Growing Intolerance & Bigotry?

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Via A new intolerance visits Provincetown: Police say gays accused of slurs.

PROVINCETOWN -- Town leaders here are holding a public meeting today to air concerns about slurs and bigoted behavior. And this time, they say, it's gay people who are displaying intolerance. Police say they logged numerous complaints of straight people being called ``breeders" by gays over the July Fourth holiday weekend. Jamaican workers reported being the target of racial slurs. And a woman was verbally accosted after signing a petition that opposed same-sex marriage, they said.

No time to comment but I wanted to share the article. On a loosely related note, click here to see how various House members voted on the Federal Marriage Amendment.

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I heard about this when it happened; I didn't think much at the time but recently I was thinking about what exactly constitutes hate speech. In a way the concept is entirely bogus. Yet how much of left wing argumentation hinges on restricting speech, injecting charges of "homophobia" and "bigotry" at the first sign of opposition! Boy, if it was possible to level the playing field would those guys be in trouble.

Sorry to be oblique here but I'm out of time. More later.

Sophrosyne said:

I agree... the concept of "hate crimes" and "hate speech" always seemed a bit fuzzy to me.

zimzo said:

First of all, not everyone on the left believes that "hate speech" or any speech should be restricted. I and many others on the left are free speech absolutists. Second, laws against hate speech usually come under the rubric of hate crime laws, that is speech that was made in connection with a violent crime. Third you've missed an important element of the story, which is that Provincetown is a gay resprt and probably one of the few places in the U.S. where gays have a dignificant amount of power. Many people who stay in the town over the summer come from places where they sometimes experience homophobia. The fact that the town is actually trying to do something about slurs directed against straight people at least shows that they are not hyprocritical in their attitudes toward those who subject others to slurs. Just because they are holding a meeting on the problem does not mean they are going to pass a law restricting speech. According to the article: "Hate language is usually the early-warning signal that could lead to hate-motivated violence," Town Manager Keith Bergman said. "And before that happens, we try to nip it in the bud." Note that the article also says that racial slurs directed toward Jamaicans may in part be the result of the heightened rhetoric over immigration.

Finally, I am curious about Sophrosyne's motivations for posting the article since she does it without commentary. What does she think it proves? I have my own suspicions but I will let her respond first.

David said:

You mean straight people don't like being called rude names either? I had no idea...

Joe, the answer to speech we don't like is more speech. Although I'm not a fan of namecalling, there is such a thing as homophobia, or, more accurately, anti-gay bias. To name anti-gay bias what it is does not in any way "restrict" the speech being so labelled.

Maybe I've misunderstood you. It sounds as if you are saying that it does.

James Young said:

"Anti-gay bias" = judging people by their perverse behavior. Color me guilty.

Incidentally, I am also guilty of "anti-racist bias," "anti-pedophile bias," "anti-murderer bias," "anti-rapist bias," and "anti-bestial bias."

David said:

And that would be Exhibit A...

I'd take being called a "breeder" as a compliment. :)

TerryM said:

Awwwww. So first you make the anti-amendment argument all about marriage is only for procreation and then get insulted when those mean gay beachboys call you breeder.

The next post will be about how breeder is another word for Christian and how gays and the Left are once again attacking religious freedom and American Values. ;-0 You couldn't right better drama in Hollywood!

Toni said:

I'm less offended by the term 'breeder' than the underlying tone of intolerance it implies. Why should anyone be subjected to name-calling for any reason?

Now, the racist epithets used against the woman from Jamaica is more worrisome. I have no idea if it was due to anti-immigrant sentiment or not, but I doubt it. The newspaper article indicated she had lived in that town for year.

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