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Do people have a right to be Racists? Should racism be made illegal?

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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:39 PM
Original message
Do people have a right to be Racists? Should racism be made illegal?
Edited on Wed Jan-17-07 07:49 PM by berni_mccoy
Racism is a corruption of our society, keeping it from progressing and forever creating social and economical inequality in our great Nation. Racism is a fog that our country has never really found its way out of. Even today, racism is present, even growing. I believe at least four of this country's greatest people were assassinated because of it: Abraham Lincoln, JFK, MLK and Bobby Kennedy. Where could these great, far-seeing and spiritually enlightened Americans have taken us if they were not destroyed by ignorant racists?

Does our constitution protect this mindset? Racism is downright evil. It is a way of thought without moral foundation, lacking a fundamental recognition of humanity. Racism is the ultimate combination of fear and hate, twisted in some sick organization of thought that is painful to witness when evoked into actual words and behavior. And here is the problem with racism: when finally the thoughts and beliefs that make one racists are manifested into words or behavior, they are ultimately illegal in nature. There may not be laws that govern the speech of racism, but racists words violate unwritten laws of humanity.

There are extremely few, rare even, cases where thoughts have this type of immoral and inhumane basis. One such way of thinking and believing that is outlawed and persecuted are those that mistreat children sexually. Pedophiles certainly have no rights in our society, and are even identified and labeled as miscreants. Laws in many states exist such that if a pedophile moves to your neighborhood, you are notified. You even can go to online maps and find out where the pedophiles in your neighborhood live.

Many times educational initiatives have been taken up to show Americans the wrongness of racism. But like a sickness, like a plague, like a pedophile who can not be changed, racism comes back. And sometimes it comes back strong. Maybe we should treat racists the same way we do pedophiles. Maybe people deserve the right to know when a racist moves into their neighborhood and the community can do something to rid themselves of these ignorant people. I can't believe, given that our Constitution was created and designed by people who recognized religious intolerance and ignorance, that the Constitution would protect the intolerance and ignorance of racism. And I know that many of the creators of the Constitution were slave owners. But I would argue that the principles of the Constitution extend beyond the limitations of the enlightenment of the time in which it was created. We have the ability to be so very enlightened as a nation, but many choose to hold us back. Let's apply our gift of enlightenment to the Constitution to enforce the principles it was founded on. It is time to move on, beyond the medieval period of nature darkened by the cloud of ignorance.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. Yes, and no. People have no right telling others what to think or believe.
And, quite frankly, I'd rather they felt comfortable voicing their opinion, no matter how obnoxious, so that they can be identified for what they are.
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rpgamerd00d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
2. There is a fine line between freedom of speech, and advocating violence
From a pure speech point of view, we should never outlaw racism. That opens the door to outlaw any type of speech the majority finds offensive. And that's bad.

But from a doing harm/violence/advocating violence point of view, yes, is should be (and in most cases, already is) illegal.
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madeline_con Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. I thought racism was illegal.
Hences the term "hate crime".

No one can legislate what idiots do in the privacy of their trailers, but in public areas, racism is illegal.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. To the contrary, hate crimes denote an additional penalty when racism is the
motivation for a crime against another person. The racism itself, absent a crime, is not illegal.
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EdwardM Donating Member (535 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 05:03 AM
Response to Reply #3
50. Racism is 100 percent legal.
And thank god for that, and thank god for the ACLU. the KKK has a right to exist. David Duke has a right to post at his website, the first amendment protects it, and the KKK has a right to protest in public, even in places they aren't wanted. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Party_o... I know people hate racism, but I would rather have racism, then a government that bans thoughts like many European countries, where a historian was recently imprisoned for denying the Holocaust. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Irving I'm sorry, but making it illegal for people to think a certain way is an awful road to travel.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. I think it should be because it really is another kind of abuse
by one group of persons towards another. It may not be harming them physically, but it does harm the victims socially and often psychologically. Subtle racism keeps underclasses from achieving the same level of dignity and economic freedom that the dominant race gets. It's unjust and unfair anyway you look at it.
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Irreverend IX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 06:00 AM
Response to Reply #4
52. You're a thought criminal! I'll shoot you, I'll vaporize you, I'll send you to the salt mines!
I think liberalism should be made illegal, because it may not harm people physically, but it does cause them to depart from righteous American values and is dangerous to society as a whole. Subtle liberalism undermines the nation's pride, weakens its economy and sends the message to terrorists and other enemies of the state that America is vulnerable and unable to defend its own. It's not right any way you look at it.

See why legislating ideology is a bad idea?
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 06:48 AM
Response to Reply #52
55. Great points
I think there are some really scary folks on the Left as well as on the right. It is nonsense like this that gives the right all the fodder they need to make the left sound like freaking devils.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #55
80. Here we go again. The "we can't poke at sacred cows because
we are going to upset the right" police. Who gives a shit about what those idiots and morons think?
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #80
94. agreed
ty
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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #52
74. Maybe on a personal basis but how about government
Should the government advocate or turn a blind eye toward racism? How about the government saying whites only on public water fountains or even flying a Confederate flag on government grounds. Should the government be allowed to fly a swastika to show Jews how the government feels about them? Should they be allowed to fly a Confederate flag to show the blacks how it feels about them? Your own private thoughts should be kept that way but once it enters the public arena through government there needs to be laws and control..
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #52
75. Racism isn't ideology. It's a proclivity that leads to anti-social and
often harmful behavior like ethnic cleansing. Liberal ism and conservatism are ideologies which are political. You don't have to be racist to be a conservative and you can be racist and still be a liberal as many on DU have amply proved.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #75
78. This is addressed by making those ACTIONS illegal.
There is, frankly, no way to criminalize thoughts.

You might as well criminalize greed, or less-than-desirable-compassion.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #78
81. How are you going to make all the actions that come from
racism illegal? How many law books will it take? If a criminal act is the result of racism then that should be enough to indict. Get the difference?
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #81
100. But that's just it - All actions resulting from racism are not and should not be criminal.
Those that violate the rights of another should be.
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fishwax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #81
107. is that different from hate crime legislation?
Or are you saying it should be a separate criminal offense, like if a person robbed a convenience store and were found to harbor racist attitudes towards the owner, they would be convicted of both robbery and racism?
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #107
111. If the motivation was racist, yes. It wouldn't take a prosecutor
much to establish a racist motive. Many crimes against liquor stores, or convenience stores that are owned by minority immigrants have been victims of racially motivated robbery and vandalism. It happens all too often.

Hey O. J. Simpson was acquitted of murder because the defense was able to prove that policeman Mark Fuhrman was racist although there was no law to actually define if he really was. (I personally believe he wasn't. He chose an unfortunate use of words at one time that the defense was able to use to their advantage.) If there had been clear legal guidelines on what actually constitutes racism, then the outcome might have been different.
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SusanaMontana41 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #52
77. Exactly
People are allowed to be stupid and ignorant. What they do with their stupidity and ignorance is much more important. Take legal action against the acts, not the thoughts.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #77
84. There's plenty of precedence for this in all the laws surrounding
murder, which is why you have degrees of murder in the court. The reason for first degree murder stems from what the murderer was thinking. Was it deliberately planned? On the other hand, there are other reasons for killing a person. Was it done in a moment of passion? Was it in self defense? Was it an accident?

Criminal acts based on racism have to be seen in that light. Some of the acts are so subtle as to deny employment or rental to a racial minority all the way to beating a person and dragging him to death tied to a truck. If the person happens to be an undocumented worker, it gives racists even more entitlement to do these acts.

And let me tell you some of the really vicious rumors that are spread about these immigrants would fall into the category of slander and defamation of character if they had any rights and the money to hire a lawyer.
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JacksonWest Donating Member (561 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #4
70. If racism is outlawed, only outlaws will have racism.
Anyway, all jokes aside, you can't outlaw thoughts and beliefs. Besides the impossibility of enforcement, it's a direct violation of the first amendment. How would you even begin to attempt this? Who gets to determine what and who is racist? Will I have to burn my Eddie Murphy records(yes, I still have the actual record)? What about RIchard Pryor, or George Carlin? Chris Rock? Will we take people out of Toby Keith concerts and put them in a Haliburton detention center? Will we make certain words illegal? You can't make a law that only applies to one race(equal protection) so would black people be allowed to use the N word? If not, is it ok if I still like NWA? Or every other rapper ever?

Anyways, your idea would be kindling for dystopian fascism. The real kind. Read or re-read 1984.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #70
76. Really? Is that so?
This has nothing to do with thinking and everything to do with the actions that comes from that thinking. How many times did you want to do harm to an enemy and how many times did you pass on that thought because it was against the law and would land you in jail?

If racism was only about thinking we wouldn't be where we are today. All families would be rainbow families consisting of all races in the mixture. We wouldn't be complaining about accepting Mexican pesos at our southern border, yet happily accept Canadian dollars at our other border with nary a peep. Think about it.

So think all the murderous, misogynist, racist thoughts you want to but there should be laws so that no one can act on them. Now I don't care if those little Aryan White Supremist brats, Prussian Blue, want to sing their racist spews, however, when they effect actions that are clearly bigoted in their audience then that should be against the law and it isn't.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #76
79. The acts are alerady illegal, which per your first paragraph addresses
the matter.
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JacksonWest Donating Member (561 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #76
106. What can someone do, that is racist, that should be against the law but isn't already?
I guess I don't see what you're referring to. You use Prussian Blue as an example. You use a sentence that doesn't make a lot of sense to me: "when they effect actions that are clearly bigoted in their audience". What actions would be "clearly bigoted" that would justify prosecuting Prussian Blue? Outside of Prussian Blue inciting a riot at a concert, or writing a song encouraging harm against a specific person, I don't see how you could write a law in accordance with the constitution that makes their hateful songs illegal- or a crime to record and perform.

In regards to wanting to harm an enemy-I really don't have enemies. I don't think many people do. I don't harm people because I believe it's wrong to hurt someone unless it's in self defense. The law doesn't prevent me from hurting people. If the law is all that prevents you from hurting someone-don't worry. It's pretty easy to circumvent. Most violent crimes are done with little planning. If you really want to hurt an "enemy", it's not that hard to pre-meditate and get away with. I'd encourage you to love your enemy, not to harm him.

IN regards to all families being rainbow families-ok. I don't think racism plays as big a role in who you marry as culture, but it's an interesting theory. I think most people settle down with someone of the same race because they have a similar background and culture. But, that's clearly a subjective thought, so, I'll move on.

Finally, there are laws against almost everything you can do that would be inspired by racism. If you call someone a racist name- it can be construed as an assault. An assault is anything that makes someone legitimately fear for there safety. There is no physical component to assault under the law. Battery is the physical portion. When you see someone charged with attacking someone, it's typically referred to as an "A & B" or assault and battery.
http://criminal-law.freeadvice.com/violent_crimes/assau...


We have hate crime statutes which punish people for committing a crime out of racial motivation. What more do you want/need? I'm not sure what behavior people are getting away with that you want to make illegal.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #106
112. Okay, I lived for thirty years in the same neighborhood in Santa
Monica, in a rental, something most people don't do as there is a turnover usually every two years. When I moved in it was a Mexican neighborhood, then AAs and whites started moving it. For awhile it was quite Yuppie, then Persians started moving in, but the Persians not only bought and rented residential properties but businesses in the neighborhood to so that pretty soon we had signs in both English and Persian.

However, I never saw overt racism until the Persians moved in and it was ugly. Also, this particular group of Persians weren't Muslim but Jewish. They had escaped being persecuted under the Ayatollah. The Yarmulkes on Saturday were a dead giveaway, however our bigoted fellow citizens, could only think Muslim after the hostage situation. These poor people were attacked, their businesses vandalized and generally they were the target of many kinds of harrassment crimes.

The police did little or nothing because they too were bigoted and I even overheard one talking to another about the "ragheads" when one of the apartments in our building had been trashed and they were called to take a report.

I think a crime of racism could have bolstered a case for the victims if there were legal guidelines to define this type of crime. Yes, this is ancedotal but I don't think it would be hard to dig up many similar cases across the country where racism was the prime motivator for a crime.
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JacksonWest Donating Member (561 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #112
114. Everything you're describing is both racist and a crime.
Except calling someone a "raghead"(which is obviously racist). But attacking people and vandalizing a business is a crime. In California it is also a hate crime if it is racially motivated. That's an extra penalty for racism.

I'm sorry that the police didn't enforce the law. You're best bet in those situations is to contact CAIR, the Justice department, and the ACLU. Just to cover your bases if the police are lax in enforcing the law. The police could be prosecuted for violating someones civil rights under federal laws. I don't know if refusing to do police work qualifies-but it should. They have a duty to protect. There are different laws that cover police conduct-and they vary by state. It's an interesting issue you bring up.

As long as we're being anecdotal-I live in south east michigan, and we have the largest Arab population in the country. People here are fairly inundated with their culture-and we thankfully don't have incidents like you describe. It's unfortunate that most of the country isn't exposed to muslim people to a great extent. I'm surprised to hear about incidents like this in Santa Monica. It just sounds like a diverse, liberal community. I've never been, so I'll take you at your word.

Anyway, I am going to explore police inaction as a civil rights violation. As I said before, that's a really interesting and valid issue.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. The Constitution was not created by people fleeing religious intolerance.
You have confused the Founders with the Pilgrims.

You have also confused people who violate the rights of others (pedophiles) with those who are simply foul (racists).
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Corrected that statement... but the founders explicitly recognized the need for freedom
of religion. The religious persecution was still something they explicitly recognized as a founding principle of this country.

But I disagree with your second point completely: pedophiles can be criminalized in this country without acting: they need only be found guilty of INTENT. I am questioning if we should treat racism as an equal crime... that if you intend to harm someone with racism, even if you didn't, then you should be prosecuted for it.
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rpgamerd00d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. I believe Conspiricy charges would apply there, so we're covered.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. They did - freedom of religion. And of speech.
And if you have examples of people being criminalized merely for what they are thinking, by all means present them.

Racism is inarguably vile, but it alone does not violate the rights of another person.
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. People are being harmed by racism every day
Racism is more than just speech. It is a will to harm those of another race. It violates the right to pursue happiness of those of that race.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. You have confused "harm" with "violation of rights". NT
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #18
85. Isn't everyone gonna have to pay a fine then?
Or is it only white people? Oprah and Bill Cosby can tell jokes or make snide remarks about 'crackers' because only white people are racist and only white people have power?
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flashlighter Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
7. No, People can think whatever they want
I would rather have these people out in the open anyway.

Thought police is a bad idea.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:55 PM
Original message
This has nothing to do with thought police.
It's a real problem where a demographic of people are made to seem to be inferior and could be harmed by another supposedly superior breed of people if they don't keep their place.
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flashlighter Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
24. But that's not racism
that's legal segregation, which IS illegal.
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. Legal Segregation exists SOLELY BECAUSE of racism.
Can you prove me wrong on that?
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. Which segregation is legal?
And which legal segregation violates another's rights?
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flashlighter Donating Member (246 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #26
31. Legal segregation DOESN'T exist
is my point- and yes, I know there are many many defacto instances of segregation, but you are talking about the legal issues, not the dirty little facts of life- any segregation that exists is illegal.

You can make segregation illegal, but you can't get rid of how people feel and think, it's not practical and it's not even a good idea.

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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 06:50 AM
Response to Original message
56. If you read the OP
you would see that was exactly what it is.
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illinoisprogressive Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
8. You cannot make a person's morals law. Racism is learned.
But, you also feel if it's wrong and you cannot make a law on that. You have to make efforts to teach it is wrong.
I learned early it was a wrong thing so, I grew up without learning how to hate.
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Our laws ARE based on our morals.
Edited on Wed Jan-17-07 07:55 PM by berni_mccoy
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rpgamerd00d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. Legality = Morality.
:)
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MrSlayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
13. Yes and No.
You have the right to be as ignorant as you like. And making racism illegal is utterly ridiculous. What would be the parameters? Would telling a Polish joke get you arrested? Not only that but you'd never be able to fine/arrest millions of people.
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. If you were caught with the intent to do harm through racism
Then you would be prosecuted and exposed as a racist, just as pedophiles can be caught before they actually assault a child.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Intent to commit a pedophile act is intent to violate the legal rights of another person.
Racism absent any other crime is not a violation of another's rights.
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. I disagree... millions of Americans are harmed by racism every day
Racism is more than just speech.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Indeed they are. But "harm" is not the question regarding legality - violation of
rights is.
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. When you harm someone, you violate their rights.
Mainly, that all men (people) are created equal and have the right to pursue happiness. Are these not rights explicitly called out in our Constitution?
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Not so.
And "pursuit of happiness" is definitely not in the Constitution.

If someone dislikes me and calls me an idiot I may be hurt. But has he violated my rights? No.

There is no legal right to feel loved and happy.
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:30 PM
Response to Reply #27
38. It's not about feeling loved and happy
It's about an equal right to fulfill an individual freedom, which can't be done if racism is creating an environment of discrimination and inequality.

And you are right, the pursuit of happiness was language in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, but it is a document that holds as much meaning to the freedoms our country is founded on and that some are not able to realize because of racism.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. Again, LEGAL RIGHTS must be protected.
If you can find legal rights violated by someone else simply feeling racism, prosecute the fuck out of it.

But the Declaration holds zero legal weight, and you ought to know that.
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. Discrimination. Definitely illegal. Born from racism.
Although there are many forms of discrimination, racial discrimination is so prevalent in our society, people don't recognize it as racially driven.
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. Then criminalize the discrimination. Not the thoughts.
And I, a gay man, say the same about gay-hatred.

Prosecute the violation of rights.

Simply having racist or anti-gay thoughts does not violate anyone's rights.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #38
88. That's action
If your ideology is creating action (discrimination), that is illegal.

How are the racist thoughts of an unemployed iron worker affecting anyone? The racist actions of the human resorces director may be.

Big difference that you are apparently blind to.
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MrSlayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #15
28. The intent to do harm thing I can get with.
But isn't that a crime already whther racist or not?
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. The person isn't labeled as a racist like a pedophile...
I think that sort of punishment would go a long way to ending the prevalance of racism in this country.

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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #30
102. Are you kidding? Hasn't Limbaugh been called a racist? Hasn't David Duke?
Wasn't Strom Thurmond?

Did it make them go away?
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #15
103. No, they can't
Pedophiles can't be arrested for being pedophiles. They can, however, be arrested for sexual assault or attempted sexual assault.
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
16. Sure. Our prisons are too empty.
We need some fresh faces to fill up all the empty jail cells.
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #16
23. How about different faces.
When people are imprisoned simply for the color of their skin... because they all look alike and fit the description of a suspect... and can not afford an attorney that will defend them.

And I'm not saying every non-white person is innocent. But I am saying that many African Americans are put in jail because of their color and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #23
32. I see what you're saying, about a lot of people of color getting unfair sentences.
However, a racist made to serve time for being racist, Serving time will not help the person overcome racism, it would just make the racist person angry and probably even more hateful toward other races.

Plus, since it's clear to me that people of all races can be, and often are, racist, how do you propose doling out punishments among all the races? You could have members of each race locked up in the same jail/prison for racism. How is that going to solve anything?
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
21. Nevermind
Edited on Wed Jan-17-07 08:00 PM by Bornaginhooligan
Misread
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orpupilofnature57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
33. Yes it's Misanthropic in every way!!! no Function of any good!
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Starbucks Anarchist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
34. As morally repugnant as racism is, people do have a right to feel that way.
Simply thinking/feeling racist thoughts is not a crime, nor should it be.
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LostInAnomie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
35. A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.
We could make as many laws against racism as we like but it won't change that racism exists. You cannot change what a person feels inside, or the motives behind their legal actions.
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orpupilofnature57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 04:20 AM
Response to Reply #35
49. it should be looked at as pedophilia
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GOTV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #35
90. Hey! That rhymed!
and is also correct
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LostInAnomie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #90
95. Yeah, I heard that rhyme a long time ago...
... from my Grandfather. It seemed appropriate.
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G Hawes Donating Member (440 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:16 PM
Response to Original message
36. The short answer is "yes"
People do have the right to be racists. There are limits, of course, as has been pointed out above, when crime and racism intersect. But free speech is a fundamental value that cannot lightly be abrogated, nor should it be.

The manner in which you incorporated pedophilia into your argument is flawed, because even pedophiles are entitled to their thoughts without fear of criminal sanction. It is acting upon those thoughts that brings the hammer of the law down on them. Similarly, racists are free to think what they want, and they are free to say what they want unless and until their words and actions cross into the criminal realm.

There is not and never should be any room for "thought police" in free and democratic societies. Rather, the emphasis should be on educating our young and stamping out racism where it grows.
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. Education seems to work as well as criminalizing it would then...
See the racist singing twins for an example of modern day racism despite education: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFF7hVlqUeA

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G Hawes Donating Member (440 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #37
41. Education does work, actually
Edited on Wed Jan-17-07 08:42 PM by G Hawes
There is far less "ingrained racism" now than there was a decade ago, or two decades ago, or five decades ago.

And no, I haven't clicked on your link because I don't click on random, unsourced links to youtube videos. But from your description of it, I take it that it's an example of a couple of kids singing something with racist overtones. If so, it does nothing to take away from my point.

Education does, in fact, and has, in fact, reduced ingrained racism greatly over the past several decades. The fact that this is even being discussed here is proof enough of that.

And again, you can't criminalize people's thoughts in a free and democratic society. Do you REALLY think it's a good idea to do so?






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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. Make thoughts illegal and you can rest assured, the conservatives will be prosecuting you
within a decade.
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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. You and I may disagree on many things, but not on this.
Making thoughts and ideas themselves a crime would be entirely disastrous.
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G Hawes Donating Member (440 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #43
46. Exactly.
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berni_mccoy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. In general, no it's not a good idea.
But racism seems like it could receive special treatment...

That's why I asked the question...

And what I'm hearing is that it should be pursued as if it were criminal, but without the prosecution. Ultimate slippery slope.
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G Hawes Donating Member (440 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. I don't know where
you're hearing that it "should be pursued as if it were criminal" but certainly not from me.

I disagree vehemently with any form of "thought police" paradigm.

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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-17-07 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
48. People have a right to think and feel however they please
but any of thier actions that affect any other human being can be legislated.

We do not punish pedophiles. We punish child abusers and molesters. The pedophile has to act out in some way that affects a child directly before society becomes involved. Dealing with racists should be no different.
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Ghost in the Machine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 05:18 AM
Response to Original message
51. People have the right to be *anything* they want...
but just because they have the right, it doesn't make it right ... right?

PEACE!

Ghost
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BoneDaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 06:47 AM
Response to Original message
53. yeah
let's start jailing people for how they think.

This is the point when the left becomes as bad as the right.

You can make laws (hate crimes) that can attempt to make consequences worse for racist BEHAVIOR, but to start legislating how people think or what they say smacks of fascism to me.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 06:47 AM
Response to Original message
54. you have the right to be racist. you dont have the right to act on it. laws
are already in place that criminalizes acts of hate.
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Donald Ian Rankin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 07:24 AM
Response to Original message
57. I'm scared and disgusted that anyone is even asking this.

You're talking about as gross a violation of the 1st ammendment as it possible.

The right to be wrong is by far and away the most important right to protect.

This suggestion is, thankfully, about as clear a violation of the 1st ammendment and would never go anywhere.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 07:35 AM
Response to Original message
58. I'll take a million racists over a single thought police officer with the power of the government.


Really, thought police (whether they be from the left or right) are a much worse evil than a guy in white sheet.
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 07:35 AM
Response to Original message
59. How Would This Work?
I come into contact with "racists" everyday but racism is such an amorphous topic that how would these people be prosecuted?


I go to a gym... I had a conversation with this gentleman and he said he stopped going to this other gym because there were too many Hispanics.

Should he be thrown in the hooskow?


I had a man come to do some work on my home. He remarked that he thought about moving to my area because his area was too "ethnic".


Should he be thrown in the hooskow?

One time a woman was cutting my hair and she referred to as a man as a "New York Jew".

Should she be thrown in the hooskow?


I once had a (professor) who called American University AU AJew...

Should she be thrown in the hooskow?


These people displayed varying levels of idiocy but I don't think their actions should be prosecutable.
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Thothmes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 07:38 AM
Response to Original message
60. Right to be a racist
Yes you have that right. The Constitution gives everyone legal protection to their own opinions. However, to act on racist opinions in most cases is illegal. That is the way it should be. To try and "outlaw" racist thought would be no different than trying to outlaw political thought or religious thought.
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
61. People have a right to their own thoughts, but not necessarily actions.
You can't legislate racist thoughts, but you can some racist actions, such as discrimination and harrassment. I don't think the law can -- or needs to -- go any further.

I don't think a "racist" is as easily defined as a pedophile. By some definitions, most of us are racist at times.

The more we mix, the sooner racism will fade away.
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ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
62. The Question Is Apropos Of Nothing
Even if you could unravel the Constitutional issues, it's unenforceable. The prison system would have to be increased by a factor of 10. The cost/benefit would be impossible to calculate.
The Professor
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
63. No, it would be a huge mistake, and frankly illegal and unconstitutional
First of all, you would be trampling all over the First Amendment. People have a Constitutional right to say ugly things. As long as they don't follow through with actions, they have all the right in the world to speak hate. We have all the right in the world to point out how stupid and ignorant they are. It is a two way street.

Secondly, there is the practical consideration of how do you determine what racism. Sure, an ignorant white person using the N word is an easy call. What about an African American person doing the same thing? What about an African American person calling a white "cracker"? Would that be racist? What about such instances where the perp is pushing the boundaries, such as Rush Limbaugh's ongoing, childish dellight in using the word "niggardly". Lots of fine hairs to split here.

Third, such a prohibition on language and actions will not prevent people from being racist. That sort of change can only be brought about through time, education and awareness. Yes, it is a long slow process, but it is the only real effective one.

Fourth, there is a practical consideration of enforcement. Most racist enclaves are generally overseen by equally racist law enforcement. I doubt that one would penalize a citizen for expressing viewpoints that they disagree with. And any such legal action is only going to reenforce the racists world view :shrug:

Sorry, but such a ban is unConstitutional and unworkable. As I said earlier, the only way such changes can be made is through the long, slow process of education and awareness.
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
64. What is it, exactly, that you're proposing to ban?
I'd like to see the text of the law before I vote on it.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
65. You can't change people's thoughts, but you can force them to change
their behavior.

A restaurant owner may not LIKE having to serve all races, but he still has to do it, and maybe after he's done it for a few years, he'll realize that the sky hasn't fallen down just because a few black or Latino customers come in once in a while.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
66. Feminism should be illegal
Let's outlaw all other -isms too.

Just how in the hell do you plan on enforcing this enlightened law?
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #66
67. Why would you want to make all -isms illegal?
Don't you know that not all -isms are equal?
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #67
69. How can you outlaw one ism without outlawing the rest?
Isn't it just a value judgment?
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 11:50 AM
Response to Reply #69
82. So you do think all -isms are equal,
equally bad at least.

Peculiar.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #82
86. You are missing the point
Laws involve actions.

Laws involving thoughts or attitudes are something else.

In some ways, all -isms are equal until the ideology is put into practice. Racism, in and of itself, does not concern me. Racism applied does. Someone can think that women should be in cages or that all men should be castrated. Who am I to tell them to stop?

When they show up with the cages or the knives, I will be scared.

(Actually, I go farther than that. I believe in the open expression of your -isms. Klan rallies, whatever. Have your parades. My ideas will win).
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #86
101. Indeed. If -isms can be criminlized, which does anyone think would have been
criminalized in the last 5 years or so?
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #86
109. The problem with rascism is not so much the thoughts or attitudes,
but rather the actions.

I sure do not think thoughts or attitudes should be prohibited, be it an -ism or otherwise.
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JacksonWest Donating Member (561 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 10:37 AM
Response to Original message
68. Think "1984". Thought crimes are a dangerous direction to go in.
Anyways, look at the broader scope of human behavior. Racism is a negative energy, a negative energy that will be present for all time. It will find a way to manifest itself through certain people. our society has,is, and will progress, despite racism. You're always going to have garbage. It's part of life. Don't let racist's bother you. IN reality, the more you pay attention to them, the more power you give them. It's sort of like trolls. They want a reaction. They lash out to validate their own feelings of worthlessness. It's not worth worrying about. Fight applications of law that are racist. If some one wants to yell slurs from their pick-up truck-so what? I think there are plenty of elements in society that are backward and detrimental. It doesn't mean they should be illegal.

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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #68
98. An interesting reference, given the current UK news stroy about racism
http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/articlenews.aspx?type=t...

The UK 'Celebrity Big Brother' (I think the US has a version of Big Brother, didn't it?) has an Indian movie star on it. Some of the other 'celebrities' (who are mainly non-entities, since few people think this a worthwhile use of their time, unless they really need the money) are saying things about here that seem racist - and even if they're not racially motivated, it seems like bullying. There has been a record number of complaints to the broadcasting regulator that the TV company hasn't stepped in, and politicians are asking questions in Parliament. It's also big news in India, where, by chance, the Chancellor, and future PM, Gordon Brown is - and he gets more questions on this than anything else.

Is it OK to remain watching while someone is bullied - racially or not? The main sponsor of the programme has withdrawn, today. "Thought crimes" are thoughts that are unexpressed. When someone yells slurs, they're no longer just thoughts. Is bullying, whether of children or adults, OK to you?
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JacksonWest Donating Member (561 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #98
99. No, bullying is not ok with me.
I think a lot of the reactions to the Big Brother show are appropriate. If I were a sponsor, I'd pull my support for such a show in record time. As a viewer, I would register my distaste my telling the network what I thought, and by "not liking" those that were making the remarks. Beyond that, I don't know role the government should have. It's a tv show, dependent on sponsors. And viewers. I don't really care for "reality" formats, but I have seen enough reality shows to know that participants can be kicked off. This would be up to the producers, obviously.

Ultimately, it's good to see people behaving in that manner. It's reminds us that the manifestation of hatred is an ugly, vile, and contemptible thing. It makes you more conscious of your own behavior and other peoples feelings. I'd be more offended if the government prevented me from seeing things, anything, that they felt were to harsh, cruel, ect....

I have a strong libertarian streak in regards to first amendment issues. I don't think the government should have any role in censoring content. This is a separate issue from media ownership-I think the government should prevent any individual or corporation from controlling a large portion of the public airwaves. But as for what people put on the air-it ultimately comes down to ratings and meeting the publics needs. If we didn't have Bill O'Reilly, it's doubtful that we would have Keith Olberman or Colbert. In our funny little society, there is always a market for an alternative, IMHO.
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Beelzebud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
71. Americans should not advocate thought crime. Freedom is for views you don't agree with.
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DuaneBidoux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
72. People have the right to be racists. They shouldn\'t have the right to behave in racist ways.
You can never legislate whether someone can believe something. It is simply not possible. You can outlaw racist behavior, i.e., banning job and housing and educational restrictions based on race, etc. This should be done whenever possible.
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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
73. People have the right to think evil; they do not have the right to do evil
We can't be putting people in prison because they are idiots. If they hurt someone due to their idiocy, then they have committed a crime.
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Kerrytravelers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
83. Unfortunately, people have the right to be 100% stupid.
Even here on DU, which saddens me when I read racist rants.

(Not that your post is a racist rant.)
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
87. What do you mean by "be?"
Is it actions or thoughts or both?
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jelly Donating Member (312 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
89. People have the right to think racist, but the rest of us
have a moral obligation to point out the repugnancy of such thinking. Simple as that. John Stuart Mill -- whose views on free speech I admire -- supported free speech even for people with repugnant ideas. His support was not based on a belief that every point of view is equally valid, but based on his observation that freedom of expression (and thought) creates opportunities for debate. In the context of debate, the truth emerges victorious, and bad ideas are defeated when reasons are openly provided to reject such ideas.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 12:03 PM
Response to Original message
91. Regarding pedophiles and then general comments
"Laws in many states exist such that if a pedophile moves to your neighborhood, you are notified. You even can go to online maps and find out where the pedophiles in your neighborhood live." Only the ones that have broken the law, be caught, been successfully prosecuted and judged guilty. There are pedophiles all over. While it is illegal to act on pedophilic thoughts, it is not illegal to have them.

I understand where you are coming from, it would be nice to have there be no racism and 1 way to get there is through legislation because otherwise there are enough people who will do racist acts just because they want to, like to, or feel they should or even don't notice. So, legislation has been passed to make some acts illegal.

By having these laws in place I am sure that there are people who have grown up, or even just lived, in situations that are non-racist and this has influenced how they act, how they feel, then how they act again and around and around that cycle. However, there are people who will be racists, no matter what the laws say about how we should treat each other. I do not think we can legislate morality, legislate thought police.

Who gets to decide who has a racist thought enough to lock them up? How do you go about listening to these thoughts? How would this law be used? I don't think it would be possible to make this work.

Legislate actions, slowly morals of those who need this legislation may follow. Morals of those who might be racist without thinking may also change.
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GOTV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 12:08 PM
Response to Original message
92. Try defining "racism" in a legally actionable way.
I can't think of a definition that works for me.

I'm afraid racism will be like pornography. We'll all know it when we see it yet none of us will agree 100% of the time.
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philosophie_en_rose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 12:16 PM
Response to Original message
93. No and Maybe.
Edited on Thu Jan-18-07 12:18 PM by philosophie_en_rose
Racists are not a protected class. No one has the right to be racist. No one can force you to not be racist and racists are not protected from adverse employment or other actions based upon their status as a racist. There are other rights that might appear to protect racists (speech, religion, etc), but there is no specific right to be a racist.

Racism itself is a nebulous thing to make illegal, but it could be a mitigating factor or an enhancement in other crimes.
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npincus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
96. I don't support "Thought Police". Dangerous idea.
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Bronyraurus Donating Member (871 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
97. Are you serious?
How exactly would you police that? Would you make people take tests that measured their reactions to people of various races? Who would judge what speech or writing is racist and what is not? On this board alone there have been many battles royale over whether or not a certain statement is racist. This is practically impossible and, as if I need to point this out, unconstitutional.
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rollin74 Donating Member (489 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
104. Fuck thought police
People should have the right to whatever ideas, opinions or beliefs they like. No matter how stupid or offensive. That's why we have a Constitution and a First Ammendment.

When someone acts in a way that directly harms another then the law can and should become involved. No one has the right not to be offended. You can't legislate away what amounts to a bad attitude.

More laws, cops and prisons aren't going to turn our society into some utopia!
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
105. you can't legislate that, but there are hate crime laws on the books
Edited on Thu Jan-18-07 01:25 PM by WI_DEM
you say it's a stain on our nation--and it is--but you don't think other countries have their share of racists?
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
108. It needs to be written up in the DSM
Racism is a mental illness which requires treatment.
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verse18 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
110. People who are racist choose to hate,
But their victims don't choose to be. I was talking to this 17yo young lady who is half White and half Mexican. She was telling me her racist boyfriend used racial slurs against her heritage. He also told her the reason that he hates Black people is because his mother abandoned him for a Black man when he was a baby. Of course I come with "So, if his mother had abandoned him for a White man, would he hate his entire race for no reason, too?" She just laughed and I told her her boyfriend was an idiot and she should kick him to the curb.

We need to come together as a nation and take active, deliberate steps to combat racism. A few months ago I was watching a rerun of "The Outer Limits" about two Civil War enactors who were transported back to the Battle of Gettysburg. One of the young men was destined to assassinate the first Black POTUS. The assassination is to occur after the President inspired the nation to bury the most visible symbol of racism (and treason), the Confederate Flag, at the Gettysburg battle site. As I watched, I thought to myself "Wouldn't it be great if we had a real President that showed that type of leadership." Racism is tearing our nation apart and we need to be serious about taking steps to combat it.
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theboss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-19-07 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #110
115. Let me get this straight....
A girl has a boyfriend who hates her because she is Mexican....and I'm supposed to think that the boyfriend is crazy?

Maybe we should pass a law against women dating assholes.
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-18-07 03:55 PM
Response to Original message
113. No
Until there is demonstrable, direct physical or financial harm to another person, nothing should be illegal. I'm for enhancing the sentence on real crimes if there's a racist element. But outlawing thoughts or beliefs is a slippery slope. In the wrong hands, like the drug laws, it is a tool for totalitarianism. And we should always assume that our laws will fall into the wrong hands.
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