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

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# 2095

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

But your question was whether they "capable or even desirous of acting in a non-racist manner in their job." I don't think you can answer that question on the basis of political party membership. Telepathy is necessary after all. Since it isn't readily available, we'll just have to rely on assessing the person's actual job performance.

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Bongo
Shipmate
# 778

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How about if it wasn't a racist political party? How about if it was a racist lobby group or a racist society?

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duchess

Ship's Blue Blooded Lady
# 2764

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When I took calls at an answering service, there was a doctor, "Dr. Fish" I will call him who was a complete JERK ALL THE TIME. This guy also liked to let loose one racial slur per week about the operators who were not white. He rained his wrath all over us and had me close to tears sometimes since he bullied all the operators (and I was fresh out of highschool and very tender meat).


Turns out a friend of mine's sister was treated by Dr. Fish from highschool. She called in when Dr. Fish was out and left a heartfelt message..."Dr. Fish, I think this treatment may work...there is HOPE FOR ME!" I was praying Dr. Fish would not call in...I did not know at the time how he would react to hearing this strange message (he would literally tear into me with abuse at times when I read him his messages). Well, he called in...and I gave him the message. After I read it, he was silent...then he said "WHEN DID SHE CALL IN?" I told him..."Ok...THANKS. I will call her." He acted human...like he was touched or something. I never did tell the friend I knew her sister saw Dr. Fish...however I heard she was doing pretty good years later through the grapevine.

I went home and bitched to my mother. My mother (a doctor) KNEW Dr. Fish and told me he was a "wonderful doctor to his patients"! She would have NEVER knew he acted like this! I asked what kind of doctor was he? And she answered basically a SHRINK! I asked was he prejudice? To her knowledge, he was fair and nice to all his patients.

BIZARRE! But I saw this type of crap at the answering servic a lot! Doctors could be absolutely cruel to their wives (we had one who got mad if we passed on messages to him from his wife...she would page us all day to call him)...and yes, racist crap behavior to the operators.

I abhor racist remarks since my best friend is proud to be Koren & Black, my sister in law is half Hispanic and her nephew is black...plus one of my brother's is married to a Chinese gal. I do know though from experience as an answering service operator that people can be Jekyll & Hyde in their lives.

[edited to save host's eyes]

[ 05. November 2003, 15:56: Message edited by: duchess ]

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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And just out of interest, the BNP would be against "Macedonians" or "Serbians" because they would be asylum seekers or refugees.

And in the UK, official ethnic information when filled in on forms goes down to about 14 different categories.

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Moth

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quote:
Originally posted by nonpropheteer:
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

Actually, I think I do comprehend it. I just don't agree. And in the McCarthy era, nor did quite a number of US citizens - they clearly thought that the defence of the US from communism was more important than free speech. I think that the right of all citizens of the UK to have confidence in their public services is more important than the right of individual public servants to express racist views. If they want to that, they must find other employment.

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Scot

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# 2095

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quote:
Originally posted by Moth:
But why can I not use evidence of their off-duty behaviour as indicative of their on-duty behaviour?

Can your churchgoing and SoF posting be used as evidence of your on-the-job proselytizing? No, of course not. Most of us are held to different standards of behavior at work.

We are getting away from my real point here. I'm not arguing that racism is good, or that police should be allowed to discriminate. I'm saying that it is wrong to limit access to public office (political or otherwise) on the sole basis of membership in a legal organization. Employees should to be judged on their performance, not their ideas. Politicians should be judged on both their opinions and ideas, but the judgment should be made by the electorate.

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The Riv
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# 3553

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Moth, the Private morals/Public service question will be answered most eloquently by die-hard Clinton supporters who remain absolutely convinced that the former has no effect whatsoever on the latter.

Re KKK affiliation, let's not forget about Senator Robert Byrd's (Dem. -- West Virginia) little-remembered Recruitor status.

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Nonpropheteer
6 Syllable Master
# 5053

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quote:
Originally posted by Moth:
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).

Not defending what McCarthyism came to be, but it started as an investigation into what was percieved as a legitimate threat. McCarthy was later proven correct - there were a growing number of people joining the communist party which was illegal at the time (if I remember my history correctly). The thing that screwed him up was the illegal and unjust tactics he used. The same tactics some of you would like to apply to this situation. Don't punish people for what they might do wrong, punish them justly for the wrongs they do commit.

NP

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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So Scot - to summerise you pov - you think it legitmate to sack employees if they display openly racist behaviour at work but believe that I and others on this thread are morally wrong and ignorant to suggest that membership of a racist party is evidence that someone will display overty racist behavious while at work

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Nonpropheteer
6 Syllable Master
# 5053

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quote:
Originally posted by The Riv:
Moth, the Private morals/Public service question will be answered most eloquently by die-hard Clinton supporters who remain absolutely convinced that the former has no effect whatsoever on the latter.

Re KKK affiliation, let's not forget about Senator Robert Byrd's (Dem. -- West Virginia) little-remembered Recruitor status.

I wouldn't say "little remembered". They still call him "Sheets" in the senate. Some WVians still have pics of him on their walls - wearing his pointy hat and robe.
Wasn't it Byrd who said "I'll be senator so long as I'm not caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy"?

Please don't bring up Clinton. This thread will totally degrade into a fire fight if you suggest he was less than perfect. Good point though.


NP

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Sarkycow
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# 1012

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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
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.
I'll repeat myself for the hard of reading (Scot [Razz] ).

Policemen in the UK are meant to carry their warrant card at all times, even when off-duty. If they see a crime being committed, even when off-duty, they are required to call it in, and arrest/warn/whatever the penalty is, if it is safe for them to do so (so don't try and arrest armed/violent criminals without back up and truncheon, handcuffs, etc.).

So, define when they are off duty, and therefore can do whatever the hell they want?

Answer: In practice, not a lot of the time.

Should policemen be purer than pure? Right now, yes. It's kinda important, in light of all the recent publicity and headlines, that police are not seen to be racist. If they are, then they need to be seen to be doing something about it - investigating and then disciplining if so necessary.

Sarkycow

[ 05. November 2003, 16:19: Message edited by: Sarkycow ]

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
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quote:
Originally posted by Papio:
So Scot - to summerise you pov - you think it legitmate to sack employees if they display openly racist behaviour at work but believe that I and others on this thread are morally wrong and ignorant to suggest that membership of a racist party is evidence that someone will display overty racist behavious while at work

I don't know if this is Scot's pov, but setting aside your inflammatory rhetoric, I think it's a fair assessment.

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Papio

Ship's baboon
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Am sorry if my post read as though I was attempting to flame Scot. I wasn't.

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Rat
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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.

I see your point, but I still stand by my belief that an off-duty policeman still has a duty to uphold a certain standard of behaviour. I'm not suggesting he or she should be summarily dismissed, by the way, just that there is a disciplinary issue here, much as there would be if, say, he got hammered and threw up on the mayor's lawn at lunchtime while the Women's Guild outing looked on. Only worse, because in the racist-joke case his behaviour has undermined the confidence of a whole sector of society in the integrity of the police force.

[edited to add]

God knows what you do about the BNP. They now pretend not to be racist or neo-fascist (voluntary repatriation!), but everybody knows they still are. You can't stop people being a member of a legal organisation, but heaven knows where banning them would lead. I do know I wouldn't be happy if I thought my local police were members, but I'm buggered if I know what's best to do about it.

Rat

[ 05. November 2003, 16:27: Message edited by: Rat ]

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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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quote:
Originally posted by nonpropheteer:
Don't punish people for what they might do wrong, punish them justly for the wrongs they do commit.

NP

So, in the light of Sarkycow's salutary synopsis of the facts, you don't consider telling a racist joke to be doing anything wrong?

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by Sarkycow:
Policemen in the UK are meant to carry their warrant card at all times, even when off-duty. If they see a crime being committed, even when off-duty, they are required to call it in, and arrest/warn/whatever the penalty is, if it is safe for them to do so (so don't try and arrest armed/violent criminals without back up and truncheon, handcuffs, etc.).

So, define when they are off duty, and therefore can do whatever the hell they want?

On duty is defined in the US as your scheduled time to work and earn money doing so. By this argument, you seem to be implying that police officers should be compensated for every hour of every day. You also seem to be saying that they are not allowed to drink alcohol (as I cannot imagine that being toasted while driving around in a patrol car is an allowable state). Clearly the lines are already drawn somewhere -- they are not compensated for every hour of every day, neither are they forbidden from drinking. So I think that the argument that states that cops are "always on duty because they have to carry their warrant cards" is extremely weak.

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
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quote:
Originally posted by Papio:
Am sorry if my post read as though I was attempting to flame Scot. I wasn't.

Actually, I was referring to the "morally wrong and ignorant" part.

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Moth

Shipmate
# 2589

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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
quote:
Originally posted by Moth:
But why can I not use evidence of their off-duty behaviour as indicative of their on-duty behaviour?

Can your churchgoing and SoF posting be used as evidence of your on-the-job proselytizing? No, of course not. Most of us are held to different standards of behavior at work.

We are getting away from my real point here. I'm not arguing that racism is good, or that police should be allowed to discriminate. I'm saying that it is wrong to limit access to public office (political or otherwise) on the sole basis of membership in a legal organization. Employees should to be judged on their performance, not their ideas. Politicians should be judged on both their opinions and ideas, but the judgment should be made by the electorate.

Good point about the proselytizing. Mind you, I think posting on Ship of Fools, especially in Hell might be indicative of either insanity or masochism rather than prozelytizing. And regular attendance in the Church of England proves nothing about what one believes!

I absolutely agree with you about politicians - let the electorate decide. I still think that employees paid by the state should not be seen to be discriminatory at any time. And as Sarky correctly says, policemen are never really 'off-duty'.

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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I thought you might be. I also apologise if I have read anything into Scot's position that wasn't there. It sincerely wasn't my intention to do so.

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Nonpropheteer
6 Syllable Master
# 5053

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quote:
Originally posted by Papio:
So Scot - to summerise you pov - you think it legitmate to sack employees if they display openly racist behaviour at work but believe that I and others on this thread are morally wrong and ignorant to suggest that membership of a racist party is evidence that someone will display overty racist behavious while at work

Morally wrong, perhaps. I wouldn't use the word ignorant to describe anyone on the ship. While party affiliation can indicate how a person might behave at work, it does not divine what the person will do at work. Many people who joined Saddam's Baath party did so in search for political power, not necessarily because they agreed with Saddam's policies. Likewise, 75 years ago in America, many people who were not racist joined the Klan because it was such a powerful political force.

NP

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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quote:
I wouldn't use the word ignorant to describe anyone on the ship
Oh dear. Unlike me.

Look NP, some of the things you said riled me and I made some childish remarks aimed at you. I am sure some of what I have said on this thread has got on your nerves also. So, sorry for the insults. They weren't called for.

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Scot

Deck hand
# 2095

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Papio, that's it more or less, yes. I'm sure if you were trying to flame me, you would do better than that [Biased]

Sarky, AFAIK policemen in the US generally do the same (but they also carry a gun so as to be able to issue more than a stern warning). I'm going to take a wild guess and say that an off-duty policeman is off-duty until they begin to excercise their authority as a policeman. Much like you are just another nutcase in Hell until you whip out that Hellhost title.

Rat, I agree if by "disciplinary issue" you mean something deserving of some "counselling" by their supervisor.

Presleyterian, before I forget to mention it, I thought that this was brilliant:
quote:
quote:
What's been stopping them?
The moral bankruptcy of their political beliefs when forced to compete in the marketplace of ideas.
[P.S. I'm not ignoring you; I've gone to work.]

[ 05. November 2003, 16:39: Message edited by: Scot ]

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“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Moth

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# 2589

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quote:
Originally posted by Wood:
quote:
Originally posted by nonpropheteer:
Don't punish people for what they might do wrong, punish them justly for the wrongs they do commit.

NP

So, in the light of Sarkycow's salutary synopsis of the facts, you don't consider telling a racist joke to be doing anything wrong?
Actually, I think it is now established that the officers in question did not tell the joke. They did laugh at it and behave in other loutish and immature ways. The matter is still under investigation, and will be considered by the force, the police complaints authority and Kent Police Authority (the board of governors, consisting of local councillors, JPs and independent appointed members - the voice of the public, as it were). The officers can be disciplined only if they broke police regulations.

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Nonpropheteer
6 Syllable Master
# 5053

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quote:
Originally posted by Wood:
So, in the light of Sarkycow's salutary synopsis of the facts, you don't consider telling a racist joke to be doing anything wrong?

Off duty or when not engaged in affairs of the state: No.

I think it was Daisy that told the story of the doctor. I think it perfectly illustrates my point. This doctor is not allowed any occassion to express his own feelings, anger, and hatred. He can't say anything to his co-workers and can't say anything publicly without reprisal from the hospital/office/patients. He is probably terrified of reprimanding a minority co-worker/employee because of fear of being labled a racist or sexist by free thinking liberals such as yourself.
He does his job well and doesn't let his prejudices interfere with his work or his relationship with his patients. So he vents when he calls his answering service. I think he would be a more balanced individual if he felt secure enough to voice his views and tell his jokes when not on duty. He might even find a way to work through his unreasoning prejudice. As long as he is not allowed to admit his racist views, he can never fully correct them.

NP

NP

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Nonpropheteer
6 Syllable Master
# 5053

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quote:
Originally posted by Papio:
quote:
I wouldn't use the word ignorant to describe anyone on the ship
Oh dear. Unlike me.

Look NP, some of the things you said riled me and I made some childish remarks aimed at you. I am sure some of what I have said on this thread has got on your nerves also. So, sorry for the insults. They weren't called for.

Thanks for the apology, but it really wasn't necessary but is accepted. You are a gentleman (-woman/person?)and a scholar. I totally understand how easy it is to get riled up in these forums,(Can I get an 'amen' Erin? [Biased] )especially with a thread this provocative.

NP

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Moth

Shipmate
# 2589

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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:

Rat, I agree if by "disciplinary issue" you mean something deserving of some "counselling" by their supervisor.


One of the most common outcomes to a police disiplinary case is that the officer 'receives advice'.

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"There are governments that burn books, and then there are those that sell the libraries and shut the universities to anyone who can't pay for a key." Laurie Penny.

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Nonpropheteer
6 Syllable Master
# 5053

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Don't know if this is to off-topic, but I'm curious. In a free and equal society, if an X number of people hate potholders, don't they have a right to try to get an anti-potholder politician elected? Do they still have the right to work as cooks?


NP (being a bit silly - it definately is past my bedtime now)

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Archimandrite
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# 3997

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
On duty is defined in the US as your scheduled time to work and earn money doing so. By this argument, you seem to be implying that police officers should be compensated for every hour of every day. You also seem to be saying that they are not allowed to drink alcohol (as I cannot imagine that being toasted while driving around in a patrol car is an allowable state). Clearly the lines are already drawn somewhere -- they are not compensated for every hour of every day, neither are they forbidden from drinking. So I think that the argument that states that cops are "always on duty because they have to carry their warrant cards" is extremely weak.

Duty to the state is different from duty to a private company, in that the state represents the whole population. People like policemen, who are servants of the state, thus have to maintain a higher standard of personal behaviour than the average employee.

Thus, because they are public servants, they must serve the public, and if the state, as the representation of the people, considers it in the public interest that policemen ought not to be affiliated with a party whose views are a danger to members of the public.

Serving the state is, or ought to be, more of a vocation. Teachers, for instance, may work out of hours to help their pupils in the interests of pastoral care. That, in Britain, is part of their job. Whether they discharge that job well depends on their attitude.

Policemen ought to be neutral. The same goes for all civil servants (who, in this country, remain in position regardless of the hue of the government).

There is an intriguing parallel in Germany. There, teachers are officially classed as civil servants. They have got to reflect the views of the people as laid down in the Constitution. Germany is officially a secular state - thus, ought teachers in state schools to wear religious symbols, conflicting with the neutrality they are supposed to represent? (Bavaria is a special case, and Land law is different in this respect from national law.) So if, as in the case of the moment, a teacher is a practising Muslim, ought she to be allowed to wear the hijab while teaching, while representing an officially neutral, colour-blind, non-discriminative body? She isn't in a faith school, where one can do as one pleases, it's a state school. The law guarantees freedom of religious expression, but the state is officially neutral. If she weren't a state employee, her rights would be unaffected. But, the argument goes, she has in a sense sacrificed that by knowingly working for a body which demands neutrality.

Ah, sure and it's tricky, and no mistake.

[UBB code is a tricky thing; pity about your stupid mistake.]

[ 05. November 2003, 18:02: Message edited by: Sarkycow ]

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KenWritez
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# 3238

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Firstly, I'm not familiar with the BNP. I quickly scanned their website some months ago, and they seemed a sort of KKK-lite. I have no experience with them, so I can go by only what I read from them.

Secondly, IMNSVHO free speech and freedom of association are absolutes with very few exceptions: Shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater or publically calling for the assassination of a politician or the armed overthrow of the US government, for example. These are crimes in the US.

Publically calling for the abolishment of income taxes or the social advancement of white people over other races is not a crime (although odious) but purely political/social speech and must be allowed if other opinions (such as yours) are to receive an equal airing.

Here's an extreme: Would I support a US policeman belonging to the Klan? It's not a casual or easy decision; I am revulsed by the Klan and organizations like it, their agendas and activities.

As long as the Klan were not advocating criminal activities, yes, I would allow it if it were in my power, and I would so regretfully and with great reservation, encouraging the policeman to sever his ties with it, but I would not and could not dictate this policeman's conscience to him. However, I make my decision with the proviso that the policeman's affiliation must not adversely affect his performance of his duties (with special attention paid to his interaction with minorities) and that he not affiliate with organizations that are criminal nor with those that publically call for criminal actions.

Thus, in my view, a policeman may belong to a tax protest organization but not to the Mafia, Posse Comitatus (which advocates armed overthrow of the US government) or to the IRA.

Because freedom of speech and freedom of association are bedrock in the American structure of civil liberty, I absolutely refuse to compromise them for myself or for anyone else. I don't want ANYONE telling me what I may or may not say, or to what organizations I may or may not join, as long as I am within the bounds of law.

For example, I enjoy telling the only Irish joke I know: "What's green and sits out in the rain? Paddy O'Furniture." Does that make me a racist and anti-Irish? The hell it does. I think it's a funny joke, and I tell it purely for that reason, because it's funny to me. I have no bias against the Irish and in fact admire their accomplishments, their culture, their country, and their accents. For anyone to say that I'm anti-Irish based on that joke is not just wrong-headed, but nastily so. Anyone who says telling a racially-based joke automatically makes one a racist has their head up their butt.

Why? For anyone to say, "You may not tell racially-based jokes on your own time" is officious, dictatorial, petty, and small-minded. If you hear such a joke and are offended by it, then I suggest your offense and any resolution is between you and the joke teller. Government has neither right nor duty to insinuate itself between you two nor does it have a legitimate involvement in insulating you from that which you don't want to hear. It especially does not have the right or duty to police a person's thoughts. Simply put, no one has the right not to be offended.

If you want to know what government's charter is, I quote the Preamble to the US Constitution as a simple example:


quote:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Nowhere in there is the duty of government to approve or allow the thoughts or jokes of its citizens. Forming a more perfect Union, establishing Justice, insuring domestic Tranquility and promoting the general Welfare do not involve the government micromanaging the thoughts and actions of its citizens.

Should others hold these rights as less vital than I do, well, that's their choice and I wish them well in it. But I fear they'll see their eagerness to reduce other people's liberties rebound upon their own heads sooner or later, to their regret.

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"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd." --Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

My blog: http://oxygenofgrace.blogspot.com

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Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

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Out of curiousity, does the Orange Order count as a legal-but-bigotted organisation and is it OK for policemen to be Orangemen? I might be completely misrepresenting the Orange Order just by asking this question, and if so I apologise. My view is coloured by the fact that the only Orangeman I knew was a complete and utter bigot (and somewhat involved with paramilitary types).

I know it is (or was) legal to be both, as the bigot in question was. (The family rumour is that he got turfed out of the police when it emerged that during his short tenure he had only arrested Catholics, but I doubt this can be true...how could he tell?).

Rat

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It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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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

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

Any of these would get out into general public knowledge and would remove any confidence the "black paki bastards" had in the police force. They would not want to report any incidents to the police because they would expect to get dissed or ignored or blamed and arrested.

The police are supposed to help take care of us all. They need to act in a way that we can trust them.

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The Riv
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# 3553

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Part of Kenwritez's gorgeous post:
quote:
Simply put, no one has the right not to be offended.
Well, for that matter, no one explicitly has most of the Rights many would like to claim. And, try as we might, we simply can't legislate morality.

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"Riv, you've done a much better job communicating your passion than your point. I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about." Tom Clune

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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quote:
Originally posted by nonpropheteer:
quote:
Originally posted by Wood:
So, in the light of Sarkycow's salutary synopsis of the facts, you don't consider telling a racist joke to be doing anything wrong?

Off duty or when not engaged in affairs of the state: No.

I think it was Daisy that told the story of the doctor.

NP

Nope - read more carefully. It was maybe duchess? Check and find out. I'm not going to tell you.
[Razz]

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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Kenwritez:

quote:
Publically calling for the social advancement of white people over other races is not a crime (although odious) but purely political/social speech and must be allowed if other opinions (such as yours) are to receive an equal airing.
I think that it might be illegal, a crime, in certain circumstances in the UK. Plans to do so would be against the law. And if it were a civil servant, it would definitely be against their contract.

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Sarkycow
La belle Dame sans merci
# 1012

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Brit 1: Hey, you Americans have stupid laws.
American 1: Oh yeah? Well your British laws are dumb.
American 2: Yeah, dumb and immoral.
Brit 2: Well yours are stupid and racist. And you're talking about stuff you don't know about.
American 3:...

And so it continues.

Yes, I know and understand that Americans don't think free speech should ever be restricted. Yes, I know and understand that their policemen are only considered on duty when they are actually being paid. (To pick two examples.)

And do the Americans reading this know and understand that Brits think there are valid restrictions on free speech? Do they know and understand that we believe state employees and/or those dealing with the public should be held to higher standards?

The situation we originally started talking about involved the British police. And now that story has gone, and we are left discussing the great divide between Brits and Americans. It's kinda boring to rehash it once more [Snore]

But go ahead, knock yourselves out. But be aware that you will never agree, nor even convince those on the other side of the pond of your way of thinking.

Sarkycow

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“Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.”

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KenWritez
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# 3238

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quote:
Originally posted by daisymay:
Kenwritez:

quote:
Publically calling for the social advancement of white people over other races is not a crime (although odious) but purely political/social speech and must be allowed if other opinions (such as yours) are to receive an equal airing.
I think that it might be illegal, a crime, in certain circumstances in the UK. Plans to do so would be against the law. And if it were a civil servant, it would definitely be against their contract.
If such is true, and the majority of British citizens support this law, then knock yourselves out. Enjoy. It's not a law I would ever support nor could I be comfortable living under it. Too close to the Thought Police, too open to abuse and expansion.

Here's a thought: How you would fare if your political party or your organization was as disliked as the BNP? What would happen if Christianity was deemed "socially inappropriate"?

--------------------
"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd." --Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

My blog: http://oxygenofgrace.blogspot.com

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The Riv
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# 3553

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quote:
And do the Americans reading this know and understand that Brits think there are valid restrictions on free speech? Do they know and understand that we believe state employees and/or those dealing with the public should be held to higher standards?
Do Americans reading this know and understand that even in the US there are valid resatrictions on Free Speech? Do Americans reading this know and understand that attempting to incorporate anything and everything utterable under the umbrella of Free Speech has the result (IMO) of undermining the very fabric of the society that makes Free Speech both possible and so highly valuable? Do Americans reading this (and Brits too, for that matter) know and understand that to some, the notion of holding one particular sector of a society to some, ambiguous, etherial 'higher standard' seems woefully myopic? Why not hold all of society to a higher standard?

Because we'd have to tell some that what they were doing was Wrong, and that just isn't done outside of a Court, is it.

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"I don't know whether I like it, but it's what I meant." Ralph Vaughan Williams

"Riv, you've done a much better job communicating your passion than your point. I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about." Tom Clune

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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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I think I am correct in saying that, until very recently, the BNP and some other parties have not been allowed to air party polictical broadcasts in the UK?

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Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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quote:
Originally posted by Sarkycow:
And do the Americans reading this know and understand that Brits think there are valid restrictions on free speech? Do they know and understand that we believe state employees and/or those dealing with the public should be held to higher standards?

I understand that completely, and if that's the kind of society you guys want, you're welcome to it. I do believe that it is impossible to hold this view while simultaneously proclaiming to all the world that "I may not like what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it". One or the other is a bold-faced lie.

I also think that some of the arguments used to support the police enquiry are weak and undermine your point of view. If you think that certain types of speech should be outlawed, just say so, without resorting to arguments like "they are kinda sorta always on duty", which is, as I've pointed out, not exactly true. Or at least, if I've erred in my assumptions regarding police compensation and other behaviors they should be prevented from engaging in, no one has seen fit to correct me.

[ 05. November 2003, 19:03: Message edited by: Erin ]

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

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daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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Kenwritez:
quote:
Here's a thought: How you would fare if your political party or your organization was as disliked as the BNP? What would happen if Christianity was deemed "socially inappropriate"?
Racism is not merely "socially inappropriate" - it's wicked.

If it were illegal to discuss prejudice, that would be different. Here we are talking about upholders of the law breaking the law.

And, to go back to the OP, we are not talking about total refusal of the law to admit discussion. Tito's government refused to allow that and then when he died, there was an upsurge of violent racism and ethnic cleansing. That's not what we're wanting.

We expect police to obey and carry out the law.

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Presleyterian
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# 1915

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quote:
daisymay wrote: If it were illegal to discuss prejudice, that would be different. Here we are talking about upholders of the law breaking the law. . . . We expect police to obey and carry out the law.
Precisely. But is it "breaking the law" to hold a political viewpoint that daisymay finds personally odious? And if it is, how do I get in on the action to make sure that all people who take home a government paycheck conform to my personal viewpoints on all things I decide are important?

The millisecond that a public servant behaves in an untoward way to a person based on the person's race or ethnicity, said public servant should have his ass canned. But remember that as soon as you disqualify BNP supporters from the civil service solely for what they believe, you open the door for the possibility that if -- God forbid -- the BNP ever gets into power, BNP detractors can be disqualified from the civil service solely for what they believe.

[ 05. November 2003, 19:17: Message edited by: Presleyterian ]

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KenWritez
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# 3238

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quote:
Originally posted by daisymay:
Kenwritez:
quote:
Here's a thought: How you would fare if your political party or your organization was as disliked as the BNP? What would happen if Christianity was deemed "socially inappropriate"?
Racism is not merely "socially inappropriate" - it's wicked.

If it were illegal to discuss prejudice, that would be different. Here we are talking about upholders of the law breaking the law.

And, to go back to the OP, we are not talking about total refusal of the law to admit discussion. Tito's government refused to allow that and then when he died, there was an upsurge of violent racism and ethnic cleansing. That's not what we're wanting.

We expect police to obey and carry out the law.

Well, aside from the fact you've not answered my points, your posts say that you expect a great deal more from your police than obeying and carrying out the law. You expect them to be free of all prejudice. You expect them to hold to a higher standard of behavior than anyone else, vis-a-vis the telling of a racially-based joke.

You're free to expect all this, and more, but given human nature, you won't get it until someone invents incorruptible, perfect police robots with telepathic abilities. Then God help you and all of us when they do.

--------------------
"The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd." --Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction

My blog: http://oxygenofgrace.blogspot.com

Posts: 11102 | From: Left coast of Wonderland, by the rabbit hole | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
daisymay

St Elmo's Fire
# 1480

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Presleyterian:

quote:
Precisely. But is it "breaking the law" to hold a political viewpoint that daisymay finds personally odious?
Not just me - the laws of the UK. There are plenty of people whose political viewpoints I don't agree with, and find idiotic - but they are not against the law.

Kenwritez,
do you have authority that says I have to answer everything you post? [Disappointed] I'm not bothering. [Snigger] We're not in purgatory after all.

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London
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Scot

Deck hand
# 2095

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First they came for the racial jokes
and I did not speak out
because I am not a racist.
Then they came for the dirty jokes
and I did not speak out
because I am not a misogynist.
Then they came for the satire
and I did not speak out
because Christians don't make fun of people.
Then they came for puns
and all I had left was
some lame knock-knock jokes.


with apologies to Martin Niemöller

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Presleyterian
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# 1915

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quote:
daisymay wrote: Not just me - the laws of the UK.
Well, that's where I'm confused, daisymay. To my knowledge, membership in the BNP is not a crime. And intellectually agreeing with the political positions of the BNP can't be a crime -- or at least I certainly hope it isn't. So what "law of the UK" is being violated here?
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Papio

Ship's baboon
# 4201

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It's not a legal crime in the UK to belong to the BNP or other far-right/racist organisations.

It is a crime to "incite racial hatred or violence".

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The Riv
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# 3553

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Hey, have you heard the one about the... No really, uncover your ears, this is really great... Wait! Hey why are you running?!

Heyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!

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"I don't know whether I like it, but it's what I meant." Ralph Vaughan Williams

"Riv, you've done a much better job communicating your passion than your point. I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about." Tom Clune

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Moth

Shipmate
# 2589

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
quote:
Originally posted by Sarkycow:
And do the Americans reading this know and understand that Brits think there are valid restrictions on free speech? Do they know and understand that we believe state employees and/or those dealing with the public should be held to higher standards?

I understand that completely, and if that's the kind of society you guys want, you're welcome to it. I do believe that it is impossible to hold this view while simultaneously proclaiming to all the world that "I may not like what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it". One or the other is a bold-faced lie.
OK, we maybe cannot say out and out "I will defend to the death your right to say it". Unless we add the caveat "But if you are a public employee, you cannot say things that indicate that you are prejudiced against some of the people you are paid to serve". I know this always get Americans fit to be tied, but, honestly, we don't live under an oppressive regime. You will hear people espousing all kinds of views in public over here, some of them very nasty and racist indeed. We feel completely free to criticise our government and our political satire is some of the most cutting in the world. We do believe in freedom of speech, we just don't think it's the most important freedom. Freedom of everyone to have confidence in, and be treated at all times with respect by, public servants ranks higher at this time. This is a judgement made by Parliament because of certain recent events, not least the treatment of the Lawrence family. I suppose I would say that I regard all freedoms as competing, not absolute.

quote:
I also think that some of the arguments used to support the police enquiry are weak and undermine your point of view. If you think that certain types of speech should be outlawed, just say so, without resorting to arguments like "they are kinda sorta always on duty", which is, as I've pointed out, not exactly true. Or at least, if I've erred in my assumptions regarding police compensation and other behaviors they should be prevented from engaging in, no one has seen fit to correct me.
The police were identifiable as police for reasons which I cannot go into because they might not be in the public domain. Although not on duty, they were very much representing the police in a wider sense. That explains why the complaint was made by a member of the public. However, our police are expected to maintain a higher standard than the average citizen. It goes with the job.

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"There are governments that burn books, and then there are those that sell the libraries and shut the universities to anyone who can't pay for a key." Laurie Penny.

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Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

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

Any of these would get out into general public knowledge and would remove any confidence the "black paki bastards" had in the police force. They would not want to report any incidents to the police because they would expect to get dissed or ignored or blamed and arrested.

The police are supposed to help take care of us all. They need to act in a way that we can trust them.

I agree. I was wondering where the line was drawn for people who believe free speech takes precedence over all other freedoms.

Rat

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It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

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hatless

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# 3365

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One of the reasons for the attention given to jokes and attitudes is that racism infects society so deeply. It isn’t just a matter of deliberate acts of injustice. Racism is not only likely to be surreptitious, it is often unconscious, and even seems to express itself through systems despite the people involved doing their best to be fair.

The investigation into the Metropolitan Police after the Stephen Lawrence business spoke of ‘unwitting’ racism, and ‘institutional’ racism. These are real things that make a difference to black and Asian people’s experience of the police force, but they may not be the result of culpable prejudice on the part of even a single officer.

I remember a parallel situation about women training to be doctors (this is a few years out of date). More girls than boys apply for medical school each year. At every stage in the process – predicted A-level grades, A-level grades, end of year university exams, clinical exams, etc – females outperform males, but more women than men are weeded out at each stage, and by the end of the process there are more male doctors than female. I don’t think anyone in the system wants this to happen. All judgements on trainees are undoubtedly as objective and fair as possible, but nevertheless, discrimination gets in there somehow. What is to be done?

In relation to racism and the police there is a long way to go in recruiting officers from ethnic minority groups, in seeing them promoted, in changing the culture of the force, and altering the expectations and attitudes of the various groups in society which tend to reinforce the police culture. Weeding out officers who casually express strongly racist attitudes seems a reasonable part of this process. Dismissing an officer for a inappropriate joke seems a step too far, but in the present climate, hard to avoid.

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My crazy theology in novel form

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