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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:27 PM
Original message
Bennet would have been immediately indicted in France
I must say that I don't understand the "defense" of Bennet, AL Franken and Springer put on AAR today.

It doesn't matter that Bennet said that it should be "immoral" or "reprehensible". He stated that it's because you are black that you are likely to become a criminal. That was the meaning of his "supposition". Which is blatant racist hate speech.

Hate speech has nothing to do with freedom of expression and is illegal in many European countries.

To give you an example a known black French standup comedian become controversial for statements comparing Sharon to Hitler. He got an SMS from a known top showproducer on national TV : "do you think it would be funny with a joke about black people smelling ?". Which means he indirectly implied that black people are smelling.

Today the tribunal condemned the producer and the president of the company to 5000 and 4000 euros each for "racial harrassment".

Obviously you can be fired because you say bullshit or allow a nipple to be shown but mass abortion of blacks is OK... what's next ?

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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. He would be indicted if he were a liberal talk show host in the USA
If a liberal or democrat would have said something like that he would have been tared and feathered.
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MildyRules Donating Member (739 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. You mean Jesse Jackson was
for calling New York Hymietown? Or like Louis Farrakhan was for calling Jews blood suckers?
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SteppingRazor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
2. Meh. That's why we're better than France...
Sure, Bennett's words should be, and have been, subject to widespread public disapproval. But getting fined for what you say? I think that's crap, and yes, it is against free speech.

I have a problem with the obscenity laws we already have, much less opening up whole new territories of speech to fines and possible imprisonment.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
3. What? OLDE EUROPE is more sophisticated and humane than we?
Oh, that's right. We knew that earlier.
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Zuni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. You think making certain speech criminal is more civilized?
I think it is downright evil to prosecute a man for speaking his mind
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 05:45 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. I support all freedom of speech; with the obvious limitations
I even think that DeLay should be allowed to hang himself with his self-promo newsbyte events. But, I can understand France's effort to erase decades of pretty ugly racist thoughts and ideas, ingrained even in their language. English does not suffer from that to the same degree.

I have also read translations of some French philosophical arguments which actively promote the idea that african blacks are smarter than american blacks, and that only immigration from Africa should be permitted into France - and that muslims were plain evil and should be barred - yet, they manage to write that without running afoul of their laws.

Or cross the border, and realize just how hard the Germans have worked to eradicate nazism. It is still illegal to publish Mein Kampf there, yet they still have a serious (current) problem with neonazi skinheads. Do I support their goal of changing their society, at the same time as they continue to deal with a decade of serious social, economic, cultural and environmental difficulties after the Berlin Wall fell? Sure. Can I support their refusal to publish a booklet which can only cause harm? possibly. I'm more grateful that I don't have to make that choice.

In sum, your theory is all well and good. Grounding it in a practical way makes one reconsider any absolute statement.
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Zuni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. I think possible ill effects to society from hate speech
are outweighed by possible ill effects to society from banned speech

as long as the person is not inciting crimes, I do not think any kind of speech should be against the law

some neo-nazi material does incite violence, but ones that don't should regrettably be allowed

free speech works both ways. to be able to speak our mind, we have to tolerate the opinions of those we disagree with
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MildyRules Donating Member (739 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
4. Just another reason
I'm gald I don't live in France. While what he said was repugnant, he should not go to jail for it. Period.
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shaggy1974 Donating Member (66 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Agreed.
He should not be going to jail.
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Zuni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. agreed
Free Speech is more important than protecting people from offensive speech
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Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #15
22. You got it zuni
Free speech is to protect things you don't want to hear.

You don't need free speech to say popular stuff.
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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:37 PM
Response to Original message
6. You're wrong. Hate speech is expression & is protected by 1st amendment.
The US has a stronger tradition of free speech than France. The first amendment prohibits laws against hate speech, per se. Speaking as a civil libertarian, I'm glad of that.
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shaggy1974 Donating Member (66 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 01:57 PM
Response to Original message
7. Just to spice things up a bit...
Here's Brad Delong's (a card carrying member of the blogosphere's defense of Bennett. Discuss.

In Defense of Bill Bennett

Bill Bennett is a hypocrite, a loathsome fungus on the tree of American politics, a man who has worked unceasingly to make America a worse place--when he's not publishing the work of others under his own name, or rolling the dice at Las Vegas while claiming that America's poor would be rich if only they had the righteousness and moral fiber than he does.

But Bill Bennett is not afflicted with genocidal fantasies about ethnically cleansing African-Americans. The claim that he is is completely, totally wrong. This:

I cite: Bill Bennett on abortion and race: The Right is becoming ever more open about the genocidal fantasies that guide its policies: Link: Bill Bennett: "ou could abort every black ba ... .

Addressing a caller's suggestion that the "lost revenue from the people who have been aborted in the last 30 years" would be enough to preserve Social Security's solvency, radio host and former Reagan administration Secretary of Education Bill Bennett dismissed such "far-reaching, extensive extrapolations" by declaring that if "you wanted to reduce crime... if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." Bennett conceded that aborting all African-American babies "would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do," then added again, "but the crime rate would go down."

is simply wrong.

Bennett did not "concede" that "aborting all African-American babies 'would be... morally reprehensible.'" That was his point. His caller said: "Abortion is bad because it has worsened the financing of Social Security." Bennett says: "Stay focused. We're anti-abortion not because we think that abortion is a means that leads to bad ends like a higher Social Security deficit; we're anti-abortion because abortion is bad; make arguments like 'abortion is bad because it increases the Social Security deficit' and other people will make arguments like 'abortion is good because it lowers the crime rate' and we'll lose sight of the main point."

Bennett is attempting a reductio ad absurdum argument.

Never attempt a reductio ad absurdum argument on talk radio. You can't keep exact control over your phrasing in real time, and so somebody is bound to think you are endorsing the horrible absurdity that you are rejecting.

(And, while we're at it: never get involved in a land war in Asia; do not read My Pet Goat when death is on the line; never play poker with a man named 'Doc'; never accept a battle of wits where iocane powder is a factor; never blithely download and install a file from Microsoft without carefully, carefully researching what it will do beforehand; never get involved in an argument over Noam Chomsky; and never post about human genetics on you weblog.)
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shaggy1974 Donating Member (66 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Sorry
That last article didn't paste correctly. If you're interested here's the article: http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2005/09/in_defense_of_b.h...
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
10. Yes, let's have government tribunals on what is appropriate....
Hate speech is still speech and should be protected provided it is not an incitement to violence.

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Silverhair Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:18 PM
Response to Original message
11. Hateful as Bennet's speech is, his right to speak it MUST be protected.
The ONLY way to protect our rights are to protect his too. When you give the gov't power to silence speech that you don't like, that power WILL always ultimately be turned against you. That is a lesson of history.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
12. You're bound to be absolutely right.
African-American communities have far lower crime rates than average across the board.

After all, Bennett didn't say anything about causality (unless you're saying the published reports as to what he actually said in context are wrong, which would be news). He spoke of mere correlation. And if his correlation is wrong, that would be really big news.

It means there's an inverse relationship between racism and 'dense' poverty, on the one hand, and crime rates, on the other.

May I cite you on that?
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Zuni Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
13. Hate Speech laws are undemocratic
I think Free Speech is more important than not being offended

I am very thankful we have the 1st Amendment. Hate speech laws can be turned against anyone
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #13
20. "Hate speech laws can be turned against anyone"
BINGO!!!!!!
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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
16. OK I see that we have a different approach
Hate speech is causing harm to entire populations. It causes mental distress to the people pointed out and incites to violence. In the name of "free speech" Radio Mille COllines told the Hutu population in Rwanda that the Tutsis were inferor. Result : a genocide. In the name a free speech Goebbels told the Germans that the Jews were responsible for their poverty. We know the results.

Black people in the US have "learned" yesterday that a "mass abortion" could "theoretically" solve the crime problem in their country. It does surely make them feel much better when they go to sleep :sarcasm:. Is any of the defenders of free speech inside the mind of black kids that hear that ?

hate speech is NOT freedom of expression. Freedom of expression is OVERRULED by hate speech.

Obviously it's very difficult to understand for some. Anyway I'd like to see a ruling about Bennett's "speech" if the ACLU or the Defamation League sues him... And if I was Black (or white for that matter) and living in the US, I'll sue him.
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eallen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. If Bennett were sued, he should look to the ACLU for help.
The ACLU has a very strong view of free speech, and it does not hold that hate speech is somehow an exception. You might remember that the ACLU has defended the right of neo-Nazis to demonstrate. Do a Google on Skokie.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Difficult to understand?
First you are seriously minimizing what happened in Rwanda and Nazi Germany and the underlying tensions that were pre-existing.

"
Anyway I'd like to see a ruling about Bennett's "speech" if the ACLU or the Defamation League sues him... And if I was Black (or white for that matter) and living in the US, I'll sue him."

For what exactly? Should the ADL have sued Farrakan? How about Jesse Jackson? How about remarks by Al Sharpton, should he have been sued by a Korean rights org?

Do you really want the government deciding what is and isn't hate speech?

I know its stupid but here's a speech from the American President

"Everybody
knows American isn't easy. America is
advanced citizenship.

SHEPHERD
(continuing)
You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's
gonna put up a fight. It's gonna
say, "You want free speech? Let's
see you acknowledge a man whose words
make your blood boil, who's standing
center stage and advocating, at the
top of his lungs, that which you
would spend a lifetime opposing at the
top of yours. You want to claim
this land as the land of the free,
then the symbol of your country can't
just be a flag; the symbol also has
to be one of its citizens exercising
his right to burn that flag in
protest." Show me that, defend that,
celebrate that in your classrooms.
Then you can stand up and sing about
the land of the free."

"Black people in the US have "learned" yesterday that a "mass abortion" could "theoretically" solve the crime problem in their country"

Here's the real kicker that you'll just love. There was a recent study that said legalized abortion was the big impact on falling crime rates in the 1990's since less unwanted children were born in poverty. It was well received.
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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. still different understanding
"Do you really want the government deciding what is and isn't hate speech? "

yes, because we are not libertarians. By the the question is damagogery (implies fear of government).

YES, it's so in most European countries. The Parliament is the representative of the people. It can decide by majority, even if 2/3 might be needed for difficult questions.

It can decide that defamation of other races, homosexuals etc is illegal and punishable. Why ? because it causes harm or may cause harm to individuals or groups. And because the majority of the people thinks so. Note that the Government can only PROPOSE such a law, the parliament has to RATIFY it efter debate (in which everyone can participate).

On that there is an absolute consensus in the majority of European countries

Same with abortion : (besides your statement is pointless since legalized abortion is not racist when applied to EVERY group. Of course abortion HELPS the poor. Nothing controversial with that unless you are a freeper or a fundie or both). Or is it wrong to promote contraception in India ?

In Europe there are LAWS on abortion which express the majority consensus of the society's opinion of the fetus. It's not a private business (a good excuse not to pass a law) and not a judicial interpretation of some court under a certain period of time.

Nobody here feels that passing LAWS who decide what's wrong or not is
WRONG BY DEFINITION.

About the persons you name they should have been sued whatever color of skin or political tendency they have as soon they defame groups for their ethnic or sexual belonging.

What Bennett said is incitement to genocide. A smartass can find his proposition not efficient enough and propose mandatory sterilization. What's the difference ? Everybody knows how this ends...

the problem is that he asked to restrain the rights of a certain group because because they had a certain colour. And not any right, the right to life...

Milosevic is at the Hague for exactly the same crime. The difference between Bennett and him is that he put the guys in wagons (not even to kill them, but to expell them).

and Sheperd is wrong besides the rethoric. No absolute freedom exist :
it stops when one freedom interferes with another and therefore causes harm.

Sorry but don't take for given that ALL THE TRUTH stands in the American constitution. There are different opinions about how democracy and freedom can be expressed. And the American solution is only ONE solution of many. And in many aspects very alone.
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CHIMO Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 10:47 PM
Response to Original message
23. And You
Really thought that it was 9/11 that changed the world!
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