First Amendment Discussion Thread (Freedom of speech/expression)

What is your opinion on free speech and freedom of expression?

  • All types of speech and expression should be legal, no exceptions.

  • All speech and expression should be legal, but not which that is threatening to others (current 1A)

  • Most speech should be legal, but there should be guidelines which define illegal hate speech.

  • Speech and expression should be heavily regulated and limited.

  • Other (please specify)


Results are only viewable after voting.
2,994
United States
Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
That must be why they just had a massive Pride Festival in my area that attracted close to 400,000 people.

I really hate to see these "It's worse than ever!!!" arguments/comments because it just shows a lack of knowledge about the history of what minorities have had to go through in the past (and in the process diminishes their struggles). Granted there is certainly room for improvement, but we are far more accepting of the LGBTQ community than any time in the past.



I'm curious, what's your stance on African-American's using the n-word? Should they suffer the same punishment as a white person that uses it? And if not, why?

Also, don't feed the troll, you're better than that. :cheers:
I don't at all deny that Pride festivals/marches are becoming more popular than ever, but as they increase in popularity, so do homophobic extremists who attend those rallies. For example, two weeks ago Detroit had their major Pride March, and many homophobes as well as anti-semites attended, for the sole purpose of dehumanizing these people and trolling them. This is not the first time this has happened, and in my view, this type of behavior simply shouldn't go without punishment. Have a read: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...hington-march-neo-nazi-stampede-a8950781.html

As to your second question, I believe that Black people can say the N-word as much as they want, for the same reasons that LGBT individuals reclaimed "fag" and "queer", and women reclaimed "slut" and "whore". All of these words are slurs towards these specific groups, therefore no one but those a part of those groups should be allowed to use them, no matter the context.
 
23,625
United States
Here to Eternity
TexRex72
Maybe that wasn't the word to use, but hopefully you saw my point. Hate speech/expression has negatively impacted the LGBT community, and it's happening more than ever now.
I'm gonna need a source for that last bit.

Let's compare "cracker" with the obvious slur towards Black people, the n-word. The N-Word's origin was during the era of slavery; slaves were called this word as a slur for not living up to their owners' expectations. It was simply a way to dehumanize these peoples. The n-word does not have the same historical context as cracker. The word "cracker" being used in post-slavery literature written by Black people directed at whites is merely a result of whites enslaving them and oppressing them for centuries, being called the N-Word on the slave fields day in, day out. It's only natural that the oppressed would rebel against their oppressor.
Cool. I'd say "cracker" is a fair response.

I'd wager they had more of a problem with the enslavement, whippings, lynchings and sexual abuse than they did with being called a mean word.

Hopefully I can regain you with this explanation.
You had to have had me in order to lose me.
 
2,994
United States
Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
I'd wager they had more of a problem with the enslavement, whippings, lynchings and sexual abuse than they did with being called a mean word.
I couldn't agree more. All I'm saying is, the N-word is associative of those whippings, beatings, and sexual abuse, as well as reducing a Black person to less than a farm animal.

I'm gonna need a source for that last bit.
Here ya go. http://sciencenordic.com/one-four-lgbt-people-experience-hate-speech
 
23,625
United States
Here to Eternity
TexRex72
I couldn't agree more. All I'm saying is, the N-word is associative of those whippings, beatings, and sexual abuse, as well as reducing a Black person to less than a farm animal.
And yet only one of them can't be expected to result in physical harm. I'll let you guess which one.

Now maybe you'll quote it directly as indicating the number of cases has increased (hopefully adjusted for population increase, but I'm willing to accept even raw increase since a cursory skim didn't indicate such an implication) so that I don't have to read a wall of text just to get at a figure to which you've referred.
 
2,994
United States
Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
Now maybe you'll quote it directly as indicating the number of cases has increased (hopefully adjusted for population increase, but I'm willing to accept even raw increase since a cursory skim didn't indicate such an implication) so that I don't have to read a wall of text just to get at a figure to which you've referred.
In essence, the source I've provided says this: 25% of LGBT individuals receive "hate speech" compared to just 10% of the general population; 16% percent of LGBT people have been told "they aren't worthy of life" compared to just three percent of the general population. Hate speech toward them is mostly increasing due to social media. The effect this has on the LGBT people, according to the article, is "fear, anger, withdrawal, and depression". Mind you, almost 15 million Americans identify as LGBT, therefore over three million have received hate speech and roughly two million have been told they aren't worthy of life (though the actual numbers may be higher as not all victims of this have came forward).
 
23,625
United States
Here to Eternity
TexRex72
In essence, the source I've provided says this: 25% of LGBT individuals receive "hate speech" compared to just 10% of the general population; 16% percent of LGBT people have been told "they aren't worthy of life" compared to just three percent of the general population. Hate speech toward them is mostly increasing due to social media. The effect this has on the LGBT people, according to the article, is "fear, anger, withdrawal, and depression". Mind you, almost 15 million Americans identify as LGBT, therefore over three million have received hate speech and roughly two million have been told they aren't worthy of life (though the actual numbers may be higher as not all victims of this have came forward).
I'm well aware of these incidents having occurred. Hell, I'm close enough to catch a brew tossed by a guy who bears visible scars from physical violence at the hands of people who were offended by his homosexuality. What I'm looking for is an indication these incidents are "happening more than ever".
 
7,239
Exorcet
OE Exorcet
Well to be fair, since you've brought up race, almost all victims of racially motivated bigotry are nonwhite. There are far more legitimate slurs and flags which dehumanize and oppress Black people, for example, than there are for whites. This type of policy would seek to protect people of color, rather than be discriminatory towards whites, which it isn't.

...

It's not fascism when the point of banning HATE speech and expression, not CONTROVERSIAL speech, is to reduce bigotry and protect the marginalized. As to who gets to decide what is hate speech, it would be the marginalized. These types of people would define the types of hatred that they receive (Anti-semitism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, etc). And please don't lump me in with those so-called blue-haired tumblr "activists".

...

Because the word in question was not used in a derogatory manner, as you mention, this book should not be banned. Context still matters. That being said, it should be left out of school curriculums, as the frequent presence of the word can render frightening to the race that word affects. Plus, it's common sense that swear words should be left out of schools.

...


Yes, a white male who is homeless would be considered marginalized to a certain degree. He is marginalized due to his poverty, lack of shelter, and further marginalized if he also happens to be disabled. That being said, his race or gender does not marginalize him, unlike many victims of hate speech. Also, what racial slurs could be directed at him in your view? And no, "cracker" is not a racial slur, rather a slang term.
This already seems problematic and a bit inconsistent. One group gets to choose how to censor the other, who has no recourse to challenge what is being censored, and any concerns or problems that the censored group might have are ignored because it's assumed that its members can't possibly be suffering as badly as anyone in the first group. You might very well be trying to make things better, but this is a horrible way to go about it. Why is the solution to racism more racism? Why not just aim for equality?

Even if you did succeed in keeping certain speech from public areas, what of the underlying discrimination? Do we just stop and pretend that it's gone away and do nothing about it?
 
9,401
Australia
Western Sydney
mustafur
I wish Australia had America's Speech laws.

I'm of the firm belief that no one has the right to not be offended. Society at large does a great job of keeping order on this, if you where to scream out The N word with something Negative in say Downtown New York your going to get a very Hostile reaction from the public. Now I don't agree with alot of cases like this turning violent,I think if you physically harm someone your in the wrong no matter what anyone said to you(unless it's a threat to you or your family etc I could explain more if you want clarification), but the public at large is generally ahead of these "Hate speech" laws anyway and bringing in the police to fine you for saying bad words just doesn't sit well with me and could easily go in a Orwellian Direction(not that it isn't already).

Plus when you go down that route the question of who decides what is hate speech and what isn't can get very muddy and honestly all your going to do is fuel a counter culture that will go in the far opposite direction of that.

In Summary: Not a good idea at all.
 

Northstar

The Original Party Worm
Premium
23,748
United States
Anoka, MN
I don't at all deny that Pride festivals/marches are becoming more popular than ever, but as they increase in popularity, so do homophobic extremists who attend those rallies. For example, two weeks ago Detroit had their major Pride March, and many homophobes as well as anti-semites attended, This is not the first time this has happened, and in my view, this type of behavior simply shouldn't go without punishment. Have a read: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...hington-march-neo-nazi-stampede-a8950781.html

That doesn't show me that it's "worse than ever".

for the sole purpose of dehumanizing these people and trolling them.

I'm just going to cut this bit out here for a second and answer it with a story.

When I was a wee lad I was picked on a lot due to my cleft palate. In the 4th grade my teacher took me aside and explained as best as he could to little old me that the taunts only had the power they did because I let them. He told me that if I deprived my tormentors of the reaction they craved that they would move on to easier prey.

It worked. Now, obviously if things are physical it changes things, but the point is these "counter-protesting" morons only have the voice that they do because we give it to them. That's why, as much as I hate things like the WBC, I hate the articles about them even more. They're parasites, cut off their food source and they shrivel up and die.

no matter the context.

What about an Uncle Ruckus type situation where they mean it in the same derogatory way that a racist white person would use it?

And that's the problem with hate crime laws, it takes something that should be "blind" and gives it vision.
 
12,852
Australia
Adelaide
GTP_Imari
Hopefully I can regain you with this explanation. Let's compare "cracker" with the obvious slur towards Black people, the n-word. The N-Word's origin was during the era of slavery; slaves were called this word as a slur for not living up to their owners' expectations. It was simply a way to dehumanize these peoples. The n-word does not have the same historical context as cracker. The word "cracker" being used in post-slavery literature written by Black people directed at whites is merely a result of whites enslaving them and oppressing them for centuries, being called the N-Word on the slave fields day in, day out. It's only natural that the oppressed would rebel against their oppressor.

Obviously there is a gradient of severity of racial slurs, just as there's a gradient of swear words. N:censored: is by most people's standards one of the harsher possible racial slurs. Cracker is one of the weaker ones, but it's still a word that has baseline abusive connotations. Perhaps some people use it in a slangy and not intentionally offensive way, just as some people use n:censored: in a slangy and not intentionally offensive way.

But just because someone says "what up, my n:censored:?" to someone else, doesn't make n:censored: less of a racial slur. The same logic works for cracker.

I mean, we have this:

upload_2019-6-26_22-1-34.jpeg

This is a real thing. I have some in my fridge. It's still totally a racial slur.
 

Famine

GTP Editor, GTPEDIA Author
Administrator
76,248
United Kingdom
Rule 12
GTP_Famine
Well to be fair, since you've brought up race
I didn't bring it up. This is from literally the first post in this thread:
slurs directed to racial minorities ... openly racist ... people of color ... Racial slurs ... one who uses the N-Word to a black person ... one who walks up to a black person and calls them that slur
And it remains that your solution creates a law that treats people differently - or discriminates - depending on the colour of their skin. No law should ever do that - it's straight-up segregation.
 
20,678
TenEightyOne
TenEightyOne
You just created a law that treats people differently based on the colour of their skin.

Hopefully you just created a recognition that every situation needs to be considered in its own right - a lot of that goes to any evident intent in the speech. It's not, erm, black and white.
 

BobK

Premium
7,001
United States
Massachusetts, USA
I believe that Black people can say the N-word as much as they want, for the same reasons that LGBT individuals reclaimed "fag" and "queer", and women reclaimed "slut" and "whore". All of these words are slurs towards these specific groups, therefore no one but those a part of those groups should be allowed to use them, no matter the context.

S on other words, whether or not a word is "hate speech" depends on the race of the person using it. Surely you can see that is in itself a racist remark.

Also, keep in mind that the purpose of the Second Amendment is for when people start messing the the First Amendment.
 
20,678
TenEightyOne
TenEightyOne
S on other words, whether or not a word is "hate speech" depends on the race of the person using it.

It can depend on that but that isn't a way to describe every circumstance. ****** is a difficult word, its history very much lies in the worst kind of racism which gives rise to the complicated issues around black culture adopting the word as its own. Words with that kind of history are always going to be complex - as an example Jewish families can refer to one another (and their culture) in ways that wouldn't be acceptable for people from outside their family/culture to use. We can't turn the clock back and undo some of the terrible things that humanity's been responsible for (not just 'white' society) but we can at least understand that its left set of complex social problems that aren't simply expressed.

Sometimes we need to let the bias pull past the centre in order to centre things. That applies to many facets of equality.
 
5,051
Netherlands
Netherlands
S on other words, whether or not a word is "hate speech" depends on the race of the person using it. Surely you can see that is in itself a racist remark.

Also, keep in mind that the purpose of the Second Amendment is for when people start messing the the First Amendment.

Is the first amendent in the USA absolute?
 

BobK

Premium
7,001
United States
Massachusetts, USA
It can depend on that but that isn't a way to describe every circumstance. ****** is a difficult word, its history very much lies in the worst kind of racism which gives rise to the complicated issues around black culture adopting the word as its own. Words with that kind of history are always going to be complex - as an example Jewish families can refer to one another (and their culture) in ways that wouldn't be acceptable for people from outside their family/culture to use. We can't turn the clock back and undo some of the terrible things that humanity's been responsible for (not just 'white' society) but we can at least understand that its left set of complex social problems that aren't simply expressed.

Sometimes we need to let the bias pull past the centre in order to centre things. That applies to many facets of equality.

So just what would be a rigorous definition of "hate speech" then? For that matter, how about a rigorous definition of race?

Is the first amendent in the USA absolute?

Oh come now. Surely you already know the answer to that question.
 
20,678
TenEightyOne
TenEightyOne
So just what would be a rigorous definition of "hate speech" then?

The definition I found online just now says "abusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group, especially on the basis of race, religion, or sexual orientation". I think I'd agree with that, although an individual can be a victim as well as a group.

For that matter, how about a rigorous definition of race?

It's impossible to define through physical attributes alone but in general it's taken to be a division of ethnicity, culture or other definable origin.
 

Blitz24

Chromalusion Member
Premium
17,327
United States
NJ/USA
Blitzbay
Blitzbay
The definition I found online just now says "abusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group, especially on the basis of race, religion, or sexual orientation". I think I'd agree with that, although an individual can be a victim as well as a group.



It's impossible to define through physical attributes alone but in general it's taken to be a division of ethnicity, culture or other definable origin.
Apparently Jewish is a race.
 
2,994
United States
Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
It's impossible to define through physical attributes alone but in general it's taken to be a division of ethnicity, culture or other definable origin.
In my view, race is more to do with complexion than it is to do with nationality/ethnicity. For example, many Middle-easterners (Turks, Israeli, Lebanese, Palestinian, etc) are not European, yet pass as, and identify as white, rather than Asian or even "other". Many hispanics/latinx people with lighter complexion also identify as white.
 
23,625
United States
Here to Eternity
TexRex72
I mean...

A race is a grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct by society. First used to refer to speakers of a common language and then to denote national affiliations, by the 17th century the term race began to refer to physical (phenotypical) traits. Modern scholarship regards race as a social construct, an identity which is assigned based on rules made by society. While partially based on physical similarities within groups, race is not an inherent physical or biological quality.
 
2,994
United States
Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
Sadly, we realize now that race is an obsolete way to group people and only causes more, unnecessary division; handfuls of wars and genocides later people finally begin to come to this conclusion. That being said we still can't forget about race in it's entirety either, especially in a nation that was built on racism and ethnic cleansing. The problem with the notion "we're all one race: the human race" in a country like America is, by disregarding race, the struggles and oppression of members of disadvantaged races, who face their disadvantages sometimes because of their race, can be left out.
 

Danoff

Who is John Galt?
Premium
30,913
United States
Mile High City
That being said we still can't forget about race in it's entirety either, especially in a nation that was built on racism and ethnic cleansing.

Humanity got to where it is today on that very mindset, not just the USA.

Explain what is meant by "got where it is" or "built on". Because you seem to be implying that racism and ethnic cleansing were somehow advantageous or otherwise helpful in the development of the world. As though if we had not used these techniques and relied upon them that we would be somehow behind where we are today.

That's a tough case to make. Very tough. Your best foot forward might be the US treatment of Native Americans, and I'm still not the least bit convinced.
 
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2,994
United States
Elizabeth, New Jersey, USA
Explain what is meant by "got where it is" or "built on". Because you seem to be implying that racism and ethnic cleansing were somehow advantageous or otherwise helpful in the development of the world. As though if we had not used these techniques and relied upon them that we would be somehow behind where we are today.

That's a tough case to make. Very tough. Your best foot forward might be the US treatment of Native Americans, and I'm still not the least bit convinced.
By enslaving African Americans and decimating Native Americans who occupied this land before us, it was easier for us to flourish economically. All sorts of hard labor in many parts of this country were totally free, due to slavery. America would not have been as developed as it was post-industrial revolution if they had to pay people to farm and build. Erasing the culture of African Americans as well as Native Americans further established that white people were supposedly superior, as colonizers saw opposing cultures as a threat to their own. There's a reason why pretty much all African Americans in the US now have Anglo-Saxon surnames...
 

Dennisch

Humongous member
Premium
29,212
Netherlands
Hilversum
Dennisch
I don't know how you quoted my post but with a different name above it, I'll respond anyway.

Explain what is meant by "got where it is" or "built on". Because you seem to be implying that racism and ethnic cleansing were somehow advantageous or otherwise helpful in the development of the world. As though if we had not used these techniques and relied upon them that we would be somehow behind where we are today.

That's a tough case to make. Very tough. Your best foot forward might be the US treatment of Native Americans, and I'm still not the least bit convinced.

Let me change the wording.

Humans have always been like that. Humans travelled the world and enslaved the people of the lands they conquered. History is filled with examples of people looking down on strangers. In WW2 the Brits figured the Japanese weren't an actual threat because they were small yellow people. Those same Japanese spoke the same about the Chinese the conquered and killed. The Europeans weren't all that flattering about the black strangers they found in Sub Saharan Africa.

But if that was necessary for our development, I don't know, I didn't meant it like that.

Edit,

America would not have been as developed as it was post-industrial revolution if they had to pay people to farm and build

You can't say that. What if the lack of slaves sped up the industrial revolution, because people got sick and tired of hard labour for little money?
 

Danoff

Who is John Galt?
Premium
30,913
United States
Mile High City
By enslaving African Americans and decimating Native Americans who occupied this land before us, it was easier for us to flourish economically. All sorts of hard labor in many parts of this country were totally free, due to slavery. America would not have been as developed as it was post-industrial revolution if they had to pay people to farm and build. Erasing the culture of African Americans as well as Native Americans further established that white people were supposedly superior, as colonizers saw opposing cultures as a threat to their own. There's a reason why pretty much all African Americans in the US now have Anglo-Saxon surnames...

Of course the US had its largest and bloodiest war in history in response to that, and dealt with much infighting over how and whether new states would be added to the union. Slavery in the US held back so much of its development. Just think about all of the wonderful inventions and literature and leaders that we missed out on because they were not free to do anything other than manual labor.

Cheap (free) labor did help some, but much of it was squandered on luxury (like having a personal chef) and it came at great cost. The cost was blood, productivity, science, art, and moral development. If slavery and racism was such a huge advantage, I wonder how it's even possible that the north won the war in the US.

You see, value is created by each individual when they work. And while it is true that slaves were producing more value for their owners than they cost, you can't assume that those slaves were producing the most value they could. Imagine for a moment if slaves got the best farming equipment, medicine, food, took efficient breaks, and took pride and personal ownership in their work. Even if they were still doing manual labor (many of them could have created more value by doing something else), they could have produced more under different circumstances. Slavery is not efficient. The slaver doesn't care so much about the conditions of his slaves, and the slaves don't care to produce more than they have to.

Again, this is a very difficult sell. It almost requires the assumption that the slaves were somehow sub-humans who couldn't have created more if they'd been allowed. But also you have to make the case that they produced so much more value than they cost, and so much more than they would have, that it out weighs the other costs in political handwringing, moral confusion, and the civil war and reconstruction.

I don't know how you quoted my post but with a different name above it, I'll respond anyway.

I was missing the left bracket on the opening quote next to where it said member: 304353", and somehow that hid the entire first quote and put the name for the first quote onto the second one. It was quite strange. I fixed it by adding the left bracket, and you can see now how I thought it would look.

Edit:

Erm... left-facing right bracket.
 
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