What do you think of me...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 02, 2010 6:25 AM GMT
    ....and my op-ed on this whole Ann Coulter being kept from a Canadian university because of hateful students.

    I know it's shameless to provoke feedback and it basically says "hey look at me" but hey look at me.
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    George Orwell wrote in his seminal work Nineteen-Eighty-Four that “freedom is the freedom to say two plus two makes four.” In Orwell’s case, he meant being able to speak the plain truth as one sees it. In America, free speech simply means speaking one’s mind, though often to others vehement objections. In Canada it’s what Orwell was warning against: a false dogma. Because in Canada we have laws that dictate what one could speak and if it is “likely to expose one to contempt or hatred” it constitutes hate speech. By that phrase it means implicitly that even by not actively inviting the torment on one portion of human beings can this speaker be found guilty of hate speech. But how much are those who say things responsible for those who do things?

    This question was tackled on an excellent Bill Moyers special(Rage on the Radio, easily found online) that highlights how words have consequences. The program underlined certain pundits proclivity towards outrage and outrageous remarks. The psychology I can only imagine is that these people, like Glenn Beck or Michael Savage or Neal Boortz or Rush Limbaugh, feed on their own trash and become further isolated in a world they created that starts to blend with their conservative ideological foundations. And they get paid for it, which is undoubtedly instrumental in keeping it going, not to mention the legions of fans who simply do not wish to think for themselves and would have their precepts and prejudices confirmed rather than challenged. Rational debate dies in favour of “feel good” remarks that are actually disparaging comments towards others, like Muslims, gays, or liberals.

    In a Canadian context, we do not like speech that equivocates people with things like “evil” or the support of exterminating those peoples. Because that is hate speech, it’s hateful (and rationally wrong) to call a people evil and call for their disappearance. But we have to define it in explicit terms that it means the active invitation of torment or worse on one portion of human beings. It cannot be “likely”.

    The real answer to those who speak freely, no matter how enraging (and not hateful) their speech, is that we must fight them with rational debate, even if it is to prove they are not rational at all. We should question them, not ban them. We should publicly shame them, not out-chant them. Invite them to debate, not bar from entrance. Our rationality should speak louder than their irrationality. And maybe tragedies like the mindset of those calling black Congressmen “niggers” or openly gay Congressmen “faggots” could be avoided. Our minds should be open, not closed, always probing, not set on emotions, and absolutely, unequivocally not on turning a bimbo into a martyr. We have done just that, because the truth cannot be spoken and reciprocated and debated and cajoled into a higher form. Orwell ended with another sentence that capsulated the importance of being able to plainly speak one’s truth, “freedom is the freedom to say two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else will follow.”

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  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 02, 2010 2:30 PM GMT


    Hmmm...it's been my observation that when religious leaders speak out against gays, people listen and act on it to save their own souls, so that they're righteous etc.

    We live in a society where about 90% of people adhere to one faith or another.

    There have been a couple of occasions where men of faith in authority have come out with newspaper articles condemning gay people.
    They were fined.
    Religions using the vehicle of free speech have been very capable of convincing people to do some pretty awful atrocities.


    -Doug

    This part was interesting,
    "We should publicly shame them, not out-chant them. Invite them to debate, not bar from entrance. Our rationality should speak louder than their irrationality. And maybe tragedies like the mindset of those calling black Congressmen “niggers” or openly gay Congressmen “faggots” could be avoided. Our minds should be open, not closed, always probing, not set on emotions, and absolutely, unequivocally not on turning a bimbo into a martyr. We have done just that, because the truth cannot be spoken and reciprocated and debated and cajoled into a higher form."

    ...I haven't seen that work that way, though. Currently students at schools are out-chanting the Westboro people. Rational means were just tried in the courts with Westboro winning. Sure our rationality should speak louder than their irrationality...should.

    Anne Coulter is no bimbo. She's brilliant, and that's the problem. Bill and I were talking about the possibility of her taking the vacant seat left by Palin, and unlike Palin, succeeding.

    -Doug