America’s Hate Preachers: On BBC3

This is a documentary I watched via the BBC iPlayer on TV a couple of weeks back and I was disgusted by what I saw. The only thoughts I can use to describe this are that it’s absolutely shaming that these people depicted in the documentary are even allowed to go out onto the streets, let alone preach their toxic, bigoted views at sermons. In one part of the documentary one of the so-called ‘messengers of the lord’ claims that the people who were killed at the Bataclan massacre had it coming because they were listening to death metal; “there’s something about when you go to a concert of death metal somebody might get killed”, even claiming that if you’re a fan of death metal you’re somehow worshiping both death and Satan. Seriously, what a load of complete rubbish. This very same man and others like him take to the streets to preach hate about the LGBT communities claiming that they’re disgusting people and even harass them at given opportunities. A group of them launched verbal attacks during a Pride march. During the documentary one of them attacks Islam and harasses American Muslims, racially abusing them calling them terrorists, like they’ve not got enough rubbish to deal with already. What I find annoying about this is that they claim that they’re practising their right to free-speech. As many others would tell you that when you use free-speech to attack minority groups it isn’t actually free-speech but hate-speech. You’re attacking them and in doing so encouraging others to do the same. I’m saying this openly both as a gay man and supporter of the LGBT community that these sort of people don’t need to be so much as challenged but stopped from spreading their hateful, toxic rhetoric. For me, I’ve always thought of America (and Canada) as land of the free where people can be who they truly are, but with these bigots spewing their hate-filled messages that’s not the case. Until authorities can actually learn the difference between free-speech and hate-speech many of these problems won’t be going away and things won’t be getting any better for minority groups anytime soon.

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