Hate speech or free speech?

Female Forum Forums General Discussion In the News Hate speech or free speech?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Mamie 8 months, 1 week ago.

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    Yesterday the court in London aquitted ex policeman Harry Millar of hate speech, the judge said  * that the freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having*

    While I agree that we need to be very careful of not becoming snowflakes who become so offended by any or every possible critic or negative word there is a very fine line between freedom of speech and hate speech or speech likely to incite hatred.

    I also see one point Mr Millar mentions as valid.  If a trans person has not fully transitioned and is convicted of a crime where do the authorities hold that person? Jails have not yet managed to move far enough with the times to adapt to housing such persons who would not feel or be welcomed in either single gender jail. However the vast majority of his comments are clearly the work of his biased narrow mindedness and do clearly (imo) incite or direct hate or disgust at the trans community.

    I  would  like to see a properly recognised pronoun one used in day to day language that is neutral. Because sometimes the intention is not to offened but language or circumstances cause offense because of the old fashioned binary way they are arranged.. But some women  dont want this because they feel entitled to that form of adress or  they  dont want to be included in the same group as trans women…

    What do you think, would you be happy to give up being Miss or Mrs to become  XXX in your title?

    Ex-cop’s ‘transphobic’ tweets deemed lawful after High Court battle


    • This topic was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by  cassandra.

    I don’t know how things are where you live Cassandra or even in the USA but I am finding it very stressful that nowadays minor phrases or words can end up with someone having a criminal record. I think there is a world of difference between intentional agressive behaviour and using a word or phrase that the group you are conversing with that may be overheard by someone perhaps looking for a reason for their existance (some people seem to want to live to fight a cause, and usually their own popularity).  I have not read up on this case. I live with people, in their many forms. If someone is respectful and non-agressive I do not really care who they are. Someone who is agressive deserves the weight of the law. There are two points I would mention though:

    1: Why is so much time being spent by police on perceived hate crime when homes are being burgled with impunity. Crimes like these are often not even investigated these days unless the person burgled is a prominent figure with power or a pensioner beaten up badly.

    2: Why are the newspapers allowed to publish similar anti-trans etc articles without legal action. I read such, which I feel,  nasty things regularly in the ‘Daily Mail’ at my mothers.

    One thing that I do realise is that anyone who is different to any social group really has to accept that there will be not unlikely (at least initially) an adverse or surprised reaction / response to them. To take extremes – a trans male or female in the opposite natal gender changing rooms, or someone who is white in a totally black club or black in a totally white one. Obviously the first example really pushes boundaries (deliberatly) but, using for example a respectable trans person (as probably almost all are),  I would ask – who would be the most scared in that situation? How would you react? I would re-iterate – it’s when the response is sustained or agressive where the true crime is, but it can come from either side.


    I have said before that my father was correct in saying that the only place a man is really free is inside his own head. This is very ture now when a simple opinion or careless comment can land you in heaps of trouble because someone has been ‘offended’…

    As a child if I went home and said somebody had hurt my feelings mum would turn me round shove me back out saying ‘sticks and stone will break my bones but names will never hurt me’ We quickly learned to grow thick skins back then.

    @spinningjen In many ways the 21st century is only just catching up in NL. A local shop has just announced it will be changing the name of its cakes from the traditional Moorkop (moors head) to chocolate ball.. These are an eclair type pastry filled with cream and topped with chocloate the name Moorkop is now considered offensive by some. Negerzoenen (negros kisses) changed to kisses or chocolate kisses a while back , but you can still buy Jodekoeken ( Jewish biscuits) and Englese drop (English liquorice)

    We still have Zwarte Piet (black Peter) who comes with St Nicolaas in December. Although there have been big discussions about the correctness of this.

    In general peoples gender is less of a problem here.


    I agree that the limited resourses of police and CPS have better things or more important things to do than run around chasing everyone who says something deemed offensive.. And respect is a two way street ,,Ive heard Black comics saying things on Tv that if a white person tried  the routine would be axed and the person involved would find themselves in big trouble..

    Its up to us to use descretion and switch over, but I also know that words are powerful and what begins as a joke or the words of one can quickly stir a group or indeed a nation to hate.


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    I’ve always had the belief it’s only free speech when everyone agrees with you. If it goes against someone’s core beliefs, then it isn’t free speech anymore and you have to apologise and keep other thoughts to yourself.

    It isn’t advisable to share exactly what you’re thinking and feeling: and what you think of Donald Trump to be honest. Trump would probably have you arrested and put in prison for saying you don’t support him. Again, only those in power have free speech. I mean, if I went around like Donald Trump does – always with an opinion – people would hate me. Whereas – because of his political position – it is acceptable for him to share such opinions.

    It isn’t fair, but it’s true.


    I don’t believe you should be arrested, unless what you’re saying is inciting violence.

    But I do believe in social consequences.  Such as, if you post transphobic things on facebook, and you’re associated with your company, then they have every right to fire you (this is especially true if you’re a board member or something high-profile) I also feel twitter doesn’t need to have those things associated with their platform and can choose to filter them out.

    I believe “free speech” doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a platform to say whatever you want.  But going to jail?  That’s abhorrent in my view.

    I feel the police definitely shouldn’t be connecting themselves to this former officer.  They should cut him off from them, and make sure the public knows they don’t share his views.  Their job is to protect all people, and not create fear in certain demographics.

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