U.S. Attorney Says to Call the FBI Over Hate Speech

Illustration by Midjourney

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren DeBruicker, in a recent community forum at Bethlehem city hall, encouraged citizens to spy on their neighbors and report any offensive speech.

“All reports are information. It’s intelligence,” DeBruicker proclaimed to a small gathering. So, in the land of the free, we’re now being told to monitor each other’s words and report them to the authorities?

The FBI is urging people to report so-called “hate speech,” but here’s the kicker: they can’t even define what constitutes hate speech versus protected free speech.

Oh, the complexity of it all!

DeBruicker admits, “there really is no simple answer.” So, what are we to do? Report anything and everything that might hurt someone’s feelings and let the government sort it out?

And if someone’s words offend you, DeBruicker advises you to dial 911 immediately.

Furthermore, if you think your local police department isn’t taking your complaint about your neighbor’s “hateful” words seriously, DeBruicker suggests you go straight to the federal authorities.

Because, of course, the FBI has nothing better to do than field complaints about hurt feelings, so why not escalate it to the highest level?

Bethlehem Police Chief Michelle Kott assures us that her department takes hate crimes seriously. But what about hate speech? And who gets to define it? The lines are blurry, and that’s a dangerous game to play.

Over in Pennsylvania’s Delaware County, they want the state legislature to outright ban hate speech.

County Councilman Kevin Madden said he believes words matter.

“Some may look at this and say these are just words and they won’t have any impact, but words matter,” Councilman Kevin Madden said. “When we see hate speech within our community, if we don’t want to see that, we have to stand up and we have to call this out.

“It’s the only way we stop hate speech insidiously rising in our communities,” he continued. “We can’t allow this backwards movement that we are seeing locally and nationally to continue.”

Some residents are rightfully questioning this. One asked if biblical figures like Moses or St. Paul would be considered “hateful” under these new guidelines.

It’s a valid question.

County Councilwoman Christine Reuther claims that while the First Amendment offers protections, it has limits.

“That doesn’t mean that people get a pass,” she said. “They have a right to say certain things and we as elected officials have a responsibility to make the statement … we don’t agree, we don’t accept it and we don’t think it’s consistent with our community standards.”

But who gets to set those limits? The government? The offended party? It’s unconstitutional and a slippery slope that we seem to be sliding down faster than ever.

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