Tag: hate speech

Quick on the Draw

Recently, I wrote how everyone (except for you and me) is prone to furious outbursts of racist invective at the slightest provocation.

That got me thinking about a related issue.

Namely, why are conservatives so quick to defend someone who spews racist, homophobic, or otherwise hateful speech?

After all, it wasn’t liberals who said, “Hey, that’s cool, Mr. Oldman. Tell us more about your sophisticated sociopolitical outlook.”

bram-stokers-dracula-gary-oldman1

Nope, it’s primarily conservatives who say it’s no big deal, or that the First Amendment protects such language, or that it’s time to take a bold stand against the insidious forces of political correctness.

Now, I’ve written entire posts about how pulling out the First Amendment or bashing PC is a loser’s lament, so I’m not going to repeat those points here. And to be clear, there are plenty of conservative libertarians who support the right to free speech. Just as there are plenty of liberals who would like to see Bill O’Reilly legally forced to shut up. However, these perspectives are not so closely aligned with the general philosophy of right wing and left wing.

What I’m talking about here is your basic social conservative, particularly when it comes to hate speech. It is a bit disturbing how swiftly these individuals rush to defend — or even praise — idiotic, racist bullshit.

I would like to think conservatives are earnest lovers of the concept of free expression. However, in many cases, these are the same people who threaten legal action if someone says, “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” And remember back during the Iraq War, when up to 40 percent of conservatives believed that protests against the conflict should not be allowed (and that was constitutionally protected free speech, no less).

In fact, there is some evidence that this issue pops up in the ultimate justice-is-blind venue: the US Supreme Court. A recent study found that “liberal justices are (overall) more supportive of free speech claims than conservative justices,” and that “conservatives on the court are far more inclined to bias than their more liberal colleagues.”

Conservatives have historically shown little love for the idea of allowing people to speak their mind, and in truth, live and let live is not traditionally associated with the conservative movement. Whether it is gays getting married, or a mosque being built down the block, or some anarchist burning an American flag, there are usually conservatives there denouncing and demanding and denigrating. Rarely do you hear a Fox news anchor defend such actions.

But if some washed-up action star says that Mexicans are wetbacks, then conservatives abruptly clutch the flag to their chests and say, “It’s his right, damn it.”

But once again, we have to ask, why is this?

Well, maybe it’s because defending morons gives conservatives the perfect opportunity to appear principled and astute. Or maybe it’s because so many of their heroes are actually, well, racists. Or maybe it’s because these comments reveal what so many of them are really thinking.

Damn, I hope it’s not that last one.

 


An Unpleasant First

Let me thank Macon D, Profe, Xey, Mimpiku, and Carolina, all of whom have recently commented on some of my posts. I also want to acknowledge Che, who disagreed with several of my posts (I assume he recently found the blog and read a bunch of pieces at once). But he kept the tone respectful. I thank him for that and for contributing to the site.

But others do not share the approach of these readers. Some people are determined to prove that the internet is where hate-filled wackjobs spew vitriol that they would never even whisper if they could be identified.

Specifically a reader, whose name I don’t want to publicize, responded to my post “The Most Perverse Kind of Pride.” The piece was about Hispanic gang members who targeted African Americans.

Rather than condemn the actions of the gang members, this reader praised them. The reason he endorses murder is because he hates blacks more than he does Hispanics. And yes, the n-word was unapologetically placed front and center in his tirade.

I have deleted his comment and, in a first for the Fanatic, banned him from the site.

I hesitated to give the idiot even this level of attention. But I decided to write about it just to point out that – despite the wishes, pleas, and outright demands of many people – we do not live in a postracial, harmonious world where ethnicity no longer matters.

There’s still a little way to go.


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