There are two figures of speech that really put the wind up my skirt. The first is “boys will be boys.”
Parents have been saying this since the invention of dirt to excuse away the behavior of little boys. You never hear anyone exclaim that girls will be girls. That is because little girls are punished for their bad behavior from a very early age. So why do we encourage little boys by ignoring their bad behavior when we know that providing a consequence for undesirable actions works? By excusing boys their bad behavior all we are doing is creating grown men who exhibit the same bad behavior, whether it’s fraternity hazing, racism or sexism. Unless bad behavior is nipped in the bud and not excused away we continue to perpetuate the idea that boys will be boys and that men will never change.
The second figure of speech that (as Peter Griffin would say) grinds my gears is “consider the source.”
Ann Coulter proving that women are guilty of ignorance and hate too.
This is something adults say when they are sick and tired of hearing ignorant and hateful things from ignorant and hateful people. Unfortunately, like ‘boys will be boys’, ‘consider the source’ only serves to excuse away the words and actions of racists, sexists, fear and hate mongers.
Unless we actually make people take responsibility for their words and actions, we are doomed to have to listen to hate speech. Ignoring the problem will not make it simply go away.
Recently the web site, http://jezebel.com/ took to task some teenagers that had posted horribly racist tweets (that I will not re-print here… they do not need to be rewarded with more publicity) in the wake of President Obama’s re-election. They alerted the schools, parents and employers of the teens who posted these offensive statements and actually got results. In some cases the schools suspended or even expelled the teens. In some cases their employers fired the teens. In almost all cases the offending twitter accounts were deleted. Now I do realize that this doesn’t stop these kids from thinking racist thoughts (racism is usually taught by parents or other authority figures), but it will certainly make them think twice before committing racist actions if they know that there are consequences for those actions.
Laziness, exasperation and excuses will not create the kind of world in which we want to live, or the kind of child we would be proud to send into that world.
What is with all of this hate speech that is coursing through the veins of our society of late? It seems that people are spewing all sorts of heinous vitriol in the name-of their religion. Not that this is anything new. I had just hoped that society had come a bit further than this, since the days of the Inquisition.
disease isn’t random – quite often it’s God taking out the trash… Christ is RIGHT!
In the United States, the law is part of the problem. The first amendment to the constitution protects free speech, unfortunately, in many cases this also includes hate speech. I’m sure quite a few of you have heard of the Westboro Baptist Church and their penchant for protesting the funerals of gays, soldiers and an innocently by-standing 9 year old girl. The fact that the Supreme Court of Kansas sided with them sickens me to the core.
This video is interesting. It was made for students of political science. It explains why/how hate speech is protected in America.
In Canada, however, where, yes, contrary to American opinion, we actually do have free speech, we also have laws against hate speech. Oh and we actually DO separate church and state.
Sections 318 and 319 of the Criminal Code of Canada make it a criminal offence to:
publicly incite hatred
wilfully promote hatred
against an “identifiable group.”
An identifiable group is defined as any section of the public distinguished by:
The Criminal Code provisions are intended to prohibit the public distribution of hate propaganda. Private speech is not covered by the provisions.
For example, “advocating genocide” includes publicly arguing that members of an identifiable group should be killed. Willfully promoting hatred can only be committed by communicating statements other than in a private conversation. And inciting hatred is only prohibited if statements are communicated in a public place.
Online communications that advocate genocide or willfully promote or incite hatred are likely to fall within the provisions because the Internet is a public network.
This is something that Ann Coulter found out personally. When she wanted to speak at a university in Ontario recently.
Though, when she went back home, she claimed SHE was the victim of a hate crime.
I am a believer in freedom of speech, but not when it puts someone in harm’s way. Hate speech in the name of religion, well, if you’re going to claim to be better than the rest of us, then you shouldn’t be allowed to spread hatred, ignorance and obscenity like the Westboro Baptist Church, the Christian porn star and the ironically named Christians For A Moral America.
Although, if you keep it up, you’ll just be making more atheists like me.