Free speech is not about race or gender

I don’t know where to start with this.?The Spinoff?has published this silly article that tries to define free speech on gender or racial issues?? and fails miserably. Quote:

There are three aspects of the Free Speech Coalition ? currently taking legal action against Auckland Council ? that stand out. One, they didn?t Google before they made up their name, or they?d known that the Free Speech Coalition is actually the name of the largest US trade association for pornography. Two, their political diversity is less telling than their overall gender and ethnic homogeneity. Three, they seem more interested in what they think the law should say rather than what it actually says. End quote.

No. Firstly, their name is not important. Secondly, their ethnic and gender homogeneity is not important. Free speech is important to everyone, whatever gender, whatever ethnicity. That is the whole point.

As soon as you recognise that, the rest of the article is just plain puerile. Quote:

?The Free Speech Coalition are saying that we have a right to freedom of speech in Aotearoa and that they wish to defend that right no matter how objectionable the person?s view, providing they don?t (directly) incite violence.

The majority of the coalition are P?keh? men (Rachel Poulain and Melissa Derby excepted). Their confusion derives from their cultural experience. P?keh? males are not comfortable with any restrictions on themselves. They come from a cultural background here in Aotearoa of being the oppressors, of being the powerful observers who stand in judgement of others, of freely using their individual and communal power for their own benefit at no cost to themselves. End quote.

Free speech is for all. If Pakeha men were oppressors, they would not be supporters of free speech for everyone. But, in all the articles I have read about the issue, I have not seen anything to indicate that women or non-white people have less rights than anyone else.

Because they don’t. Free speech is a right of every New Zealander: white, black, brown, women, man, transgender… who cares. Everyone has the right to free speech. Quote:

Chris Trotter claimed that ?free speech denialism? [is] born of fear.? No, Chris. Having boundaries on what can be said where, is not about fear; it is about whakawhanaungatanga. A recognition that I do not exist independent of health and functional communities. So I need to engage my brain to protect the relationships that bind us together. It?s called a social contract. End quote.

Free speech is not a social contract. It is the right to say what you think. I think the writer is confusing the right to state your opinion with social niceties. They are not the same. Quote:

Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern promote views that incite people to tear that social contract apart.

Southern holds the view that women are ?not psychologically developed to hold leadership positions? and denies the existence of any kind of rape culture in our societies. End quote.

No, she doesn’t. She says women have the right to decide if they want to be board members or housewives. Some women choose the latter, and that is completely okay. As for the rape culture thing… well, this is hard. She is trying to point out that Islamic immigration is causing serious issues for women and girls in some countries, like Sweden and the UK. You don’t have to take her word for that. Just look up Rotherham, Telford, Rochdale… these are places where young girls, of ages 11 upwards, were raped and groomed into sex slaves. I don’t believe the writer thinks that is okay. I just assume he doesn’t know about it, because the mainstream media doesn’t report it. But it is out there. Just look beyond Stuff and NZ Herald. Quote:

Southern and Molyneux are both proponents of the White Genocide Conspiracy. This conspiracy claims that there is a worldwide meta-strategy to murder and/or breed out ?white culture.? Molyneux?has recently commented?that he doesn?t ?want to scare the whites in the west with what happens when whites become a minority in a highly aggressive and tribalised world.? Spoiler alert: he does actually want to scare ?the whites in the west.? In the same vein, Southern produced a documentary called?Farmlands?about post-Apartheid farm violence in South Africa with the tagline, ?Crisis. Oppression. Genocide?? End quote.

Oh, here we go. It is only genocide if it is brown or black people. The systematic murder of white South Africans is not genocide. It can’t be, because genocide can never apply to whites. Quote:

These two [Molyneux and Southern] are darlings of the alt-right. Alt-right is a euphemism for Nazis. More specifically, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers and hate groups like Incels. In case you think that is hyperbole, they are actual Nazis ? they subscribe to the same views that were foundation for the National Socialist German Workers Party in Germany in the 1930s: pseudo-scientific racism; militant nationalism; promotion of eugenics; identifying particular groups as responsible for the failure of their nation. End quote.

I know I have said this in the last week or two, but now conservatives are Nazis. Just to remind you, Nazis embarked on an ethnic-cleansing programme, murdered six million Jews, seven million Russians and five million Slavs. Lauren Southern suggests that women should be protected from rape by immigrants, and that women should be able to be housewives if they want. She is not a Nazi. But now the term is being bandied around as if it means nothing. It actually means a lot, and Lauren Southern does not represent what it means. Quote:

I?m no lawyer, but I?ve some hope that this action will fail in the courts. We do indeed, under Section 14 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990, have the right to freedom of expression ? that is to say ?the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.?

But we also have the right, under Section 19, to freedom from discrimination. Under the Human Rights Act 1993, discrimination is prohibited on the basis of sex, marital status, religious belief, ethical belief, colour, race, ethnic or national origin, disability, age, political opinion, employment status, family status, and sexual orientation. End quote.

I completely agree. All of those rights are entrenched in law. Exactly what they have to do with free speech, however, is another matter. Everyone has a right to free speech, regardless of age, race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or favourite dog breed. There is no issue with this. Quote:

But in real life, words have consequences. I cannot build healthy relationships with people who are different to me whilst deliberately provoking and insulting them. There has to be some limits to freedom of expression that are stronger than avoiding immediate incitement. End quote.

No. This is where I think the writer is confused. Free speech gives you the right to call your work colleague a fat cow. But free speech does not mean she has to like it. That is the difference between the right to say what you think and the issue of social interaction. The two are not necessarily interchangeable. You can call your colleague a fat cow nonetheless, because that is your right. And she has the right to call you a misogynist pig in retort.

That’s free speech for you. Social interaction is quite different. If you want to have friends, don’t insult them. That’s social interaction. It does not mean that you do not have the right to insult them though, if that is your wish, but your life might be quite lonely if you do.

Southern and Molyneux do not aim to “tear that social contract apart”, as the writer tries to suggest. In fact, they are doing the opposite. In trying to change society’s entrenched views on certain things?? that women have to be board members, for example?? they are actually doing us all a favour. Lauren Southern wore a T-shirt in Australia saying “It is OK to be white.” Of course, she is pointing out that, in today’s society, being white can lead to being persecuted and insulted. Our social contract with each other should mean that all people are equal, but unfortunately, thanks to people like the writer of this article, it doesn’t. There always has to be a whipping boy, and these days it is the lowly white male.

 

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