Washington D.C., Oct 26, 2009 / 17:28 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The Department of Communications of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has said it did not join a petition to the FCC which called for discussion over “hate speech” and its alleged role in violence. Some critics of the petition have cast it as an effort to shut down radio show hosts like Rush Limbaugh.
The Department of Communications told CNA on Monday that they had sent their own letter noting the “serious constitutional and regulatory problems” associated with regulating alleged hate speech.
The So We Might See Coalition, of which the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Department of Communications is a member, had organized a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski. The letter and its related petition asked the FCC to open a “notice of inquiry into hate speech in the media” and to update a 1993 report on the role of telecommunications in hate crimes.
The coalition said it is concerned about the possible connection between “hate speech” and violent crimes. It commented that immigrant, minority and religious segments of the population are often targeted by hate speech before being targeted by physical hate crimes.
The letter noted a June 2006 incident in which four teenagers posed as federal agents and asked two Mexican men for their green cards. The teens then beat and robbed the two men, accusing them of stealing jobs from U.S. citizens.