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Source: (consider it) Thread: Hell: Control of racism, how far is too far?
IntellectByProxy

Larger than you think
# 3185

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quote:
Originally posted by that Wikkid Person:
So you're carefully separating racism from hatred, then IBP?

Not as such, sorry if it came over that way.

Racism and hatred can both be bred from ignorance or from stupidity. I think racism and hatred are different things, one can harbour racism without being hateful (I know people who have innate racism which they desperately try to find release from), or hateful without being racist. But the people I have encountered who are openly racist have also been hateful. They are probably both symptoms of the same underlying problem.

nonpropheteer:
People are welcome to espouse any political belief they like. In the words of someone much more famous than me "I may not agree with what you say but I will fight for your right to say it".

However (I dare you to pick this apart because I started a sentence with 'however'. Go on, try me) I do not want people who openly support the victimisation of black people to be in a position where they are responsible for the protection of black people.

If they want to hold such beliefs then it is up to them and their pathetic little microcosm of rational thought, but they should not be in a position of power. Not ever.

['cos I wrote 'is' instead of 'in' and I didn't want to provide any more grammatical ammunition than I already have]

[ 05. November 2003, 12:08: Message edited by: IntellectByProxy ]

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Posts: 3482 | From: The opposite | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rat
Ship's Rat
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Using anti-catholicism as an ad absurdum example seems a bit dim when you are talking to people from a country which has been partially torn apart by sectarianism for many years. Evidence of sectarian prejudice among the police or the judiciary in NI (and to a lesser extent Scotland) would fall exactly within the definition of unacceptable behaviour that people are talking about.

Rat

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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quote:
Originally posted by that Wikkid Person:
Any racial jokes or terms I've heard in the last 10 years have come from rural, rusticly ignorant people who've mostly only seen non-white people on TV.

Well, in UK, we have just seen a Panorama programme showing a police cadet dressing up in a klu klux klan hood (pillowcase) to make racial jokes. And others being racially abusive to fellow cadets. They were all sacked.

Were these police cadets
quote:
rural, rusticly ignorant people who've mostly only seen non-white people on TV.
? Possibly, probably not. And at school, children here are supposed to be taught in "Personal and Social Education" how not to be prejudiced and racist. They are taught how to be conscious of their own prejudices and deal with them. So police who are openly racist and prejudiced have made the decision to act on it.

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
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quote:
Originally posted by Rat:
Using anti-catholicism as an ad absurdum example seems a bit dim when you are talking to people from a country which has been partially torn apart by sectarianism for many years. Evidence of sectarian prejudice among the police or the judiciary in NI (and to a lesser extent Scotland) would fall exactly within the definition of unacceptable behaviour that people are talking about.

Rat

Agree absolutely. I used to get stones thrown at me when I passed a primary school of different theological persuasion. But by the time we were together in secondary school we had been taught not to go in for that sort of thing. And got punished if we did.

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Papio

Ship's baboon
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NP - you are a stupid little shit. Grow up and stop talking out of your arse.

I am not sure whether or not it would be against the 10C's to link to the BNP's website here but here are some qoutes from it.

quote:
we, the native British people, will be an ethnic minority in our own country within sixty years.
quote:
We will free the police and courts from the politically correct straitjacket that is stopping them from doing their job properly.
quote:
We will ensure that our manufactured goods are, wherever possible, produced in British factories, employing British workers. When this is done, unemployment in this country will be brought to an end, and secure, well-paid employment will flourish, at last getting our people back to work
(please note that "British" and "Our People" means white people in this context)

quote:
We are wholly committed to a free, fully funded National Health Service for all British citizens.
(again "British citizens" primarily means british whites)

The BNP have dropped a lot of their overtly racist language and are trying to hide that fact that they are almost all virulent racists and that despite thier supposed love of law and order, many of their candidates have criminal records (many for violence against ethinic minorities). In other words, they are trying to present a "respectable" face despite the fact that their policies haven't actually changed at all.

All the evidence suggests that the ANL are only being mildy hyperbolic when they claim that

quote:
This is done by pinning the label of NAZI clearly on the likes of the BNP and NF. They have the same aim as Hitler's Nazis. Far from believing the Holocaust never took place, they wish to repeat it.


And, in case you wondered, the BNP do deny the holocaust ever took place and it has been alleged that they have links with Combat 18 (a neo-nazi terrorist organistaion) and other far-right groups in Europe, America and elsewhere.

The point is not simply that BNP should not be allowed to be police officers becuase I find their views sickeningly offensive but that such views actuall impare a persons ability to do a good job as a police officer. If I believed that coerced sex with children was acceptable ( which I don't btw) , would you still argue that my belief was irrelavent and shouldn't be taken into account when deciding whether to make me a youth worker or a scholl teacher?

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Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

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Look, it is quite simple - the police have power. And with that power goes responsibility. They have the power to decide whether to treat a complaint seriously or not. They have the power to arrest and charge little Jimmy for making a noise in the street at night, or to give him a talking to and let him go on his way. They have the power to enforce the law, and the responsibility to do so in an unprejudiced manner. They also have the responsibility NOT to bring the service, or the law, into disrepute. Like caesar's wife, they need to appear above reproach.

When the local boys where I used to live daubed swastikas and racist graffiti over the shop below my flat, Mr Singh who owned the shop phoned the police. They laughed and advised him to buy a bucket and brush. When I phoned - a white neighbor - they took my complaint seriously and sent someone out to talk to the boys. Could have been sheer luck - maybe there was nothing much else happening when I phoned. Or maybe the person on the other end of the phone made a decision to treat my call differently because I didn't have an accent and a funny name. We'll never know. But if I do know that down the pub I'll find the local policeman telling Paki jokes, then neither myself or Mr Singh are likely to give him the benefit of the doubt. If the community (white, black, asian, whoever) can't trust the police to administer their power fairly then the system doesn't work.

So no, I don't have the right to poke into the deepest recesses of any policeman's mind to find out if he harbours any racist thoughts. But I damn well do have a right to demand an acceptable standard of public behaviour - and displaying overt racism is not it.

Rat

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
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Rat and Papio,

Ye-e-ess!

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IntellectByProxy

Larger than you think
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Nicely put Rat.

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tomb
Shipmate
# 174

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quote:
Papio wondered:
I am not sure whether or not it would be against the 10C's to link to the BNP's website here but here are some quotes from it....

Actually, it is far better to link to a site than to quote extensively because the latter can easily become plagariasm. How you used quotations above does not constitute plagarism, however.

You were, of course, referring to the conetent as oppposed to the length. This is not a violation of the 10Cs--at least how they are interpreted in Hell.

tomb
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Moth

Shipmate
# 2589

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quote:
Originally posted by Rat:

So no, I don't have the right to poke into the deepest recesses of any policeman's mind to find out if he harbours any racist thoughts. But I damn well do have a right to demand an acceptable standard of public behaviour - and displaying overt racism is not it.

Rat

Exactly, Rat. Well put. And in my opinion the same goes for teachers, judges, university lecturers, social workers and anyone else employed by publicly funded institutions to provide a service to the community.

It looks like this specific incident might well turn out to be not so much racism as stupid, loutish behaviour. That is also a matter of concern, as policemen are required to show maturity and judgement. That should include deciding not to get so drunk on a coach tour that they attract the attention of the rest of the passengers by their antics.

Clearly, no-one can be sure that they do not harbour prejudices. Some of us try hard to identify our own prejudices and overcome them. It is not acceptable for any public servant to act in a way that gives rise to any suspicion that he holds prejudicial views about any section of the community. Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done.

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sophs

Sardonic Angel
# 2296

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quote:
Originally posted by daisymay:
And at school, children here are supposed to be taught in "Personal and Social Education" how not to be prejudiced and racist. They are taught how to be conscious of their own prejudices and deal with them. So police who are openly racist and prejudiced have made the decision to act on it.

Perhaps this is where the problem lies. The secondary school i went to was white dominated, i can only think of one mixed race student that i met there, but there must have been more in other years. we didn't get taught about predjudice or racism in our Tutor Periods (or PSE), that could have been because it wasn't a major problem but still...
We did talk about bullying, but even then the bullying we talked never included racial...

The schools do a crap job in bullying control (IMHO), and, from what i can tell, getting people to respect others in school and through out college and uni might help root out the fuckwits who think being racist is clever, or enjoy getting a cheap laugh out of other people.

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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Sophs - excellent point. I can't remember my school ever going into the many and varied reasons why racism and far-right nationalism will never be clever or why the idea that "they have taken our jobs" etc is such utter bullshit. I can't think of any reason why this should not be on the ciriculum - but maybe some schools do go into these issues. I am not sure.

However, there will always be those who insist on being total fuckwits no matter how much information you give them as to why they have got it wrong. [Frown] [Mad]

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Nonpropheteer
6 Syllable Master
# 5053

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quote:
Originally posted by that Wikkid Person:
Any racial jokes or terms I've heard in the last 10 years have come from rural, rusticly ignorant people who've mostly only seen non-white people on TV.

Its nice to know that we can still apply ethnic stereotypes to white people at least. For a while there, I thought you guys were trying to say ALL people should be treated with respect, dignity, and sensitivity.

NP

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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in what sense is that an "ethnic" stereotype? A cultural one maybe. However, isn't his point that the racist jokes you so love are a teensy weensy bit ignorant?

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Nonpropheteer
6 Syllable Master
# 5053

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quote:
Originally posted by IntellectByProxy:
nonpropheteer:
People are welcome to espouse any political belief they like. In the words of someone much more famous than me "I may not agree with what you say but I will fight for your right to say it".

Yet they are not allowed to espouse their political and social beliefs without reprisal. You are saying "I don't care if you do your job faithfully, legally, and without bias. You told a joke that has been labled racist, therefore you are not acceptable as an employee."
As for fighting for my rights - I don't believe for one minute that you would defend David Duke if the government decided to jail him for speaking his personal political views to people that wanted to hear it. You know you wouldn't, everybody here knows it, and if my dog could read compound sentences, he'd know it to.

quote:

However (I dare you to pick this apart because I started a sentence with 'however'. Go on, try me) I do not want people who openly support the victimisation of black people to be in a position where they are responsible for the protection of black people.

And (grammar alert thank God Avatar for the spelling lesson) I don't want people in power who think everyone that is not white and male is a victim. I don't want people in power who will take it upon themselves to apologize to a minority for my sins against them, when I haven't committed any. I don't want people in power who are going to force me to pay restitution for a crime committed by people I've never met against a group of people whoom the recipients of the restitution have never met. (hows that for a sentence?)

You are the grammar troll, dude - I often start sentences with 'however' and many other errors. But then, I think rules are meant to be of the thumb variety, not in stone. I only brought up spelling because you had already brought up grammar. I thought it funny that you were misspelling while critiquing me, just as God Av thought it funny that I misspelled "grammar"

NP

[I think your pitiful attempts at coding are less than laughable however. Go practise on the Styx thread. Now.]

[ 05. November 2003, 14:11: Message edited by: Sarkycow ]

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Papio

Ship's baboon
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NP - you really are an ignorant little tosser aren't you?

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
Shipmate
# 76

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NP - isn't that strawman getting a little threadbare.

If we were saying "I don't care if you do your job faithfully, legally, and without bias. You told a joke that has been labled racist, therefore you are not acceptable as an employee." then the policemen in question would have been fired, not investigated.

The question is not "did X tell a racist joke?" The question is "Does X have an underlying racism which is hindering his ability to act as a police officer in a way that can have the respect of the entire population?". And that is what needs to be investigated.

If you want to suggest that the police shouldn't ensure their officers are actually able to do their job in this manner, please feel free to attempt to defend it. Reminds me of Sir Humphrey "Firing people for incompetence could be the thin end of the wedge! We could lose hundreds of our chaps, maybe thousands!"

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by IntellectByProxy:
nonpropheteer:
People are welcome to espouse any political belief they like. In the words of someone much more famous than me "I may not agree with what you say but I will fight for your right to say it".

God in heaven help me, I'm going to look like I'm agreeing with NP here. But from what I've read here, neither you (nor a majority of Brits) are willing to countenance racial speech -- you all seem quite content with the restrictions placed on free speech.

So I'm sorry, IBP, I like you a lot, but I have to say that I do not believe you mean this.

[ 05. November 2003, 14:19: Message edited by: Erin ]

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Nonpropheteer
6 Syllable Master
# 5053

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quote:
Originally posted by Papio:
in what sense is that an "ethnic" stereotype? A cultural one maybe. However, isn't his point that the racist jokes you so love are a teensy weensy bit ignorant?

Who said I love them? I am simply defending the right to say tell them amongst friends without fear of fear of retribution from the government or employers.
Since you missed it the first time, this from merriam-webster:

Main Entry: eth·nic
Pronunciation: 'eth-nik
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Late Latin ethnicus, from Greek ethnikos national, gentile, from ethnos nation, people; akin to Greek Ethos custom
Date: 15th century
1 : HEATHEN
2 a : of or relating to large groups of people classed according to common racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic, or cultural origin or background <ethnic minorities> <ethnic enclaves> b : being a member of an ethnic group c : of, relating to, or characteristic of ethnics <ethnic neighborhoods> <ethnic foods>

Why is it so hard for you to consider that a white, ignorant, backwoods hillbilly can have an ethnicity? Aren't white people as a whole the ethnic majority in America and Great Britain?
I don't know where you are getting this idea that I am pro-racism, nothing could be further from the truth. What I am is pro-freedom of speech, freedom of thought. Unlike some of you, I really am willing to fight for someone else's right to say what they want, and think what they want. Even as wrong as I think some of the people here are, I would fight against legislation or retribution aimed at them for voicing their thought or opinions.
Deeds are a different story. Disliking Macedonians is one thing; not hiring them or passing them over for promotion because they are Macedonian is interfering with their right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.


NP

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Nonpropheteer
6 Syllable Master
# 5053

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
God in heaven help me, I'm going to look like I'm agreeing with NP here.

Ouch. That had to hurt.


NP

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
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You have no idea.

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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Of course I realise that whites are an ethnic majority in Britian and America. What I don't except is that rednecks or hillbillies have an ethnicity all to themselves.

My point is not that candidates for the police force should have to prove that they are as sinless as God's own Son, but that overt racism hinders a person ability to be a fair and effective policeman or policewoman.

I do understand the concern that censoring people's personal views is dangerous since A)where will it stop? and B) doesn't that give others the right to censor me if I say something they find offensive? and C) it doesn't make the underlying attitude go away.

But surely there has to be some limits to this. Supposing someone was on a street corner loudly proclaiming that your friends and family should be killed. Would you support the persons right to do this just so long as none of your loved ones were actually murdered?

I realise that it is impossible to prevent any police whatsoever from ever making any tasteless joke whatsoever, but that is not what is under discussion is it?

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Posts: 12176 | From: a zoo in England. | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Scot

Deck hand
# 2095

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Papio, I find the mode of your attack on the BNP very interesting (and more than a little disturbing). You posted quotes from their website which ranged from innocuous to factually debatable. You then placed a spin on those quotes by redefining the words which were used in the quotes. You justified this by claiming that's what these nasty people really think. In other words, you condemn them and propose their banishment from public service on the basis of what you claim they think, as opposed to what they actually said or did. That is exactly the sort of totalitarian thinking I have in mind when I talk about the Thought Police.

The idea that someone should be banned from public office on the sole basis of their membership in a legal organization is anathema to a free society. Some of you should be ashamed.

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
Papio, I find the mode of your attack on the BNP very interesting (and more than a little disturbing). You posted quotes from their website which ranged from innocuous to factually debatable. You then placed a spin on those quotes by redefining the words which were used in the quotes. You justified this by claiming that's what these nasty people really think. In other words, you condemn them and propose their banishment from public service on the basis of what you claim they think, as opposed to what they actually said or did. That is exactly the sort of totalitarian thinking I have in mind when I talk about the Thought Police.

The idea that someone should be banned from public office on the sole basis of their membership in a legal organization is anathema to a free society. Some of you should be ashamed.

My "spin" on the BNP quotes is simply what I genuinely think they mean. Esp given that they spoke of "we, the native British people". (emphasis added). No-one familair with the BNP, it seems to me, could deny they have an overtly racist past. The alternative proposal that they have genuinely changed thier views seems to be to be a little far-fetched. Perhaps they have, but I don't buy it. It seems infinitely more likely to me that they have become more media savey and have changed thier langauge but not their ideas. In case you think I have made the quotes up the BNP's website can be found by clicking here

Perhaps I should have said that, in my view they are referring to whites, but that is my view.

I do however apologise if I was unfair to the BNP although I am not convinced I was.

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dyfrig
Blue Scarfed Menace
# 15

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It's perfectly reasonable for a free society to ask whether its public employees actively profess racist views. Given that public employees have judicial or administrative power and are required to use that power for the benefit of all, it is naive in the extreme to think that such people could or even would carry out their functions without their racism playing a part. Frankly, why the hell should we tolerate police officers or Benefits Agency staff or doctors who think it proper to abuse black people?

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Posts: 6917 | From: pob dydd Iau, am hanner dydd | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Scot

Deck hand
# 2095

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quote:
Originally posted by Papio:
Perhaps I should have said that, in my view they are referring to whites, but that is my view.

So members of a certain party are to be barred from public office on the basis of your view of what they think? Who gets to decide what party you can be a member of?

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Papio

Ship's baboon
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The anti-nazi league website can be found here

Apart from that, what Dyfrig said.

Some facts about the BNP.

1) Racist attacks go up in areas in which they have recently won elections

2) They have referred to Asians as "the rubbish on out streets"

3) A large percentage of them have criminal records for attacks on ethnic minorities.

4) They have called for repatriation of ethnic minorities and oppose any further acceptance of refugees into the country.

5) They believe that almost all crime is committed by ethnic minorities

are you honestly saying you don't think they are racist?

[ 05. November 2003, 15:03: Message edited by: Papio ]

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Bongo
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Scot said:

quote:
You posted quotes from their website which ranged from innocuous to factually debatable. You then placed a spin on those quotes by redefining the words which were used in the quotes. You justified this by claiming that's what these nasty people really think.
Papio should not have assumed that you (and other non-Britons) would be famliar with the BNP's history and noteriety. The BNP have form as long as your arm when it comes to racism. (I'd have done a bit of research to find evidence, but I'm reluctant to visit the BNP website from my work computer as the tech guys might get the wroooong idea.)

"The British people" is BNP code for white people. Twas always thus, and always will be.

quote:
The idea that someone should be banned from public office on the sole basis of their membership in a legal organization is anathema to a free society. Some of you should be ashamed.
Two questions.
1. Is the KKK a legal organisation?
2. If so, shouldn't KKK members be prevented from becoming police officers?

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Scot

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quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
It's perfectly reasonable for a free society to ask whether its public employees actively profess racist views.

That's a completely different kettle of fish than barring them on the basis of membership in a legal, if unpopular, political party.

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Erin
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KKK is a legal organization. It is not, however, a political organization registered with the state, and while I know the DOJ has smarmed its way around this, it is my understanding that the government cannot go out and subpoena its roster for the purpose of dismissing government employees who are also Klansmen.

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Scot

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quote:
Originally posted by Papio:
are you honestlt claining that the BNP are not racist?

I'm not making any statement about the BNP. I'm making a statement about your arguement being both weak and suggestive of totalitarian leanings.

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Papio

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quote:
Papio should not have assumed that you (and other non-Britons) would be famliar with the BNP's history and noteriety.
True, Mea Culpa.

quote:
"The British people" is BNP code for white people. Twas always thus, and always will be.


Also true.

and from Erin:

quote:
it is my understanding that the government cannot go out and subpoena its roster for the purpose of dismissing government employees who are also Klansmen.

This may very well be the case. I don't know but I fully expect that you do. However, I fail to see why this fact means that openly and overtly racist police(wo)men should be seen as anything other than a reason for ethnic minorities not to trust the police. Why impinges on the polices ability to do a good job as does certain attitudes within their ranks.

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Rat
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I am genuinely curious as to when free speech does become unacceptable in this context?

  • Off-duty policeman tells joke about black paki bastards
  • Off-duty policeman calls Asians in pub black paki bastards to their face
  • On duty policeman calls passing Asians in the street black paki bastards to their face
  • Judge while passing sentence refers to defendant as black paki bastard

At what point does this speech cross the line into behaviour which makes the person unsuitable for their job? Or does it never, unless the judge adds "and therefore I'm sentencing him to an extra 10 years"?

Rat

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Nonpropheteer
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# 5053

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quote:
Originally posted by Papio:
Of course I realise that whites are an ethnic majority in Britian and America. What I don't except is that rednecks or hillbillies have an ethnicity all to themselves.

<<SNIP>>

I realise that it is impossible to prevent any police whatsoever from ever making any tasteless joke whatsoever, but that is not what is under discussion is it?

Actually, police men coming under fire over a joke told off duty is exactly what started this debate.
Hillbillies would definately fall under one of the catagories defining ethnic ("...religious, linguistic, or cultural origin or background ..."). Some of them are just as sensitive to and emotionally hurt by the ribbing as any other ethnic identity.
I think anyone should be allowed to pursue what makes them happy, even if I don't agree with it - provided that the actions (not thoughts or words) associated with the pursuit do not interfere with someone else's pursuit of happiness. The duty of the government should be to ensure that one group does not tip the scales in their favor. Everyone should have the same rights, responsibilities, protections, and be subject to the same laws as any other citizen.

NP

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Nonpropheteer
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quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
<<SNIP>>
Frankly, why the hell should we tolerate police officers or Benefits Agency staff or doctors who think it proper to abuse black people?

I would probably come closer to agree with you if your sentence read:

Frankly, why the hell should we tolerate police officers or Benefits Agency staff or doctors who think it proper to abuse ANY people?

BTW - Actual abuse is a far cry from telling a racial joke off duty.

NP

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Bongo
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# 778

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
KKK is a legal organization. It is not, however, a political organization registered with the state, and while I know the DOJ has smarmed its way around this, it is my understanding that the government cannot go out and subpoena its roster for the purpose of dismissing government employees who are also Klansmen.

I suppose the question is, should it be able to?

Hmmmm. I wonder what would happen if the KKK put up candidates to stand in elections. I assume they couldn't be prevented. Have they ever branched off into politics? What's been stopping them? They might even win a few.

(Incidentally, the BNP has been winning an alarming number of elections recently.)

[ 05. November 2003, 15:17: Message edited by: Bongo ]

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Papio

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NP - Yes, the telling of racist jokes by off-duty police was what started the thread but I had though the thread had since moved into a discussion of whether or not stronly racist views prevented those who held them within the police force from doing their jobs.

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Scot

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quote:
Originally posted by Rat:
At what point does this speech cross the line into behaviour which makes the person unsuitable for their job? Or does it never, unless the judge adds "and therefore I'm sentencing him to an extra 10 years"?

IMO, the line is located at the point where the policeman or judge goes on duty. At that point they are acting on behalf of the state, rather than of themselves.

[ 05. November 2003, 15:20: Message edited by: Scot ]

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Moth

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I think the question of BNP membership is a difficult one. I can absolutely see Scot's point that to bar a person from public service because of his political affiliations raises some real problems as we start along the slippery slope towards the thought police.

A while back there was consternation at the university where I lecture because a leading light in the BNP wanted to register as a student. There were demonstrations on campus, and all the unions were dead against 'admitting a known racist'. I was on the side of those who defended his right to study at the university whatever his views. I took a lot of stick for that viewpoint from my 'liberal' friends.

I am undecided whether I would act in the same way if a policeman were to be sacked for joining the BNP. The party has such a reputation here that his membership must give rise to a serious doubt in the minds of non-whites whether he would be prejudiced against them. I would take a lot of convincing that he could separate his off-duty views from his on-duty behaviour.

What happened in the US in the days when communism was so feared? Would a public employee be sacked for becoming a member of the communist party? Or was it a banned organisation anyway? How did the McCarthy investigations square with freedom of speech? (I'm not trolling here - just woefully ignorant and confused).

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Papio

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Yes, the comparison between the position I (and others here) have taken and McCarthyism is uncomfortable to say the least.

I do not, however, say the BNP ought to be banned or that it's members shouldn't be allowed to attend university. Apart from anything else, that would allow them to be martyrs. I simply am extremely reluctant to say it's fine for them to be police officers for the reasons already given.

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Erin
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quote:
Originally posted by Bongo:
quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
KKK is a legal organization. It is not, however, a political organization registered with the state, and while I know the DOJ has smarmed its way around this, it is my understanding that the government cannot go out and subpoena its roster for the purpose of dismissing government employees who are also Klansmen.

I suppose the question is, should it be able to?

Hmmmm. I wonder what would happen if the KKK put up candidates to stand in elections. I assume they couldn't be prevented. Have they ever branched off into politics? What's been stopping them? They might even win a few.

(Incidentally, the BNP has been winning an alarming number of elections recently.)

To answer the first question: ABSOLUTELY NOT.

To answer the second question -- although I think he was officially out of it, David Duke held public office in either Mississippi or Louisiana, and he was a Grand Dragon of the KKK.

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Scot

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quote:
Originally posted by Bongo:
Hmmmm. I wonder what would happen if the KKK put up candidates to stand in elections. I assume they couldn't be prevented. Have they ever branched off into politics? What's been stopping them? They might even win a few.

There's nothing stopping a KKK member from running for office. There's nothing stopping the KKK from endorsing a candidate. It happens from time to time. Openly racist candidates are usually, but not always, soundly defeated at the polls.

The greatest danger here is not that a racist might get into office. The real danger is in excluding unpopular groups or views from the public process.

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Scot

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quote:
Originally posted by Moth:
How did the McCarthy investigations square with freedom of speech?

They didn't. I would condemn McCarthy in the same terms and for the same reasons I have used above.

[ 05. November 2003, 15:30: Message edited by: Scot ]

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Presleyterian
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quote:
Bongo wrote: I suppose the question is, should [the government be able to subpoena the KKK's roster for the purpose of dismissing government employees who are also Klansmen?]
No.

quote:
I wonder what would happen if the KKK put up candidates to stand in elections. I assume they couldn't be prevented.
No, they couldn't.

quote:
Have they ever branched off into politics?
Yes. Grand Wizard (or Exalted Cyclops or Omnipotent Kleagle of whatever he calls himself) David Duke lost when he ran for governor of Louisiana as a Republican, but was later elected to the Louisiana state house. He's currently serving a 15-month prison sentence for gambling away campaign contributions.

quote:
What's been stopping them?

The moral bankruptcy of their political beliefs when forced to compete in the marketplace of ideas. I lived in New Orlenas when Duke ran against notorious hand-in-the-cookie-jar Governor Edwin Edwards (also now doing time, by the way) and proudly displayed on my car a bumper sticker that read:

VOTE FOR THE CROOK. IT'S IMPORTANT.

<cross-posted with Erin and Scot>

[ 05. November 2003, 15:36: Message edited by: Presleyterian ]

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dyfrig
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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
IMO, the line is located at the point where the policeman or judge goes on duty. At that point they are acting on behalf of the state, rather than of themselves.

Do you believe a person who has joined an avowedly racist group is capable or even desirous of acting in a non-racist manner in their job? Surely the whole point of joining the group in the first place is to say "I don't like black / Asian / Chinese / whatever people". How can that person possibly be regarded and trusted as a proper administrator of justice?

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Scot

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quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
Do you believe a person who has joined an avowedly racist group is capable or even desirous of acting in a non-racist manner in their job?

If not, then they certainly should be fired at once. But to find out you are going to have to either read their minds or judge their performance.

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dyfrig
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Um, if they've gone an joined a racist organisation then telepathy isn't really necessary. [Big Grin]

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Bongo
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Okay, hang on a minute.

It can reasonably be assumed that police officers who are members or supporters of the BNP are racist. (I defy anyone to prove otherwise.)

When prospective British police officers go through the selection process, they're tested for "diversity skills" (or something) in an attempt to weed out racist applicants.

If it was discovered that an applicant was a BNP supporter, should they be turned away from the force purely on that basis?

(Yuh huh!!)

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Moth

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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
quote:
Originally posted by dyfrig:
Do you believe a person who has joined an avowedly racist group is capable or even desirous of acting in a non-racist manner in their job?

If not, then they certainly should be fired at once. But to find out you are going to have to either read their minds or judge their performance.
But why can I not use evidence of their off-duty behaviour as indicative of their on-duty behaviour?


In any case, how is the confidence of ethnic minority citizens in the police to be maintained if we do not condemn off-duty racism? How can they possibly trust the same man they heard telling Paki jokes in the pub yesterday to treat them fairly when he pulls them over for speeding today?

[cross-posted]

[ 05. November 2003, 15:45: Message edited by: Moth ]

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Nonpropheteer
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# 5053

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quote:
Originally posted by Rat:
I am genuinely curious as to when free speech does become unacceptable in this context?

  • Off-duty policeman tells joke about black paki bastards
  • Off-duty policeman calls Asians in pub black paki bastards to their face
  • On duty policeman calls passing Asians in the street black paki bastards to their face
  • Judge while passing sentence refers to defendant as black paki bastard

<<SNIP>>

Rat

The last two definately cross the line. When a police man or judge are on duty, they are no longer citizens, but representatives of the system. As far as I'm concerned they can run around all day in their little white hoods as long as when they are on duty they operate with in the law and without prejudice. A judge speaking out like that in court, or an on-duty police officer, are implying that thier personal prejudices are interfereing with the just application of their duties. For that they should be investigated/reprimanded/whatever.
I firmly believe that this happens every day. In social work, we are taught to identify our own prejudices and leave them at home when we go to work. Police officers adn teachers also recieve this training. The problem is, you never hear of someone who has racist views but doesn't let them effect their work. You only hear about the ones who do.
Given that, its only natural that you would think all "white pride" organizations would be actively hateful. Its also natural that the Brits would have such a hard time comprehending American "free speech" standards. It was because of them, after all, that we were forced to put it as first priority in our Bill of Rights.


NP

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