From a UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center study titled Hate Speech on Commercial Talk Radio:
Types of Hate SpeechWhat a definition! And this is their example:
We identified four types of speech that, through negative statements, create a climate of hate and prejudice: (1) false facts [including "simple falsehoods, exaggerated statements, or decontextualized facts [that] rendered the statements misleading"], (2) flawed argumentation, (3) divisive language, and (4) dehumanizing metaphors (table 1).
Table 1. Analysis of Hate Speech from The John & Ken Show
"And this is all under the Gavin Newsom administration and the Gavin Newsom policy in San Francisco of letting underage illegal alien criminals loose" (from the July 21, 2008, broadcast).
Vulnerable group: foreign nationals (undocumented people).
Social institutions: policy and political organizations (city policy and mayor's office).
The sanctuary policy preceded Gavin Newsom's tenure as San Francisco's mayor, and neither Newsom nor the sanctuary policy supports "letting underage illegal alien criminals loose."
Guilt by association is used to make the hosts' point. Undocumented youth and those who are perceived as their endorsers at the institutional level are stigmatized by being associated with criminality.
Criminalized undocumented youth and their perceived validators (Gavin Newsom and the sanctuary policy) are depicted as a threat to San Francisco citizens, setting up an "us versus them" opposition.
ANALYSIS The language depicts the hosts' targets (undocumented people, city policy, and Mayor Gavin Newsom) as dangerous, criminal, and collusive. In addition, the focus of that policy (undocumented people) becomes reduced to "underage illegal alien criminals."
So describing a policy as involving "letting underage illegal alien criminals loose" is now "hate speech" aimed not just at underage illegal alien criminals but at all "illegal alien[s]." The vagueness and potential breadth of the phrase "hate speech" is a pretty substantial reason -- though just one among many -- to resist the calls for a "hate speech" exception to the First Amendment. And the vagueness and potential breadth is also a reason to be skeptical of uses of the phrase even outside the law: It's very easy to define "hate speech" as you like (or leave it undefined, as some arguments do), and use it to condemn people who express a wide range of views that you disapprove of.
The National Hispanic Media Coalition seems to be using the study to buttress its call for an FCC investigation into "hate speech" against Hispanics. The NHMC asserts that it's not calling for restrictions on such speech or reintroduction of the Fairness Doctrine, but only wants the FCC to "collect ... information and data about hate speech in the media." Bt just on the page before it sys that "hate speech undermines the public interest," and that "hate speech that contains false and misleading information" could violate the FCC policy against "rigging or slanting the news." Such policy violations may lead to a station's losing its license, as would a finding that the station is disserving the public interest.
Even more likely, such findings (or likely future findings) by the FCC will often lead to a station's feeling pressured to stop such supposedly "misleading" "hate speech" in order to avoid even a modest risk of losing its license and thus losing its shareholders' investment. Given the degree to which "hate speech" has become a term in the legal debate and not just in discussions of morality or media ethics, labeling speech (especially speech on licensed broadcasters) as "hate speech" can trigger legal regulation and not just public condemnation.
Note, incidentally, that illegal entry into the U.S. is generally itself a federal crime, though usually a misdemeanor, and one that a minor may have a defense to if he is young enough when he enters; perhaps the radio broadcasters were making the claim that most illegal aliens are criminals simply by virtue of their illegal entry. Or perhaps not -- the study offers no context for the quote that can help readers see whether its critique of the quote is right, or whether the quote is itself a "decontextualized fact" that might paint a misleading picture of what the speakers were saying.