? Maybe. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of definitions of hate speech are in circulation, but just because someone says something that is off color, rude or in disagreement with your beliefs doesn’t make it hate speech. I am not sure how or when it happened, but many in our country have turned into snowflakes looking to be offended every time someone says something they don’t agree with.

I am by no means saying that the words that were claimed to have been said are acceptable civil conversation; they are not. But let’s all grow some thicker skin and a backbone and just move on.  

This brings to mind a rhyme we all heard when we were young and likely passed on to our children: “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

Mike Wagner


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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