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Someone gets jailed - For racial comments made on twitter? What?

Discussion in 'Serious' started by GregTheRotter, 27 Mar 2012.

  1. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Who shall we hold responsible for the alcoholic's drinking problems? His drinking dad? Society's drinking culture? The government for its 24-hour drinking laws? The purveyors of alcohol? The bottle of booze? Or perhaps the drinker himself? If he beats his children senseless, who shall we send to prison?

    Cult leaders have no power except that which his followers choose to give him. Their choice may be stupid, weak, ignorant, desperate, but it is still their choice.
     
  2. Porkins' Wingman

    Porkins' Wingman Can't touch this

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    Ooh, snap! See my edit in the previous post :eek:
     
  3. Carrie

    Carrie Well-Known Member

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    Well thank god you two aren't the bouncers at the pearly gates; "No entry for yea examples of human frailty, henceforth be banished to the fires of hell"

    :rolleyes:
     
  4. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Being a responsible adult means taking responsibility for those frailties, and their consequences. That doesn't mean people don't deserve a chance to redeem themselves or make good on their mistakes; in fact it means that they should try to redeem themselves and make good on their mistakes. Yes, I'm fallible. Yes, I've screwed up. Yes, I take responsibility for the consequences. I choose. I always choose.

    “This I choose to do. If there is a price, this I choose to pay. If it is my death, then I choose to die. Where this takes me, there I choose to go. I choose. This I choose to do.” ― Terry Pratchett, Wintersmith
     
    Last edited: 30 Mar 2012
  5. Porkins' Wingman

    Porkins' Wingman Can't touch this

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    S'up, you no likey the campness?
     
  6. unikey

    unikey New Member

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  7. Porkins' Wingman

    Porkins' Wingman Can't touch this

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    Quite, as the individuals responsible for our own actions as we all are.
     
  8. whisperwolf

    whisperwolf New Member

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    Ooooh grouchy :D, in this case I would have been using the definition
    Lie: an inaccurate or false statement.
    no intent behind it. its number 3 here. Do I need to state how old I was when I first started using that as definition? I'm not sure how much that adds to its validity?

    If we are going by intent to deceive, then no it would indeed be difficult to do by accident.
     
  9. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    People can choose to ignore racist laws. Rosa Parks did. Not easy, but it can be done. And because black people in the US and South Africa did choose to ignore and challenge it, often at great personal price ("If there is a price, this I choose to pay..."), the law changed.

    Of course we lock him up. That is part of accepting that he is a murderer. But while in prison, we treat him as a human being capable of redemption and doing better. When he has done his time, we try to integrate him back in society. That is part of treating him as you'd like him to be. Scandinavia has the most comfortable and humane prisons in the world. It also has the lowest recidivism rates.

    Still power people chose to give them. It is not Hitler who gassed the Jews; it is the thousands of Germans who "were only following orders". They chose to hand their power and responsibility to him.

    I'm not at all saying that it is always easy to make the right choice, but choose you do, and you have to accept the responsibility that comes with it.
     
  10. MrJay

    MrJay You are always where you want to be

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    I apologise in advance for the massive post. And i cant quite rember if i have posted this before. But i feel it relevent to this thread (which looks like its become a bit derailed anyhows).

    Does anyone not find it slightly moronic that peoples intolerance of this mans commentary has brought the issue to a wider and wider audience.

    Instead of the maybe few hundred twitter 'followers' and a few 'retweets' by likeminded followers, a whole nation has been exposed to what he's typed.
    This over exposure of his actions I feel just make the whole situation a million times more damaging than the original comments.

    Racism is only an issue if people make it an issue, of course if he'd have committed a racially aggravated assault then sure, prison and press coverage would be inevitable.
    I'll give a personal example of how I have been in hot water over something that has been written.

    I'm an IT Technician at a High school. It was a development day maybe a year ago.
    All the faculties where asked in their meetings to produce an IT request list. (we would like this computer moved, we would like this software, we would like this printer etc).
    A particular list given to me by the head of science was a mess, more like a 'brainstorm' (and yes I don't care if that's considered an offensive term). Anyhow this double sided sheet of A3 had obviously been used for more than IT.

    It has loose outlines for next year's lesson plan, text book requirements, most of which written in some bizarre shorthand (as teachers seem to do).
    So this was stuck to my wall next to my desk, so I could check off the relevant jobs once completed.

    Buried somewhere on this sheet was the word 'Homo. Of course being of rational mind I paid no attention to it, it is a legitimate term of course.
    SO a week later I get called into a meeting, with no formal warning. I thought fantastic, finally some recognition of my hard work we are going to thrash out a pay rise!
    Not so lucky, I was from that minute under investigation for exposing the kids and staff to offensive literature.

    They explained to me how although I had not actually offended anyone by my actions homophobic musings would not be tolerated in a school environment. I
    was asked to explain myself, of course I had no idea what they were on about, I have gay friends, and I have never written anything that I would consider homophobic.

    They then produced a photocopy of this A3 sheet stuck to my wall with the word 'homo' circled in red. I of course laughed at the panel of people, I thought it was some kind of joke, which probably compounded me further.

    I was again asked to explain my actions... to which I said, that has been handed to me by the head of science following our annual IT review, and I had blue tacked it directly to my wall.
    They had a written statement and handwriting samples from all of the science staff and said that 'Homo' had not been written by any of them and that it must have been me...
    I was dismissed and asked to write a statement.

    Luckily I had the original still on my wall, I noted that the word 'Homo' was directly adjacent to words like phylum, order, and species, funnily enough all in the same pen and handwriting.
    I printed out the scientific definition of homosapien and the other surrounding words and presented my findings to the panel.

    By this time however it was too late, I had been branded a homophobic bigot. I gave the entire panel a lecture on the use of words and even got an English teacher to back me up.
    My hand writing sample obviously didn't look anything like the scrawl on the A3 sheet and I was cleared.

    I then wrote a massive stinking letter to the board of governors saying how badly they had overreacted and dealt with the situation and how this kind of prejudice would prevail if people made massive deals out of totally benign words and comments.

    Further to this the English department had a 16ft wide display in one of the public corridors with word 'Faggot' plastered all over it, it was a really good display with all the official and unofficial uses of the term fagot proper educational tool. This was taken down immediately.
     
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  11. unikey

    unikey New Member

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    Individuals can choose to break the law if people choose to do it is a revolution/coup, If Rosa Parks had tried that in RSA when I was there the security services would have rounded them up, shot them in the head and left them by the side of the road

    Do we, all I see are complaints about our prison system and the poor quality of rehabilitation, certainly no one wants a bail hostel near them and your chances of employment are much lower.

    Yes they did but the effect on the Jews is the same and they didn't choose did they.

    The law has changed, but it can always change back. The pen is mighter than the sword because words change attitudes, all the sword can do is enforce compliance.

    What liam posted would have been illegal if he had said it in the street or online even without the racist comments. (section 4/5 public order /Communications Act 2003) Try drinking 7 or 8 pints and calling the policeman a c**t 3 or 4 times on a friday night and see how quickly you get arrested.
    Just because most people get away with it and most people have done it at some time, it is still illegal to use in public or transmit foul or abusive language and if you get caught you get punished, usually an £80 fine
     
    Last edited: 30 Mar 2012
  12. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    I think that you are confusing responsibility with consequences. In RSA Rosa Parks might have been shot, but someone is choosing to do the shooting 'cause their superiors told them to (and in any case, it doesnt seem to have stopped black South Africans from defying the authorities; "If there is a price to pay, then this I choose to pay..."). The Jews suffered because thousands of Germans chose to follow Hitler et al. in their grand scheme of the Endlösung. Often those who do the choosing are not those who suffer the immediate consequences (if only). But they still choose and they are still responsible for them.

    About the murderer: no we don't. I'm talking about how it should work.

    But getting shot or gassed is a whole different thing from choosing to take offense at what someone else said. This is why, in a freedom of speech context, actions can be prosecuted, but thoughts and their expression in words should not.
     
    Last edited: 30 Mar 2012
  13. Porkins' Wingman

    Porkins' Wingman Can't touch this

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    Well like I said, I don't hold people to any particular definition of any word, language is a relative construct and there are no absolute definitions - for instance, I note that the online Oxford and Collins dictionaries seem to omit your definition. As I said, I've not heard anyone refer to someone mistakenly saying something incorrect as a liar for a long time. If that's how you routinely use the word then good for you. In my experience people commonly use the word 'lie' when describing an intention to mislead etc. I don't think, for example, I've ever seen someone get a question wrong on Mastermind, University Challenge, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, or any other quiz show and be referred to by the quiz host as a liar.

    Generally in law, where there is no universally accepted legal definition and there's a possibility for words to be misinterpreted, the legislation clarifies how certain words are to be interpreted. In this instance, in law people who think they are being truthful but are actually making inaccurate statements are generally afforded some protection.

    And while all this might seem like digression from the thread, it actually serves a useful purpose. It demonstrates that no-one can definitively know what I mean when I say or write something other than me. So if I'll I've done is say or write something and made no act that helps demonstrate what I mean, then it seems unjust that anyone else can impose a meaning on what I've said and punish me for it. It's their head that's provided any offensiveness to what I've said/written, they should deal with it.
     
    Last edited: 30 Mar 2012
  14. feathers

    feathers Well-Known Member

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    Freedom of speech should include freedom to abuse and torture others? Nah. Don't accept that. History shows that those who exist in a perpetual state of hatred towards others and especially in cases where they join groups to further fuel their hatred, the outcome is often violent. We saw this with Hitler. Some people hide behind freedom of speech believing they should be able to say whatever they want and incite hatred. This should not be tolerated.
     
  15. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    So we punish thoughtcrime instead? Worked for Big Brother.
     
  16. Krazeh

    Krazeh Well-Known Member

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    No one has said that people should be free to abuse and torture others. These are actions/behaviours which can be dealt with while still allowing people the freedom of speech.

    Supressing or censoring people's freedom to express their views and opinions, regardless of how distasteful/offensive they are, doesn't solve the problem. All it does is hide it so we can pretend that it's no longer there. You need to solve the problem through education, not censorship.

    No it shouldn't be tolerated. But it should be society that is the driving force, not the state.
     
  17. specofdust

    specofdust Banned

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    Abuse and torture? Those are acts.

    Freedom of speech can't have "should include this" or "shouldn't include this" - it is an absolute. It's astonishing how such a simple and easy term can be so perverted in the minds of so many. Those who oppose freedom of speech on the grounds of such people as Hitler would do well to remember that Nazi Germany did not have freedom of speech, and that an important part of European resistance to the Nazi party was releasing news and information which the Nazi's did not want people to know.
     
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  18. <A88>

    <A88> Trust the Computer

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    Sorry to dig this one up again, but I've found myself having a bit of a moral conflict and would be interested to see some responses. In the interests of free speech I have to concur with most of what has been said so far in that it is not the place of the state to punish someone for voicing their opinion, not matter how abhorrent. Simultaneously, however, I got thinking about crazy racist tram lady, and couldn't help but feel this more aggressive brand of expression shouldn't go unpunished.

    Anyone wanna sink their teeth into this one?
     
  19. GregTheRotter

    GregTheRotter New Member

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    Love to, that's the difference, that woman is doing it on a train, with a lot of people around her, who can't get away from her bs. On the internet, it's your CHOICE to go to that tit's twitter, or look for nasty things people have said. Big difference imho.
     
  20. SuicideNeil

    SuicideNeil New Member

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    Abuse directed directly at an individual or group of people in a public setting would most likely be seen or classed as a crime- probably an aggravated public order offence, so punishment for her behaviour is entirely justified. Likewise, racist chanting or acting aggressively ( but not actually touching ) towards a member of a different race in any public setting or workplace would be viewed pretty much the same.

    Regards thought crime & people sharing their racist thoughts in an organised group, until they start acting on those thoughts or opinions there is no crime to account for. Using a public medium to organise a rally or protest is not illegal, but using it to organise some form of militant action certainly would be ( as would planning such an action in private = conspiracy / consipring to commit such & such ).

    Publishing racist comments on the internet is certainly disgusting and hateful behaviour, but the internet is awash with such things & far worse things too; unless the comments are intended to provoke or organise like minded persons into committing some criminal act, I think the likely outcome in response to the perpetrators act should have just been to delete his comments and close his account ( just like any civilised website or forum would do when dealing with a racist or poorly behaved etc etc member ).
     

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