Monday, July 19, 2010

Love, hate and speech

You'd be pleased to find out that Europe's myriad of human rights organizations aren't too keen on free speech rights. You see, free speech contains power and power is something that the ruling class is loathe to part with in any form or matter.

We didn't know much of the history of hate speech laws but we assume it should not be a huge surprise to learn that the largely arbitrary and vaguely-worded hate speech laws ginned-up at the U.N. over the decades were very popular with Soviet bloc states and 3rd world countries ruled by autocrats.

By empowering an active civil society, freedom of expression can thus be said to include its own safety valve against hatred, propaganda, and racism. There is no clear evidence that hate-speech laws foster a higher degree of racial and religious tolerance or help eradicate racism, and it is in any case both condescending and oppressive for the government to presume it knows which views and information its citizens can be trusted to express. Allowing the unquestionably racist and bigoted to speak their minds does not imply official endorsement of their views, just as declining to criminalize adultery does not imply state endorsement. Racism, religious hatred, and homophobia can and must be combated through an open and unfettered debate. When confronted with genuine hatred, it is perfectly possible — and morally imperative — to heed Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel’s warning that “indifference is not an option” without resorting to coercion and thought control.

Did you get that? Don't let the government dictate to you what is and is not hate speech. Much like the current regulatory regime is picking winners and losers in the market place so do hate speech laws proffer special treatment upon its chosen "victims".

Don't fall for it. Be ungovernable.

The best way to combat hate speech is, in reality, via a robust freedom of expression. Bring the full arsenal of logic, reason, ridicule, mockery and love afforded by our 1st amendment to the battle.

Embrace the hatred of hate speech laws.

1 comment:

Road Dawg said...

Hate speech and the racist glass ceiling may be the only way we can get team Obama to prosecute al Qaeda.