Bias Response Team: What is Bias? 13-14

Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech School: Humboldt State University Statement Rating: Yellow

Relevant excerpt

Bias-related incidents are completed, attempted, or threatened abusive or hostile acts against persons, property, or an institution that involve a target, or targets, selected on the basis of an individual’s or group’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, age, gender, ethnic/regional/national origin group, nationality, disability status, sex or sexual orientation (including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender).

An area of concern, but one which is particularly difficult for universities to deal with, is the area of “Hate Speech.” This area is difficult because of the nation’s deep commitment to free speech and all universities’ particular focus on free speech as a major component in the university learning environment. We believe that we can both maintain respect for free speech and engage a fruitful concern for “hate speech.” With this in mind, we define Hate Speech as: Hate speech is speech, text, images (written/spoken) presented in public that are designed to incite hatred, violence, contempt, or severe ridicule towards, or to intimidate or create terror or fear among members of racial, religious, or other groups (such as sexual minorities). Having an ongoing discussion of what constitutes bias and hate speech, in the context of the preservation of free speech, is an imperative part of the process of creating and maintaining a just and inclusive learning community.

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