The Gross National Debt

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hating on the roaches

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The United States is not the only country in the world in which hate speech is protected. Here's the Wikipedia roundup of hate speech laws. Even in the US, hate speech is not an absolute.

In a recent FB thread some folks from other countries lambasted the US for allowing hate speech.

I replied with a comment from Rowan (Mr. Bean, Black Adder) Atkinson. "The right to offend is greater than the right to not be offended."

This did not sit well with them.

The problem with anti hate speech laws is twofold.

1) Who defines the offense and what is offensive?

That's an entirely subjective matter. When law is based on subjective concepts, then determination  of facts goes out the window and the judiciary must rely on the nebulous concept of feelings.

I point out here that Pre Menstrual Syndrome has been used as an adequate defense in court cases. OK, this has not been done in the US, but those saying we need anti hate speech law base their argument on what other countries, like the UK, have done.

Again, you set the rules. I apply them equally. If you get to pick from other countries, I do too.

The use of certain mood-altering drugs have been used as a defense and people have been sentenced, against their will, to take such drugs.

With the evidence now quite solidly on my side, I ask, do you really want a PMS'ing person jacked to the gills on psychotropic drugs to decide what is offensive and what is not?

Beyond that, why is one person's feelings more important than another's?

If you demand someone cannot speak their mind because it is hate speech, then I am offended. I am offended anytime someone cannot have their say.

When you start deciding whose feelings are more important, then you start placing differing values on human life. Go there if you want to, just know I'm going to be there applying the same rules to you.

2) Roaches run from the light.

By outlawing hate speech, those who believe in their hate are forced to go underground, to hide, to avoid the light of day and the scrutiny which comes with it.

Westboro Baptist Church these days is Target One for the anti-hate speech crowd.

Really? You want these people to spew their vitriol in private? Where they can't be seen? Where they plot behind closed doors? Where you have no idea what they are doing?

Not me. I say let 'em out in the open. Put them where I can see them. Watch them. Learn what they are doing. Be ready to react with appropriate measures when they cross a line.

Do not make them hide. Let them expose themselves and their agenda. Give them publicity.

By exposing them and their rhetoric, we can justifiably judge them by their own standards and apply their own measures of justice to them. If we force them to hide, we deny ourselves the satisfaction of doing unto them as they do unto us.

Or, if you prefer, do unto them as we would have them do unto us. I can go either way on this one.

Unfortunately, both reactions can rightly be considered hate speech, which is yet another reason hate speech needs to be free an unfettered.

Lemme also point this out. Every country I am aware of with hate speech rules also has overt government control of the media.

In closing, I ask you this: Do you want government telling you what you can and cannot say?

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