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The Innocent Victim...

Just a quick update on yesterday's item on Jared Taylor. As I expected, he gets to play the victim in this morning's Chronicle-Herald.
And, an editorial in the Daily News takes a similar position to my own.

The more I think about it, the more I'm coming to the conclusion that freedom of speech should be universal. Those of us who disagree have the right to ignore preachers of hate, and the law is there to deal with those who do violence based on race.

Discuss.

It seems the "Daily Snooze" agrees with Kevvy and me. I will paste in the following quote from the editorial because I can't voice it with any more clarity:
"But freedom of speech is not like a garment that can be donned or discarded at whim.It is one of the bedrock principles of a free society.
Freedom of speech means that even odious opinions have a right to be heard. It also means those opinions are open to criticism.
Freedom of speech means that the demonstrators had a right to heckle and harangue, rebut and refute, question and contradict.
But it does not mean they had a right to commit assault."
I'll also reiterate a comment I made yesterday: the best way to combat racist, hate-filled people like Taylor is to show them for the jackass they are - in a public forum. This means debate and refutation, NOT assault; or trying to have various authorities "gag" them with the machinations of the state legal system and other bureaucracies.
Flash et al. - I can appreciate your good intentions. However, If you cannot bear to hear him, don't listen, and if you strongly object to his statements, speak up, exercise YOUR right, and say so.
If free speech is a right of all people in our society, then no-one has the right to try and shut up those they disagree with, or those they don't like. I know why there are hate-speech laws, and I agree that incitement to attack, kill or maim anyone should be controlled, but one should be very careful about too freely using them to censor others.
Its a slippery slope. Laws and legal structures are typically amoral - one can easily adhere to the letter and ignore the spirit. It doesn't take much imagination to see those laws and structures being abused - to limit the expression of ideas, simply because one group or another doesn't like them. The Inquisition? Nazi Germany? Granted, the intents may have been different in those cases, but their actions were "legal" by the laws of the time.
I also dislike censorship. I have a problem with other people telling me a cannot listen to certain speeches, or watch certain shows, or read certain books, because they are perceived to be "bad" by some portion of society. As if the rest of us are too stupid, or too impressionable to discriminate against those words or actions that are morally wrong. Not because I want so much to listen to racists, or peruse child pornography, or anything else equally as odious - But because laws never seem to be specific enough about banning such things - loose wording, subject to interpretation - and therefore subject to abuse. Hands up, how many other people had "Catcher in The Rye" banned from their school libraries? Or "Roots" for that matter? There are some things which I reserve the right to make up my own mind about. I am equally as intelligent, moral and discriminating as most of society, more so than some and maybe less so than others.

BTW FLash, I was pointing at some of the comments you and others made after your post yesterday. Cheers.

I agree. If speech is free then we not only get to hear what we might consider to be crazy ideas, we also get to see what kind of traction those ideas are getting.

So what. Let the douchebag whine. Nobody is listening to him. Not even the right whingers who would have jumped all over this in the past to howl about hate speech laws.

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