Misnaming hate

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There are any number of ways to suppress speech.

One of them is for a company or government to deny someone access to it. Pakistan, for instance, blocked its countrymen from accessing the Internet video site YouTube after officials saw videos allegedly offensive to Islam.

Most governments today still try to just stop the flow of information when they don't like it. And it's usually because they don't like how the information reflects on them: According to free-speech advocate Reporters Without Borders, China, Brazil and Thailand all have blocked access for their people to YouTube because they found the videos "subversive," embarrassing to the government or simply critical of the sovereign.

But there are more subtle ways to suppress speech -- and those methods are used here.

One of them is political correctness.

Liberals have taken to calling everything they disagree with "hate speech" -- including Bible passages that conflict with the pro-homosexuality agenda. If you're a member of an organization that wants the border secured, you're a member of a "hate group."

What a great device to "win" a debate: labeling your opponent's words and arguments "hate," and therefore unworthy of consideration or even uttering.

Interesting, since you can see plenty of bile spewing forth on left-wing Web sites. We can't print some of the words, and refuse to pass on some of the sentiments used, on the left-wing sites about former first lady Nancy Reagan, but we can tell you they weren't very civil or sympathetic when Mrs. Reagan was hospitalized recently.

The National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic organization, has threatened to go after cable news sponsors unless the tone of debate on their programs changes regarding immigration. La Raza contends "hate groups" are being given a microphone.

Colleges and universities have become notorious for speech codes that, unconstitutionally, attempt to prohibit speech that hurts other people's feelings. Thankfully, the University of Utah recently eliminated its speech code that, among other things, prohibited the posting of fliers containing material that is "racist, sexist, indecent, scandalous ... ." Who will decide what is "scandalous"? Or even "racist" or "sexist"? The Thought Police?

Another trick you will most definitely see played on the presidential campaign trail is bashing those who are pro-defense and pro-war-on-terror as "fear mongering."

The threat posed by radical Islam is real, and actually left quite a hole in the real estate in New York a few years ago as we recall. But those on the left will say that those of us who want to prosecute the war on terror in an affirmative and assertive way are fear mongering.

You know what? Some fear doesn't have to be mongered!

And you know what else? Those who attempt to stifle the debate by calling the other side "fear mongers" are actually peddling their own brand of fear: They're trying to tell you that you should be afraid of certain ideas.

Maybe you should, maybe you shouldn't. Depends on the idea. Depends on the individual. That's up to you to decide, isn't it?

And how can you decide if people aren't free to speak their minds?

The way to combat real fear and hatred is by opening people's minds and hearts, not shutting their mouths.

Comments (35)

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pofwe
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pofwe 02/26/08 - 06:44 am
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I concur.

I concur.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
571
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 02/26/08 - 06:46 am
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The Chronicle uses "political

The Chronicle uses "political correctness" like a pingpong ball. When it's done by Liberals its bad, but when it's done by Conservatives' its good. I know hate speech when I hear it. When Michael Savage said "Homosexuals should get AIDS and DIE" that is hate speech! As far as the Christian bible goes, Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. Not one word! Except for St. Paul the admonitions against homosexuality come from the Old Testament. The Old Testament also advocates the stoning of adulterers & capital punishment for other "moral" crimes. The radical Right & the religious Right certainly use political correctness to their advantage whenever they can because it is a political weapon to beat the opposition over the head & score points with folks who are not independent critical thinkers. Anyone who opposes the futile U.S. war in Iraq is labeled unpatriotic & "soft on terror". The mere fact of NOT wearing an American flag pin on one's lapel is enough to attack the patriotism of Presidential candidates. Conservatives are much more conformist than Liberals. Conservatives DEMAND conformity & THAT is political correctness. This Chronicle editorial is confused & very poorly written.

christian134
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christian134 02/26/08 - 07:20 am
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Very well stated

Very well stated Chronicle.....thank you for your insight....

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 02/26/08 - 07:34 am
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Cain, I feel you had to do a

Cain, I feel you had to do a little stretching to make your points, but they are as valid as most in this article. Nice job. ( using Savage as an example is easy since he's borderline psycho) The point I see here is that the article is right in its subject. Political correctness and its use by the MSM is a way of stifling speech and avoiding the truth. I also find it to be part of the 300 year plan. Naming it as such isn't hate speech except to those that don't wish to be exposed. As far as homosexuality goes, well, you're either for it or against it. It's not my particular choice. Moral crimes are indicative of ones value to society. Denying they exist is also an indication.

Bizarro
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Bizarro 02/26/08 - 07:37 am
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Confused and very poorly

Confused and very poorly written, but not cut and paste. Fundamentalist Christians (a small minority of Christians) are acting like Islam in some ways. Iran is suppressing any science that challenges Islam. Christians are suppressing any science contrary to the bible-like evolution. Both bash homosexuals (well Islam will kill you for it), yet oddly Christians should love them and pray for them. The strategy of creating "strawman arguments" and then easily shooting them down to prove your correctness is used by both conservatives and liberals. I don't have a problem with Hate Speech as it comes with the territory-we tolerate skin-head Nazi bigots to Black Panthers.

DeborahElliott2
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DeborahElliott2 02/26/08 - 07:46 am
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Be careful what you lay at

Be careful what you lay at the door of the Lord God (Blessed be his name) for you are well on your way to a great debate in itself! You are leading the way to another "hate group"!!!!

shivas
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shivas 02/26/08 - 08:04 am
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In other words, let us

In other words, let us rationalize hate. Cain, haven't you learned that we will use the Old Testament to justify fear and hate towards individuals, but when it inteferes with our lifestyle, we will say all of that has changed since the sacrafice of Christ for our sins.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 02/26/08 - 08:21 am
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liberal faith, have you heard

liberal faith, have you heard the term "author of confusion"?

AMGuiney
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AMGuiney 02/26/08 - 08:51 am
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Hear! Hear! "Hate" is a word

Hear! Hear! "Hate" is a word that has been redefined to suppress free exchange of ideas. That is exactly what the House Bill 1955 plans to do. This bill creates "thought criminals" out of people with dissenting ideas. When this bill gets signed into law, anything the government sees as dissension against the government will become "hate speech" and "terrorism" and be deemed criminal. It is written in easy to read language and I suggest that everyone google this piece of freedom of speech robbing legislation, and read it for yourself. Its is called HR1955 (which has already passed the house) and is now called S1959 in the senate and is expected to pass nearly unanimously. The legislation was sold to the congress under the pretense of stifling "islamic terrorism" but in the powerpoint presentation, along with islamic terrorist web sites was included the web site 911truth.org. A non-terrorist web site, but a web site the government sees as a threat. The government works in incrementalism. A little at a time over generations. Social Security is the best example of this. Welcome to 1984.

effete elitist liberal
2760
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effete elitist liberal 02/26/08 - 09:06 am
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Yes, let's talk about

Yes, let's talk about "fear-mongering." Liberals like me accuse conservatives of fear-mongering when George Bush uses the terrorist threat to convince us we should spend more billions and more servicemen's and women's lives in Iraq, and to convince us that telecommunications corporations should be exempt from aiding and abetting the government in violating our privacy rights. Conservatives accuse liberals of fear-mongering when we warn of the dangers of global warming. Conservatives say liberals use what might be a real, but not imminent and truly dangerous threat to justify extreme measures. But that is just the liberal argument about the terrorist threat. It is real; it is something we must take seriously. But like all threats, we must be careful to assess it realistically so that the "cure" is not worse than the "disease." And finally, Mike Ryan, liberals who accuse Bush of "fear-mongering" about terrorism do not want to suppress such speech. We just want Americans to understand its motives. Then we want to hear more of it, not less, and welcome the political backlash like the one Barack Obama is taking advantage of right now!

christian134
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christian134 02/26/08 - 09:35 am
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effete elitist liberal come

effete elitist liberal come up for breathe. My my you are on a roll so early in the morning.

effete elitist liberal
2760
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effete elitist liberal 02/26/08 - 09:47 am
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christian134: Old Chinese

christian134: Old Chinese proverb: early liberal bird catch early conservative worm....

christian134
1
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christian134 02/26/08 - 10:12 am
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Charlie Chan always used to

Charlie Chan always used to say "Ancient Chinese secret...." loved Charlie Chan :)

Bizarro
13
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Bizarro 02/26/08 - 10:35 am
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The Hate laws are to protect

The Hate laws are to protect Congress. Because with such low approval ratings it seems obvious everyone hates Congress. Hee, hee. Confuscious says:Mankind differs from the animals only by a little, and most people throw that away.

smage
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smage 02/26/08 - 11:34 am
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I think some of you can not

I think some of you can not see the forest for the trees. Political Correctness and labeling speech is in fact denying the right of free expression. If you state an opposing viewpoint you are shouted down, by individuals that think they are Political Correct or they will label you as (for example) bigot, racist, rightwing nut, etc.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
571
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 02/26/08 - 12:13 pm
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Using the "N" word is no

Using the "N" word is no longer socially acceptable. Is that "political correctness"? Southern whites as a group resisted civil rights legislation. When integration finally came to public schools in Georgia in the early 1970s many whites left public schools & sent their children to private academies. That was when southern whites began to switch to the Republic party en masse. Republicans played their "race card" called "The Southern Strategy". Because of "political correctness" surrounding racial issues - code words developed to mask thinly veiled racism. Conservatives began to talk of "school choice" & "vouchers". As far as freedom of expression & dialog goes - Conservatives are quick to label folks who disagree with militarism as "in need of psychiatric help". Liberals & anti-war folks were called "wimps" & were accused of "aiding & abetting Saddam & terrorists" when we opposed the U.S. war in Iraq. Try speaking up for the human & legal rights of folks detained in Guantanamo & find out what labels rightwing reactionaries hurl. Dare to criticise United States for not living up to its promise regarding civil rights & human rights. Rightwing reactionaries will quickly label you "unamerican" and tell you to leave the country.

shivas
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shivas 02/26/08 - 12:14 pm
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Smage, it depends on what

Smage, it depends on what setting you are in. Conservatives and liberals both have their own brand of political correctness. If you question a conservative you're going to H-E-_l_l. If you question a liberal you're a racist. The funny part is neither liberals or conservatives admit this, and both clain to be victims of political correctness and speech labeling. Confuscious say," man who bathe in gasoline, is man who need to quit smoking."

Tall1
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Tall1 02/26/08 - 12:38 pm
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Cain: Only WHITE people can't

Cain: Only WHITE people can't say n***** or racial epithets. I go into homes as a matter of working in the CSRA and I'm going to tell you truth: I observe blacks of all ages calling each other nig*** and countless other racial derogatories. Dr King dreamed of a world where one would be neither ADVANTAGED OR DISADVANTAGED because of race. The black race has wasted the efforts of the brave civil rights leaders of the 60's. I hope Obama is elected if only so we can quit hearing about the "poor, discriminated against, african. The only thing holding any one person from success is their own abilities and dedication.

RichmondCountyResident1
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RichmondCountyResident1 02/26/08 - 12:58 pm
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Let's face it, when it comes

Let's face it, when it comes to white, conservative Republicans, the Chronicle Editorial staff, are about as objective, as a trick in a whorehouse, with a hundred dollar bill. As stated above, this column is trying to jusify hateful, racist commentary.It never states, who decides what is racist and what is not. I'll tell you who decides, we do. We use all our biases(me included) to decide what is racist or not.Who is right. Depending on your experience, both could be. I personally concur, that a lot of these comments are racist and instead of naming the group or party, they descibe a condition. Saying something racist, is my opinion. Just like your claim, that calling racism, is a cop out. It's just your opinion.

RichmondCountyResident1
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RichmondCountyResident1 02/26/08 - 01:13 pm
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Tall1, you mean, whites are

Tall1, you mean, whites are the only one in the CSRA, who can't use the N word in public. I've had plenty of whites tell me, it is as common among themselve, as saying "the".Blacks call each other this word, but the meaning is different.I don't agree with it, but that's the way things are.We haven't sqandered the efforts of our forefathers. We just have some deviants, like yall do, burgalarizing homes and shooting up schools and malls. It's just that most of you, focus is on the negative end.

grouse
1580
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grouse 02/26/08 - 01:48 pm
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This from the editorial group

Unpublished

This from the editorial group that went after bumper stickers for content.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 02/26/08 - 02:28 pm
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I just spent the morning at

I just spent the morning at the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast. It was very uplifting and inspiring. The food was very nice, too. We would like more people to come. I try to go every month, but usually only manage to get there once or twice a year. It was nice to be in a diverse group of people with common goals who are actually working toward them. Some of the things we are praying for include improving and unifying Augusta while getting to know each other better, all races, all religions, all cultures. Hate is sometimes manifested as callous indifference. It is hard to be indifferent when we get to know each other. Communication is a delicate thing, it takes effort. Political correctness had its place, but is becoming more of a barrier. I hope we can do better than that. I think if we applied the Golden Rule more, political correctness would be moot.

dani
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dani 02/26/08 - 02:39 pm
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I just heard a brief mention

I just heard a brief mention on Headline News that a Clinton supporter stabbed an Obama supporter or maybe it was the other way. There are all kinds of threats being made against Obama. And I am quite sure against Hillary and mcCain. This shouldn't surprise anyone. There are constant threats made against the president. Pres Reagan was shot, John Kennedy killed, Bobby Kennedy killed. It's a dangerous job but somebody has to do it.

jiclemens
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jiclemens 02/26/08 - 02:58 pm
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This from a newspaper that

This from a newspaper that daily insults the intelligence of the City's Med School students but devotes more ink to 'news of the wierd' than hard science and technology. Rather than taking the high road on issues like race and poverty, blue laws, the environment, and poor academic achievement in every department we get a flood of daily drivel about Jesus, evolution, and right-wing "moralizing." No child could thrive in such an oppressive climate as this. thank goodness the political dirt has been interesting enough to distract from the usual Jesus hates gays tripe. If this paper truly is the voice of Augusta then I'm sorry to say the city is morally, culturally and academically bankrupt and if MCG pulled up its stakes, it would be a service to its students. Augusta seems like a nice town with a variety of points of view and the Chronicle staff needs to reflect on its own priorities, learn from other major papers and the needs of its citizens. Great cities are focused on academic achievement, the arts and culture, and great papers reflect that, not gossip, bickering and proselytizing.

yikes
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yikes 02/26/08 - 03:15 pm
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PC is an form of control.

PC is an form of control. Control can be good or bad depending on what side you're on. As on this post, people will say almost anything because unlike face to face confrontations, you will not be physically challenged. For those posers who continue their diatribes and denigate others, justice or fate has a way of finding you out eventually. And the editorial board of the Augusta Chronicle is the last place I'd ever want to listen to about politically correctness. Good comment grouse, I concur.

Cordie
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Cordie 02/26/08 - 03:20 pm
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Baroness- that was a very

Baroness- that was a very uplifting report about the Mayors Breakfast. I agree it would be nice if people would get to know one another in all walks of life. Thank you for the information.

fd1962
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fd1962 02/26/08 - 03:35 pm
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Interesting advice, jc. I

Unpublished

Interesting advice, jc. I guess you are not taking out a thirty-year mortgage here then?

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 02/26/08 - 03:47 pm
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you're welcome Cordie

you're welcome Cordie

Bizarro
13
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Bizarro 02/26/08 - 03:58 pm
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What is the difference

What is the difference between someone calling you a Nazi, Ni..., Conservative, Liberal, etc. It depends on the context doesn't it. Each are acceptable words and any citizen should be free to use them as they please, however there are consequences if your intent is hate. How do you judge that is the problem witht the Hate laws-who decides. They called me a derogatory term-Liberal-so they must be arrested. Pleazzzz. Unfortunately the N word has become a part of the "American" verbal landscape as all races use it. Remember we speak "American" not real English. If the N word were made illegal-we would still have more blacks arrested than whites ironically enough. Most educated whites have long abandoned the term. Confuscious was a proponent of conservatism. Have em arrested for breaking the law. Hee, hee.

jshep67
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jshep67 02/26/08 - 04:18 pm
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GREAT point RichCouRes. It's

GREAT point RichCouRes. It's SO TRUE that it's OPINION. And I really don't like what was said by Michael Savage.., but it's his OPINION. Cain's statement "I know what hate speech is when I hear it" DOES NOT CUT THE MUSTARD. Does that mean HE is the Authority? Am I the Authority? ARE YOU? Of course not. THAT is the slippery slope effect folks.., we simply CAN'T effectively legislate against THOUGHT. Where does it end?

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