Tuesday, December 18, 2018

‘Minorities suffer the most from hate-speech laws’  -- says ACLU boss

An interview with Nadine Strossen on why we must be free to hate below.  It is a big surprise that she wants to allow hate speech.  The ACLU these days is mainly in the business of using any excuse to criticize and harass Christians.  She relies on tales of what the ACLU did in the 20th century to make her points.  But the days of Skokie are long gone. And the ACLU these days is a very different organization.  See here for the facts on what the ACLU does these days.  It has become a defender of identity groups even if that means abandoning free speech

So the interview below would seem to be just propaganda, unrelated to what the ACLU actually does these days.  It is an attempt to revive fraudulently the good reputation the group once had

Another possibility is that Ms Strossen has finally seen what blind Freddy could see --- that the big fountain of hate these days is the Left.  Just say "President Trump" to any Leftist and you will get a foaming torrent of hate from the Leftist concerned.  So perhaps she sees a need to rehabilitate hate speech -- to legitimize what the Left already do

Today, feminism, anti-racism and LGBT advocacy have sadly become synonymous with demands for Safe Spaces and the censorship of so-called hate speech. Yet Nadine Strossen, who served as president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for 18 years, is a staunch defender of both minority rights and unfettered free speech. This is the starting point for her latest book, Hate: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship.

spiked: Why is it so important to defend the right to use hate speech?

Nadine Strossen: Experience in the US and around the world throughout history shows that as well-intentioned as efforts to censor hateful speech might be, they are at best ineffective and, at worst, counterproductive. They certainly don’t stop hateful, discriminatory attitudes and behaviour. In many cases, they actually fuel the cause of the hatemongers.

From the Nazis in Weimar Germany up to the present day, the hatemongers have used the same strategy. The alt-right on college campuses, for example, deliberately seek to provoke attempts to censor them. This gets them media attention that they would not have had otherwise. They also gain sympathy because people see them as free-speech martyrs.

Throughout US history, warriors for racial justice and any other form of human rights have also been champions of free speech and have had to battle against censorship. That was true of the abolitionist movement, it was true of the civil-rights movement of the 1960s, it was true of the earlier movements for women’s rights and LGBT rights.

I think it is really tragic that, today, we actually have free speech equated with hate speech on a number of college campuses. At Harvard recently, a student group wanted to have a panel discussion on free speech, but had to take the words ‘free speech’ out of the event description. They knew that a certain administrator saw free-speech advocacy in itself as a form of hate speech. The panel wanted to explore how minority causes and rights are being undermined by censorship.

There is a predictable pattern now in which hate-speech codes and laws are introduced, purporting to protect minorities, but end up censoring them. In the US, campus hate-speech codes came into vogue in the late 1980s, early 1990s. The ACLU immediately challenged those codes in court. And in the process, we learned a lot about how they were enforced. Unsurprisingly there was a pattern of suppressing speech by minority student groups. At the University of Michigan, the first university we successfully challenged, a black student was punished for calling a white student ‘white trash’. Similarly, in the UK, after the introduction of the Race Relations Act in 1964, the first person to be punished for inciting racial hatred was black. He was accused of using hate speech against a police officer.

We see the same thing today on social media. Facebook, for example, has been the subject of complaints for years by a large coalition of civil-rights and civil-liberties organisations. Advocating Black Lives Matter or for Native Americans, who were protesting new pipelines through their reservations in the Dakotas, can be deemed hate speech.

spiked: One of the ACLU’s landmark free-speech cases was regarding Skokie, Illinois. Why was that case so important?

Strossen: Between 1972 and 1978 the ACLU came to the defence of free speech for a group of neo-Nazis, who wanted to protest in Skokie, Illinois. This was a town with a large population not only of Jewish people, but also Holocaust survivors.

The ACLU’s case was an easy win in the court of law, because there is such a time-honoured principle that government may never suppress speech simply because it deplores the viewpoints conveyed by it.

But it was a very challenging case in the court of public opinion. Even die-hard free-speech supporters asked, ‘How can the ACLU, which champions equality and opposes discrimination, do that?’. We even lost 15 per cent of our members as a result. This shows the disconnect between the First Amendment free-speech standard, that even abhorrent viewpoints have the right to be expressed, and the views of the wider public. Most people think ‘that’s a hateful idea and therefore you shouldn’t have the right to say it’.

But there is a real danger that we take for granted the free-speech protections that we have today. For most of US history, the First Amendment was largely unenforced. For example, the ACLU was founded in 1918 at a time when thousands of people were imprisoned for objecting to the US’s participation in the First World War.

It was only in the 1960s that the Supreme Court actually put teeth into the First Amendment. It was no coincidence that the greatest free-speech victories were fought and won in the context of the civil-rights movement. The strategy for conservatives at the time was censorship and the landmark victories for free speech were won on behalf of Martin Luther King and other civil-rights campaigners. At the time, their views were deemed to be hateful, dangerous and subversive.

It is really important to convey that even if the immediate beneficiaries of a free-speech principle happen to be against civil rights, you can’t take away their rights without taking them away from those arguing the opposite. It is no coincidence today that we have government officials saying that Black Lives Matter protests are ‘hate speech’. If you’re advocating on behalf of minority causes and law reform then it is especially important to defend free speech.

spiked: What about censorship that does not come from the government?

Strossen: The First Amendment, wonderful as it is, only protects against government censorship. It cannot protect against powerful forces in society or private companies. Peer pressure too can create a chilling effect on free speech.

We see examples all the time of a kind of ‘mobocracy’, where there is so much shaming and pressure against certain viewpoints that people feel unable to express themselves. According to surveys, a very large majority of students, faculty and administrators are walking on eggshells.

Sadly, the subjects people feel the most pressure to exercise self-censorship over are the very ones that require the most urgent discussion: race, gender or immigration, for instance. We are never going to advance toward understanding, diversity, inclusion or equality unless we can engage with each other over points of disagreement on these contentious issues.


Women’s March Leaders Spouted Anti-Semitic Theories at First Meeting

Two leaders of the anti-Trump Women’s March engaged in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories prior to the massive gathering, according to a report by Tablet magazine.

Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez “allegedly first asserted that Jewish people bore a special collective responsibility as exploiters of black and brown people — and even, according to a close secondhand source, claimed that Jews were proven to have been leaders of the American slave trade,” Tablet reported.

This popular theory can found in a book by Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews.”

The theory became so popular that Henry Louis Gates Jr. wrote, “Among significant sectors of the black community, this brief has become a credo of a new philosophy of black self-affirmation,” in an Op-Ed for The New York Times in 1992.

Mallory, however, is denying the allegations that such conversations ever took place.

Another leader of the group, Mari Lynn Foulger who took on the name Bob Bland, said, “There was a particular conversation around how white women had centered themselves — and also around the dynamics of racial justice and why it was essential that racial justice be a part of the women’s rights conversation.”

According to Tablet, both Bland and Mallory insist that the conversation had nothing to do with Jews.

However, Evvie Harmon, another leader of the group, wrote Tablet concerning an anti-semitic incident that occurred shortly after the march.

A group of about seven women, including Mallory and Linda Sarsour, met in Mallory’s apartment for a debriefing.

Harmon wrote, “I suddenly realized that Tamika and Carmen were facing Vanessa, who was sitting on a couch, and berating her — but it wasn’t about her being white. It was about her being Jewish. ‘Your people this, your people that.’”

“I was raised in the South,” she continued, “and the language that was used is language that I’m very used to hearing in rural South Carolina. Just instead of against black people, against Jewish people. They even said to her ‘your people hold all the wealth.’ You could hear a pin drop. It was awful.”

Additionally, a bi-weekly phone call in March 2018 ended with upset members as Mallory defended her attendance at a Louis Farrakhan rally where he blamed Jews for “degenerate behavior in Hollywood, turning men into women and women into men.”

A few weeks later, members of the march heard that the members of the Nation of Islam would be providing security detail.

A former spokesperson for the Women’s March, Mercy Morganfield told the Tablet, “Bob called me secretly and said, ‘Mercy, they have been in bed with the Nation of Islam since day one: They do all of our security.'” Bland denied making this phone call in an interview with Tablet.

Last month, the founder of the Women’s March, Teresa Shook, called on its leaders to step down over the anti-semitic remarks.

Shook wrote in a Facebook post, “Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez of Women’s March, Inc. have steered the Movement away from its true course. I have waited, hoping they would right the ship. But they have not.”


Government targets a shelter for homeless abuse survivors ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
The Downtown Hope Center in Anchorage, Alaska, has a heart for helping abused and battered women.

For more than 30 years, the Hope Center has been serving men and women in its local community—fueled by a vision to share the love of God with the homeless in Anchorage. It started as a simple soup kitchen operated out of a garage. But through charitable donations, it has grown into an organization that during the day offers job skills training, daily meals, laundry and shower services, and clothing for the homeless men and women in Anchorage—all free of charge.

At night however, after the dinner service has been cleared away, the main room transforms into a free overnight shelter for abused and battered women. The Hope Center provides a safe place for these vulnerable women—many of whom have been victims of rape, domestic violence, and even sex trafficking.
But, incredibly, the city of Anchorage is trying to take that safe place away to further its own political agenda.

It all started one evening when a biological man, who identifies as a woman, tried to gain access to the women’s shelter. The man was drunk and injured, so the Hope Center referred him to the local hospital to get the care he needed. The Hope Center even paid for his cab ride there. Soon after, that individual filed a complaint against the Hope Center with the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission, claiming the center had discriminated against him.

Now, the city is investigating the Hope Center for providing safe shelter only to biological women!

Imagine how traumatizing it could be for these vulnerable women to suddenly find themselves sleeping alongside a man, John.

Most of these women are survivors of rape, as well as physical and domestic abuse. They need and deserve a safe place to sleep—and that’s what the Hope Center offers them.

It’s appalling that the city of Anchorage would even consider forcing these women to sleep or disrobe in the same room as a man. And it’s unacceptable that the city would attack the Hope Center’s mission and the very beliefs that lead this vital charity to serve these women.

The city’s true motivation is clear: It wants to force this faith-based homeless shelter to get on board with its political agenda—at the expense of the battered women that the Hope Center serves.

Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a lawsuit against the Anchorage Equal Rights Commission and the city on behalf of the Hope Center. The Hope Center simply wants to minister to the homeless and hurting in downtown Anchorage. But the city is demanding that it do so on the government’s terms—or shut its doors.

In their rush to push religious beliefs out of the public square, Anchorage officials are pushing these women out in the cold!

Across America, we’re seeing legal challenges that could shut the doors of faith-based ministries and non-profits, including adoption agencies, pro-life pregnancy centers, and shelters.

At the center of these challenges are efforts by some government officials to prevent faith-based ministries from operating consistently with their deeply held religious beliefs. They’re willing to further their anti-religious agenda regardless of the vulnerable people they hurt in the process.

But the government has no business dictating to faith-based ministries how they fulfill their missions. All Americans should be free to live and serve others according to their faith without fear of unjust government punishment.

You’re free to believe what you want to believe. Say what you want to say. And work in the community doing something you love, without sacrificing your deeply held beliefs. And that freedom includes non-profits like the Hope Center.
Crippling faith-based ministries harms those in need

You would think that the local government would want to support an organization like the Hope Center. It provides a valuable service to some of the most vulnerable in society.

Instead, Anchorage officials are going after the Hope Center because of their Christian beliefs, twisting the law in order to do so. And now the future of this vital ministry is at risk.

That’s what happens when government hostility toward religion and people of faith goes unchallenged

The Hope Center serves everyone, but it also has a duty to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of the battered women it serves.

If Anchorage succeeds in its crusade against the Hope Center, the results would be disastrous. It would not only force a religious ministry to abandon its mission and message, but also force homeless women to sleep alongside men—even though those women may have been beaten, raped, or sexually assaulted by a man the day before!

As disturbing as all of this is, there is hope. Our foundational freedoms can be defended.

Via email

Malaysia says Australia’s Jerusalem decision is ‘humiliating’ and ‘premature’

PM Morrison made a very balanced announcement that included recognition of Palestinian claims but compromise is alien to Muslims

Malaysia has come out strongly against the Australian government’s move to recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, calling the decision “premature” and a “humiliation to the Palestinians”.

But Prime Minister Scott Morrison says it’s a decision for Australia, and wants the nation’s new position to become an election issue if Labor won’t support it.

Mr Morrison confirmed the foreign policy change on Saturday, which Labor has suggested it could reserve if it wins government in 2019.

The prime minister says Opposition Leader Bill Shorten needs to make the case for such a reversal before Australians vote.

“He will have to outline to the Australian community why he would want to now reverse that position and step Australia back from what should be, I think, a very strong stand of support for Israel,” he told reporters in Canberra earlier this week.

A decision on the capital came after the government flouted the idea of moving its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in October, ahead of a crucial by-election in Wentworth.

It drew criticism from political rivals as a cynical ploy to buy votes in the electorate, which has a large Jewish population.

The step also drew rebukes from South East Asian trading partners, who feared Australia wading into the multi-generational political quagmire could fuel unrest.

The government now says it won’t move its embassy until a two-state solution is reached, at which time it will also recognise East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital.

But Australia will establish a defence and trade office in Jerusalem and will start looking for an appropriate site for an embassy there.

The Malaysian foreign ministry expressed its strong opposition to the changes in a statement on Sunday.

“This announcement, made before the settlement of a two-state solution, is premature and a humiliation to the Palestinians and their struggle for the right to self-determination,” the ministry said.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has called the shift in foreign policy a “humiliating backdown” after the coalition’s announcement during the dying days of its Wentworth campaign.

“We’ve seen a complex debate derailed by reckless and foolish behaviour,” he told reporters in Adelaide on Saturday.

Labor believes Jerusalem should remain recognised as the capital of both Israel and Palestine until the final stages of negotiations on a two-state solution. Israel’s foreign ministry commended the move as a step in the right direction, while Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said the announcement was born of Australian “petty domestic politics”.

Mr Morrison has defended the new position, saying it was time to call out the “rancid stalemate” in progress towards a two-state solution. A delayed multibillion-dollar trade deal with Indonesia is expected to be on shaky ground as a result of the announcement.

Indonesia’s foreign ministry spokesman, Arrmanatha Nasir, noted that Australia had not moved its embassy to Jerusalem and called on all members of the United Nations to recognise a Palestinian state “based on the principle of two-state solutions”.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


1 comment:

C. S. P. Schofield said...

Somebody really needs to take the leaders of the Muslim world aside and explain that, at some point, the West will decide they have had Enough Of This Shit, and then life for Muslims of likely to get rather unpleasant.