Freedom of speech is a cornerstone of a democratic society. Limitations to it should be carefully considered - in the end, a society has to stand or fall on the strengths of its people, not on what they are allowed or forbidden to say. Plus, there is the problem of who decides what is hate speech. Why is ridiculing some minorities considered hate speech, yet ridiculing rednecks and hillbillies considered acceptable... even funny?
Hate speech should not be forbidden. It should be broadcast in public, for all to judge and see as originating from stupidity and spite. Forbidding a thought from being spoken will not stop the thought. Only exposing hate thoughts in public and discrediting them with fact, will we eliminate them.
That is what happened with a racial epithet from years past: 'chinaman'. Once used to convey the same inferior, subhuman connotations of racial epithets we fear as hate speech, that term has expired not out of fear, but because Asians have proven it utterly wrong. You'd have to be a complete moron to consider Asians inferior to anyone else today.
What a pity all racial epithets can't simply expire and disappear, like 'chinaman'. Their negative meaning is equally as stupid.
Identity politics is a different matter. It may well be an offshoot of our information age, an attempt to distill down information overload into a simple, easy to understand label.
Identity politics do fit in nicely with the current habit of seeking reinforcement rather than perspective. In the US, the two most popular 'news agencies' both have a distinct political slant. Reinforcement, not perspective, on the part of a lot of people.
We as a society are surrounding ourselves with 'yes-men' (or yes-women) by doing this... only what we want to hear. Identity politics may be a natural extension of this seeking reinforcement instead of perspective, wrapped up in a word or phrase. Makes it easy to disregard contradictory indicators. Just use the identity, don't look at how it came to be.
How does identity politics conflict with freedom of speech? It doesn't. One is free to slap a convenient label on anyone to categorize them. It is up to the individual to decide if the label is accurate, or to simply accept a convenient label rather than look into the situation themselves. Again, that depends upon whether one is seeking reinforcement or truth.
One can easily demonize a group for being 'racist' or 'evil' today with cherry picked identity labels designed to convey that image, and ignore the fact that these labels have been constructed with the same narrow, bigoted mindset that was once used to label minority ethnic groups. In both cases, the bigotry arises from a group of people seeing only what they want to see, and wrapping that up in a catchy phrase.
Thus, the righteous who embrace those identity politics labels to demonize all who disagree with them, are not measurably different from the racists of decades past. For sure, their methods and closed mindset are the same. Only the target of their ire has changed.
Now, there's a dichotomy.
It all comes back to the individual. If you just seek reinforcement for a preconceived idea, you can find it - served up to you in convenient labels, with lots of profitable click-ads surrounding it. Whatever your inclination, there's a 'news source' for it, and a host of convenient labels to slap on whomever disagrees with it.
If you are seeking what really is, even if it contradicts what you currently believe (as it often will), you have your work cut out for you.