Discrimination (from garden path thread and elsewhere)

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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

Post by jal »

cunningham wrote:cultural Marxism

Well, that just ended this discussion pretty quickly.


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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

Post by cunningham »

jal wrote:Well, that just ended this discussion pretty quickly.


I guess I win then, eh? :mrgreen:

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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

Post by mèþru »

cunningham wrote:You're not being systematically thrown off buildings by Muslims. Nobody is throwing rocks at you. You have the same rights as everyone else. You. are. not. oppressed.
There is more than just political oppression. Gay people are oppressed by society in a lot of the West. One of the big things in the modern civil rights movement is the end of all forms of all forms of discrimination from all social actors, not just government. This is in a sense impossible without oppressing the right of racists, sexists and homophobes to speak for their cause, so many seek a middle path between ultimate security for these oppressed groups and absolute freedom of speech.
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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

Post by Travis B. »

The problem with restricting freedom of speech for racists, sexists, homophobes, and like, is that if we impose laws doing so, it weakens the path of resistance for laws restricting freedom of speech for other groups the government does not like.

That said, at least here in the US, it is normally considered that companies have less rights to freedom of speech than individuals, and that while they have freedom of speech with regard to political speech (e.g. editorial content in a newspaper, political ads on TV, etc.) they do not have freedom of speech with regard to commercial speech. Of course, whether a message on a cake counts as political speech or commercial speech is a good question unto itself.
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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

Post by mèþru »

One problem is that law requires a strict definition for often fluid concepts.
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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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mèþru wrote:One problem is that law requires a strict definition for often fluid concepts.

Or legislators do not bother to make strictly defined laws, and then later they are applied more broadly than intended.
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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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All in all, to me, freedom of speech is more important than trying to prevent people from expressing people from saying racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. things through legal means.
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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

Post by mèþru »

One of the benefits for local government (as in on the level of a tiny village or city district), in fact, is knowing the community allows one to know how to enforce and interpret those fluid laws in a way that is best for that community, while these things get lost on higher levels of government.
Travis B. wrote:All in all, to me, freedom of speech is more important than trying to prevent people from expressing people from saying racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. things through legal means.
This is what most people say... until their children have been abused at school. Or people (bureaucrats, teachers, librarians, etc.) under the employ of the government send a vaguely fascist tweet. Which brings us to the whole quagmire of how much freedom of speech is allowed in public places like libraries and schools.
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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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mèþru wrote:This is what most people say... until their children have been abused at school. Or people (bureaucrats, teachers, librarians, etc.) under the employ of the government send a vaguely fascist tweet. Which brings us to the whole quagmire of how much freedom of speech is allowed in public places like libraries and schools.

The thing about the former is that is still bullying, political speech or not, and can be handled as such without imposing laws restricting political speech. The thing about the latter is that freedom of speech normally only applies to the threat of prosecution by the gov't, and does not free one from being disciplined by one's employer (here, the gov't) for saying such things while acting in the name of said employer (here, in an official capacity).
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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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Travis B. wrote:The problem with restricting freedom of speech for racists, sexists, homophobes, and like, is that if we impose laws doing so, it weakens the path of resistance for laws restricting freedom of speech for other groups the government does not like.

Eeeh, I dunno. I think we've done OK with that here in Europe for the past generation or more. Doesn't mean we don't have racists, sexists and homophobes spewing their bile, but at least we now have some kind of legal recourse.

(What is it with the USA and its fetishisation of "free speech"? It is honestly puzzling.)
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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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Dewrad wrote:What is it with the USA and its fetishisation of "free speech"? It is honestly puzzling.

You have no idea how tempted I am to try replying to that question.

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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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Dewrad wrote:(What is it with the USA and its fetishisation of "free speech"? It is honestly puzzling.)

The whole Constitution is something of a fetish object to us, but no part of it more than the Bill of Rights.

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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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Dewrad wrote:
Travis B. wrote:The problem with restricting freedom of speech for racists, sexists, homophobes, and like, is that if we impose laws doing so, it weakens the path of resistance for laws restricting freedom of speech for other groups the government does not like.

Eeeh, I dunno. I think we've done OK with that here in Europe for the past generation or more. Doesn't mean we don't have racists, sexists and homophobes spewing their bile, but at least we now have some kind of legal recourse.

(What is it with the USA and its fetishisation of "free speech"? It is honestly puzzling.)

Anyways, laws against racism, sexism, and homophobia just serve the make racists, sexists, and homophobes feel oppressed, and thus make them feel like they are in the right more than they already do.
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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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Travis B. wrote:Anyways, laws against racism, sexism, and homophobia just serve the make racists, sexists, and homophobes feel oppressed, and thus make them feel like they are in the right more than they already do.

I'm more concerned with their actions than their feelings. They can feel however they want to about being prevented from violating my civil rights. It's a free country after all.

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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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linguoboy wrote:I'm more concerned with their actions than their feelings. They can feel however they want to about being prevented from violating my civil rights. It's a free country after all.

I thought we were talking about speech here, not actions. I have no problem with laws preventing racists, sexists, and homophobes from acting on their racism, sexism, or homophobia so as to affect others. But that is different from having laws against merely expressing racist, sexist, or homophobic ideas where it affects no one else. Unless you consider it such that there is no difference between speech and actions.
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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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Or you consider it possible for speech to be genuinely harmful sometimes.

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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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Travis B. wrote:I thought we were talking about speech here, not actions. I have no problem with laws preventing racists, sexists, and homophobes from acting on their racism, sexism, or homophobia so as to affect others. But that is different from having laws against merely expressing racist, sexist, or homophobic ideas where it affects no one else. Unless you consider it such that there is no difference between speech and actions.

How does expressing racist, sexist, or homophobic ideas "affect no one else" unless it's done where no one else can hear it?

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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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linguoboy wrote:How does expressing racist, sexist, or homophobic ideas "affect no one else" unless it's done where no one else can hear it?

I mean in the sense of actual direct impact. E.g. a racist discriminating against a potential employee by choosing not to hire them when they are the most qualified candidate directly impacts someone (the candidate). But a racist posting a racist message in an Internet forum at most hurts someone's feelings, and what actual impact it has is questionable. (OTOH, a racist sending a coworker a racist email impacts said coworker's work environment, and thus has a much more clear impact.) And to me this is an important difference; preventing racial discrimination in employment or preventing racist environments at work are things there should be legislation for, but merely preventing strangers' feelings from being hurt is not.

My issue here that I do not think strangers' feelings are things that should be protected by legislation, regardless of the nature of what is being said.
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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

Post by Vijay »

Travis B. wrote:But a racist posting a racist message in an Internet forum at most hurts someone's feelings

No. Cyberbullying is a real problem and has led to the victim committing suicide in several cases.

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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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Vijay wrote:
Travis B. wrote:But a racist posting a racist message in an Internet forum at most hurts someone's feelings

No. Cyberbullying is a real problem and has led to the victim committing suicide in several cases.

Yes, but like Travis already mentioned, there are already laws against bullying. There's no need to make a difference between calling someone a n*r, calling someone a f*t or calling someone a fatty. Bullying is bullying, and shouldn't be tolerated.

Dewrad wrote:Eeeh, I dunno. I think we've done OK with that here in Europe for the past generation or more. Doesn't mean we don't have racists, sexists and homophobes spewing their bile, but at least we now have some kind of legal recourse. (What is it with the USA and its fetishisation of "free speech"? It is honestly puzzling.)

The problem with our European system being that, in many countries, it is also forbidden by law to insult royalty or the president, or to insult the feelings of the religious (or deny the holocaust, for that matter, as a very specific law against a very specific type of racism). It's a slipery slope, and I think we would be better off with free speech as an absolute thing, and have more generic laws against insulting, inciting hatred, bullying etc.


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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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Travis B. wrote:The thing about the former is that is still bullying, political speech or not, and can be handled as such without imposing laws restricting political speech. The thing about the latter is that freedom of speech normally only applies to the threat of prosecution by the gov't, and does not free one from being disciplined by one's employer (here, the gov't) for saying such things while acting in the name of said employer (here, in an official capacity).
Being disciplined by an employer may be legally separable, but bullying, in general, is a form of speech. Suppressing bullying is a suppression of a speech act. It is a good form of suppression, but still suppression.
jal wrote:
cunningham wrote:cultural Marxism

Well, that just ended this discussion pretty quickly.


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No. The thing is that Marx's work has never been a big part of mainstream political leftism in the United States. Even during the countercultural revolution, mainstream leftist candidates were not Marxists. In fact, there is a cultural capitalism inherent in American society. The only publicly known socialist candidate in the United States, Bernie Sanders believes in adding a social safety net and regulation, not dismantling the private sector or even restricting businesses to corner bookstore-size.

Also, it is kind of religiously discriminant to refer to Muslims throwing rocks, as that implies that there is no bias against gay people from other religions, or that all Muslims support violence against gay people. (Inserts humour to lift the gravity of the thread) Also, people of all backgrounds can be hooligans who like to throw rocks at things. :-D
I thought cunningham's quote in large letters was funny. At least we can agree that people should not actively seek out those who hate them and complain about hatred. A problem arises, however, when there are no other bakeries.
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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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mèþru wrote:
Travis B. wrote:The thing about the former is that is still bullying, political speech or not, and can be handled as such without imposing laws restricting political speech. The thing about the latter is that freedom of speech normally only applies to the threat of prosecution by the gov't, and does not free one from being disciplined by one's employer (here, the gov't) for saying such things while acting in the name of said employer (here, in an official capacity).
Being disciplined by an employer may be legally separable, but bullying, in general, is a form of speech. Suppressing bullying is a suppression of a speech act. It is a good form of suppression, but still suppression.

You seem to not understand what "free speech" is about, or chose to ignore what it means. "Free speech", as defined by the US constitution and as generally regarded (also outside the US) is about freedom from government prosecution based on the opinions you express. It's *not* about being allowed to say anything, at anytime, to anyone. It's also not about enticing other people to perform certain actions (i.e. instigation). *And* it's definitely *not* about being able to bully unpunished. So saying that "supressing verbal bullying is suppressing a speech act and therefore supresses free speech" is a false statement.

mèþru wrote:
jal wrote:
cunningham wrote:cultural Marxism
Well, that just ended this discussion pretty quickly.
No.

Well, yes. When someone brings up "indoctrination by cultural Marxism", you know for sure discussion is over, as that person is in no way interested in an exchange of ideas.


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EDIT: fixed quote
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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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I know that there are legal differences between these concepts, but this comes from legal redefining the word speech. I don't understand how bullying or instigation is not "expressing an opinion" and prosecuting them is not government prosecution of those opinions.
Dewrad wrote:Eeeh, I dunno. I think we've done OK with that here in Europe for the past generation or more. Doesn't mean we don't have racists, sexists and homophobes spewing their bile, but at least we now have some kind of legal recourse.

(What is it with the USA and its fetishisation of "free speech"? It is honestly puzzling.)
I used to be puzzled too. This quote is why I am not puzzled anymore. When you can legally restrict speech, what prevents you from legally restricting all speech? This is a slippery slope to watch out for, especially where you live, with neo-fascist parties gaining power in Europe.
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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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mèþru wrote:I know that there are legal differences between these concepts, but this comes from legal redefining the word speech.

"Free speech" is a legal concept to begin with, so for sure we need a definition of "speech". I'm not sure why you think this is "redefining", as there is no "natural" definition of speech (this is a language forum, I assume you are not so daft as to try to quote a dictionary).

I don't understand how bullying or instigation is not "expressing an opinion" and prosecuting them is not government prosecution of those opinions

Instigating is not expressing an opinion, as it is a speech act. Of course there's a grey area ("it's my opinion that it would be a good thing as all my followerd would kill all my enimies"), and laws against instigation have been abused countless times by repressive governments, but I don't think anyone but the greatest anarchist would like to allow instigation.

Bullying may be "expressing an opinion", but it is not generally covered by "free speech" as it targets individuals, and therefore, like instigation may, causes harm to individuals. Also, most bullying happens in areas controlled by non-government or semi-government institutions (schools, workplace), and "free speech" doesn't touch those areas (yes, even the most allowing free speech laws allow your boss to fire you when you're calling him names).


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Re: Discrimination (from garden path thread)

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jal wrote:
mèþru wrote:I know that there are legal differences between these concepts, but this comes from legal redefining the word speech.

"Free speech" is a legal concept to begin with, so for sure we need a definition of "speech". I'm not sure why you think this is "redefining", as there is no "natural" definition of speech (this is a language forum, I assume you are not so daft as to try to quote a dictionary).

Rather, I would say that making free speech cover all speech is a redefinition, as there is no indication it was ever intended this way.

jal wrote:
I don't understand how bullying or instigation is not "expressing an opinion" and prosecuting them is not government prosecution of those opinions

Instigating is not expressing an opinion, as it is a speech act. Of course there's a grey area ("it's my opinion that it would be a good thing as all my followerd would kill all my enimies"), and laws against instigation have been abused countless times by repressive governments, but I don't think anyone but the greatest anarchist would like to allow instigation.

Anarchists overall do not even believe in free speech, as they do not believe in government, and believe that any given (directly democratic) organization should be able to democratically decide to punish their members (e.g. through expulsion) as it sees fit, including for what they have said. (It should be noted that an anarchist society would be composed completely of such organizations, making it so that there would arguably be less freedom to express one's opinion than, say, the US.)

jal wrote:Bullying may be "expressing an opinion", but it is not generally covered by "free speech" as it targets individuals, and therefore, like instigation may, causes harm to individuals. Also, most bullying happens in areas controlled by non-government or semi-government institutions (schools, workplace), and "free speech" doesn't touch those areas (yes, even the most allowing free speech laws allow your boss to fire you when you're calling him names).

A key note is that bullying is not expressing a political opinion, and in the US at least political opinions are much more strongly protected than other sorts of speech.
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