Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Freedom to preach hate

"Hate speech" is speech (spoken or written) intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against someone (a person, a group, an organization etc.) based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.

"Hate crime" is a crime where the victim is chosen because of his/her actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.

I was looking for information about WASPs. I thought "white anglo-saxon protestant" would cover any white Christian of British inheritage. I'm wrong.
Anyway, on my research journey I found the blog Vanishing American and in there the blog entry: "Force, justice, tyranny" which lead me to an article by Bonnie Erbe.

I agree with Bonnie Erbe. "Vanishing American" claims she's being anti-white racist, because she talks about three murders that were instigated by hate speech.
There is one problem though... the murders Bonnie Erbe is referring to are:
A black man - black and works for the Holocaust Museum - is killed by a white man - racist, antisemite
A white man - abortion doctor - is killed by a white man - "pro-lifer"
A white man - American soldier - is killed by a black man - Muslim who hates American soldiers and Jews "for what they have done to Muslims"

Obviously she is not talking about WHITE hatred or "right wing extremism". She is talking about the consequences of hate speech. It doesn't matter if the people spreading the hatred with their words is black or white, right wing or left wing, Christian or Muslim. People who believe the words and decide one must free the world from The Evil of Abortion, Jews, Colored people or American military - or what ever The Evil happens to be - for any price.
Of course, the Pro-Lifer thinks it is ok to kill a man to save hundreds of innocent, unborn babies.
The White Supremacist thinks it is ok to kill one black man to stop the Jews and Blacks from leading the world into perdition. "Vanishing American" seems to be seriously concerned about "the good old values and the American way of life" that is dying.
The Muslim thinks it's better to kill American soldiers and Jews before they manage to kill innocent Muslim children and women.
Sure, if killing The Evil stops a catastrophy, one SHOULD "kill The Evil". I have no problems in understanding the reasoning behind these murders. But what Bonnie Erbe is talking about is what made the Muslim believe that the American soldier was a threat to Muslims all over the world. What made the White Supremacist believe that the black man at the Holocaust Museum was a threat to the things he values? What made the Pro-Lifer think that the Abortion Doctor was a threat to life? What made these killers think their victims were The Evil? Someone said so. Someone who they respect, appreciate, value and trust said so. It might have been several people (you know, "everyone thinks so"), it might have been explicit or implicit, it might have been a misunderstanding. Nevertheless, these people were born without thinking it is their duty to free the world from Evil and without believing that a person was Evil. Someone put the idea in their head.
We are all more or less brainwashed. We all have been told what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong, already before we are 5. We have formed the basis of our ethics already at 5. After that EVERYTHING is based on those ethics. one might change one's mind on things, even turn totally around, but all the time the opinion is based on the same ethics we were taught when we were very small. As long as I didn't understand the psychological effects of disciplining children with spanking, I thought moderate spanking was acceptable. One could say I have turned my coat, but in reality what happened is that I am wiser now.
If I have learned that it is acceptable and even desirable for every man to stand for what he believes is right - which is a very typical USonian value - I will take the law in my own hands when I think the Law isn't doing its job properly. If the state condones a serial killer because the people he's killing hasn't born yet, I have to stop him.
If I have learned that I have to defend those who cannot defend themselves by any means, I will do that if I think there are some defenseless people. Who is more defenseless than an unborn baby?
If I have learned that white people are more valuable than everyone else, I don't see killing a non-white person as a murder.
The same way, if I have learned that white people are more dangerous than everyone else, it's easier for me to believe it's a good thing to kill a white person.
If I have learned that violence and killing is an answer, I will try to solve problems through violence and killing people.
Most of the hate speech builds on the GOOD in human beings. Antisemites don't hate Jews because they want to be "bad", but because they see the Jewish people as a serious threat to things they value. Protecting and defending valuable things against any threat is a GOOD thing. People don't hate Jews because they are bad and hateful people, but because they believe the Jews are bad and hateful people. Also, we have learned that "antisemite" is a bad thing, so most antisemites today wouldn't recognize themselves as antisemites. After all, they believe that everything they have heard of Jews, which is what they use as the base to their belief of the Jewish Threat, is TRUE. They aren't PREJUDICED, but KNOWLEDGEABLE, INTELLIGENT AND MORALLY SOUND people. They seriously believe that any sane and ethical person would have the same opinion if they only knew what they know. If you don't agree with them, even after being informed, you are either stupid or evil. The idea that there might be something seriously wrong with the information doesn't even occur to them. Nevertheless, that is the problem.

I think there should be some limits in spreading lies, especially when the risk of the lies causing considerable damage is very high. I believe that the idea of any person being a threat to anything valuable only because of the group he/she belongs to, is an extremely dangerous lie, and I believe the society may go quite far to snip that sick flower already at the bud. It will not be a pretty flower and the fruit is horrifying. It would be as if a pomegranate tree had got some disease and in a branch all the flowers are twisted, wrinkled and abnormal, and if allowed to develop into fruits, the fruits will be hand grenades. Any sane farmer would cut off the branch to save the rest of the tree, and if that wasn't enough, he would cut down the whole tree to save the rest of his orchard.

The problem we have here is who decides what flowers are pretty and what kind of fruits are desirable. Some people think the flower is actually quite interesting and even beautiful, and protest the efforts to uniform the orchard; to limit the speech into politically correct. Some people think it is handy to have grenades grow in a tree. To these people the mere idea of cutting the branch even before the buds open is offensive, dangerous, threatening. They think you want to violate their freedom of expression.

So - does "freedom of speech" have limits? Is it even a freedom if it is limited?

Of course. We are not alone on this planet. My rights end where yours begin.
If a person is allowed to go wherever he wants, except entering someone else's property, he is free to roam the world. No-one questions his freedom to roam the world.
It is not ok for you to go to a supermarket or a restaurant, take food and eat. You have to buy it first. No-one sees that as a violation of your freedom to eat what ever you choose.
I may not go to your wardrobe and just take any clothes I like to wear, especially not without asking you first and without getting your permission to do so.
I may not give religious or sexual education to a minor without her parents consent. No-one sees that as a violation of my right to freely express myself.

Now, no-one stops me from having a blog where I talk about Paganism or where I educate anyone who enters of sex, STDs and preventive aids. So, why should I be stopped from telling people how to build bombs or that USonian Extreme Right-Wing Fundamentalist Evangelical Christian Apologetics (UERFECA) are Evil and that the world would be a better place without them - and that these two are part of the same site, where also exist maps, telephone numbers, adresses and scheduals of the worst of them...

Aah... ;-)

The National Security Legislation would stop me from publishing bomb making instructions, especially if I also indicate they are to be used against "American interests". :-> Now, there the Uerfeca understand fully why some people's freedom of expression SHOULD be limited.

It is against the right to privacy to publish people's telephone numbers, addresses and scheduals. People who wouldn't mind at all the publication of suspected or registered sex offenders' (even if the "registered sex offender" happens to be a 15 years old boy who had sex with his girlfriend) names, adresses and photos, would start screaming if it was THEIR information that was published.

The same way, if an Uerfeca would write a blog entry about how frightening it is when the Muslims protest in London after the bomb attack, or about "the black culture of violence, drugs and chauvinism" - which happens quite often, the other uerfecas would join her and comfort her, and get very upset, if anyone would point out the racism in the post, but when a non-uerfeca posts about the consequences of hate speech - without even pointing fingers at uerfecas - the uerfecas react by accusing her of "anti-white racism", Socialist tyranny and violation of "God-given freedoms".

Frankly - LOOK at the rise of Nazi Germany and what lead to the Holocaust. Ignore that they were Germans, Nazis, ignore the Hitler association, and look at the attitudes, words, instances, ideas - and you will see that WORDS lead to Holocaust. Normal, ordinary people, people like you and me, followed "mere words" and became monsters. REALIZE THAT WE ARE JUST AS HUMAN AS THEY WERE.
We could do just the same for the exact same reasons.


Remove the reasons, not the people! Kill the hate speech, not the people.

More reading of interest:

QandO says "Perhaps We Should Set Up Camps Or Something" - like Uerfecas did with USonians of Japanes decent during the WWII and with Muslims now? In what way is that different? Sure - people like YOU are not an "Enemy of the State". It's only those you don't like, huh?

Mike Vanderboegh writes "Of Civil Wars, Apaches and "Social Futurism" -- "Leave us the hell alone!" and points out the the Conservatives are the majority of USA, and they all have guns, they know how to use them and they are not afraid to use them either, so you better not try to tell them what to do, because they'll shoot first and discuss later.

Jon Monday doesn't understand that one doesn't need to be "a deeply disturbed sociopath with sick mind" to kill another person, in his "Doctor killed by rhetoric"
He gets interesting responses. "A Mother of Lots" doesn't know what "consistent" means. Saying: "all rights to everyone who is born, no rights to anyone who is not born" is quite consistent. It would be inconsistent, if you thought that thou shall not kill unborn babies, their mothers or USonians, but thou shall kill criminals, enemies and anyone threatening you in any way, for example trespassers.

The editor (Andrew Cline?) has no problems in bestowing collective responsibility of all Muslims for 9/11, but when "liberal commentators" accused the aggressive Pro-Life hate speech for the death of Dr. George Tiller, he has enormous problems. He says: "The truth is that the only people responsible for these shootings are the shooters. It's a sad commentary on our overheated political culture that this even needs to be pointed out." It would be nice if "conservative commentators" would remember that when discussing terrorism... :->
He also manages to sweepingly generalize when talking about Liberals while complaining about the selective sweeping generalization of "reactionaries on the left" in "Violent extremists: Spreading the blame around"

James Kirchick tries to say that there is no domestic terrorism in America in "The Religious Right Didn't Kill George Tiller" and that there is no Militant Christian Fundamentalist Extremism, and even if there was, it's not a bad thing, like every other Militant Fundamentalist Extremism is.

At least now I know that I don't hate Christians :-) I hate Christianists.
My Problem with Christianism by Andrew Sullivan

Jesse Jackson writes about "Guns and Hate" and leads me to discover what caused the whining about "Loony Lefties labeling conservatives right wing extremists".

Homeland Security published a report on the rise of the Right Wing Extremist Groups.

"Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups) and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration."

To answer a question by rightwing? from wisconsin?, (in comments)

When people are talking about the "Right Wing Extremism", they are actually talking about the Right Wing Extremism, like Ku Klux Klan, Volksfront and other White Supremacist groups and Freemen and other militant Anti-government Right-Wing movements and such. They are not talking about Republicans, Conservatives, Right Wing Moderates or other non-Extreme Right wing people.

Also, they are not talking about the Left-Wing Extremism or Islamic Extremism or other "special interest orientations", because that is off topic in this specific instance. Whether you like to admit it or not, Right Wing Extremism exist, is just as bad as any extremism and it is on rise.

SlantRight is worried about getting labeled Right Wing Extremist. Don't worry.

When the Homeland Security issued a warning concerning returning American veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan as fodder for Right Wing Extremist groups, it wasn't done to label all the veterans who are pro-military and pro-America as a right wing extremists, but to say that when you fougth for your country and come back, tired, most probably suffering from PTSD, perhaps even permanently damaged, physically or mentally, by the experience, and what you come back to is bad economy and status of almost the same as Vietnam war veterans have... That might push any conservative pro-military patriot to join the actual supremacist radical extreme groups and at least TRY to do something to the situation.
Most Conservatives are already VERY suspicious about Obama Administration and everything Liberal, and accuse them of the state of the State, even though they haven't been in power enough to cause the situation... Every sensible person would understand that car industry and national economy doesn't crash in 5 months. It is much more educational to look at the EIGHT YEARS that lead to this situation - and for that we can only blame the darned Republicans.

Listen to a podcast "Is Right-Wing Extremism On The Rise"

*sigh* After reading all this and listening to that, I have to say that the Anarchy of Speech in USA have lead the USonians to loose the understanding of "on topic".
As you MAY say what ever you like, at any time, anywhere, for any reason, you DO say anything that pops into your head, whether it is on topic, appropriate, sensible, rational or considerate. "PC" has become a swearword in stead of being considerate!
One should remember what Laura Ingalls' mother wrote in her little autograph album

If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how and when and where.

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