London Police to enforce thoughtcrime, Britain circling the free-speech drain

Several days ago three extreme right-wing nativists, Lauren Southern, Brittany Pettibone, and Martin Sellner, were refused entry to the UK (they are Canadian, American, and Austrian, respectively). The reason was that Pettibone and Southern set up a booth in Luton handing out pamphlets claiming that “Allah is a gay god,” while Sellner was going to make a speech at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park. (Isn’t there supposed to be free speech there?) As the BBC reports:

Brittany Pettibone and her boyfriend, Martin Sellner, were refused entry to the UK when they landed at Luton Airport on Friday. They were detained for two days, and then deported. Another activist, Lauren Southern, was refused entry by the Border Force near Calais on Monday. She had planned to meet with the couple and the former leader of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson.

Sellner, an Austrian and prominent figure in the anti-migration group Generation Identity, was due to make a speech in Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park. He was the leader of a “Defend Europe” campaign last summer, responsible for targeting boats run by NGOs trying to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean.

On his social media accounts, Robinson says he plans to deliver Sellner’s speech in Hyde Park on Sunday.

In a statement about the activists, a Home Office spokesperson said: “Border Force has the power to refuse entry to an individual if it is considered that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good.”

Pettibone, an American, tweeted an image of the letter she says was handed to her by an immigration officer. It states that her planned activities posed “a serious threat to the fundamental interests of society and are likely to incite tensions between local communities in the United Kingdom”.

. . . Southern says she was questioned under the Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, on her political views and her opinion on right-wing terrorism. She tells BBC Trending that she was refused entry on the grounds of her involvement “in the distribution of racist material in Luton”.

In February, the Canadian activist displayed flyers saying “Allah is a gay god” outside a restaurant in the town centre. Southern, who has nearly half a million subscribers on YouTube and regularly posts politically charged stunts, says this was part of a “social experiment” video.

I deplore the activities of Pettibone, Southern, and Sellner.  The latter two were involved in a scheme trying to turn back boats full of immigrants trying to reach Europe, and the booth in Luton was meant to be confrontational. Here’s a tweet showing the booth that got them put on the “do not allow” list of the UK:

I consider all three of these people anti-immigrant nativists, verging on racists, pure and simple. Still, such people have a right to speak, and it seems to me unwise for Britain to ban them from temporary entry. Yes, it preserves the peace, but at the expense of free speech—which is not as strongly supported in the UK as in the US. And although I don’t know how one can make a case that Allah is gay—after all, homosexuality is demonized by Islam, and is a capital crime in several Muslim countries—it’s valid and valuable to point out that Islam is homophobic, a view that goes against progressive sentiments. Saying “Allah is gay” is one way to express that. Whether Southern et al. wanted to drive that point home is beyond me. But this is why we shouldn’t suppress those who purvey what we see as “hate speech”. Indeed, even Muslim outrage at such shenanigans shows that intolerance cannot be allowed to lapse into violence, and fear of that violence shouldn’t drive censorship.

In an editorial at Spiked, editor Brendan O’Neill, who (like me) despises Southern and Pettibones’s views, nevertheless defends their right to express them:

That someone has been banned from Britain for, among other things, saying ‘Allah is gay’ should send shivers down the spine of all genuine liberals. It is testament to the long and difficult and strange struggle for free speech in Britain that people have actually been dragged to court and sentenced to prison in this country for the right to imply that deities are gay. It was in 1976, when Gay News published a poem titled ‘The love that dare not speak its name’, which was a fantasy involving a Roman centurion fellating Jesus Christ and bringing him to orgasm. Mary Whitehouse brought a private blasphemy case against Gay News and won: the publisher of the magazine was fined £500 and sentenced to nine months in jail (suspended). In 1976. In many people’s living memory.

. . . Liberals and gay-rights activists were outraged by this case. . . Fast forward 40 years and the authorities are once again telling us it is unacceptable to say a god is gay. In this case, Allah. Yet again we seem to have been whisked in a time machine back to the Middle Ages. Only now it is Islam rather than Christianity that is protected with the forcefield of censorship. We must be free to say anything we like about Allah, Muhammad, Islam and every other religious faith and figurehead. That more leftists and liberals are not insisting on this suggests they have abandoned the fight for freedom of speech and conceded that territory entirely to the hard right, who can now pose as defenders of great Western ideals. What a terrible, historic error.

Now the UK has a right to ban anyone it wants—there was talk of not allowing Trump himself into the UK—and I find it ironic that Southern and Sellner, who were trying to prevent immigrants from entering Europe, are beefing about being denied entry to the UK. Nevertheless, I see Europe, more than the US, going down the path of speech suppression (I’ll give another example later today). The police and politicians (except for the odious extreme right-wingers) seem reluctant to even speak about Muslim crimes or “grooming gangs”, much less to take action against them, all for fear of inflaming the Muslim faithful (note that the preceding link is to a Guardian piece). But no religion should be coddled if its tenets encourage bad behavior, and nobody should be reluctant to prosecute (much less mention) odious crimes because such persecution causes “offense.”

I’ve gone back and forth on the idea of whether there should be a special class of “hate crimes”: that crimes motivated by bigotry should be prosecuted more strongly, and offenders punished more severely, than those who commit identical crimes but from other motives. A justification for treating “hate crimes” differently would be that the perpetrators are less likely to be reformed, that punishing “hate criminals” has a stronger deterrent effect than punishing those who do the same deed but from different motives, or because society needs more protection from “hate criminals” than from “regular criminals.” I don’t think any of these have been empirically demonstrated. Rather, the extra animus against “hate crimes” seems to be one of retribution—that haters deserve extra punishment because they made especially onerous choices. As a determinist, I can’t buy that, though if the empirical data that’s missing supports a need to treat “hate criminals” differently, I’d reconsider.

In the meantime, the London Police have published a page on “What is hate crime?” They cover physical assault, incitement to hatred, and verbal abuse. The former is prima facie a crime, but the latter two, at least in America, are questionable. Incitement to immediate violence—”clear and present danger”—is illegal speech in America, but not simple “incitement to hatred”, which could of course be stretched to cover statements against religions and other things (those accused of “hate speech” in America have included Ben Shapiro, Charles Murray, Jordan Peterson, and others who should have been allowed to speak). The same goes for “verbal abuse”, which should be prohibited if it involves personal threats and harassment, but is one of those terms that has a tendency to stretch.

The most worrisome bit of the London Police report is this bit:

Leaving aside the dubious need to punish people more for the “hate” behind their crimes, what bothers me is the bit that says an incident that is not normally a crime can become one “if the victim or anyone else believes it was motivated by prejudice or hate.” That means that no real evidence is needed to turn an incident into a crime—just someone’s belief about what was motivating the perp.  Further, they add that “though what the perpetrator has done may not be against the law, their reasons for doing it are.” This is thoughtcrime, and it’s both weird and unconscionable to punish one act and not an identical one based on what seemed to be motivating the perpetrator. Even if the perp admits a motivation, doing something legal surely cannot become illegal because it’s motivated by prejudice.

Can you name any incident that should be treated like this? If you stick out your tongue at somebody out of nastiness, and that’s not a crime, does it become so if you stick out your tongue at a black person, Jew, or Muslim?

At any rate, the UK, out of what can only be called “political correctness” (a term I use infrequently, but which seems appropriate here), is going down the path of censorious authoritarianism. If a legal act can be turned into a crime because of the perceived motivations of the actor, then Britain is in trouble.

60 Comments

  1. Luke Vogel
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    “Still, racists have a right to speak, and it seems to me unwise for Britain to allow them temporary entry.” Typo?

  2. Anthony
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    “But no religion should be coddled if its tenets encourage bad behavior, and nobody should be reluctant to persecute (much less mention) odious crimes because such persecution causes “offense.”

    I think you mean “prosecute” rather than “persecute”.

  3. colnago80
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    A notorious example of the USA refusing entry to someone was the case of Canadian writer Farley Mowat.

    https://longislandwins.com/news/national/when-environmental-author-farley-mowat-was-banned-from-the-u-s/

  4. glen1davidson
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Poor Allah, has to be protected by UK censors. But then, is this a hate crime, since Islam’s “God” is treated like such less competent “God” than the Christian “God”?

    I know that slippery slopes are often sneered at, since almost any law is potentially a slippery slope. But it looks to me like the whole “hate crime” and “hate speech” fiasco can really turn into a slippery slope into a rat hole, especially when the two toxic concepts are put together.

    When legality is determined solely by “motivation” and not even by the act itself being illegal, justice is seriously perverted.

    Glen Davidson

    • Posted March 18, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      And another problem here is that technically these white supremacists have not directed their intended insult to an actual person or group. How can hate crime laws be applied when the object of hate is a diety?

    • Posted March 19, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Do we know that this is the Islamic god, as opposed to the Arab-speaking Christian god?

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    The U.K. has taken that road to hell when it comes to free speech and now even makes a joke out of speaker’s corner over there in Hyde Park. Very sorry situation.

    We here in goofy land will see a demonstration of free speech in another week when Stormy Daniels will be interviewed on television on 60 minutes. Our own so-called president is discovering he cannot always control the first amendment rights of others.

  6. Davide Spinello
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    The London police report is deeply disturbing.

  7. Barney
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    “Even if the perp admits a motivation, doing something legal surely cannot become illegal because it’s motivated by prejudice.

    Can you name any incident that should be treated like this? If you stick out your tongue at somebody out of nastiness, and that’s not a crime, does it become so if you stick out your tongue at a black person, Jew, or Muslim?”

    Refusing to employ someone because of their race?

    • Gordon Comstock
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      The difference is there are specific laws relating to employment (and, for example, renting accommodation etc) which make clear that there are legal sanctions against those who can be proved to be prejudiced because of race (sic) religion etc. in these areas.
      If a government want to introduce a law to make it illegal to poke your tongue out at a Muslim, to have it debated in the House of Commons and discussed in the media then they have that right.

      • Barney
        Posted March 18, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        My point is that this is “something legal” that “become(s) illegal because it’s motivated by prejudice”.

    • Posted March 19, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Well it looks like our law in the UK says yes it does become illegal if motivated by prejudice. The hate crime laws here are very bad.

  8. Mike Anderson
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Every culture since the beginning of civilization has repressed or banned some ideas and/or communications. It’s hypocritical to think that only your own culture’s speech restrictions are ok, reminiscent of “our god is the only true god.”

    • Angel
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      I wonder if ulter-defending “free speech” in same cases only amounts to defend racist
      , sexist, anti-inmigration and other antis, political preferences.
      Before, I lived under a military dictatorship, there was no free-speech, why those dinosaurs should be given the chance to spread their hate? The whole society said, No More!

      • Posted March 23, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        I think that every country has a say about who enters it, and I wouldn’t be bothered about the visa refusals to these antis, if UK authorities had put under the same scrutiny the Muslim supremacists who have a habit to enslave native British girls.

  9. DrBrydon
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I suspect that, if a Communist were to throw a brick through the window of a Mayfair mansion, the Met would not classify that as a hate crime. When it comes to speech, hate crimes are just a way to try and limit speech that the government doesn’t like, and, to the extent that criminal law is meant to deter crime, is also meant to deter speech.

  10. Posted March 18, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure that it is accurate to describe Lauren Southern as a white supremacist (I don’t know anything about the other two people you mentioned). My personal knowledge of her, from various news articles and videos, is that she aspires to be the next Milo Yiannopoulos. She’s a self-promoting provocateur, probably genuinely conservative, and too close to the alt right, but I’ve never seen her say or write anything racist, let alone advocating white supremacy.

    This Quora article comes to a similar conclusion: https://www.quora.com/Is-Lauren-Southern-a-white-supremacist

    • FA
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      The phrase has no meaning if it is applied here.

    • Posted March 19, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      I’ve changed it to “far right nativist”, which is certainly true, but if she’s more than a provocateur, which I think she is, I suspect she’s a racist as well. Since I haven’t, as you noted, found overt evidence of a racist remark, I’ve eliminated that characterization. But anyone who tries to keep immigrants from landing is a horrible person, which Southern is.

  11. Jon Gallant
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    The London police report’s definition of a “hate incident” in the second paragraph is nothing short of outrageous. It explicitly extends the definition of “crime” to thoughts, and permits “the victim, or anyone else” to indict a thoughtcriminal by mere accusation. If this policy were followed, every anti-theistic writer, and most of the posters on this website, and for that matter even the readers, would be subject to prosecution.

    I wonder if British contacts could look into WHO in the London police has decided to revive and follow the juridical principles of the 17th century Witchfinder General. Public protest against these officials ought to follow—although, I suppose that might subject the protesters to the risk of prosecution for hate incidentalism.

    • Craw
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Coyne has written that he hates Trump. Writing posts mocking Trump is legal but according to these cops his motive night be a crime! If Jared says he thinks so…

  12. Craw
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    And thus, Trump.

  13. Craw
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    The “Allah is gray” is very sly, intended to prompt his followers to proclaim how much he actually hates gays.

    • Posted March 18, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      That may be so. Perhaps they hope to cause a conflict of interest with Ctrl-lefties who wish to protect Islamists while also protecting gays.

      • FA
        Posted March 18, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        It was in response to a Vice article proclaiming that Jesus was probably gay. The intention was to see if they could get away with saying that about any other religion. Apparently not.

  14. Steve Pollard
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    As far as I can see, the piece in the name of the Metropolitan Police amounts to little more than someone’s opinion. I am not aware of its being based on statute or case law, and I suspect (or hope, anyway!), that if the police did try to have someone prosecuted for what Jerry rightly describes as thoughtcrime, the action would be thrown out by the CPS before it even reached court. The Met have enough cock-ups to their name without trying to perpetrate any new ones.

    • Posted March 23, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Even if it does not reach court, it means that UK authorities are creating an atmosphere an intimidation. Like when, between two acts of Islamist terror, the police launch a manhunt for some bus traveller who has ranted against Islam .

  15. Posted March 18, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Now the UK has a right to ban anyone it wants—there was talk of not allowing Trump himself into the UK—and I find it ironic that Southern and Sellner, who were trying to prevent immigrants from entering Europe, are beefing about being denied entry to the UK.

    I’ve seen this point made elsewhere but there’s a difference between visiting a country and emigrating there. Even those most rabidly opposed to immigration aren’t opposed to tourism.

    Frankly these people are shit-stirrers but there are far worse people already here.

    • harrync
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      I think you have a good point that there is a difference between immigrating and visiting. Jerry says “The latter two were involved in a scheme trying to turn back boats full of immigrants trying to reach Europe…” I don’t see the problem with turning back illegal immigrants. If enough Muslims are allowed into the EU, it could eventually destroy the liberal enlightenment culture that has proved so beneficial to Europe – and the US.

  16. dd
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Is it homophobic for the London Police to ban someone’s sign saying “Allah is Gay”?

    At Pride marches in the states I have seen signs saying “God is Gay”. Would that have be seen as “hate speech”?

    I always wondered how intersectional hierarchies would shake out and who would come out on top…and it’s clear that the most protected, to the detriment of others even, is Islam and Muslims.

    That was the clear lesson from New Year’s Eve in Cologne, 2015.

    And also, more intersectional hierarchy traps…note the quotations around the word “racist” and no, I don’t think it’s just to denote that it’s a quote. I think it’s also to make it, “racist very light”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/06/ghana-academics-petition-removal-mahatma-gandhi-statue-african-heroes

    • Posted March 19, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      I would say it is homophobic to claim the saying “Allah is gay” is a hate crime. Making such a statement implies that saying somebody is gay is a derogatory statement i.e. that being gay is a bad thing.

      In fact, it might actually be a hate crime.

  17. BJ
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    The UK has denied others entry to the country based on their speech, like “pick-up artist” Julien Blanc: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30119100

    In The Netherlands, an actual political party leader was convicted of “inciting discrimination” and “insulting a group” for saying “Do you want more or less Moroccans in this city and in the Netherlands” and his crowd responding “less.” Yes, that was all that happened. That’s all it takes: https://www.cnn.com/2016/12/09/europe/geert-wilders-hate-speech-trial-verdict/index.html

    Meanwhile, there has been a continuing trial for at least over a year now of a man who was arrested and prosecuted for making a video of his dog doing a Nazi salute when the man would make antisemitic remarks: http://metro.co.uk/2018/01/05/man-taught-dog-nazi-salutes-convicted-hate-crime-7207577/

    The fact that the above trial has continued this long suggests that such arrests are not eventually seen by the courts/government there as ridiculous, but necessary prosecutions for which the law was specifically made.

    Hate speech arrests have soared in the UK over the last few years, especially those relating to offensive speech online: https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/crime/arrests-for-online-hate-speech-in-county-on-rise-1-8697659

    Notice some of the language used by the police in the above article (emphasis mine): “As with other forms of hate crime, it is an offence to make comments online which are perceived by the victim, or any other person, to be motivated by a hostility or prejudice based on disability, race, religion, sexuality or gender identity.

    “Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson, of West Yorkshire Police, said…’A number of sub-categories for the recording of faith and disability hate crimes are being introduced to get a better understanding of the impact of national and international events on local communities and improve and target services for victims’…”

    Meanwhile, in other EU countries where the threat of free speech being lost continues, we have this from Germany: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/world/europe/germany-36-accused-of-hateful-postings-over-social-media.html

    Here is an article from The Economist on Germany’s ever-expanding hate speech laws, including laws fining social media websites for not removing hate speech quickly. Social media sites are erring on the side of censorship, as the hate speech laws remain unclear: https://www.economist.com/news/europe/21734410-new-social-media-law-causing-disquiet-germany-silencing-hate-speech-cannot-define-it

    Is there anyone still unconvinced of how far this can go and how quickly freedom can be eroded once we allow “hate speech” to be defined and outlawed? It is, apparently, the ultimate slipper slope.

    • Posted March 18, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      We’re already on the slope & sliding; it’s a matter of whether we can claw our way back before it’s too late.

      • BJ
        Posted March 18, 2018 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Oh, yes. I meant that statement for those who wish to enact these laws in the US, as well.

        And for those who have previously said that these laws don’t really have much effect in Europe. We’ve had one frequent commenter here in the past who used to tell us that these laws had no discernible effect on ordinary citizens and were not leading toward a true loss of free speech and thought, but I haven’t seen him around lately.

        • Posted March 23, 2018 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          I am happy that, so far, there are no such comments in this thread.

          • Posted March 23, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            Oops, I stupidly rejoiced before reading to the end.

    • Craw
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      London’s mayor wants stronger limits on speech. Apparently there were tweets about him.

  18. Christopher
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Considering that a majority voted Leave, a campaign led by a very outspoken bigot who has led a very openly bigoted party, I’m surprised these three virtually unknown and very minor bigots are considered so dangerous. But what the hell do I know? After all, I would have also assumed that a nation that is increasingly atheistic would not at the same time become MORE protective of religions.

    • Posted March 18, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Just of one special religion.

    • Posted March 23, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      We have no reason to think that a majority would consider the three bigots dangerous. It is the authorities that express this opinion.

  19. Posted March 18, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Looks to me that what they are doing is more a case for blasphemy rather than a hate crime.
    But it appears that in Britain laws against blasphemy were largely struck down in 2008, according to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law_in_the_United_Kingdom
    So maybe the hate crime charge was an attempt to nevertheless stop them.

  20. Posted March 18, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    The immigrants Defend Europe (??) were trying to prevent from entering were, of course, entering illegally. But what is not commonly reported is that the NGO’s picking them up were illegally making pre-arrangements to meet them at specific points in the ocean after having also arranged onshore for the small, overpacked boats operated by extortionists.

    • harrync
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Good point.

    • Posted March 23, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      The Ctrl-Left like illegal immigrants so much that find no problem with letting modern pirates effectively in charge of Europe’s immigration and demographic policy.

  21. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I do not support the “blasphemy” convictions, but I draw the opposite conclusionfrom this. Instead of making blasphemy charges UK denied entrance, which must be counted as progress.

    The “hate speech” laws may or may not calm the society down, we lack statistics. As opposed to Jerry I do think the “hate” category is instituted “to punish people more” – are the punishment in fact more severe – but to extend protection. Also, there must be a mistake in the end of the article, “hate incidents” were explicitly not “turn[ing] an incident into a crime” or “thoughtcrime” but civil offence instead of criminal offence. It is the difference between spitting in your face and hitting your face, I think.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Oops, a “not” went missing:

      As opposed to Jerry I do _not_ think … et cetera.

    • BJ
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Please read the articles in my comment 17 above. I am interested in how you would explain some of those prosecutions and how they are not made to punish people, but to protect. I am also interested in how prosecuting some of those cases might be “protecting” anyone. After reading all of those links (which are just a handful of more prominent cases among many over these last few years), I’d be interested in how an argument can be made that this is not already an extremely slippery slope, as I remember you saying in the past that these types of laws would not have such far-reaching effects, nor begin targeting political speech that doesn’t incite violence or the like.

      Finally, as you will see in the links from my comment above, some of these are criminal prosecutions, and many of these laws carry not only fines, but prison time.

      There are also some things from Jerry’s post that you did not address. This post isn’t just about the UK refusing entry to these people. Lauren Southern was detained and questioned for two days. Does this not strike you as a frightening abridgment of her personal rights? I’m also interested in your views on this quote from the Home Office spokesperson, who is explicating official policy: “Border Force has the power to refuse entry to an individual if it is considered that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good.” Anyone “not conducive to the public good” seems like an awfully vague category with implications reaching as far as the government decides it wants. Do you support this?

  22. Thanny
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Southern is a Libertarian, not a right-wing white supremacist. She has plenty of stupid economic-right views, but I’ve seen no evidence whatsoever of racism. Unless you want to adopt SJW logic, and make opposition to uncontrolled illegal immigration inherently racist.

    Beyond that, Southern was trying to enter the UK legally. Her involvement with attempts to block illegal immigrants, however stupid, do not serve as food for irony.

    • harrync
      Posted March 18, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      I mostly agree with your comment, but blocking illegal {Muslim] immigrants to Europe is not stupid. Two of my views on immigration, which may seem inconsistent – I think Europe should strictly curtail immigration from Muslim countries; I think any Mexican who wants to move to the US should be allowed in.

  23. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    In the unlikely event that someone complained to the police that I had uttered hateful speech could I counter claim that their complaint was hateful speech directed at a pale stale male?

  24. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Some of Michelangelo’s religious art looks kinda gay, including the famous painting of God creating Adam.

    http://api.ning.com/files/Hu6bOG3IkcSTjusWcLKy5GaRlRgl8Kz-HvgVBKSBh6T974E2r6PquOVQpLwgSz5bSgu3s90L5WWxmEoh*VsdwKSWH7-yCwj6/EVERYTIMEYOUSEEARAINBOWGODISHAVINGGAYSEX.gif?width=515&height=320

  25. Jon
    Posted March 18, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    They don’t seem to be against groups of people on any biological grounds so why are they labeled “racists”?

  26. Diane G.
    Posted March 19, 2018 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    sub

  27. colnago80
    Posted March 19, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Here’s another take on this issue.

    My comment refers to the situation in the US which has been the subject of most of the posts on it here. Attached is an OPED which appeared in Sunday’s WP by a professor of history at Illinois State Un. who argues that the issue has been greatly exaggerated.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/people-always-think-students-are-hostile-to-speech-they-never-really-are/2018/03/15/cc53cc3a-286c-11e8-bc72-077aa4dab9ef_story.html?utm_term=.212d50dce722

    One of the issues I am not getting from the discussion is the extent of the problem. It appears to me that there is something of a tempest in a teapot here in that the number of colleges and universities involved appears rather small. There are in excess of more then 300 institutions of higher learning in the US, if one counts every campus of a state school as a separate entity (e.g. UC Berkeley and UCLA count as separate schools)and the number of schools where these demonstrations are taking place appears not exceed at most a dozen or two.

    I have a suspicion that one of the reason for the possible overreaction to this issue is due to the presence of elite schools like Harvard, Yale, UC
    Berkeley, Stanford, etc. among the offenders which naturally draws more attention.

  28. Posted March 19, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    And this in the country of Milton, Mill and Orwell!

    (To pick three free-speech luminaries at random.)


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