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  #251  
Old 11-02-2019, 03:45 PM
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Including the power to label speech blasphemous, treasonous, 'hate speech', etc. When the state, the church, or other powerful institutions can shut down speech, confiscate weaponry, run kangaroo courts, etc. you have genocides.
I'm sure the genocide heralded by the forbidding of denying the Holocaust is coming any minute now, but so far today it's just been a little grey and rainy.

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Alright, perhaps the being in jail comment was a bit of an exaggeration.
Ya think ?
  #252  
Old 11-02-2019, 03:47 PM
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Remember, I’m arguing that the definition of racist has expanded so much since 1975 that, for about half of the UK, the mere act of voting Leave when considered in isolation is proof enough that someone is a racist.
Nah. It could also be garden variety thickness. Even your quoted colleague left that door open.
  #253  
Old 11-02-2019, 04:09 PM
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Alright, perhaps the being in jail comment was a bit of an exaggeration. Still, the idea that totalitarian states are the most dangerous institutions in the history of peoplekind is something that is too easily dismissed.
Yeah. But notice how you can’t actually discuss the issue without changing the issue to totalitarian countries none of us live in? That means you are losing on the merits.
  #254  
Old 11-02-2019, 04:36 PM
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Yeah. But notice how you can’t actually discuss the issue without changing the issue to totalitarian countries none of us live in? That means you are losing on the merits.
No, it doesn't. Life isn't binary. You think totalitarian or non-totalitarian countries just popped into existence?
  #255  
Old 11-02-2019, 04:49 PM
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Thanks to the concept of free speech we can have this conversation. In the world of hate speech laws one of us would be in prison because of this conversation.
As MrDibble, CarnalK, and others have noted, many of us posting here are in countries that have hate speech laws, and none of us are in jail yet.

In fact I'd say that this comment perfectly encapsulates the ignorance of hate speech laws as actually implemented in those countries that is on display here by those arguing against such laws who clearly don't understand them. The hate speech laws in Canada, for example, have almost never been used, and on the rare occasions when they have been used, no one except perhaps the most hateful and dedicated neo-Nazi would have objected to what they were used for.

One other comment, in the context of Canada, about a much-misunderstood aspect of hate speech laws. A number of cases have been in the media in recent years, perhaps the most famous of which is the complaint brought against Macleans magazine and the writer Mark Steyn by the Canadian Islamic Congress alleging that his series of articles on Islam were Islamophobic. Some of the commentators on these cases don't seem to understand that they have absolutely nothing to do with federal criminal hate speech laws, which, again, have a very high bar and are rarely used. These were entirely civil proceedings under provincial human rights laws in some provinces that are not even adjudicated by courts, but by quasi-judicial bodies called human rights tribunals. I personally think a lot of those laws and the tribunals that administer them are bullshit, but that's an entirely different discussion. Steyn and Macleans ultimately won that case when the BC tribunal dismissed the complaint, but Steyn had stated that he was hoping he'd lose so he could take the matter to a "real court" (his words) where he would undoubtedly have prevailed on the constitutional grounds of free speech -- something that even the silly tribunal seemed to agree with when they sided with Steyn and Macleans. So much for the tyranny of hate speech laws!
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Alright, perhaps the being in jail comment was a bit of an exaggeration. Still, the idea that totalitarian states are the most dangerous institutions in the history of peoplekind is something that is too easily dismissed.
You should have quit after the first ridiculous comment. First you suggest that those of us debating hate speech laws would be in jail in countries that have hate speech laws. Then you suggest that, OK, maybe not, but such countries are on the road to totalitarianism. I have news for you: Canada and the other countries in the top 10 of the Human Freedom Index all have hate speech laws. The US, which is one of the few advanced democracies which does not, and which is almost unique in its belief in free speech absolutism, is down at #17 on the freedom index. The correlation with totalitarianism does not seem to be what you think it is.
  #256  
Old 11-02-2019, 05:01 PM
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No, it doesn't. Life isn't binary. You think totalitarian or non-totalitarian countries just popped into existence?
And you think hate speech laws are a step towards authoritarianism but they are not. The opposite really, as authoritarian governments like using scapegoat groups to rally against. They wouldn't pass a hate speech law and only apply it to their enemies. They'd just arrest people for sedition or something.
  #257  
Old 11-02-2019, 05:15 PM
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No, it doesn't. Life isn't binary. You think totalitarian or non-totalitarian countries just popped into existence?
Is Britain and Canada headed towards autocracy?
  #258  
Old 11-02-2019, 05:28 PM
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The way you all are beating poor ol' octopus in this debate is making me wish for hate speech protections. Ouch! Protect the cephalopod!
  #259  
Old 11-02-2019, 05:37 PM
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Is Britain and Canada headed towards autocracy?
No, definitely not, but according to yet another freedom index, the 2019 World Press Freedom Index, there's one country that might be:
As a result of an increasingly hostile climate that goes beyond Donald Trump’s comments, the United States (48th) has fallen three places in this year’s Index and the media climate is now classified as “problematic” (orange). Never before have US journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security firms for protection. Hatred of the media is now such that a man walked into the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, in June 2018 and opened fire, killing four journalists and one other member of the newspaper’s staff. The gunman had repeatedly expressed his hatred for the paper on social networks before ultimately acting on his words.
Maybe the place needs more free speech.
  #260  
Old 11-02-2019, 05:39 PM
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The way you all are beating poor ol' octopus in this debate is making me wish for hate speech protections. Ouch! Protect the cephalopod!
But again, hate speech laws don't work that way. I know you think you're making a joke but you are assuming the same ridiculous caricature of hate crime laws that you have throughout the thread.
  #261  
Old 11-02-2019, 07:31 PM
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Lenny Bruce is spinning so fast in his grave he may have achieved takeoff velocity.

Richard Nixon Would have loved 'hate speech' laws in the 60's and 70's. Then He could have given it to those campus radicals good and hard, eh? They said lots and lots of hateful things back then,

Hate speech laws are generally advocated by people who believe they have current cultural supremacy and want laws to cement their position. When the left was outside of the mainstream, they believed in total free speech, even going out of their way to be hateful and shocking to make the point. People made All kinds of 'shock art' in the 70's that their targets found hateful, The first amendment was the only thing protecting those people from government persecution.

I'm sure Andre Serrano's 'Piss Christ' was seen as hateful and oppressive hy many Catholics. And certainly drawing a cartoon of Muhammed would be seen as 'hate speech' by many. So are those of you who thjnk hate speech laws are cool would be willing to have the government punish a cartoonish for drawing fhat cartoon? and if so, would you apply the same standard to Serrano, or Lenny Bruce, or George Carlin, or Howard Stern? how about Kathy Griffin holding up a model of the severed head of the president? Should she have been charged with a crime? Would you honestly prefer a world in which these people were charged with crimes for saying what they did?

I prefer a world in which Illinois Nazis only have to worry about Jake and Elwood Blues, not government stormtroopers shutting them down because they engage in badspeak. And I would say the same for Illinois Communists.

Here's a modest proposal: Any party that wants hate speech laws can have them if they allow their opposition to define what is and isn't hateful. After all, if it's so clear cut and non-partisan, that shouldn't be a problem, right?

Last edited by Sam Stone; 11-02-2019 at 07:34 PM.
  #262  
Old 11-02-2019, 07:41 PM
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Lenny Bruce is spinning so fast in his grave he may have achieved takeoff velocity.

Richard Nixon Would have loved 'hate speech' laws in the 60's and 70's. Then He could have given it to those campus radicals good and hard, eh? They said lots and lots of hateful things back then,

[...]

I'm sure Andre Serrano's 'Piss Christ' was seen as hateful and oppressive hy many Catholics. And certainly drawing a cartoon of Muhammed would be seen as 'hate speech' by many. So are those of you who thjnk hate speech laws are cool would be willing to have the government punish a cartoonish for drawing fhat cartoon? and if so, would you apply the same standard to Serrano, or Lenny Bruce, or George Carlin, or Howard Stern? how about Kathy Griffin holding up a model of the severed head of the president? Should she have been charged with a crime? Would you honestly prefer a world in which these people were charged with crimes for saying what they did?
Here, chuck another one on the pile of "categorical opponents of hate speech laws who have no idea what hate speech is"
  #263  
Old 11-02-2019, 07:47 PM
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Here, chuck another one on the pile of "categorical opponents of hate speech laws who have no idea what hate speech is"
The funny part of this is that Sam Stone 's country (Canada) has hate speech laws and they have experienced none of the slippery slope nonsense that Sam envisions.
  #264  
Old 11-02-2019, 09:24 PM
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You’re clearly wrong. You just think Canada is doing fine because the recent genocide of conservative white men has been censored by Supreme Leader Trudeau.
  #265  
Old 11-02-2019, 10:13 PM
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Everybody should be able to say or write whatever the fuck they want.

And everybody should be able to say or write whatever the fuck they want in response to the above.

Nobody can respond to any of the above with physical violence against persons or property.

Case closed. Simple.
  #266  
Old 11-03-2019, 01:40 AM
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Everybody should be able to say or write whatever the fuck they want.

And everybody should be able to say or write whatever the fuck they want in response to the above.

Nobody can respond to any of the above with physical violence against persons or property.

Case closed. Simple.
So let's say I start a flyer campaign to say that Jews are child molesters. I stick a pamphlet in every car in the neighborhood and buy GoogleAds to get clicks on my website. You can just respond with a "Jews aren't pedophiles" flyer campaign? That's how society should respond?

Last edited by CarnalK; 11-03-2019 at 01:45 AM.
  #267  
Old 11-03-2019, 05:04 AM
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YLeavers who voted Out in 2016 for economic reasons are told to stop hiding behind dog whistles and just confess their racism?
No, I believe they're the ones covered by the "...or you're thick" part.
  #268  
Old 11-03-2019, 05:08 AM
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Alright, perhaps the being in jail comment was a bit of an exaggeration. Still, the idea that totalitarian states are the most dangerous institutions in the history of peoplekind is something that is too easily dismissed.
Mate, you've never lived in a totalitarian state.

I have.

And that experience is precisely why I love our hate speech laws.
  #269  
Old 11-03-2019, 05:26 AM
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No, I believe they're the ones covered by the "...or you're thick" part.
So a Leaver who voted Out in 2016 for economic reasons, but who is demonstrably not thick would, by elimination, have to be a racist. Is that what you’re saying?
  #270  
Old 11-03-2019, 08:15 AM
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Sure you can. We see exactly what he’s alluding to on this very board. People are called Nazi or racist or whatever when they advocate for free speech. Think about that. Advocating for individual liberty and a check on state power is now equated, in an intellectually dishonest fashion, with Nazis. It’d be funny if it weren’t having an actual impact in the real world.
Again, without context, it's impossible for me to refute what you're saying, not because what your saying is necessarily valid (or invalid for that matter), but because without context, the rest of us are not there to experience the same set of phenomena that you're referring to. You want us to accept that the way you experienced the phenomena is the way the rest of us should have experienced and interpreted it, which is, as I see it, one of the chief distinctions between modern conservative worldview and that of progressives, or that of people who don't so much identify as (typically white) conservatives.
  #271  
Old 11-03-2019, 08:34 AM
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Lenny Bruce is spinning so fast in his grave he may have achieved takeoff velocity.

Richard Nixon Would have loved 'hate speech' laws in the 60's and 70's. Then He could have given it to those campus radicals good and hard, eh? They said lots and lots of hateful things back then,

Hate speech laws are generally advocated by people who believe they have current cultural supremacy and want laws to cement their position. When the left was outside of the mainstream, they believed in total free speech, even going out of their way to be hateful and shocking to make the point. People made All kinds of 'shock art' in the 70's that their targets found hateful, The first amendment was the only thing protecting those people from government persecution.

I'm sure Andre Serrano's 'Piss Christ' was seen as hateful and oppressive hy many Catholics. And certainly drawing a cartoon of Muhammed would be seen as 'hate speech' by many. So are those of you who thjnk hate speech laws are cool would be willing to have the government punish a cartoonish for drawing fhat cartoon? and if so, would you apply the same standard to Serrano, or Lenny Bruce, or George Carlin, or Howard Stern? how about Kathy Griffin holding up a model of the severed head of the president? Should she have been charged with a crime? Would you honestly prefer a world in which these people were charged with crimes for saying what they did?

I prefer a world in which Illinois Nazis only have to worry about Jake and Elwood Blues, not government stormtroopers shutting them down because they engage in badspeak. And I would say the same for Illinois Communists.

Here's a modest proposal: Any party that wants hate speech laws can have them if they allow their opposition to define what is and isn't hateful. After all, if it's so clear cut and non-partisan, that shouldn't be a problem, right?
Freedom of speech is always going to be valued more by ethnic and political minorities for the obvious reasons. Among other things, freedom of speech is the freedom of a group that has less power to criticize and challenge the group that has the power. Speech is a tool for the group without power to challenge power, which is why you saw progressives creating shock art in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and why you had gangsta rap in Southern California in the late 80s and early 90s. It's a way to push back against the inevitable thuggery of the group that possesses power.

Hate speech laws don't exist to promote Straight Outta Compton albums or Piss Christ paintings; those are artifacts that emerge as a result. They exist so that people don't violence doesn't percolate so easily in the mind before it becomes actual violence. Violence, in and of itself, can be either an individual or social act. A personal dispute, a drug deal gone bad, a bitter custody battle that ends in violence - that's more local. But racial violence is intended to be an act of social violence - always.
  #272  
Old 11-03-2019, 08:49 AM
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So let's say I start a flyer campaign to say that Jews are child molesters. I stick a pamphlet in every car in the neighborhood and buy GoogleAds to get clicks on my website. You can just respond with a "Jews aren't pedophiles" flyer campaign? That's how society should respond?
Yup.
  #273  
Old 11-03-2019, 09:03 AM
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So a Leaver who voted Out in 2016 for economic reasons, but who is demonstrably not thick
Sorry, but that's a self-contradictory statement.

Unless ... you're talking about Boris Johnson's shorting chums, in which case, yes, I was wrong, and I apologize.

I failed to account for the third category of "evil capitalist swine". Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

So, "Racist, or thick, or just plain greedy evil".
  #274  
Old 11-03-2019, 10:23 AM
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Yup.
Is that because you think it's harmless or you think that's the price we must pay for a free society?
  #275  
Old 11-03-2019, 10:25 AM
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Yup.
So the group with the larger ad campaign wins?
  #276  
Old 11-03-2019, 11:24 AM
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So a Leaver who voted Out in 2016 for economic reasons, but who is demonstrably not thick would, by elimination, have to be a racist. Is that what you’re saying?
Stop angling for a gotcha. You're not going to get a debate-winning gotcha. HTH.
Try to argue from sincerely held convictions instead.

Last edited by Kobal2; 11-03-2019 at 11:24 AM.
  #277  
Old 11-03-2019, 11:30 AM
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Sorry, but that's a self-contradictory statement.

Unless ... you're talking about Boris Johnson's shorting chums, in which case, yes, I was wrong, and I apologize.

I failed to account for the third category of "evil capitalist swine". Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

So, "Racist, or thick, or just plain greedy evil".
Don't apologize. Short-term chaos profiteers like Reese-Mogg absolutely fit in the "thick" box. They're a different kind of short-sighted from the usual urrr durrr UK more prosperouser alone set, but still ultimately complete idiots.
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Old 11-03-2019, 12:56 PM
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On The Media had a very good primer on the history of Free Speech and specifically the dangers of Free Speech Absolutism a few weeks back. It is a long listen (three parts) but I think anyone who is interested in the subject would find it very informative and thought provoking. Lots to disagree with but based on lots of great explanations of the history. Transcript here. The second segment is where it gets most informative IMHO.

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JOHN POWELL When Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address, he used the phrase, 'fourscore and seven years ago.' Afterwards, it was a firestorm because people were pissed, some people, because what Lincoln was doing was criticizing the Constitution. Fourscore and seven years ago was the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. And he was saying that the Constitution was a flawed slave document. And he ended by calling for something radically different than essentially a slave Constitution. Here we just had the bloodiest war in U.S. History, is still a war which killed more people than all the other wars combined, and clearly there was an effort to do something radical.



ANDREW MARANTZ The post-Civil War constitution, the one that began with the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, that was supposed to make all people born on U.S. Soil citizens, full citizens with the right to vote, the right to participate fully in democracy. According to these amendments, they now enjoyed equal protection under the law.



JOHN POWELL The 14th Amendment is designed to bring the freed slaves and blacks generally into political community. If you're born in the United States, you are a citizen–full stop.



ANDREW MARANTZ So the problem, according to Powell, is that we never really implemented the post-Civil War constitution fully and the court has never really reckoned with the tensions that can arise when you strengthen one right at the expense of another. So if you consider freedom of speech, you can see how strengthening one person's speech rights can actually limit someone else's ability to participate fully in democracy. If someone's speech terrorizes someone else into silence.



P.E. MOSKOWITZ It's one thing to talk about all these nice and fluffy concepts of free speech and being able to say whatever you want but, in the day to day reality of the United States, that just doesn't exist for many people. ...


... ANDREW MARANTZ The retort of the free speech absolutist is to say, 'well, the best answer to speech you don't like is more speech.' But in practice, it doesn't always work. For instance in the 1970s, as more and more women started to enter the workplace, their male co-workers were often hostile or outright intimidating. So again, this is the tension between the 1st and 14th Amendments, between the right to speech and the right to full public participation. Here, the right of the male co-workers to sexually harass the women in their workplace, which is speech after all, and the rights of those women to fully participate in the workplace. In 1986, the Supreme Court made a decisive turn away from a free speech absolutist position in the case of Meritor Savings Bank, FSB v. Vinson. The court declared unanimously that creating a hostile work environment for women was not protected speech.



JOHN POWELL This actually as a harm, it creates a hostile workplace. Women can't perform. ...


... JOHN POWELL That doctrine was later extended to race but it took a long time. Both of those are saying there are some conditions where you cause harm and can't simply be fixed by more speech.



ANDREW MARANTZ It's not just a workplace issue. If you're an African-American intending to vote and people are holding up signs outside your polling place saying, 'I know where you live.' Those signs are speech but their speech that is designed to diminish your full participation in our democracy. ...


... ANDREW MARANTZ --we live our lives in a lot of private spaces. You know, workplaces, universities even online spaces that are built by private companies. So the First Amendment doesn't apply there in the same way and Benesch thinks that a lot in those spaces can be achieved by shifting norms rather than shifting laws.



SUSAN BENESCH What is the likelihood that an American politician will use the N-word knowing that the microphone is on? The likelihood is very tiny because that person will then lose that election. The person will be punished not by law but in another way.



BROOKE GLADSTONE The norms that were supposed to keep a troll from winning a presidential election didn't quite work in 2016, did it? ...
Today's NYT also has a very pertinent bit that is on point for the subject of this thread re non-governmental attempts of censorship, and the attempt to create norms alluded to above, what I now have learned gets called being "cancelled."


Clearly there is a balance to be had. Speech that restricts others' rights and causes others harms does not an absolute pass over everything else.

Yet some in these discussions only see the harms as they relate to those with POVs that they are sympathetic to. "Cancel" culture is an exercise of speech that can cause harms to others just as the use of hate speech can. "Free Speech" too often means the freedom to say what I want to hear and only that.

There is and will be a tension over what the norms are, evolving standards. It was once okay to use speech that is not okay now and we have not sunk into totalitarianism because there are social norms that get enforced socially for norm violative speech.

If there is an easy way to decide where the line gets drawn though I sure don't see it ... but the discomfort with the fuzzy blurry greyness should not justify retreat into the simplistic comfortable fiction of absolutism to either side.
  #279  
Old 11-03-2019, 01:14 PM
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Being against hate speech laws doesn't necessarily make one a free speech absolutist. I've got no objection to laws relating to harassment in the workplace, libel, slander, or threats.

Out of curiosity, in the last two years how many examples of hate speech do you see in the United States that should be outlawed?
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:24 PM
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OK, let's agree that good hate speech laws are a good thing to have.

Now, is the U.S.government capable of passing effective hate speech laws, laws will actually protect minorities and marginalized groups? In other words, do you guys want Republican-approved hate speech laws?
  #281  
Old 11-03-2019, 01:25 PM
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Being against hate speech laws doesn't necessarily make one a free speech absolutist. I've got no objection to laws relating to harassment in the workplace, libel, slander, or threats.
You just object to laws protecting a class of people being harassed, libeled, slandered or threatened?
  #282  
Old 11-03-2019, 01:38 PM
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OK, let's agree that good hate speech laws are a good thing to have.

Now, is the U.S.government capable of passing effective hate speech laws, laws will actually protect minorities and marginalized groups? In other words, do you guys want Republican-approved hate speech laws?
Most people here don't want Republican approved anything. So this argument is universal for any law or plan.
  #283  
Old 11-03-2019, 01:58 PM
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You just object to laws protecting a class of people being harassed, libeled, slandered or threatened?
There is a difference between threats of violence and ridiculously enforced rules that are triggered by a word. If someone wants to rap along to so-called gangster rap,there should be 0 penalties for doing so as long as that music is legal to produce. People should also have no fear of retribution from the state or violent mobs for political participation. Regardless of the color of hat they wear.
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Old 11-03-2019, 02:06 PM
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There's lots of laws triggered by the use of words. What I'd like to know is why you are fine with laws that protect John Doe from damaging speech but are vehemently opposed to laws protecting gays or jews from damaging speech.
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Old 11-03-2019, 02:09 PM
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There is a difference between threats of violence and ridiculously enforced rules that are triggered by a word. ...
So if there is no threat of violence it is fine?

You then disagree with the SCOTUS ruling in the case of Meritor Savings Bank, FSB v. Vinson? That's the one in which they ruled "unanimously that creating a hostile work environment for women was not protected speech".

No threats of violence there, just hostile speech. Was SCOTUS wrong? Should it be overturned? Consistent with your line of thinking why or why not?
  #286  
Old 11-03-2019, 02:31 PM
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OK, let's agree that good hate speech laws are a good thing to have.

Now, is the U.S.government capable of passing effective hate speech laws, laws will actually protect minorities and marginalized groups? In other words, do you guys want Republican-approved hate speech laws?
Governments (be they GOP or Democratic led) will always be biased to what speech they want to allow or disallow. I suspect those who are very fine with burning the Koran were horrified that burning of the American flag is legal. Being realistically cynical, the new laws that will be passed will most often be ones that protect the interests of those with the power to get them passed, and not ones that protect the speech of those who threaten that power.

So yeah, we should be cautious about new laws. The issue though seems less of new laws than in the interpretation of the laws we have, in how to balance conflicting sets of rights. And how we agree and disagree in how we object to others speech as acceptable social norms.

Whose free speech counts to be protected more?

Here's an example. Somebody with highly offensive beliefs is in a public space to speak, not calling for violence. They have free speech rights. Protesters are there and are yelling over them, disrupting the presentation, not calling for violence. They have free speech rights. The offensive speech causes harms to others. The disruption limits the ability of the speaker to express their ideas, also a harm.

Balance the equation please.
  #287  
Old 11-03-2019, 02:59 PM
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There's lots of laws triggered by the use of words. What I'd like to know is why you are fine with laws that protect John Doe from damaging speech but are vehemently opposed to laws protecting gays or jews from damaging speech.
Exactly. Once you move away from an absolutist position, you have to be able to answer this. Libel and slander laws allow an individual to invoke the power of the state to punish another individual for speech or published information.

Why are defamation laws consistent with the First Amendment, but a law that protects members of a group from harmful speech (e.g. - "I think all members of group X should be rounded up by the government and killed.") would be struck down under the 1st Amendment?
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  #288  
Old 11-03-2019, 03:33 PM
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Why are defamation laws consistent with the First Amendment, but a law that protects members of a group from harmful speech (e.g. - "I think all members of group X should be rounded up by the government and killed.") would be struck down under the 1st Amendment?
Are there a great deal of people in the US today talking about rounding up a particular group and having them killed?
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  #289  
Old 11-03-2019, 03:37 PM
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So... Should people in America be forbidden from drawing cartoons of Muhammed? That's a real life example of hate speech laws squelching speech. How about just saying something derogatory about Islam or Muhammed?

If so, how about anti-semitic speech against Jews? Or are they no longer 'protected'? How about Christians? Should Andres Serrano have been sanctioned in any way for 'hate speech'? If not, why? He certainly offended many Catholics. What if the Catholics started riots or killed people because of 'Piss Christ'? Would that make it hateful enough to ban?

Most places that have hate speech laws define hate speech as hateful speech that is targeted at a 'protected' minority. Who should decide who is a 'protected' minority? The Amish have no power, they get ridiculed regularly. Should they be a protected minority? Or in your world of hate-speech laws will it be legal to say, 'Fuck the Amish', but not 'Fuck the <insert protected group here>'?

These are ultimately political decisions, and they will be made by those in power. If 'hate speech' laws were on the books in the 1950's, do you really believe they would 't have been predominantly used to shut down the left? As it is, people like Lenny Bruce were arrested for obscenity, and many people on the left were saved by tye 'absolutist' 1st Amendment protections that kept overzealous law enforcement from outright jailing them for their 'offensive' speech,

And I'd remind you all that the people who wanted to shut down the speech of the left used exactly the same argument you are using - that unbridled speech would lead to violence, the breakdown of public order, etc.

There will come a time when the worst government you can imagine will wind up in power, And no, it's not Trump. Trump is too hated, too marginalized, and too opposed by his own bureaucracy to really have the power to do anything sweeping.. Imagine a smarter, more controlled Trump, coming to power at a time when the country has moved back to the right and gives him huge support to 'crack down' on left-wing speech. At that time, you will be very happy to have the protections of an absolutist 1st amendment.

Last edited by Sam Stone; 11-03-2019 at 03:38 PM.
  #290  
Old 11-03-2019, 03:56 PM
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You just object to laws protecting a class of people being harassed, libeled, slandered or threatened?
I certainly have no problem with laws against threats of imminent violence against an individual or group but we already have those laws. None of us has a right to go through life without being offended. If someone says homosexuality is an abomination before God and they will burn in hell if they don't amend their wicked ways is that hate speech? If I go to vote and someone close to the polling place has a sign stating how terrible atheist are is that a hate speech? If someone decides to hold a rally and burns thousands of copies of the Quran is that a hate speech?
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  #291  
Old 11-03-2019, 03:56 PM
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So... Should people in America be forbidden from drawing cartoons of Muhammed? That's a real life example of hate speech laws squelching speech. How about just saying something derogatory about Islam or Muhammed?

If so, how about anti-semitic speech against Jews? Or are they no longer 'protected'? How about Christians? Should Andres Serrano have been sanctioned in any way for 'hate speech'? If not, why? He certainly offended many Catholics. What if the Catholics started riots or killed people because of 'Piss Christ'? Would that make it hateful enough to ban?

Most places that have hate speech laws define hate speech as hateful speech that is targeted at a 'protected' minority. Who should decide who is a 'protected' minority? The Amish have no power, they get ridiculed regularly. Should they be a protected minority? Or in your world of hate-speech laws will it be legal to say, 'Fuck the Amish', but not 'Fuck the <insert protected group here>'?

These are ultimately political decisions, and they will be made by those in power. If 'hate speech' laws were on the books in the 1950's, do you really believe they would 't have been predominantly used to shut down the left? As it is, people like Lenny Bruce were arrested for obscenity, and many people on the left were saved by tye 'absolutist' 1st Amendment protections that kept overzealous law enforcement from outright jailing them for their 'offensive' speech,

And I'd remind you all that the people who wanted to shut down the speech of the left used exactly the same argument you are using - that unbridled speech would lead to violence, the breakdown of public order, etc.

There will come a time when the worst government you can imagine will wind up in power, And no, it's not Trump. Trump is too hated, too marginalized, and too opposed by his own bureaucracy to really have the power to do anything sweeping.. Imagine a smarter, more controlled Trump, coming to power at a time when the country has moved back to the right and gives him huge support to 'crack down' on left-wing speech. At that time, you will be very happy to have the protections of an absolutist 1st amendment.
How come none of this has come to pass in Canada yet? Are you guys just very lucky?
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Old 11-03-2019, 04:01 PM
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So... Should people in America be forbidden from drawing cartoons of Muhammed? That's a real life example of hate speech laws squelching speech. How about just saying something derogatory about Islam or Muhammed?
I would say something "derogatory" is far too low a bar for a hate speech legislation. Especially if it's directed towards the actual religion or an historical figure.

Could you flesh out your real life example? I assume you mean the Danish cartoons but they were actually published, no? Am I misremembering or was there a different incident?

Last edited by CarnalK; 11-03-2019 at 04:05 PM.
  #293  
Old 11-03-2019, 04:04 PM
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Are there a great deal of people in the US today talking about rounding up a particular group and having them killed?
That's a factual question.

My post asks a constitutional/legal question: why can one citizen invoke the power of the state to punish another person for speech that harms the first person's reputation, but it would be contrary to the First Amendment to allow a group to invoke the power of the state to stop another person from calling for the members of the group to be killed?

Does the First Amendment value reputation more than personal safety?
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  #294  
Old 11-03-2019, 04:14 PM
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Being realistically cynical, the new laws that will be passed will most often be ones that protect the interests of those with the power to get them passed, and not ones that protect the speech of those who threaten that power.
This.

Hate speech laws are something that sound great in theory - but will almost certainly not be applied evenly or equally in practice - and furthermore, many of the proponents of hate-speech laws do not intend such laws to be applied evenly or equally.
  #295  
Old 11-03-2019, 04:28 PM
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Sam Stone -

There is no absolutist First Amendment right. Period.

Debate how to balance the conflicting demands of Free Speech and Equal Protections and harms.

Few I think are in fact advocating for more hate speech laws in America because Sam Stone, the laws that were on the books HAVE been used to squelch dissent. From my linked transcript of the On The Media episode:
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In the middle of the First World War, there was an activist named Charles Schenck who is handing out anti-war flyers urging men to evade the draft. He was sentenced to jail for violating the new Espionage Act, which banned interference with military operations or recruitment. Schenck said that the act infringed on his First Amendment rights. But the Supreme Court upheld the conviction. In fact, one justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote an opinion saying that Schenck's pamphlets met a quote, 'clear and present danger standard and that therefore the government could send Schenck to jail.' Holmes compared non-violent political protest to shouting fire falsely in a crowded theater.
I love our flag and what it stands for. But I am struck by the fact that those who screamed about Free Speech in defense of that Florida pastor who burned a Koran also were very likely strong supporters of passing an amendment to outlaw burning the American flag. I object to the ideas that are being expressed in both cases and each, as offensive as each is, must be equally allowed.

To argue that it is far prefered to err in the direction of Free Speech over Harms, maybe even over equality of protection in some cases, is reasonable. But the discussion is where the harms are great enough and who gets to decide it, on what basis; the absolutist position is untenable.
  #296  
Old 11-03-2019, 04:35 PM
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I certainly have no problem with laws against threats of imminent violence against an individual or group but we already have those laws. None of us has a right to go through life without being offended. If someone says homosexuality is an abomination before God and they will burn in hell if they don't amend their wicked ways is that hate speech? If I go to vote and someone close to the polling place has a sign stating how terrible atheist are is that a hate speech? If someone decides to hold a rally and burns thousands of copies of the Quran is that a hate speech?
You conveniently sidestepped all those others in the list that weren't threats of violence. Regardless, I wouldn't defend a hate speech law that made mere offensiveness a crime. Why do you think it has to be that broad? As it happens, the UK did initially have "insult" as part of their legislation but it was removed 5 years ago. The Canadian legislation would certainly require more than what you example for charges to be laid.
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Old 11-03-2019, 04:40 PM
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That's a factual question.

My post asks a constitutional/legal question: why can one citizen invoke the power of the state to punish another person for speech that harms the first person's reputation, but it would be contrary to the First Amendment to allow a group to invoke the power of the state to stop another person from calling for the members of the group to be killed?

Does the First Amendment value reputation more than personal safety?
I think you're missing the difference between hate speech and incitement to violence.

Incitement is generally illegal. That's a call for people to commit a crime with the reasonable expectation that some people who hear the call will commit that crime.

But hate speech may not be calling for any illegal action. It may just be generally abusive such as saying black people are inferior to white people. Or it could be advocating for an act which while racist, is not illegal; like calling for the return of segregation or the banning of interracial marriages. These are hate speech but they're not incitement.
  #298  
Old 11-03-2019, 04:46 PM
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How come none of this has come to pass in Canada yet? Are you guys just very lucky?
How come they still have hate and racism in Canada then?


Note who our President is.
  #299  
Old 11-03-2019, 04:46 PM
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I think you're missing the difference between hate speech and incitement to violence.

Incitement is generally illegal. That's a call for people to commit a crime with the reasonable expectation that some people who hear the call will commit that crime.

But hate speech may not be calling for any illegal action. It may just be generally abusive such as saying black people are inferior to white people. Or it could be advocating for an act which while racist, is not illegal; like calling for the return of segregation or the banning of interracial marriages. These are hate speech but they're not incitement.
Things can be an incitement to violence without being explicit. If I go around saying a specific person or a group of people are child molesters, I am putting them at an increased level of being assaulted. Do you disagree?

Last edited by CarnalK; 11-03-2019 at 04:47 PM.
  #300  
Old 11-03-2019, 05:00 PM
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I would say something "derogatory" is far too low a bar for a hate speech legislation. Especially if it's directed towards the actual religion or an historical figure.

Could you flesh out your real life example? I assume you mean the Danish cartoons but they were actually published, no? Am I misremembering or was there a different incident?
In 2006, the publisher of the Western Standard in Canada was forced to defend himself against an Alberta Human Rights Tribunal for publishing those cartoons. He eventually won, but he had to spend thousands on lawyers to win.
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