Are Words More Important Than Actions in Evolved Society?

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  1. GA Anderson profile image88
    GA Andersonposted 8 weeks ago

    As a tangent to a tangent on another topic about British and American cultural differences, this issue looks like a good barometer. From a Baby-Boomers' perspective, it's so obviously the wrong direction that it denies human reality and makes Orwell's 1984 look like non-fiction, and Hollywood's Demolition Man look like a documentary.

    As a topic bonus, it doesn't need individualized political rationalizations. And won't benefit from them as supporting arguments.

    Woman who carried placard depicting Sunak and Braverman as coconuts charged with hate crime


    https://hubstatic.com/17041157_f1024.jpg

    The point is, appearances are that we are becoming a society of humans who are so fragile that insults are considered damaging enough to be declared a crime.

    The image is of the charged offender and her placard. Standing quietly with a non-offensive posture and facial expression, but holding a message that could be taken as an insult is a hate crime in Britain.

    By appearances, that image equates to words being more important than actions. Geesh. It has always been so with politicians, but now it's becoming so with the populace.

    By legal codification, the Brits are way ahead of the U.S., but we aren't far behind. In criminal law, it's still a moral condemnation for us, but in civil law we have our codifications too. Just not on par with the Brits, yet (Brits being generic for most of Europe).

    As a kicker, this article also notes a man who was charged with the same hate crime for including a raccoon emoji in a text msg. (email?).

    My generation ( and probably all that came before it) believes in the truth of the adage that a man is best judged by his actions, not his words. Everything about the instances in this topic declares that our modern 'evolved' society no longer believes that to be true.

    You guys are nuts. Hopefully, we (the US) will recognize that the canary is dying before it's too late. Politically speaking, but of ideologies, not personalities, that picture of this issue is probably the one held by a lot of Americans regarding our coming elections. It is the stark characterization of our choices—and desires. Hells bells, we might be headed for our own 'Bexit' moment.

    GA

    1. Nathanville profile image91
      Nathanvilleposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      An interesting topic, with lots of strands to it:

      Firstly, I would like to start by saying that I love the coconut poster – very apt, as it does depict Rishi Sunak (UK Prime Minister) and Suella Braverman MP (former Home Secretary) as both are of Indian origin (Asian), yet both support white British right-wing politics, especially Suella Braverman MP who is extreme right-wing within the Conservative Party.

      The terms “coconuts” is considered an insults within Black and Asian communities to describe people from their communities who are perceived as being sympathetic with white supremacist agendas.

      As regards to whether it’s considered ‘hate crime’ or not under British Law; that remains to be seen when the case goes to Magistrates Court on 26th June.

      The EU & UK ‘Hate Crime’ Laws themselves, which I fully support and defend, in themselves don’t go as far as the coconut poster, so I’d be surprised if it would stick in a Crown Court (judged by jury).

      But when you dig deeper, it’s not the laws themselves that’s the problem, it’s too main issues:-

      1.    The Police Force themselves; almost exclusively the Metropolitan (London) Police Force, who has come under a lot of media attack in recent years for being……. in a few simple words – stereotype hard right-wing white prejudice thugs!

      2.    The Conservative’s passing of the Police and Crime Bill in April 2022, which gives the Police authoritarian powers that they’ve never had before; including the power to restrict ‘peaceful protests’.

      PUSHBACK
      1:  London’s (Met) Police Brutality and Prejudices:

      •    September 2022 Sadiq Khan (Labour) Mayor of London sacks Dame Cressida Dick (Metropolitan (London) Chief of Police) because she resided over an era of London’s Police’s dishonesty, prejudice and incompetence without making any real attempt to weed out the rot, which included but not exclusive to:-

      •    The murder of Sarah Everard by a serving Met (London) Police officer. A serving Met Police officer with a record of indecent exposure.

      •    The shameful treatment by the Met (London) police of a peaceful vigilant by women of Sarah Everard murdered by a serving Met Police officer.

      Woman arrested at Sarah Everard vigil calls for Metropolitan Police to be abolished https://youtu.be/IitUGOBF9mQ

      •    The publication of a damning report by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC):  Who uncovered in their report, evidence of misogyny, discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment throughout the ranks of the Met (London) Police force.

      •    A report into the 1987 murder of Daniel Morgan - the killer remains unidentified - accused the Met Police force of institutional corruption, and

      •    The controversial raid by the Met (London) police of Lord Brittan’s home, who was falsely accused of child abuse etc. etc.

      Met (London) Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick forced out of office by Sadiq Khan (London Labour Mayor), with support from the Conservative Government for his actions e.g. the London Mayor can’t sack the London Police Chief without consent from the UK Government (so it was a cross party decision to get rid of London Police Chief):  https://youtu.be/7GuQTIAHRuM

      2:  Increase of Police Powers granted by Conservative Government

      Although the Conservative’s passing of the Police and Crime Bill in April 2022, for the first time, gives the Police in the UK powers to restrict ‘peaceful protests’ (which I see as right-wing authoritarians) doesn’t make any difference in reality e.g. it hasn’t stopped, and is not going to stop protests and demonstrations in the UK; the British People do not cower to such authoritarian, as clearly shown in the video below of my fellow Bristolians violently attacking the police station and Bristol and burning several police vans in protest again the Conservative Government’s passing of the ‘Police and Crime Bill’ – the slogan of the protesters being “Kill the Bill”.

      This is how we Bristolians violently reacted to the UK Conservatives new Police and Crime Bill that gives the Police more powers:  https://youtu.be/vl7zVmo_n9Y

      3:  CCTV (1984)
      Outside of China the UK has more CCTV’s per person than most countries in the world - 1 CCTV for every 10 people.  But I’m OK with that because it does actually help to reduce crime and keep our streets safe.

      4:  4th JULY
      As you may have heard, the UK General Election is to take place on 4th July; so within six weeks we’re highly likely to have a Labour Government in power; so the slow creep towards authoritarian that we’ve seen from the Conservatives in recent years (since Boris Johnson came to power) will cease – although it’s less certain that such legislation will be clawed back to any great extent in the foreseeable future.

      Although Labour opposed the new Police and Crime Bill when it was going through Parliament, and Labour has been under immense pressure from other left wing parties to repeal the new laws when it comes into power; the response from the Labour party so far has been, to quote:-

      •    “A Labour government would “look very carefully at this legislation”…. “We need to see how it’s working. And if it’s not working in the way the government say it’s intended to work then that’s something that needs addressing.”

      •    Labour went on to say “What we need to do is prioritise what we’re going to overturn and replace it with a positive vision. And in a democracy, the right to protest is fundamental.”

      •    Labour officials argue that a refusal to commit to repeal does not necessarily imply support for a measure, or a veto on action, just a refusal to overly tie the party’s hands after an election.

      1. GA Anderson profile image88
        GA Andersonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

        You're certainly right about the possible "strands" to follow. I waded through the political and ideological ones for half a day to find a conceptual basis as a start.

        For that starting point, strip all connotations from the use of "crime" and "hate crime,"  they're simply category labels. Also, set aside any details (such as your justifications).

        At their root, your 'hate crime public order offenses' are simply laws against insults. It doesn't matter whether they end as convictable crimes, the point is that an 'evolved' society has decided to make hurting someone's feelings a legally chargeable crime.

        As a note, I was unfamiliar with the "coconuts" slur. When I read the article's explanation of its meaning (matching yours) I could see it both ways: as an ideological insult or a racial slur. The image of the 'criminal act' didn't seem racial to me. (maybe because the 'criminal' was cute???)

        Relative to the 'raccoon emoji' man (charged, but not taken to court), and your thought that this coconut crime won't go to court either, the implication is that there is a level-of-insult threshold.

        For instance; calling someone a coconut could be the same as calling them a hypocrite. However, because someone feels insulted or offended by "coconut" it becomes a hate crime. It seems reasonable that being called a hypocrite should also make 'someone' feel insulted or offended.

        If a charitable explanation of the placard's meaning (and its holder's intentions) is accepted, then the hate crime was only in the mind of the offended, as in, the crime is the words, not the actions. And that ain't right.

        Another thing that 'ain't right' is your justification of the slur's reasoning: political and ideological condemnation based on skin color—they shouldn't hold a right-wing ideology because they're not white-skinned. C'mon bud, you have to be able to see how wrong that is. It isn't wrong because it's not our reality, it's wrong because it is accepted as an acceptable reason for a law.

        GA

        1. Nathanville profile image91
          Nathanvilleposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

          Responding to your last paragraph first - If I’ve understood correctly what you’re saying:  You’re referencing the ‘coconuts’ situation whereby Asian people ridicule other Asians who pin their ideology to the ‘white supremacist’ flag – in essence, Asians being seen as traitors to their own kind e.g. it was an Asian woman holding the coconut poster depicting two Asians in British politicians (one being that of Rishi Sunak/UK Prime Minister) who she sees as traitors to her own kind.

          As far as you and I are concerned, there is nothing wrong with someone who is not white or British (or white or American in your case) from supporting a British (or American) right-wing ideology (or left wing ideology):  But in this instance, it’s not our fight, it’s an Asian (the woman holding the poster) accusing another Asian (UK Prime Minister) from being a traitor to Asians e.g. ‘An Internal Fight’.

          Yes, as you put it, our British & European “society has decided to make hurting someone's feelings a legally chargeable crime” if it’s motivated by hostility or prejudice.

          Hate Crime as defined in UK & EU law:

          “A hate crime is defined as 'Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.'”

          Yes, “there is a level-of-insult threshold”, and usually the right balance is struck; however American’s tend to get a distorted view because the less than 1% of cases that seem ludicrous gets over 99% of the attention in American media.

          There is a world of difference between calling someone a ‘coconut’ or ‘hypocrite’; just as there is a world of difference between calling someone ‘hypocrite’ or a ‘liar’ e.g. you can call anyone a hypocrite if you disagree with them, but in the UK Parliament calling someone a liar is an offence; a politician will get suspended if in Parliament they accuse another politician of lying (unparliamentarily language).   I guess what I am trying to say, is that you need to understand the language of the land to know what words are taboo and how criticism should be phrased (and it’s not that difficult, when you live in a culture to instinctively know what the boundaries are and what language to use to get your point across).

          Short ‘entertaining’ video: of a British politician falling fowl of the misuse of ‘Parliamentary Language’ in Parliament e.g. suspended from Parliament for calling Boris Johnson a liar. https://youtu.be/YmlJn35-xxg

          Ironically, not long after the above incident in Parliament the Conservative Party 'forced' Boris Johnson to resign as Prime Minister, for lying to Parliament; and following an investigation by a cross-party committee Parliament also suspended Boris Johnson from Parliament for lying to Parliament - at which point Boris Johnson resigned as a politician rather than face the embarrassment of being sacked by his own voters (constituency) e.g. under British law, if a politician is suspended from Parliament for more than 2 weeks, only 10% of the people (voters) in the seat were he was elected in the General Election need to sign a petition to remove him/her for he/she to be sacked by his/her own voters.

          354 Politicians (MPs) in the House of Commons vote to suspend Boris for lying to Parliament; only 7 MPs vote against the motion:  https://youtu.be/yvoaJKAe4hM

          In your penultimate paragraph, where you say “…the crime is the words, not the actions. And that ain't right.”  That I think is where Americans and Europeans don’t see eye to eye e.g. in the opinion of Europeans, ‘words can hurt’ (cause harm), especially if the ‘words’ are intended “to stir up racial hatred” or “racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby”.

          Part 3 of the Public Order Acts States:-

          “A person who uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, is guilty of an offence if—

          (a) he intends thereby to stir up racial hatred, or
          (b) having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby.

          Offences under Part 3 carry a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment or a fine or both.”
           
          Under British Law:  “Evidence of the hate element is not a requirement. You (the person using hate crime) do not need to personally perceive the incident to be hate related. It would be enough if another person, a witness or even a police officer thought that the incident was hate related.”

          1. GA Anderson profile image88
            GA Andersonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

            I didn't notice that the woman was Asian. I had to take a closer look to see it. I wouldn't call it generally obvious in this use.

            There seems to be a lot of debate, in the UK, as to whether "coconut" is a racial slur or a criticism. One cultural comparison might be to our "Uncle Tom" slander. It is also considered a slur in within-group usage and a criticism in outer-group usage.

            That seems to fit the reasoning of your explanation, as well as of many articles on the debate. From my perspective, everything about the specifics of this example of the issue says 'that ain't right.'

            It seems admitted that there are two accepted views of the term: a racial slur or an ideological criticism. Also, the skin color of the user is accepted as the determinant, such as Asian vs Asian or Asian vs. non-Asian.

            That seems to say that intent doesn't matter (actions), only the words. Now wait, I know there is a process before the charged hate crime is determined to be one (the Court process), the point is it is a hate crime charge that can be based on words only.

            The image is of a pleasantly composed face, not one set and intent on promoting a racial slur. Her actions were simply holding the placard, not brandishing it. If that's fair, then it seems most likely her intent was to criticize not racially slur. That seems supported by the circumstances of her being charged. She didn't cause any problems at the protest and there is no indication anyone lodged a complaint. It is said that the police saw her in an image (the one in this thread) and decided it was a hate crime. They posted the image online to find her —so it is said.

            It's probably safe to say this particular example is the most innocent of outliers and is getting attention because it is a useful tool, but that doesn't diminish the point of the issue—you folks intentionally created that tool.

            This seems to follow the moral of IslandMom's (IslandByte) offered quote:
            "Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny."

            . . . but applied with society becoming the "your" and the moral progression reversed. First 'detrimental' 'habits' were regulated (ie. US alcohol Prohibition). Then the detrimental 'actions were criminalized (the crimes of the prohibition years). And then the 'words' were regulated, ie. you can't legally yell fire in a theater.

            And now . . . you guys are okay with the regulation of the thought of the words, such as skin colors think differently about things so if the hate crime of the words is determined by skin color it is being determined by the thought—minus any action.

            Your closing was the clincher. British law says intent doesn't matter. And that ain't right . . .

            GA

            1. Nathanville profile image91
              Nathanvilleposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

              I concur with most of what you seem to be saying (if I’ve understood all your points correctly)….

              Just a few points to pick up on….

              1.    Where you say “….the point is it is a hate crime charge that can be based on words only.”

              The point is ‘words can hurt’….e.g. Cyberbullying “….the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person:  There have been a number of high profile cases in the UK where cyberbullying has led to the victim committing suicide.

              In respect to where ‘words can hurt’ in relation to hate speech; in my view, it’s nothing compared to antisemitism.  Muslims can and do take a fair bit of flak, and very little is done; but any criticism against Jews and you’re quickly accused of antisemitism – the Labour party fell fowl of that just a few years ago.

              In relation to your statement:-

              “The image is of a pleasantly composed face, not one set and intent on promoting a racial slur. Her actions were simply holding the placard, not brandishing it. If that's fair, then it seems most likely her intent was to criticize not racially slur. That seems supported by the circumstances of her being charged. She didn't cause any problems at the protest and there is no indication anyone lodged a complaint. It is said that the police saw her in an image (the one in this thread) and decided it was a hate crime. They posted the image online to find her —so it is said.”

              Marieha Hussain is the Asian woman charged by the Metropolitan (London) Police e.g. a case of the London Police being overzealous – In my initial post I did go to great lengths in controversy surrounding the Metropolitan (London) Police; which led to the London (Labour) Mayor, with consent from the UK Conservative Government, sacking the London Chief of Police because she resided over an era of London’s Police’s dishonesty, prejudice and incompetence without making any real attempt to weed out the rot.

              Finally, in your closing statement, where you say: “Your closing was the clincher. British law says intent doesn't matter. And that ain't right . . .”

              In my view it’s the harm that’s done to the victim that is important; whether the person causing the harm was aware of the harm they were doing is immaterial, harm is still done.  Albeit, in a British Crown Court, if a jury find someone guilty the Judge will generally give a lesser sentence if the criminal hadn’t intended to cause harm and or shows remorse for their actions.

              The first thing I learnt when I did British Law at College was “Ignorantia juris non excusat” (ignorance of the law is no excuse).

              1. GA Anderson profile image88
                GA Andersonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

                Associating the context of the 'words can hurt' and 'words only' reasoning of this discussion with the extreme example of cyberbullying is a mismatch that distorts the argument.

                Ignorance of the law is no excuse, but to be equitable, the application of a law must consider intent. If a law is unrealistic then it cannot be equitable. A law relative to thoughts is not realistic.

                Words can be hurtful and cause harm, but their use should only be illegal when there is intent (action) to cause harm. Cyberbullying is one extreme of intent and calling someone a midget because they are short is another. One has obvious intent and the other doesn't. (it could have, but generally doesn't)

                As illustrated by this 'coconuts' example, since "little people'  find midget offensive its use could be considered a hate crime—by British standards—simply because someone finds it offensive.

                As with everything, it's a matter of degrees. Both sides can find examples and counter-examples as valid support. The argument isn't about drawing a line, it's about where the line is drawn. Regulating thoughts (through words) based on skin color without considering intent is an unrealistic place to draw a line.

                GA

                1. tsmog profile image84
                  tsmogposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

                  From afar on a lazy Saturday morning having just decided to procrastinate the laundry I will toss my 'thoughts' into the ring, though there is no intent of ill harm.

                  Exploring a little, perhaps wandering . . . I get what your saying with intent and in agreement. I am stuck on 'hate'. Quoting the UK Law . . .

                  "
                  A hate crime is defined as 'Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.'”

                  Focusing on the underlined, "motivated by hostility or prejudice" I ponder the midget example for short people. Calling someone a 'midget could be perceived as being motivated by 'hostility or prejudice' even if in a joking manner. A key is if someone else witnesses that and has the perception it is with hostility or prejudice. To me that means even if the short person (midget) did not take offense, the observer may have taken offense. Therefore, it is deemed hateful.

                  So, doesn't that fit the definition, but doesn't fall into a legal category? In that sense one may construe or surmise the intent was motivated by 'hate'. Do I have that wrong?

                  So, in essence, even though the target experiences no hateful intention from foul, disgusting, and verbiage of contempt if someone else deems it hateful, there is in fact a crime. Basically a reliance on subjectivity at that point. If it gets to court, then clarity arrives?

                  Forgive the wandering . . .

                  [Edit] After rereading I quire what does "criminal offence" mean? Does that negate everything I just said?

                  1. GA Anderson profile image88
                    GA Andersonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

                    If I'm following your logic . . .

                    A person that intends no harm (as in has no clue they are), says something to someone who has no issue with what was said (no harm - no hate), is guilty of a hate crime because someone else (anyone, anywhere?) was offended by what was said.

                    As a description of the argued British position, you nailed it.

                    My perspective is that as a description of an unrealistic and unjust law, you also nailed it.

                    Consider: when stripped of the specificity of details, both sides' arguments and examples end with "thought" being the determining factor.

                    Even worse, with the examples of 'Asian vs Asian' and 'midget vs. little people,' introducing skin color and physical form, the 'thought' being validated doesn't even have to be congruent with the issue, it can be a thought from anyone from anywhere.

                    I think Bill Maher did a routine on that concept. To paraphrase: 'There's nothing more silly or self-righteously self-serving than being offended for someone who isn't offended.'

                    To your 'criminal offense' edit; that has been the context of my responses. Civil issues and judgments are a different matter. Civil offense convictions are litigations of penalties, and criminal offense convictions are liberty-restriction punishments.

                    GA

                  2. Nathanville profile image91
                    Nathanvilleposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

                    Thanks for sharing your thoughts - you raise some interesting observations.

                2. wilderness profile image96
                  wildernessposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

                  Problem is that someone, somewhere will find just about anything we say to be offensive.  Comment that the sky is a lovely shade of blue and someone will be offended because their portion of the world has brown eyes so the statement is "dissing" them.

                  Problem is that we have decided that perception and feelings trumps truth and reality.  It takes priority, with truth and reality coming in a distance third and fourth.  And this inevitably produces the kinds of things (I think) this thread is about.  The "hate" crime of words.  The cyber bullying. the perversion of pretending to be a sex we are not.  The list goes on and on where feelings trump truth and therefore words must be banned and punished.

                  1. GA Anderson profile image88
                    GA Andersonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

                    Yep, that has been the point of the discussion. Words and feelings are now becoming more important than actions.

                    In this case of hate crimes, actions and intent aren't even part of the equation.

                    GA

                  2. Ken Burgess profile image73
                    Ken Burgessposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

                    This is the problem with accepting men as women and allowing them to compete with and occupy places in society as women.

                    This is the problem with 72 different sexes.

                    This is the problem with minors being mutilated and these procedures being encouraged and protected by the government.

                    These things do not strengthen a society, they allow for its downfall.

                    Words can have any meaning a person 'feels' that they mean, even symbols can be turned upside down, what was once the 'Peace Sign' made with fingers is now considered racist a sign of white supremacy.

                    This is NOT Liberalism.

                    Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on the rights of the individual, liberty, consent of the governed, political equality, right to private property and equality before the law.

                    Equity is NOT Liberal nor what America promised in its Constitution.

                    Feelings are not a basis for Fact or Reality.  Regardless of someone feeling like a woman that was born a man, or if you are offended by what someone said or wrote.

                    You will own nothing and be happy about it. sounds like an outlandish fantasy. Then I researched it.

                    Through both the UN and WEF (they partnered in 2019) businesses, governments, and global elites share a vision of a future that sounds utopian: Everyone will have everything they need, and no one will own anything.

                    That is their goal and that is ultimately what most in DC today work toward, most certainly the Biden Administration.

                    From declines in home and vehicle ownership to global inflation and government spending, many of the trends of the past few years reveal that a new world is emerging... one in which Western citizens, by choice or by circumstance, increasingly do not own possessions or accumulate wealth.

                    Can one truly be free, have liberty, without the right to own property?

                    The Biden Administration is creating the perfect economic environment for the rich and powerful to solidify their positions and prevent anyone else from getting ahead.

                    International organizations, socialist activists (Open Society), and multinational corporations like Blackrock (Larry Fink) all work together to reduce the power of the dollar and make millions poorer and less free.

                    Its not a Democrat vs. Republican or Black vs. White issue facing us today.

                    It is Pro-American, Liberty, Property-Ownership vs. Oppression and Servitude brought about by callous International Agencies and Autocrats (WEF, WHO, UN, IMF, WB)... that do NOT have the interests of American citizens in mind when they are making their decisions.

                    American Citizens and their Freedoms, Liberties and Rights are the problem they are focused on doing away with... and the Biden Administration is complicit in this.

                3. Nathanville profile image91
                  Nathanvilleposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

                  Why is “associating the context of the 'words can hurt' and 'words only' reasoning of this discussion with the extreme example of cyberbullying” a mismatch?  Cyberbullying is no more than just ‘words’.

                  Yeah, “If a law is unrealistic then it cannot be equitable”; there are plenty of examples of unrealistic laws in every country – and often (but not always) in free democracies they become unenforceable.

                  But where you say “the application of a law must consider intent” in the context of hate crime, our views do differ for a couple of main reasons:-

                  1.    There are people who are prejudice without realising it; so they unintentionally hurt people without even realising that they are doing so – ‘ignorance’, and

                  2.    The more important factor is the harm done to the victim of hate crime; the fact that the person causing harm didn’t have intent because of ignorance is secondary – in my view.  But as I said, in a Crown Court, Judges do take into account whether there was intent or not when sentencing if the person is found guilty by a jury – although, will take into account whether there was ‘intent’, and if not my well find the person ‘not guilty’.

                  That reminds me of when I was juror, and one case I sat on was a young lad who had been charged with ‘dangerous driving’ on a motorbike – maximum sentence being 2 years prison.

                  There was no doubt that he was speeding, and if the police had bought a charge of speeding we would have found him guilty; but they didn’t they only charged him with dangerous driving, based on undisputable evidence that he was guilty obtained from an ‘unmarked’ police van that was following him.

                  However, after 2 hours of debate in the jury room; we concluded that he was ‘NOT Guilty’ on the grounds that he was driving under duress e.g. that in his mind he thought that he was being chased by thugs in a van, not police in an ‘unmarked’ van.

                  So what is on a person’s mind when they commit a crime can have a bearing on their judgment in Court, even if the police are overzealous; but it still doesn’t alter the fact of “Ignorantia juris non excusat” (ignorance of the law is no excuse).

                  So as I often say in these forums – nothing is ever ‘black and white’

                  So where you say “Words can be hurtful and cause harm, but their use should only be illegal when there is intent (action) to cause harm.”; as I’ve already covered above – we have fundamentally differing views on this matter:

                  In my view, if words do cause harm, a crime has been committed, and so ignorance of the law is no excuse.  If ignorance was an excuse then people who are ignorant of the harm they are doing could go around causing untold harm with impunity – which in my mind is unacceptable.

                  I guess an analogy is someone kills another person, regardless to whether there was ‘intent’ or not, a crime is committed; if the killing was done with intent then it’s murder, if it was done without intent then its manslaughter.

                  Which highlights another major difference between British and American law e.g. if you kill a burglar in the USA who has broken into your home then it’s legal because you’re defending your property; whereas in the UK it’s automatically manslaughter.

                  Putting things in perspective, one need to look at the culture e.g. American attitudes are radically different to European attitudes – so what Americans find acceptable Brits don’t and vice versa e.g. as an American you believe our European laws go too far, whereas as a Brit I strongly believe that American laws don’t go far enough – and I’m not sure (with our differing cultures) whether we will ever see eye to eye?

                  As regards calling ‘little people’ midgets; it’s not hate crime in Britain, but it’s disrespectful; and as a Brit I think it’s reasonable to be respectful to others e.g. being respectful of others by calling dwarfs little people and not midgets, and calling transgender people by whatever gender terms they find respectful etc.

                  I agree that:-

                  “As with everything, it's a matter of degrees. Both sides can find examples and counter-examples as valid support. The argument isn't about drawing a line, it's about where the line is drawn.”

                  But as a Brit, as explained above; I have a different perspective to your view, where you say “Regulating thoughts (through words) based on skin color without considering intent is an unrealistic place to draw a line.”

                  1. GA Anderson profile image88
                    GA Andersonposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

                    And here we are again, finished. We made it through the 'What' without getting hung up on tangents of the 'Why(s).'

                    This time is a bit different. This one looks to be affected more by ideology (ie. your degree of liberalism) than British culture.

                    Since that's the case, there's no need to continue arguing the details. It's obvious that I'm right and you're wrong. ;-)

                    GA

        2. Nathanville profile image91
          Nathanvilleposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

          Following a coffee break, and a think; one set of episodes that came to mind, that in recent years in British/American relationships highlights different attitudes between Brits and Americans in relation to ‘hate crime’, is the Donald Trump’s visit (as head of state/President) to Britain….

          1.    Over half a million Brits signed a petition to ban Donald Trump from Britain on the grounds of ‘hate speech’; which resulted in the UK Parliament debating the issue – as per this short video:

          UK lawmakers debate banning Trump https://youtu.be/aVO_kop4Cxc

          2.    As a result of strong opposition to Trump from the British Public (because of his perceived hate speech by the British People) Theresa May (then Prime Minister) had to postpone Trump’s visit to Britain by over a year, and even then his visit was met with mass protests and demonstrations from the British Public:

          London protests (during Trump’s visit to UK) sends clear message to Trump: You're not welcome: https://youtu.be/I6L7CBhVvaY

          3.    Because of Trump’s hate speech, the Speaker of the House of Commons bans Trump from addressing Parliament (which is unprecedented) e.g. President Obama gave his speech in the UK Parliaments in 2011, as every previous USA President has done for decades.

          UK Parliament Speaker 'Bans' Trump from Addressing Parliament during his visit to the UK: https://youtu.be/vELQlgoaDdQ

          So I think all the above three videos demonstrates the strength and attitudes of the British people towards ‘hate speech’.

          1. tsmog profile image84
            tsmogposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

            What are the examples of the hate speech Trump used for the purpose of clarity?

            1. Nathanville profile image91
              Nathanvilleposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

              The 1st video in my previous post, in particular answers this question e.g. relating to a petition signed by 586,930 Brits, which following its presentation to the UK Parliament led Parliament to debating the issue on 18 January 2016.

              Namely, Trump’s comments regarding Muslims is considered hate speech by the vast majority of Brits.

              UK lawmakers debate banning Trump https://youtu.be/aVO_kop4Cxc

              The petition in question, entitled “Block Donald J Trump from UK entry”, and read as follows:

              “The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the UK.

              If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the 'unacceptable behaviour' criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful.”

              1. tsmog profile image84
                tsmogposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

                Thanks for the reply, but it did not address the question. I see your post changed from when I first read it, so I deleted my reply to it. I watched the video twice now. I think there is a misunderstanding. I get it is the rhetoric/hate speech toward Muslims. I want to know what the the speech was in fact.

                That is of importance in the context of this thread. Is it the specific words themselves. The tone of speech as in being emotional? Is it the syntax? Paragraph structure formulating an idea giving cause to imaging. What makes the speech hateful?

                1. Nathanville profile image91
                  Nathanvilleposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

                  In answer to your question; it’s not “the specific words themselves” it’s his whole demeanour, and most importantly from the British perspective e.g. what initially sparked Brits hatred towards Trump was his constant reference to fake news about Muslims in Britain, including Trump’s false claims that:

                  1.    Parts of London are ‘no-go’ zones, where even the police don’t go (because they are controlled by Muslims), and

                  2.    His false claim that the whole of Birmingham is a ‘no-go’ zone (controlled by Muslims).

                  The 3rd video (re-copied below) in my earlier post probably best covers where Trumps Muslim prejudice leads to in British Politics e.g. Trump’s numerous anti-Muslim speeches during his Presidential Election Campaign in 2015 – including his ‘fake news’ about Muslims in the UK; and culminating with his words becoming action with Executive Order 13769 (labelled the "Muslim ban" by Donald Trump and his supporters).

                  UK Parliament Speaker 'Bans' Trump from Addressing Parliament during his visit to the UK: https://youtu.be/vELQlgoaDdQ

                  But what initially incited the British Public (in 2015/2016) to hate Donald Trump so much was Trump’s consistent regurgitation of ‘Fox News’ ‘Fake News’ about Muslims in Britain:  One such (of many relevant video clips by Fox News and Trump) being:- https://youtu.be/am2XFnENUFk

                  Also, London's newly elected Islamic Mayor (Sadiq Khan) Rejected Donald Trump over his proposed Muslim Ban: https://youtu.be/IYGZicJ14Qw

                  And one of Trump’s tweets supporting hate crime in Britain had this impact from British politicians in the UK Parliament:  https://youtu.be/nsqC1NZIbts

                  So it’s not just one incident or one speech, but a string of tweets from Trump over the years that incited the British People to become so anti-Trump.

                  1. tsmog profile image84
                    tsmogposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

                    Thanks . . .

                    [Edit] I think I get it. It is okay to hate Trump because it does not fit into . . .

                    “A hate crime is defined as 'Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.'”

          2. GA Anderson profile image88
            GA Andersonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

            No, no, no. Take another break. Find another illustration. This is a No-Trump Zone.

            GA ;-)

            1. Nathanville profile image91
              Nathanvilleposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

              Can I claim the 1st Amendment (Freedom of Speech); I say in jest smile

              1. GA Anderson profile image88
                GA Andersonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

                Oh no, and equally in jest . . . A Brit evoking Freedom of Speech as a defense . . .

                GA

                1. Nathanville profile image91
                  Nathanvilleposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

                  LOL smile

      2. Credence2 profile image79
        Credence2posted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

        I have recently read an article about Sen Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts introducing legislation authorizing the Dept of Justice to hold municipal police departments accountable from a federal standpoint for aberrant behavior. We, too, are fighting encroaching authoritarianism coming at us from every angle and I fear that it may be a battle that we might well lose. At that point, America will be unrecognizable to me and much of the world.

        It is difficult here to fight symbols and words, I remember the March of the NAZIs in Skokie, Illinois, a Jewish community  back in 1978. They had a permit and the right to march. I have to draw the line for police involvement in speech to association with incitement to riot. The Right for me to say what I wish as long as I do not physically hurt anyone is enshrined, and as a result,  I have to protect that right for others who well may be my adversaries.

        1. Nathanville profile image91
          Nathanvilleposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

          Yeah, I got the impression of you also “are fighting encroaching authoritarianism coming at us from every angle” from the British news media during the fiasco of the last Presidential campaign.

          With regards to where you say “The Right for me to say what I wish as long as I do not physically hurt anyone is enshrined,…”; that seems to be a fundamental difference between European and American law in that in Europe its recognised that ‘word’ can “stir up racial hatred” whereas in America it’s only a ‘hate crime’ if and when physical harm is done.

          To quote from ‘Part 3 of the Public Order Acts’ under UK law:-

          “A person who uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, is guilty of an offence if—

          (a) he intends thereby to stir up racial hatred, or
          (b) having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby.

    2. IslandBites profile image89
      IslandBitesposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      we are becoming a society of humans who are so fragile that insults are considered damaging enough to be declared a crime.

      Becoming? I dont know. Didnt people used to kill each other over an insult?
      People were also jailed and/or murdered for blasphemy. There are laws against defamation, etc.


      My generation ( and probably all that came before it) believes in the truth of the adage that a man is best judged by his actions, not his words.

      That's hypocrisy. Better to judge by both.

      "Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny."

      1. GA Anderson profile image88
        GA Andersonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

        Your closing quote was so impressive I had to look up its owner. Being guilty of frequently speaking of truisms, yours was perfect for the discussion—relative to the changes of evolving societies, and to a society being the "your" of the quote.

        If the quote's "your" works as meaning society, does the same 'stepping stone' progress hold true?

        If the US is at the 'watch your actions' step — illustrated by our laws against actions, would the UK's (et al.) hate crime words/public order offenses fit the step of 'watch your words', as in making laws to control them? Seems a reasonable analogy. Laws are first made to control actions, and then to control words. In this case it is the society forcing the discipline, not the individual mind. Same same?

        If that is reasonable, would a projection that the next step in controlling societal evolution is to watch your thoughts in the same manner?

        That's a rhetorical question for me. I know it's not for others. Another is, do ideological perspectives determine agreement or disagreement, or is the truth or untruth of the quote's progression the determinant?

        I think your  "hypocritical" thought is misplaced. The quote was "best" judged, not solely judged. I don't see the hypocrisy that you do. Also, there's the plain-fact judgment of the statement: one man promises you a new house and delivers, and another promises you a new house but doesn't even try to deliver. How would you judge these men if not by their actions?

        And, yep, I'll stick with 'becoming.' The 'insults leading to killing' point is one of individual action, not societal. The times of societal 'jailed and murdered for blasphemy' are of past evolutions of society (relative to 1st-world societies), a state we have supposedly 'evolved' out of. It might be fair to say our current direction is a regression to those times. Instead of being religiously driven thought policing,  it would be societal thought policing.

        I have probably left a lot of 'open doors' for you, but 'since it was you' I replied 'shooting from the hip.'

        GA

    3. tsmog profile image84
      tsmogposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      First, the link leads to a duckduckgo landing page for articles, not a specific article. I read the Aljazeera article to get the jest of the story.

      I can only say I am flabbergasted. I half chuckled that there is opportunity for the right to take pot-shots at the left protesting for the Palestinian position using such vile and pernicious methods. You know . . . the we are better than you attitude. Or, see, you guys are worse than us.

      Regarding the incident, I immediately reflected introspectively back to the early 70's when I referred to immigrants from Mexico both legal and illegal as 'wetbacks'. It was an accepted term in those days for the area I resided and still do - San Diego county, and commonly used of least amongst the commoners shall we say. The social elites, perhaps some to many of my elders, were much more polite, rather than politically correct as that wasn't hip then.

      I suppose speculatively in the context of the discussion at hand, I was exercising a hate crime. I question, did I have the element of hate or was it simply contempt?

      A little wandering as I feel like it. According to Human psychologist Plutchik's wheel of emotions contempt is a combined form of two spokes of the wheel. They are:

      Rage, anger, annoyance
      and,
      Loathing, disgust, boredom

      Most definitely my emotions were annoyance and disgust.

      Alas, I digressed from the point of the OP. I am frankly, frightened by the action of pursing legal ramifications for the perceived hate of the incident. I mean, come on, if I wear a sombrero being a white guy is that a symbol of hate? Would it be misconstrued as making fun of a different culture? Seems, there is not only the possibility of that, but in today's world of culture scrutiny it has a high probability in 'some to many eyes'.

      I place the blame on the Constitution. It allows too much freedom with rights. Who needs rights? Most certainly in my mind that teacher who held the placard had a right to do so. What was on the placard was a social commentary as I see it. It was in the vein of being satirical. Yes, the point was driven home, but was their any actual harm?

      If that is the case there is one poet here on HubPages who writes satirical poems one right after other. A most recent one is;

      Donald J. Trump -- the Winner: A Satirical Poem by Val Karas published at HubPages (May 22, 2024)
      https://hubpages.com/literature/donald- … rical-poem

      Off I go now, to read the thread and see if I am an old fool or not said with jest wink

      1. GA Anderson profile image88
        GA Andersonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

        Yep, I was aware of the link as a landing page and did consider the confusion of referring to a particular article, but I went with the landing page to avoid an appearance of bias by choosing a particular source. They all had the same basic details, so I went with neutral as a safe option. ;-)

        Your "wetbacks" example works. It is a recognized derogatory term almost exclusively used with rude connotations. I say it reflects so poorly on the user that whatever follows it is probably not worth listening to. That's a moral judgment we all get to make. It shouldn't be a legal judgment with a threat of punishment.

        Your "sombrero" example also works great. In my day, (apparently yours too) liking a sombrero (any cultural icon) was considered a nod to that culture, not an appropriation. Why is it viewed as appropriation now? It's because of the societal evolution that is the topic of the OP.

        Curiously, I had never considered such use to involve contempt, I simply thought of it as derogatory condescension. I don't see folks purposely being rude to be qualified to be contemptuous of anyone.

        GA

        1. tsmog profile image84
          tsmogposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

          Noted, with a sense of humor wink

    4. Ken Burgess profile image73
      Ken Burgessposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      Sadly, if given the opportunity, this Administration will push it further than the UK or Canada given another 4 years to do their work.

      I listened to a fascinating elaboration on how Liberalism ultimately ends in the deconstruction of sexual identification, human identification, etc. while at the same time making it impossible to debate a matter or dissent from Liberalism/Progressivism in any way without being considered a deviant at best, a criminal at worst.

      If allowed to continue on course for four more years, without being stopped, reversed, and repudiated America risks becoming the most Liberal/Progressive nation on the planet... take a look at the worst out there today and then consider the Biden Administration saying 'hold my beer'...

      Might all be irrelevant... they are trying like heck to escalate the current wars and tensions to the point of no return.

      1. Credence2 profile image79
        Credence2posted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

        "If allowed to continue on course for four more years, without being stopped, reversed, and repudiated America risks becoming the most Liberal/Progressive nation on the planet

        You are supposed to be a man of the world, there are societies more advanced/progressive than we are. Besides, would it really be a bad thing?

      2. GA Anderson profile image88
        GA Andersonposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

        The 'war' issue is a risk. It's also becoming worldwide. As for becoming the most progressive, I'm doubtful. I think too many extreme issues were pushed too far and some Progressives know it. The Trump-support backlash shows it. The corporations' efforts were financial disasters, and it looks like many agendas have deemphasized social justice associations. (That's just a perception) *shrug*

        As for the "deconstruction of sexual identification," my first thought was of the sci-fi movie Barbarella.

        GA

        1. Ken Burgess profile image73
          Ken Burgessposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

          Don't you believe it.  They have just put them on ice for 2024, once we are past the election, they will double down.

          https://www.youtube.com/shorts/8Af2TE5NeGM

          Short clip, related, somewhat.

          Larry Fink's ultimate goal with ESG/CSR/DEI
          https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelper … 8277c53010

          Goal of a United WEF and UN
          https://www.weforum.org/press/2019/06/w … framework/

          A new agreement with the World Economic Forum gives multinational corporations influence over matters of global governance.
          https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureco … rtnership/

          The problem, as I see it, and as represented in your response, as almost all others in these political forums... is the lack of recognition that this is not merely the Biden Administration VS Republicans/Trump, national politics.

          This is UN/WEF/BlackRock(Fink)/Gates/Soros/EU(Brussels)/UK  vs.  Trump/American Citizens/Nationality.

          This is Equity/DEI/CRT/CSR/72+sexes vs. Social Norms/Liberty/Property-Ownership/Merit+EO

          The Biden Administration is bringing about the Death of America.

          The only option other than continuing down that destructive path, is Trump.

          If those choices even manifest themselves in a fair election... there is a lot that can happen in the months ahead.  We have already seen some of the things that will be done to maintain control... collusion with the Major Social Media sites to censor opposing views, pushing outright lies through MSM, the weaponization of the Courts, the IRS, etc.

          The ultimate goal to these zealots is worth Disney or Target losing billions in the process, the well being of individual corporations mean nothing to the likes of Soros or Fink.

  2. Ken Burgess profile image73
    Ken Burgessposted 8 weeks ago

    Are Words More Important Than Actions in Evolved Society?

    I had been wondering why this heading had been gnawing at me.

    Then it came to me... "evolved society".

    We are not... that was what would have described us, a decade ago... two?

    We are currently a DE-volving society.  A DE-constructing society, if you prefer.

    It also dawned on me that there is no-one left alive (essentially) that remembers a time when America was NOT the world's leading economic and military super power.

    We have been blessed, as Americans, to live in a utopian time/Nation (more wealth and opportunity for more people than ever in history), or as close to utopian as any 'empire' will likely ever attain.

    From 1944 to 2024 ... 80 years of uninterrupted dominance is now going sideways, fast.

  3. GA Anderson profile image88
    GA Andersonposted 8 weeks ago

    Considering the direction of discussion, when I stumbled across this in my X feed I had to chuckle. Can it be coincidence?

    https://hubstatic.com/17044071.jpg

    No message is intended. It's just a chuckle because of the timing of its appearance.

    GA

    1. tsmog profile image84
      tsmogposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      Ha-ha . . . definitely brought a good chuckle! I'll stop here . . . wink

    2. Nathanville profile image91
      Nathanvilleposted 8 weeks agoin reply to this

      Cool smile

  4. Ken Burgess profile image73
    Ken Burgessposted 8 weeks ago

    Here is our 'evolved society' today:

    https://twitter.com/FactsMatterRB/statu … 0572749299

    $

  5. tsmog profile image84
    tsmogposted 7 weeks ago

    A little wandering . . . seeking clarification for 'myself' I sought what the U.S. Department of Justice says for hate crimes. I was focused on the term - 'hate' which is the core element as I see it. I wandered further.

    They say for hate;

    "The term "hate" can be misleading. When used in a hate crime law, the word "hate" does not mean rage, anger, or general dislike. In this context “hate” means bias against people or groups with specific characteristics that are defined by the law.

    At the federal level, hate crime laws include crimes committed on the basis of the victim’s perceived or actual race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.

    Most state hate crime laws include crimes committed on the basis of race, color, and religion; many also include crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, and disability."

    First, it includes gender, so therefor no need for misogyny as I see it. Also, to be a 'hate crime' there has to be a 'crime'.

    So, what is a crime? They explain a crime as;

    "The "crime" in hate crime is often a violent crime, such as assault, murder, arson, vandalism, or threats to commit such crimes. It may also cover conspiring or asking another person to commit such crimes, even if the crime was never carried out."

    They go further stating;

    "Under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, people cannot be prosecuted simply for their beliefs. People may be offended or upset about beliefs that are untrue or based upon false stereotypes, but it is not a crime to express offensive beliefs, or to join with others who share such views. However, the First Amendment does not protect against committing a crime, just because the conduct is rooted in philosophical beliefs."

    Learn About Hate Crimes by the U.S. Department of Justice
    https://www.justice.gov/hatecrimes/lear … ate-crimes

    1. GA Anderson profile image88
      GA Andersonposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      Yep, your closing blurb sums up what I have been arguing. There must be some action beyond holding a thought or belief.

      GA

  6. Credence2 profile image79
    Credence2posted 7 weeks ago

    I understand, the ubiquitous nature of information available through the internet can frighten people, particularly conservatives.

    1. Ken Burgess profile image73
      Ken Burgessposted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

      conservatives aren't the ones banning people and making words hate crimes that can land you in jail.

      crazy world, rob a store, not worth prosecuting...  post something someone else takes offense too, the police will be coming for you.

      1. Credence2 profile image79
        Credence2posted 7 weeks agoin reply to this

        You are the one that has attacked the concept of the internet as denigrating. I like the idea of a free and open forum. It is conservatives that want to control the narrative so desperately. As they are the first to threaten the idea of a free press and free dissemination of opposing ideas and concepts.

 
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