Friday, January 20, 2017

Calling out hate speech

When last I posted I wrote about free speech, including that Jason Michael is done with dialog and will make sure hate speech has economic consequences. During that post I referred to my friend and debate partner’s usual line: the response to offensive free speech is more free speech. As expected my friend responded and did so rather quickly. I’m the source of the delay in sharing it with you.
Oh, no apology needed. I have no objection to the use of power to move us forward. Disinviting Burrell from the show was an exhibition of power -- the program staff's right to edit the show and its direction. "consequences to hate speech" That action is a statement -- is free speech from the show's point of view.

I also have no objections to anyone calling out speech as hate speech on a rational basis explained for all to understand. That is free speech provided in the interests of community. I see no responsibility to broadcast or distribute hate speech.

But I also bring a caution: We see efforts today to exclude speech that may create discomfort (even pain) for some listeners, especially in places (such as college classrooms) with a "captive" audience. Listeners may benefit from speech that makes us uncomfortable... and should evaluate incoming speech to see whether the challenges presented are worthwhile or growthful.

Hate speech? Throw that away!

Ideas for bridging our divides with people whom we see as enemies? That's the road to peace making and progress.

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