Friday, March 28, 2014

Hate Speech

Much has been written about Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, the French performer who has been accused of promoting anti-Semitism as well as Holocaust denial, both of which are in violation of French anti-hate laws.  The French government has forced cancellation of some of his performances.  As reported in the NY Times (Mar 11), these actions have actually "fueled support" for him.

No surprise.  Attempts at suppression of speech actually may tend to promote it!  Censorship at any level tends to promote the "offensive" item, whether it be a speech, a film, or whatever.  Yes, we can try to restrict the sale or viewing or private access to "offensive" materials to certain age groups, but total elimination is unworkable.

However, hate speech (or any form of speech) with an intention to promote violence is (and should be) illegal!

Anti-Semitism (and other forms of extreme hatred and prejudice) has been extant throughout all of Western history - and can take hold in countries where there are few, if any, Jews!  But trying to eliminate such hate speech with anti-hate speech laws has been unsuccessful, merely driving such speech underground or into cyberspace.

Fight fire with fire.  Fight hate speech with anti-hate speech!

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