I think the idea that I live in some kind of bubble in which I have no idea what fear of or the experience of violence has no effect on me in antagonistic.
Ok, here's my butchers bill, only posted because it seems to be the crux of some kind of point you are trying to make (is the point that there should be a law against fifteen year olds being frightened?)
I've been armed robbed at gun point, on the job.
I've been assaulted twice on the job.
I've been assaulted once not at work.
I've had a knife pulled on me while on the job.
I've had guns flashed at me a few times, both in a threatening way and in a random way.
I've been verbally threatened an innumerable number of times.
Maybe we drastically different privileges in terms of our consumption of justice as a social good or you have an unrealistic view on what justice in America delivers. I don't know who you are, what you look like, where you live or what you've been through.
I had a crazy homeless guy who lived in a patch of woods on DOT land who stood in front of my house, smashed an old TV and screamed that he was going to burn down my house and kill my family. I called the cops and they gave me a lecture on tolerance and told me they weren't doing anything about it.
I had two guys smash up the bar I worked at, throwing bottles, glasses and chairs at me while I dodged like a carnival duck behind the bar. The cops came, my boss said he just wanted an insurance report and didn't want to pursue it because charges would only attract unwanted attention from a certain segment of the African American community. The cops said "good enough" handed me the paperwork and I swept up 50 something busted glasses.
I watched a guy walking down my street testing the door handle on each car as he walked by. I called the cops and watched as they gave him a stern lecture and let him leave.
Riding my bike home at three in the morning I came upon a street where many of the cars doors and trunks were popped open with dome lights on. Someone had obviously just jimmied and tossed every car on the street that they could get into. I called the cops and they told me that the owners could just file reports in the morning and that no units would come out to look around.
Two gentlemen were sitting in my neighbors front retaining wall opening amazon packages, both were young ragged white guys, my neighbor is an older black gentlemen. They both got on bikes and rode away when they saw me. I called the cops with the best description I could get in the dark, the dispatcher said to call back if I got a better description. I pointed out that I had the invoices from the packages and that it'd be an easy collar. "Sir, call back if you get a better description." Can't even bother to call it out in case an officer sees them around later on...
The one type of harassment that will get you in trouble is violating a restraining or no contact order. That is because to do so is to cross a judge who doesn't have any of the problems of a police officer or a prosecutor when balancing the scales of justice.
Maybe you live in a place where the police will arrest a person for harsh language but that isn't a reality that I can relate to. I don't know if this is because you have the benefit of privilege, or significantly better justice system than I do or perhaps you are just relying on this as a rhetorical device and don't give a wit about the reality.
I know a few officers from the shop. They are stretched thin and making an arrest on a bullshit call means that you can't be there if a serious call comes in. I've heard them worry about the night they don't have backup when they need it.
Now back to the matter at hand.
Some of this stuff happening is criminal and it should be prosecuted.
Some of the stuff happening is federally protected speech and while there should be consequences for being a vicious bigoted bastard, we'd all be better off realizing the difference between crime and socially unacceptable but legal behavior.
The "experts" in the piece are groups that conflate "hate speech" with "hate crimes." There no such thing as "hate speech" in a legal context and The media has a bad habit of trying to cast first amendment protected speech as criminal.
The first amendment is the foundation to every other right we have. Without it every other right is in jeopardy. I believe that as a society we need to be extremely careful about creating new exceptions to it. I also think that mingling hate speech and hate crime in a reckless way to inflate the scope and severity of the real and troubling problems in our society doesn't help us deal with the problems or consequences of bigotry in a more productive way. If anything it smacks of the exact type of media and dialog manipulation that has gotten us to this point.
Police have recently become a protected class that is protected by hate crimes legislation in some states. is just one aspect of the troubling consequences of a casual and eager acceptance of the criminalization of hate speech.
Besides the "experts" inability to discriminate between criminal conduct and protected speech I have a few other reservations about the claim that we are experiencing a wave of hate crime greater than that which happened during 911. The claim might be true but it's not well supported by this expert analysis. SPLA and CAIR are soliciting information from social media and other sources. Compare social media in 2001 and today and I think that there is a pretty obvious gap in survey methods. Are reports up? You bet your ass they're up.
I don't hate on SPLA or CAIR. They both do important work, work that needs to be done. They have a view point and a bias in which regarding certain types of speech is a crime serves their mission. I do question the quality of USA Today's "journalism" but what else is new. Page views = car and tooth paste sales = more shitty journalism = a less informed and less nuanced public discourse.