August 05, 2020, 04:51:51 PM

Author Topic: Free speech (or not) - and some tea  (Read 3432 times)

Offline Matthew

Re: Free speech (or not) - and some tea
« Reply #90 on: May 30, 2020, 02:18:52 PM »
Actually, it's standard and ancient practice. Consider murder, to take the ready example. The law distinguishes, and has long distinguished, between premeditated and unpremeditated murder. The motivation matters.

Terrorism is another example. It is one thing to kill or injure others. It is quite another to kill or injure them for the purpose of spreading terror in order to further a political cause.

To take a contrary example, the man who steals medicine to help his sick brother is (or can be) treated differently by the law from the man who steals medicine in order to sell it on the black market.

Premeditated and unpremeditated murder does not distinguish motivation at all (you could be killing someone for the same reason). Instead it argues that an 'act of passion' can be mitigated (which I don't agree with) and is more of a factor of mitigation against a murder charge rather than the premeditated being punished more harshly (which is what hate crime legislation does).

Terrorism charges are actually a good example of what I mean though. Why is it different? If you kill dozens of people you should be punished the same if you do it for terrorism or in some sort of criminal gang (only real example I could think of why else you'd need to kill so many). Terrorism legislation was more thought up as a way of holding people for longer without trial or conclusive evidence, which many very liberal people agree is wrong.

And that last example I've already covered, but it counts as a mitigating factor, not a harsher punishment for people who steal to sell.

Mitigation is one thing, but creating laws to specifically punish intent is morally wrong.

---

Honestly, yes, racial slurs are racist. This is the one part where intent doesn't matter, the terms are inherently racist. Don't wanna be racist, don't use 'em. And laws like this one underline that racism and racial slurs are unacceptable and work to denormalise them.
So intent only matters when you think it should?

Lots of points after this post also focus on what is considered to be an offensive slur, someone may say something without the intent of being racist, but by your argument they should be punished more regardless. You've tacitly agreed with skip's points about premeditation, surely that should also apply here? but it doesn't because you're basically saying "THEY ARE WRONG AND I AM RIGHT AND THAT'S ALL THERE IS TO IT?"

---

One more thing, if you want to know why these words are so powerful, look to Magnus' post:
for hundreds of years it was used to refer to someone who was at the short end of a massive power imbalance. The word was used to categorise someone according what was at the time an indisputable 'fact': having black skin made you inferior, less than human.
They came from a time when the law legally treated them differently. That is exactly what hate crime legislation is doing. It is saying that they are weak and they need our protection, which can only add further feelings of superiority to certain people's views.

Let's take this to an outrageous place... women. Many violent men wouldn't dream of hitting a woman but would have no problem with hitting a man weaker than one. That's because women are considered by and large to be the weaker sex (physically at least). Does this mean that we should have legislation that punishes men for hitting women more than they are punished for hitting a man? I myself find the idea of hitting a woman to be worse (as I do the idea of attacking someone based on race), but should we put into law that women are weaker? or should we settle with the laws we have that punish violent crime equally...


---

Open question: Does anybody here actually expect hate crime laws to act as a deterrent? My experience is that people who would go around doing it don't exactly think things through or they'd understand how stupid they were being in the first place.

Offline cupiscent

Re: Free speech (or not) - and some tea
« Reply #91 on: May 31, 2020, 01:00:55 AM »
Occidental literally means from the west.

West of what? West of me is more Australia and, eventually, South Africa. Does that mean I get to call Saffies Occidentals? Can they call me Oriental? This is my point: the terms imply a frame of reference that is subjective, rather than objective. They are seated in a "Europe gets to define the terms of the world" mindset. They are not objective terms.

Similarly, I've called myself an "Antipodean", but calling Australia the opposite side of the world is also seated in a European mindset and completely meaningless to, say, Asian countries, for whom we're just southern neighbours. While there's a sociopolitical historical reason for Australia to define itself with reference to Europe, that gets in the way of updating our national identity to one that's more meaningful for our current circumstances, not to mention sort of insulting to the native people who were here long before Europeans arrived. And defining the entirety of Asia as just being "to the east" is downright insulting to a wide array of peoples who have their own rich, deep, nuanced and independent histories.

Though on that note, I'm totally going to start calling my West Australian friends Occidentals.

Honestly, yes, racial slurs are racist. This is the one part where intent doesn't matter, the terms are inherently racist. Don't wanna be racist, don't use 'em. And laws like this one underline that racism and racial slurs are unacceptable and work to denormalise them.
So intent only matters when you think it should?

Lots of points after this post also focus on what is considered to be an offensive slur, someone may say something without the intent of being racist, but by your argument they should be punished more regardless. You've tacitly agreed with skip's points about premeditation, surely that should also apply here? but it doesn't because you're basically saying "THEY ARE WRONG AND I AM RIGHT AND THAT'S ALL THERE IS TO IT?"

I don't think intent applies to racism. You can be racist without intending to be. It's really easy. That's why it's important to talk about what things can be hurtful and racist. I think intentional racism is worse - like any behaviour where the intent is to cause harm - and should be punished as such, but intent or otherwise does not change the hurt caused by the racist behaviour or speech.

Honestly, it's like any other sort of unintentional damage - if you trod on the back of someone's shoe by accident and broke it, you'd be apologetic and more careful in future. If you say or do something hurtful by accident, be apologetic and more careful in future. Too often, the response is rather, "How dare you suggest I did that intentionally." It also doesn't matter if the shoe should have been stronger or you think it was inappropriate for this setting. You still broke the shoe.

In the hypothetical case in question - racism accompanying assault - I think the intent to cause harm is made obvious by the assault.

It's also worth noting that aggravated assault doesn't always equal more punishment than "simple" assault - these things are also at the discretion of the judicial system. Aggravation might mean a broader scope of punishments are available, but a judge will take many factors into consideration while sentencing.

Offline JMack

  • Hircum Magna Rex of the Fabled Atku Temple, and writing contest regular
  • Writing Group
  • Big Wee Hag
  • ******
  • Posts: 7189
  • Total likes: 4891
  • Gender: Male
  • Our daily efforts are love poems to the universe.
    • View Profile
    • Tales of Starlit Lands
Re: Free speech (or not) - and some tea
« Reply #92 on: May 31, 2020, 03:27:30 AM »
Quote
Open question: Does anybody here actually expect hate crime laws to act as a deterrent? My experience is that people who would go around doing it don't exactly think things through or they'd understand how stupid they were being in the first place.

It seems to me that criminal statutes serve three purposes, and not only for deterrence. One is deterrence; Don’t do this, or else. The next is protection; you’ve done this, so we’re taking out of circulation for a time so there won’t be more victims. And finally, to establish a sense of norms. We value not doing these things; we value this so much, that those who transgress will face consequences.

I agree that criminalizing hate When associated with a crime is unlikeLy to serve as an incremental deterrent. However, the second and third purposes I’ve offered above have some relevance for hate crimes. Prevent more victims; set norms.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2020, 03:30:29 AM by JMack »
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)
www.starlit-lands.com

Offline Peat

Re: Free speech (or not) - and some tea
« Reply #93 on: May 31, 2020, 12:43:26 PM »

Mitigation is one thing, but creating laws to specifically punish intent is morally wrong.

Why?
This is the blog of Peat - http://peatlong.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline Skip

Re: Free speech (or not) - and some tea
« Reply #94 on: May 31, 2020, 02:04:55 PM »
>Mitigation is one thing, but creating laws to specifically punish intent is morally wrong.

Laws against fraud of various sorts might be counted. The intent is to defraud and that's the punishment. Aiding and abetting might be another example.

Also, there's a whole world of discussion on the topic of whether morals should outweigh law.
Visit Altearth

Offline Peat

Re: Free speech (or not) - and some tea
« Reply #95 on: May 31, 2020, 05:56:42 PM »
But most Anglo-derived societies clutch their pearls at the idea of demonstrating compassion for drug addicts, so it's politically impossible to actually attempt.

Kinda tangential, but I wonder how true it is of society in large, or at least here. Virtually everybody I know is a social drug user, or has been at some point, and I think most of us know at least one recovering addict (or addict that needs to recover). I'm pretty sure the polls show the majority of the country support legalised cannabis use too.

The big issue is that there's just a big enough section of the population who would go mental that politicians aren't interested, and it's easy enough to live a happy drug involved life that not many people are that bothered.
This is the blog of Peat - http://peatlong.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline Bender

Re: Free speech (or not) - and some tea
« Reply #96 on: June 01, 2020, 02:54:32 AM »

So intent only matters when you think it should?



Intent matters when law says it should. Rightly so. It's not a one size fits all which would be absurd. Having such nuances if hallmark of a good legal system.
"I shall hunt your firstborn children and laugh with glee as I tell them of your death in terrible detail, with many unpleasant adjectives!" - M-Bot

"Who needs science when you have a dragon?" - Neil DeGrasse Tyson in Sharknado 6

Offline Rostum

Re: Free speech (or not) - and some tea
« Reply #97 on: July 04, 2020, 02:34:44 PM »
Well Rebecca Long Bailey was sacked from the Shadow Government for retweeting an interview with Maxine Peake and calling her an absolute diamond. The interview is claimed to have an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory within it.

So Shadow Education secretary and Labour Leadership contender sacked for anti-Semitism, or actually sacked  for a Tweet supporting someone who in their 10:00 interview claimed Mossad was training USA police. Labour has a history of anti-Semitism or at least of trying to hold Israel to account. Their opponents are very good at blurring the two. Now I despise Rebecca's politics. She is part of the momentum group who have gutted the Labour Party and have turned it into something unelectable. I am not sure this was warranted. Had she have watched the whole video she may not of re-tweeted it. Had Maxine Peake said 'this is a Krav Maga technique instead of making a ludicrous leap of faith about something she doesn't really know about. That said cancel culture is her game and if you swim with sharks sooner or later you're going to get eaten.

Now David Starkey responded to a silly question claiming slavery was genocide. To which he responded by saying if that were the case there wouldn't be so many damn blacks in America or Africa. Now I suspect he was annoyed by the question and responded in irritation. He has lost his job his visiting lecturer rights and been dropped by his publisher who is threatening to delete his back catalogue. That said Starkey has form and has made unpalatable comments before and while the woke Jacobins trying to delete our history are sure to be celebrating the victory of cancelling somebody who actually knows about history we are all likely to be less informed about it.

Cambridge University which have sacked and attacked Starkey recently defended Dr. Priyamvada Gopal who tweeted 'White Lives Don't Matter' until it was taken down by twitter. Can we have a little consistency in this insanity particularly as people have been cancelled for saying 'All Lives Matter' as that is obviously racist.

As a side note Grimes who was interviewing Starkey and didn't pull him up on this was described on the BBC as a right wing commentator who offers a safe space to Homophobes and Racists needless to say he is suing and will win, but the BBC gave up impartiality a while back and does more opinion than news.

Offline cupiscent

Re: Free speech (or not) - and some tea
« Reply #98 on: July 05, 2020, 12:50:33 AM »
Cancel culture is a problem. Cancel culture is a people problem, not a twitter problem, though twitter exacerbates it.

Cancel culture is not the same as holding people accountable for the hurtful and downright stupid things they say. (That genocide comment is an idiotic thing for an intelligent and educated man to allow himself to say. As a historian, he should know that genocide takes many forms.)

This was the first I'd heard of Priyamvada Gopal, and her tweet in full context makes a certain amount of sense. White lives don't matter as white lives. It's not race when it's white. I thought you'd actually agree with that, Rostum, given some of the points you've been making regarding the BLM movement and how the race card isn't played when someone white is killed by police.

Offline Skip

Re: Free speech (or not) - and some tea
« Reply #99 on: July 05, 2020, 04:31:33 PM »
>Cancel culture is a people problem, not a twitter problem, though twitter exacerbates it.
I agree, but I think technology plays a perhaps larger role here.

That phrase "cancel culture" is worth examining. People have long tried to affect the fortunes of a company (less so individuals) by taking common action. That's what a boycott is. You don't find boycotts in the Middle Ages because there was no way to organize mass actions save by word of mouth. So, a peasant revolt could spread over the course of weeks, but those were rebellions and were poorly targeted. Boycotts come into their own with the advent of mass communication--radio and TV, and became effective when mass media news services began to cover such movements. Caesar Chavez comes to mind.

The dynamics changed, imo, not so much with the advent of Twitter but with the coming of subscription services. Cancel movements are effective in part because they can be communicated so quickly, but also because the people at the receiving end can cancel with just a click or two. Unsubscribing doesn't take much effort. So both the call and the response can happen quickly but also effortlessly.

Which means also comparatively thoughtlessly.
Visit Altearth

Offline Peat

Re: Free speech (or not) - and some tea
« Reply #100 on: July 09, 2020, 05:54:04 PM »
Well Rebecca Long Bailey was sacked from the Shadow Government for retweeting an interview with Maxine Peake and calling her an absolute diamond. The interview is claimed to have an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory within it.

So Shadow Education secretary and Labour Leadership contender sacked for anti-Semitism, or actually sacked  for a Tweet supporting someone who in their 10:00 interview claimed Mossad was training USA police. Labour has a history of anti-Semitism or at least of trying to hold Israel to account. Their opponents are very good at blurring the two. Now I despise Rebecca's politics. She is part of the momentum group who have gutted the Labour Party and have turned it into something unelectable. I am not sure this was warranted. Had she have watched the whole video she may not of re-tweeted it. Had Maxine Peake said 'this is a Krav Maga technique instead of making a ludicrous leap of faith about something she doesn't really know about. That said cancel culture is her game and if you swim with sharks sooner or later you're going to get eaten.


Just on this one - the actual point at which it became an anti-Semitic thing was the claim that the technique itself used for killing George Floyd was specifically taught by Israeli forces. Not that Israeli forces have trained US police - of course they have, international training is common - but that specific technique. It is a claim without evidence; Peake said she got the evidence from Amnesty International, which they've denied. It ties into anti-Semitic conspiracies about how the Jews are behind the continued violence to and oppression of other peoples. It mightn't be a particularly common one that everyone knows about, but Long-Bailey is a frontline politician in a party with anti-Semitism problems and has far less excuse for ignorance on the score.

So yes, it is anti-Semitic, and there is a ton of criticism of Israel in Britain at the moment that isn't.

As for the idea that a politician getting sacked for saying something that puts their party in a compromising position - and then refusing to apologise, and not taking the leader's calls about the matter - being anything other than a standard part of politics - I have nothing.
This is the blog of Peat - http://peatlong.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline cupiscent

Re: Free speech (or not) - and some tea
« Reply #101 on: August 01, 2020, 04:00:50 AM »
Intriguing examples of free speech going on right now with the Hugo Award ceremony!

George R R Martin and Robert Silverberg are exercising their right to free speech by telling anecdotes praising John W Campbell (for whom the new-writer award used to be named, until last year's discussion about how Campbell was pretty racist prompted Astounding/Dell Magazines to sponsor and rename the award).

And a lot of the people watching are exercising their right to free speech by pointing out that this is a wildly insensitive thing to be doing.

Offline Rostum

Re: Free speech (or not) - and some tea
« Reply #102 on: August 02, 2020, 02:22:12 AM »
A frank exchange of opinion is a good thing as far as I am concerned.

Edit: Oh OK seen something on this. GRRM refuses to apologize to twitter hate mob wishing death on him like the kind compassionate, inclusive and well-balanced individuals they are.

AS a 'cishet' old white man of course he is a racist, misogynist, sexist, a transphobe  and probably kept slaves as well from wherever he colonized.

In fact because a few on Twitter say so lets burn all his books.
« Last Edit: Today at 12:20:13 PM by Rostum »