In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings, people made a point of marching in defence of freedom of speech, something those of us in the western world take great pride in. The reality however, is that in most of the western world, freedom of speech was done away with a long time ago, due to draconian “hate speech” laws being brought in. One country however, which still has freedom of speech is the United States, thanks to the first amendment of their constitution guaranteeing it as a fundamental human right. There are however, those who would like nothing more than to take that right away from people. One of these people is a rather mysterious character, by the name of Tanya Cohen. Not much is known about her, as no picture has ever surfaced of her, no information about her personal life has ever been found, and the only trace of her that appears on the internet, are the long winded articles that she writes. Many people believe that she is in fact a troll, whose articles are designed to parody the politically correct brigade. It’s easy to see why from reading them. I certainly hope she is just a troll and doesn’t really mean what she says. If she is being serious, it’s honestly terrifying to think what people like her want to inflict on us.
One of the most admirable things about Europe is that most (if not all) of the right-wing rhetoric that you hear in the US is explicitly against the law there. For example, attempting to link Islam with terrorism, saying that gay marriage isn’t really marriage, or saying that trans women aren’t really women would get you charged with discrimination and/or incitement to hatred.
Ok, let me address these issues separately. While I don’t think it’s right to assume that all Muslims are terrorists, it is simply an undisputed reality, that Islamic Extremists are committing their terrorist acts in the name of Islam. Whether or not it represents “true Islam” is irrelevant. The ones who are associating Islam with terrorism, are those who are justifying their acts of terrorism based on Islam. Don’t blame the victims. Blame the perpetrators.
Regarding the idea that gay marriage isn’t really marriage, I don’t agree with that assessment because as far as I’m concerned, a marriage is just a legal contract between two people who love each other. However, doesn’t mean I think those who disagree should be silenced. They should have the right to voice their disapproval, and we in turn should have the right to disagree with them. As long as they aren’t going around attacking gay people, what harm can they do?
Regarding trans women not really being women, I’ve discussed that subject so many times, that I don’t feel like getting into it again. Should I be put in prison just because my views might make someone cry?
Numerous European public figures have been charged with hate crimes for implying that large-scale immigration is connected to higher crime. In fact, a politician in Sweden was prosecuted for hate crimes for posting statistics about immigrant crime on Facebook.
So telling the truth and backing up the truth with facts is a crime now? how is this a good thing?
In a notable example, a woman in Austria was convicted of a hate crime for suggesting that the Islamic Prophet Muhammed was a pedophile.
This is historical reality. Muhammed married a six year girl and had sex with her when she was nine. Muhammed himself was in his 50s. The fact that the prophet himself would do something like this, probably justifies the actions in the minds of Muslim rape gangs who groom and rape little girls in Britain. This is something that needs to be discussed, no matter how hurtful it may be to Muslims, if we want to protect children from being raped.
Recently, a man in Sweden was charged with incitement to ethnic hatred for wearing a T-shirt saying “Islam is the devil.” Nobody in Europe believes that these laws interfere with their sacred, guaranteed right to freedom of speech. Rather, these laws protect freedom of speech by ensuring that it is used responsibly and for the purposes of good.
I’m in Europe. I think these laws interfere with freedom of speech. I reckon plenty of others would too, but are genuinely just unaware of what’s actually going on. You don’t speak for everyone, so don’t act as if you do.
In the US, however, no such laws exist. Right-wing hatemongers like Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Bill Maher, and Sarah Palin (to name just a few) are allowed to freely incite hatred and violence, oppose human rights, and undermine progress with impunity. When people like this are allowed to sway public opinion against the common good, it can have disastrous consequences.
First of all, LOL at Bill Maher being right-wing. Second of all, who are you to decide what the common good is?
Just ask the millions of people killed due to wars pushed by right-wingers, even though propaganda for war is illegal under international human rights law (the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights mandates that all countries outlaw propaganda for war).
Maybe you should go to the homeland of your fellow Jews and tell Benjamin Netanayahu to quit with his propaganda to start a war with Iran.
In the United States, hate speech is often spewed forth by people with a great deal of influence, thus making it even more dangerous. Freedom of speech always comes with responsibility, and people in powerful positions need to have extra responsibilities. Consider the case of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson. In a civilized country with basic human rights, Phil Robertson would have been taken before a government Human Rights Tribunal or Human Rights Commission and given a fine or prison sentence for the hateful and bigoted comments that he made about LGBT people. In the US, however, he was given no legal punishment, even though his comments easily had the potential to incite acts of violence against LGBT people, who already face widespread violence in the deeply homophobic American society – and his comments probably DID incite acts of violence against LGBT people.
Literally, all he did was say that homosexuality is a sin. He didn’t even try to explain why he thought that. He just said it was a sin, and that’s it. Are we supposed to believe that people would hear this and suddenly be overcome with a desire to go out and attack gay people? This is stupid. Anyone who hates gay people enough to want to go out and attack them, wouldn’t need comments like that to justify it, because they’d already hold that belief themselves anyway. Anyone who doesn’t hold that beliefs, is hardly going to change their mind because one guy on TV said it was a sin.
Most countries have freedom of speech, but only in the US is “freedom of speech” so restrictive and repressive. Not only is the US the only country without any laws against hateful or offensive speech, but it’s also the only country where the government cannot ban any movies, books, or video games, no matter how dangerous, demeaning to human dignity, or harmful to society they may be.
Yes, she said it. Apparently too much freedom of speech, and the inability to ban offensive entertainment media, is oppressive in some way. I always assumed the opposite was true, but I guess I was wrong.
The US government is also the only government that cannot ban any groups or political parties, even when those groups or political parties pose a serious threat to democracy.
Yes, how democratic. We need to ban parties we don’t like, so nobody has the opportunity to vote for them.
This is completely incompatible with international human rights standards, which clearly state that freedom of speech does not protect speech which is harmful to society, to morality, or to human rights. Countries like the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Australia – to name just a few examples – take a much more sensible approach to freedom of expression. They allow legitimate freedom of expression while banning bigots, hatemongers, conspiracy theorists, anti-vaxxers, pro-pedophile groups, terrorist sympathizers, harmful media, Holocaust deniers, pick-up artists, climate change deniers, and other forms of expression which damage society and social cohesion.
Again, who is she to decide what is and what isn’t legitimate expression? Banning bigots? The definition of a bigot is someone who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions, so by that logic, Tanya Cohen herself is a bigot, and should have her speech censored. Conspiracy theorists? Some of these guys are obvious lunatics that people just laugh at anyway. Others, actually provide evidence of genuine conspiracies and are doing us a service by providing them. Anti-vaxxers, I’ll admit have done a lot of damage, but most people don’t take them seriously anymore. Pro-pedophile groups and terrorist sympathisers? If you are against these, then why do you condemn those who are opposed to Muslim pedophiles and terrorists, as being “hatemongers”?
Holocaust deniers? That’s an interesting topic. I won’t go into too much detail about my views here, but I will say this. Either the holocaust did happen, in which case, you can simply prove the deniers wrong by providing all the evidence that it happened. Or, the holocaust didn’t really happen, in which case, we’ve been conned for 70 years, and deserve to know the truth. Either way, imprisoning people for denying the holocaust is not the correct way to deal with it. Addressing their arguments and showing the world why they’re wrong is. Imprisoning them only serves to make them martyrs for their beliefs, and will encourage others to disbelieve the official holocaust story as well.
Pick-up artists and climate change deniers? Seriously, do we really need to make what they’re doing illegal?
The United States has a very limited and very outdated understanding of human rights and political freedoms. In all other countries, it is simply common knowledge that freedom of speech does not permit hatred or other human rights abuses. This is not something that anyone outside of the US would ever question. In the US, however, it’s a concept that seems to be utterly alien to the vast majority of the population. The US appears completely backwards and positively uncivilized to the rest of the world when it refuses to crack down on manifestations of hatred.
Again, I’m from outside the US. I question it. I still don’t see how expressing politically incorrect views is a human rights violation, but trying to control the thoughts of people, is perfectly in line with human rights.
While America has always been far behind the rest of the world when it comes to basic human rights – we still have yet to ban firearms, we still have yet to provide free higher education, and we still have yet to implement free universal healthcare, for example – the need to outlaw hate speech is one of the most basic and fundamental human rights obligations.
What do firearms, healthcare and education have to do with hate crime law? Stick on topic.
Not only is it codified in multiple international human rights conventions, but even countries like Russia, India, Turkey, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Jordan – countries that most Americans consider to be “third-world” – have laws against hate speech. Why is the so-called “third-world” protecting basic human rights better than America is?
Russia has better freedom of speech than America? The same Russia where it’s illegal to say that homosexuality isn’t a bad thing? This kind of denial of reality is completely ridiculous. I don’t even need to discuss the other countries, because the whole argument fell apart straight away when she mentioned Russia as an example of freedom of speech. If anything, this just proves that censoring any speech can be open to abuse, and needs to be resisted at all costs.
In Europe and Australia and the rest of the civilized world, the ultra-libertarian, free speech absolutist position is that not all offensive speech should be illegal, but that incitement to hatred should always be illegal. There is absolutely nobody outside of the US who thinks that there shouldn’t be ANY laws against hate speech, racial vilification, or incitement to hatred. That idea is just unthinkable in a society where basic human rights exist.
Again, she insists that she speaks for everyone. Nobody could possibly disagree with her.
The US has a dismal record on human rights, as indicated by the fact that it still doesn’t have universal healthcare, still carries out executions, still hasn’t banned firearms, and still tortures people, to name just a few things. But having NO laws against incitement to hatred? It’s just impossible for people in civilized countries in the year 2015 to even conceive of such a thing.
Saying mean things is on par with torture and executions as far as this woman is concerned.
In fact, most people in civilized countries simply assume that the US outlaws hate speech, and they are left in stunned disbelief and disgust when they are told that it doesn’t.
I disagree. There’s a lot of things I could criticise America for, but their respect for free speech isn’t one of them
Inevitably, they will ask: how can the US possibly call itself a free country and a democracy when it’s the only country in the world without any kind of laws against hate speech? Protecting vulnerable minorities from hate speech is one of the cornerstones of any democratic society, and it’s one of the most basic and fundamental human rights obligations. Do Americans have no idea how ironic it is for them to call their country “the land of the free” when it doesn’t have any kind of law against hate speech?
What about protecting majorities from criminal minorities?
Before moving to the US to work with human rights organizations here, I grew up in Australia, which is a much more civilized and progressive country than the comparatively backwards United States, with a much deeper respect for basic human rights. Any comment which may offend, insult, humiliate, or intimidate vulnerable minorities is highly illegal in Australia, and the Australian Human Rights Commission goes to great lengths to prosecute anyone who makes comments that offend minorities or oppose human rights.
Then go back to Australia then, if it’s so much better than America. What gives you the right as an outsider to demand that America changes to accommodate your insane views? Better yet, seeing as you’re a Jew and therefore eligible to do so, why not go to Israel. We all know how much they respect human rights there.
Australia’s human rights courts have ruled many times that it doesn’t matter whether the comments are “true” or “balanced” or not; if the comments may offend minorities or incite hatred, then they are against the law in Australia, as they should be.
Again, the truth is apparently no defence. This is like something out of the Soviet Union or North Korea.
Australia has also proposed legislation (the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill) which declares people automatically guilty of offending, insulting, humiliating, or intimidating minorities unless they can prove their innocence beyond any reasonable doubt.
In a progressive society, you’re apparently guilty until proven innocent.
This legislation has been wholeheartedly endorsed by the Australian Human Rights Commission and by literally every single human rights group and progressive think tank in Australia, from Amnesty International Australia to Per Capita. The Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill was proposed by Australia’s centrists. The Australian left complained that the law didn’t go nearly far enough.
But what did the majority of normal people think? Just because the elites and their useful idiots endorsed it, doesn’t mean that it reflects the will of the people. Here in Ireland, the elites claim that water charges are a good thing. Doesn’t mean we all feel that way.
But, in the US, not even so-called “progressives” tend to support legal sanctions on hate speech. Do Americans have any idea how ridiculous it seems to people in civilized countries when Americans who call themselves “progressive” actually OPPOSE laws against un-progressive speech? In Australia, you absolutely cannot call yourself a progressive unless you actively work to criminalize all forms of un-progressive speech. Even the most far-right ultra-libertarians in Australia still strongly agree that racial vilification and incitement to hatred (including Holocaust denial) should be against the law.
How is regressing back to a totalitarian nightmare progressive? just how?
America’s northern neighbor Canada has a much deeper respect for fundamental human rights than America does. In Canada, hate speech and advocating genocide are very serious criminal offenses that can land you up to fourteen years in prison.
Hate speech and advocating genocide are two different things and should not be lumped together. Advocating genocide should be illegal, because you’re activally saying that you want and/or intend to wipe a group out. Hate speech is a vague catch all term for anything that goes against the agendas of far left morons. Its vague definition leaves it wide open to abuse.
The Supreme Court of Canada has also found that truthful statements can be classified as illegal hate speech, and that not all truthful statements must be free from restriction. Each Canadian state has its own Human Rights Tribunal to investigate and prosecute people for hate speech and other human rights violations. Nobody in Canada believes that laws against hate speech and advocating genocide infringe on freedom of speech, and, like Americans, Canadians are guaranteed the right to freedom of expression through the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
And YET AGAIN, we see this idea that the truth is no defence. This is a terribly disturbing position to take. Imagine if you had a child who was one of the many who was abused by Muslim men in England. Imagine you brought evidence to the police about this. Would they decide that even though it’s true, it’s racist to present this evidence, and therefore you should be punished for trying to protect your child, rather than the those who have abused her? As far as Tanya Cohen is concerned, you’ve committed a more severe crime.
Americans have a deep and fundamental misunderstanding of what freedom of speech is. Freedom of speech does NOT mean that you have the freedom to say anything.
Yes it does. If you aren’t free to say what you want, then by definition, you don’t have free speech.
As any human rights lawyer could explain, freedom of speech is all about striking the right balance between rights. Rights have to be restricted or removed when they interfere with other rights. You don’t have the right to spout racist hate speech because that interferes with other people’s right to be free from racial discrimination.
There are already laws in place to protect against racial discrimination. people can’t be discriminated against when getting served by a business, in employment, in educational opportunities etc. Saying hurtful things does not discriminate against them. If anything, it harms the speaker more because in the societies we live in now, it’s such a taboo thing to do, that it makes them into pariahs. Let people make their racist comments, and let people judge them for what they say. Banning it, isn’t going to stop them from holding racist thoughts and opinions. It just forces them to hide it, and think of other, less obvious ways to hurt those who they hate.
Freedom of speech exists so that people can criticize their government, provided that they do so in a civil, polite, and respectful manner. Freedom of speech does NOT give you the right to offend, to insult, to disrespect, to oppose human rights, to argue against the common good, to voice approval of totalitarian ideologies, to perpetuate toxic systems of privilege and oppression, to promote ideas which have no place in a modern democratic society, to be provocative or incendiary, or to express opinions which are unacceptable to the majority of people.
And yet the only person expressing a totalitarian ideology is her.
Most champions of hate speech are straight, white, Christian males who have never had to experience the devastating consequences of hate speech. These highly privileged members of society will never understand the harm that hate speech causes to vulnerable minorities.
As a straight, white male (who was raised Christian, albeit, I wouldn’t consider myself one now), I take offence to your hateful speech against me, and demand that you be fined and imprisoned for hurting my feelings -_-
Hate speech is not “freedom” to the Muslims who face widespread attacks and abuse as a result of hate speech from outlets like Fox News and Bill Maher. Hate speech is not “freedom” to the women at abortion clinics who are shouted at by right-wing protesters just for attempting to exercise their human right to choose. Hate speech is not “freedom” to the thousands of people who are killed by guns every single year in America thanks to the gun lobby’s propaganda turning public opinion against sensible gun bans. Hate speech is certainly not “freedom” to the LGBT people who are viciously attacked and even murdered as a result of hate speech from the Christian right.
So you condemn the Christian right who hate gay people and who try to stop women from making choices, all while defending Muslims, many of whom (not all of course, but still, quite a large number) who are even worse in these regards?
Hateful, hurtful, or offensive speech can never be “free” when one considers the extremely high cost that it has on its victims and on society as a whole. When bigots are allowed the unfettered right to incite hatred and violence against vulnerable minorities, the consequences can often be fatal for the members of those vulnerable minority groups. For example, human rights and LGBT rights activist Peter Tatchell notes that human rights and LGBT rights groups in Jamaica have confirmed a rise in anti-gay attacks after the release of homophobic reggae songs that incite hatred and violence against LGBT people. Likewise, attacks on Muslims always increase when powerful figures like Bill Maher make bigoted statements that incite racial hatred and violence against Muslims (in fact, racist hate speech from Bill Maher recently incited a man in Chapel Hill to shoot three innocent Muslims – in a civilized country, Bill Maher would be held legally accountable for the shooting). There is also a strong connection between rape culture – for example, songs like “Blurred Lines,” which directly incite rape – and actual acts of rape and sexual violence.
Correlation does not necessarily imply causation. Did it ever occur to you, that maybe these speeches, rather than encouraging these acts, were simply reflecting the general opinions that people held, and that these attacks would have happened anyway?
Hate speech does have very serious consequences in the real world, but straight, white, Christian men could never be able to understand just how severe those consequences can be. Privileged members of society will never know what it’s like to be a victim of hate speech.
Again, this whole nonsense about privilege, that’s never actually backed up with evidence. We’ll just say it over and over, and eventually, if it’s said enough times, people will assume that it must be true.
As a descendant of Holocaust survivors, I know first-hand the extreme danger that flows directly from hate speech. Those championing hate speech, however, clearly do not understand just how dangerous hate speech is.
Not a fair comparison. The Nazis were the governing body of Germany. Of course hate speech from them was effective, because they were in control. A bunch of everyday citizens on the street saying hateful things does not have the reach or authority necessary, to effect that kind of power.
There is a hierarchy of power in society, with straight, white, Christian men firmly at the top. Freedom of speech is counter-productive if the people who benefit from it are the people who already hold far too much power and privilege in our society.
You know who actually has the most power in America? Jewish billionaires, Jewish media executives, and Jewish Hollywood figures. But of course, she won’t point that out seeing as she’s a Jew herself.
No country prosecutes hate speech strictly enough to truly protect human rights. For example, when Denmark failed to ban the infamous Muhammed cartoons, human rights groups around the world voiced their outrage, with Amnesty International releasing a statement saying that the cartoons should be prosecuted since they qualify as religious hatred under international human rights law (Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights). Germany, in particular, has repeated failed to protect human rights. Most recently, Germany has been heavily criticized by the international human rights community for its failure to ban the hate group PEGIDA. When Germany failed to ban the fascist party NPD, human rights groups around the world voiced their outrage, and Russia even focused on it in a report about Western Europe’s human rights failures. But these countries at least HAVE hate speech laws and they often do enforce those laws. In the US, hate speech laws do not even exist. This is absolutely unfathomable in a country that claims to be a free democracy.
Who the fuck cares what a bunch of international human rights pricks think? A sovereign nation should only be looking out for the needs of its own citizens. what matters is, what do the citizens of those countries think? Do they think their nations failed to protect human rights or not? That’s what matters.
America’s failure to enact human rights legislation also makes it difficult for other countries to adequately protect human rights, especially online. Stopping the spread of online hate speech has been made a top priority of the UN and the international human rights movement, but it’s very difficult to protect human rights online when the US controls most of the Internet and steadfastly refuses to pass any kind of human rights legislation to stop hate speech.
And I hope that they’ll continue to resist. Sure maybe she’ll get lucky with the rise of China. If China becomes the dominant world power, perhaps they’ll take control of the internet, and implement their own brand of censorship.
A French Jewish leader recently told the US that it needs to join the civilized world by cracking down on online hatred since hate speech on the Internet puts vulnerable minorities in very real danger (both mental and physical), but, unfortunately, we all know that his urgent pleas to the US will go completely ignored, and online hate speech from the US will continue to place French Jews and other vulnerable minorities around the world in serious danger. Until the US decides to finally cooperate with the international community, the UN and human rights groups will never be able to remove hate speech from the Internet and elsewhere. In addition to passing strong legislation against hate speech, the US needs to report to the UN and it needs to allow the UN to prosecute Americans under the UN courts. When other countries fail to press hate speech charges against their citizens, the UN often steps in and presses charges under the UN courts. In America, however, that would currently be impossible. America also needs to hand over control of the Internet to the United Nations, which will use the international human rights framework to protect human rights online, as it has repeatedly encouraged all nations to do.
Sounds like she wants to move towards a totalitarian one world government.
America has always been very uncivilized, unenlightened, unfree, and backwards when compared to Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The rest of the world continues to forge ahead in human rights – Belgium recently passed human rights legislation outlawing all forms of sexist speech, and numerous countries are passing human rights laws requiring anyone accused of hate speech to prove their innocence or be declared automatically guilty – while the US still lacks even the most basic legal framework for protecting fundamental human rights.
Does this not count as hate speech towards America, and therefore at Americans?
But it doesn’t have to remain that way. Things CAN change. While the United States needs to strongly support freedom of speech and firmly oppose all forms of censorship, it also needs to sincerely protect vulnerable minorities from all manifestations of hate speech. There is absolutely NO excuse whatsoever for an advanced democracy in the year 2015 to not have any kind of laws against hate speech.
There is a perfectly valid excuse for not having draconian hate speech laws. America, is not some totalitarian dictatorship. People have the right to have their opinions and to express them, without fear of reprisal from the state. In a truly free society, people should have these rights.
America will never be up to international human rights standards until it makes protecting the basic human dignity of all of its citizens a top priority. Freedom of speech should never be a shelter for hatred, for malice, for abuse, for insults, for offense, for vilification, or for the dissemination of ideas that oppose human rights. Freedom of speech has to be balanced against the feelings of others. What America needs are human rights-based laws that strike the proper balance between freedom of speech and freedom from hatred. The current stance taken by America – that freedom of speech means the freedom to engage in all manner of hatred and discrimination – is hideously outdated and totally contrary to international human rights law.
I demand that you apologise for your hate filled comments towards white, heterosexual, Christian males. Or, do their feelings not matter?
The human right to freedom of speech has always been subject to the human right to freedom from hatred and discrimination.
No it hasn’t. Freedom from discrimination is relatively new.
The right to freedom of speech and the right to be protected from hate speech are both firmly enshrined in international human rights law, and you cannot have one without having the other. Under international human rights standards, all countries are required to ensure the utmost freedom of speech while also vigorously prosecuting all manifestations of hate speech.
That’s impossible to achieve because you can’t by definition have utmost freedom of speech, if you put limitations on it. The doublethink here is astounding.
When freedom of speech interferes with someone else’s freedom to not be offended, insulted, disrespected, vilified, or subjected to hatred, it needs to be restricted. Freedom of speech is something that always has to be balanced against the basic human rights of others. Your freedom ends where the freedom of others begins, and nobody has the right to take rights away from other people. This is human rights 101, and anyone with even an entry-level knowledge of human rights could explain this.
This might come as a shock, but people DON’T have a right to not be offended. The problem with being offended is that it’s subjective. For example, I’m offended that someone could actually post an article as stupid as this one. Doesn’t mean I feel as if the author should be censored from expressing her idiotic views.
Bigotry has absolutely no place in a modern democracy, and it’s time for the United States to finally fulfill its obligations under international human rights law and pass strong human rights legislation outlawing hate speech while setting up Human Rights Tribunals in each state to investigate and prosecute people who engage in hate speech and other human rights abuses.
Again, I said it earlier in the post, but need I remind you, what the actual definition of bigotry is?
Outside of the US, even the most dedicated ultra-libertarians and free speech activists acknowledge that hate speech must always be outlawed, and that hate speech is not free speech. If anyone in Australia ever proposed that all laws against hate speech/vilification should be completely abolished, they would lose their job, they would lose all of their friends, and they would have to hire bodyguards. That’s not even an exaggeration.
That doesn’t necessarily mean they agree with it. It just means they fear what will happen if they say that they disagree. Of course, that’s exactly how the far left operates. You’re completely incapable of actually debating your beliefs logically, so you have resort to bullying and intimidation tactics to enforce them. The reason why so called “hatemongers” often find such easy support is because their ideas are often grounded in reality, and thus, they can easily convince people that what they are saying makes sense. They don’t need to resort to intimidation to spread their ideology.
Outside of the US, hate speech laws have absolutely universal support from every single facet of society. Saying that there shouldn’t be any laws against hate speech would be like saying that there shouldn’t be any laws against child abuse. It’s just completely unthinkable in a civilized society where people have basic human rights and freedoms. It’s not something that anyone would ever even consider.
Bullshit. Just from reading the comments on the article alone, I know damn well that this is a lie. Plenty of people are opposed to hate speech legislation, because they’re smart enough to know what it’s really all about, silencing dissent from the masses against your insane agendas.
In civilized countries like Canada and Australia, we recognize that we are legally obligated to outlaw hate speech under international human rights conventions. Even if the public wanted hate speech laws to be repealed (which the public never would), the laws could not be repealed because all countries are required to outlaw hate speech under legally-binding international human rights conventions. In the US, this seems to be an utterly alien concept to the vast majority of the public. Is the US even aware that, by failing to pass and enforce laws against hate speech, it is explicitly violating international human rights law? Very rarely do I see any Americans acknowledge this. In civilized countries, it’s just common sense that international human rights conventions have to be obeyed to the fullest. It’s not even up for debate. Only in the US does the public and the government completely disregard these legally-binding international human rights laws.
And long may they continue to do so. As long as they resist, we’ll still have at least one country where it’s safe to speak up against tyrants who wish to enslave us.
Slurs and insults are not part of the “free exchange of ideas,” so the justification for “free speech” – that all ideas should be able to be discussed – doesn’t even cover that. In fact, slurs and insults are a kind of bullying that often discourage the target’s participation in discussion and debate in the “free exchange of ideas” and, therefore, slurs and insults are actually a crude form of censorship and themselves are an attack on another person or group’s freedom of speech. Vulnerable and marginalized groups cannot speak out openly when they are constantly hounded by hateful bigots spewing toxic vitriol at them. Hate speech is itself a form of censorship, and outlawing hate speech is thus required in order to protect freedom of speech.
Personally, I think throwing out terms like “racist”, “homophobe”, “transphobe”, “misogynist”, “Islamophobe”, “anti-semite” etc, do far more to shut down the free exchange of ideas than anything that you would wish to censor.
At a time when racism, fascism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and Islamophobia are surging in Europe, it is now more important than ever for the United States to finally fulfill its international human rights obligations and enact a law against all forms of hate speech.
If anything, the rise of these issues in Europe moreso than America only proves that censorship is a bad idea. In America, people are free to vent their frustrations. In Europe, they have to hide how they feel, thus bottling up their anger, until it’s released at a much more dangerous level
The fact that America still does not have a hate speech law in the year 2015 is a national embarrassment, and it’s an embarrassment that can be easily fixed. Under international human rights law, America is required to outlaw all forms of hate speech, along with hate groups and propaganda for war. Human rights defenders in the US need to make the creation of hate speech legislation their number one goal for the country, just like they’re doing in Japan right now. America needs to take a human rights-based approach to freedom of speech, balancing freedom of speech against human dignity, civility, and respect. Until the US passes comprehensive laws against hate speech, it will never be able to call itself a free country, much less the leader of the free world.
Yes America. By following the lead of everyone else, you somehow show that you are a leader.
So that’s it then. As I said, there is a very real possibility that this article was a satire, based on how over the top and insane it all is. I’m not too optimistic though, because this isn’t the first article from this woman, as we can see from this article here.
Surely, I’m not alone in how I feel here?