If anyone doubted that the regime of political correctness in Great Britain, there is this story in the Telegraph to change his mind.
A Welsh woman has been made to pay compensation for using a racist slur against an English woman after calling her “an English cow”.
len Humphreys, 25, of Garndolbenmaen, near Porthmadog, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harassment, after she branded Angela Payne, who had an affair with her father, an “English cow.”
The court in Prestatyn in North Wales heard that Humphreys levelled the insult at Ms Payne when she went to her house in Rhyl to collect some of her father’s property and told her : “Leave well alone, you English cow”.
For Angela Payne it was the final straw, said prosecutor James Neary, as Humphreys’s mother had previously been warned by the police about her conduct. The court heard Humphreys had also called the victim other names previously.
Andrew Hutchinson, defending, said that Humphreys’s parents had been married for 32 years but her father had then started the other relationship, going “backwards and forwards” between the two women. “Emotions were running high,” he explained.
Humphreys was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay Angela Payne £50 in compensation.
Someone is seriously supposed to be injured by the application of the term “English” as a pejorative? Absurd.
Call someone an Australian in today’s politically correct Britain and you can get arrested and fined for racial abuse.
A woman has been found guilty of racially abusing her New Zealand-born neighbour – by calling her an Australian.
Petra Mills called Chelsea O’Reilly a ‘stupid fat Australian’ during a drunken tirade outside her home.
The insult was witnessed by police officers who Mills herself had called after a domestic row with her husband. Czech-born Mills, 31, was arrested and charged with racially aggravated public disorder. She denied the charge but was found guilty at a trial this week.
Miss O’Reilly, 21, who has dual British and New Zealand nationality, told magistrates: ‘She called me a stupid fat Australian b****. Because of my accent there can be some confusion over my nationality.
‘She knew I was from New Zealand. She was trying to be offensive. I was really insulted.’
The incident happened in Macclesfield, Cheshire, on September 4 after Mills had been involved in a row with her husband, Michael. Iain Mutch, prosecuting, said Miss O’Reilly and Mills had been neighbours for 18 months…
Mills also admitted assaulting a police officer by kicking him. She was fined £110 for racially aggravated public disorder and £200 for assault, and ordered to pay both victims £50 compensation and £500 court costs.
Just after midnight Saturday morning, authorities descended on the Cerritos home of the man believed to be the filmmaker behind the anti-Muslim movie that has sparked protests and rioting in the Muslim world.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies escorted a man believed to be Nakoula Basseley Nakoula to an awaiting car. The man declined to answer questions on his way out and wore a hat and a scarf over his face. He kept his hands in the pockets of a winter coat.
Sheriff’s officials could not be reached by The Times, but department spokesman Steve Whitmore told KNBC News that deputies assisting the federal probation department took Nakoula to the sheriff’s substation in Cerritos for interviewing.
[Updated at 1:40 a.m. July 15, 2012: Whitmore told The Times that Nakoula was taken in for a voluntary interview with probation officials and has not been arrested or detained.]
His many thousands of regular readers undoubtedly recognize that Glenn Reynolds is a harmless and mild-mannered intellectual guy with the classic range of nerdy interests, whose characteristic response to the insanities and outrages he notes in the course of his blogging is a sharp witticism.
Early yesterday evening, the seismic recorders in the neighborhood of Knoxville, Tennessee undoubtedly jumped alarmingly, as Professor Reynolds underwent a highly uncharacteristic meltdown of pure, white hot indignation at the news story above reporting that the obscure individual reputedly associated with the 13:51 “Innocence of Muslims”video had been hauled off for questioning in the middle of the night by a small army of law enforcement officers, acting under what was obviously the most questionable kind of authority in a country with Constitutionally-guaranteed free speech.
WHY BARACK OBAMA SHOULD RESIGN Reynolds furiously labeled his posting, which has been accreating additional commentary and bitter humor all day.
Example: Paul Crabtree writes: “Although the midnight raid to punish free speech is beyond deplorable, I guess we should be relieved that the Nobel Prize winner didn’t order a drone strike on his house.” Heh. We probably don’t have to worry about those . . . in the first term.
Glenn Reynolds & his associates instantly correctly penetrated the official malarkey. Under American law, there is no possible crime anyone could be charged with for creating and publishing a video satirizing Islam. Bassley Nakoula was dragged out of his home in the middle of the night by the local Los Angeles branch of the Gestapo for embarrassing the regime.
Talk about a chilling effect on speech, Yale has made its community downright frigid. We criticized Yale last year for censoring a book with cartoon images of Mohammed in an academic book about those very cartoons, and for quashing its Freshman Class Council’s T-shirt for the annual Harvard-Yale football match because the shirts quoted F. Scott Fitzgerald referring to Harvard students as “sissies.” Yale has kept busy since then. It censored the freshman class again, absurdly refusing to approve this year’s tees unless Harvard approved them, too (see Harvard’s entry). Under pressure from the federal government, Yale also suspended a fraternity for five years after the pledges’ satirical, juvenile, and intentionally offensive outdoor chants about sex were deemed to be “imperiling the integrity and values of the University community.” Yale raised eyebrows when it gave academic justifications for closing down the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism not long after the center came under criticism for holding a conference … about antisemitism. And after a committee recommended ending Yale’s annual Sex Week, the university forced the organizers to change the content of their festivities or else have no Sex Week at all.
Read the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s Yale page, and weep.
FIRE’s President Greg Lukianoff published a repackaged version of the same press release on HuffPo.
The critique of Yale is correct and damaging, except in the case of the final item, the so-called “forcing to organizers of Sex Week at Yale to change its content or have no Sex Week at all.”
FIRE seems to suffer from the characteristic liberal intellectual confusion over free speech.
The use of Yale University’s lecture halls is pretty strictly limited by the administration normally and conventionally. Students cannot borrow a lecture hall, during the hours that it isn’t being used for classes, to operate a business for private profit, to hold an organizational meeting, or to throw a party. If you were to ask, they’d tell you that janitorial services and utilities cost money, and there are security and insurance issues as well. If somebody falls down and bumps his head at your party or meeting, Yale does not want to be sued. Lecture halls are for classes, they would tell you, and you typically cannot borrow them.
Students who want to have some kind of organizational event, like Sex Week at Yale, do not normally get access to major lecture hall facilities. Yale granting that kind of access is a way of subsidizing and lending university support to an event, which could only be expected to happen if the university believed the event being held had some kind of educational purpose or otherwise represented a valuable contribution or worthy cause.
Why the university ever believed that sex toy demonstrations, bondage displays, and lectures by pornographers and porn stars represented any kind of appropriate beneficiary of that kind of access and support is unclear. My guess is that the university was scammed by extremist gender identity groups that it previously had confused with worthy causes.
Limiting access to university facilities conventionally so as to exclude sex technique demonstrations and celebrations of porn is not really limiting free speech, it is really just being more sensible about what kind of speech one treats as significant, it just means discriminating appropriately between substantive speech and porno.
Before the Olympics have even officially opened, a member of the Greek Olympic team, triple jumper Paraskevi Papachristou (disrespectfully referred to in hostile news accounts by the nickname “Voula”), has been removed from the team for posting a joke on Twitter.
News reports seem to indicate that her membership in an “extreme right-wing” Greek political party [highly prejudiced Wikipedia article] was an additional factor in her expulsion from the team.
The offending tweet read: With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!
The international press, including such relatively conservative British papers as the Telegraph [quoted below] and the Daily Mail, fell into PC-lockstep, describing the young lady’s private joke as “racist” and “offensive.”
[T]he Hellenic Olympic Committee came under pressure from within Greece to take action against 23-year-old Papachristou, who had also publicly supported the Golden Dawn politician Ilias Kasidiaris, when he criticised Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s immigration position.
She had previously retweeted promotional videos from the political party, which gained seven per cent of the vote in the recent Greek elections.
The head of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, Isidoros Kouvelos, said Papachristou had “showed no respect for the basic Olympian value” in her latest tweet.
“She made a mistake and in life we pay for our mistakes,” he told Skai TV.
Papachristou took to social media sites Facebook and Twitter to apologise for the “unfortunate and tasteless joke”, adding she was sorry and ashamed for the negative responses, especially to her family and coach George Pomaski.
“I never wanted to offend anyone, or to encroach human rights,” she said.
Papachristou said she dreamt of doing well in London and argued that she respected the Olympic values and apologised to friends and athletes whom she may have insulted.
“My dream is connected to the Olympic Games and I could not possibly participate if I did not respect their values,” she said. “Therefore, I could never believe in discrimination between human beings and races.”
Pomaski said the expulsion from the Olympic team was harsh and out of proportion, especially as she had apologised.
This is the way we live now. There is no freedom of speech on social media. We all live under the supervision of an international authority representing the consensus of the elite community of fashion empowered to punish any case of speech or expression it finds objectionable. Europeans additionally can be punished for affiliation with inappropriate political parties. Unelected bodies like Olympic Committees and the NCAA can apply whatever punishments and penalties they like without appeal.
I’m not myself precisely sure just when it was that we were actually subjugated and occupied and lost our freedom of thought and expression as well as our right to due process and democratic institutions, but it certainly has happened, hasn’t it?
Earlier this month Media Matters launched its most ferocious boycott effort ever to force Rush Limbaugh off the air by intimidating advertisers. ...
The biggest damage has been to Media Matters, which put its reputation for intimidating advertisers on the line, and failed.
Media Matters wasn’t defeated by Limbaugh. Media Matters was defeated by tens of thousands of conservatives who recognized that this was not about Limbaugh or what Limbaugh said.
Those of us who criticized the use of those two words were among the most vociferous defenders against Media Matters’ advertiser intimidation tactics, and the double-standard employed by advertisers such as Carbonite who pandered to the crowd.
The campaign to force Limbaugh off the air was but part of a larger war in which Media Matters and others liberal groups seek to force numerous conservative voices off of the one media outlet dominated by conservatives, talk radio.
A study by Pew Research found liberals are so much more intolerant on the Internet than the rest of us that it isn’t even funny.
Not exactly shocking news for those exposed to them for years, but the respected Pew Research Center has determined that political liberals are far less tolerant of opposing views than regular Americans.
In a new study, the Pew Center for the Internet and American Life Project confirmed what most intelligent Americans had long sensed. That is, whenever they are challenged or confronted on the hollow falsity of their orthodoxy —such as, say, uniting diverse Americans—liberals tend to respond defensively with anger, even trying to shut off or silence critics. (i.e. photo above of President Obama reacting to Boston hecklers.)
The new research found that instead of engaging in civil discourse or debate, fully 16% of liberals admitted to blocking, unfriending or overtly hiding someone on a social networking site because that person expressed views they disagreed with. That’s double the percentage of conservatives and more than twice the percentage of political moderates who behaved like that.
The proportion jumps even higher when someone on a social site disagrees with a liberal’s post.
Only 1% of moderates would block or shut out someone who dared to disagree with them, compared to 11% of liberals, whose rate was nearly three times that of conservatives.
Of course, it is not as if liberal intolerance is restricted to opposing expression on the Internet…
T. Elliot Gaiser responds to the liberal desire to protect the innocent from the allegedly coercive power of marketing.
The progressive vision of the world seems to hold unshakable faith in expert studies as revealing the truth. This vision also assumes that people, being naturally good and rational after Rousseau’s doctrines, will always make the right choice if they have the right information. The progressive views supposedly false information that could lead people to choose something the experts have ruled the wrong choice (e.g. advertising by Pepsi, or Tobacco companies for that matter) as a dire threat to freedom. It’s like good marketing for something the experts don’t like is coercion in the progressive mind.
But a free society will not long endure if every time “studies” say particular behavior is harmful, the federal government is called in to curb free speech because it might influence people in a direction contrary to contemporary science. Even the most teeth-destroying sugar water supplier deserve to make an argument for their product. To paraphrase Voltaire’s phrase, I may disagree vehemently with your advertising, but I’ll defend to the death your right to advertise.
Translation: “One hundred lashes if you don’t die laughing!”
Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical journal, was in 2007 the only publication in France to print the Danish Mohammed cartoons. As a result, Charlie Hebdo was then charged with slandering a group on the basis of religion, but was finally acquitted after a two day trial.
Charlie Hebdotoday intended to commemorate the Islamic victory in the elections in Tunisia by temporarily renaming itself “Sharia Hebdo” and appointing the Prophet Mohammed “guest editor” and putting his portrait again on the cover.
The “Sharia Hebdo” edition had not even appeared yet, when last night the paper’s Paris offices were fire-bombed and its web-site attacked and taken down.
The bravery and readiness to defend the principle of free speech of the American urban elites was promptly demonstrated by Time Magazine’s Bureau chief, the aptly named Bruce Crumley.
Okay, so can we finally stop with the idiotic, divisive, and destructive efforts by “majority sections” of Western nations to bait Muslim members with petulant, futile demonstrations that “they” aren’t going to tell “us” what can and can’t be done in free societies? Because not only are such Islamophobic antics futile and childish, but they also openly beg for the very violent responses from extremists their authors claim to proudly defy in the name of common good. What common good is served by creating more division and anger, and by tempting belligerent reaction?
The difficulty in answering that question is also what’s making it hard to have much sympathy for the French satirical newspaper firebombed this morning, after it published another stupid and totally unnecessary edition mocking Islam. ..
[Y]eah, the violence inflicted upon Charlie Hebdo was outrageous, unacceptable, condemnable, and illegal. But apart from the “illegal” bit, Charlie Hebdo’s current edition is all of the above, too.
All of which leads inevitably to the reflection that objectionable as the bigoted barbarian fanatics who firebombed Charlie Hebdo are, lickspittle cowards, appeasers, and traitors to their own culture and civilization like the invertebrate Mr. Crumbley are even more of a blight on the face of the planet.
Bugger Islam, and bugger bed-wetting liberalism twice.
This news agency story is relevant even to Americans, because the American left-wing establishment is very much in favor of adopting domestically progressive policies observed in other countries. So far, speech that “offends, insults, humiliates, or (supposedly) intimidates” is commonly outlawed on university campuses, but it is by no means beyond the ambitions of American progressives to try to enact such curbs on expression here.
A popular right-wing commentator was found guilty Wednesday of breaking Australian discrimination law by implying that fair-skinned Aborigines chose to identify as indigenous for profit and career advancement.
Federal Court Justice Mordy Bromberg ruled that fair-skinned Aborigines were likely to have been “offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated by the imputations” included in columnist Andrew Bolt’s two articles published by the Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne in 2009.
Bromberg ruled out Bolt and his publisher’s defense under a clause of the Racial Discrimination Act that exempts “fair comment.” Bromberg said he will prohibit reproduction of the offending articles and will consider ordering the newspaper to publish a correction if it doesn’t print an apology.
Bolt, who writes opinion pieces for newspapers around Australia and hosts a nationally broadcast weekly public affairs television program, described the ruling as a defeat for freedom of speech.
“This is a terrible day for free speech in this country,” he told reporters outside court.
German fraternity students led the revolution against autocracy in 1848.
The DKE fraternity chant affair has concluded with utterly contemptible behavior by the university, embodying cowardice and extraordinary and astonishingly unbecoming stupidity and violating the university’s own official commitment to freedom of expression.
Yale’s commitment to freedom of expression means that when you agree to matriculate, you join a community where “the provocative, the disturbing, and the unorthodox” must be tolerated. When you encounter people who think differently than you do, you will be expected to honor their free expression, even when what they have to say seems wrong or offensive to you.
No one is entitled to any “atmosphere” free of speech or expression he (or she) does not like. The erection by the political left of a variety of groups claiming, on the basis of historical grievances and ressentiment, special privileges and status is a moral and intellectual abomination.
In this case, a tiny minority of Yale’s most obnoxious and neurotic females, members of a gender comprising a slight majority of humanity, already empowered by Nature with staggering powers of influence and control over members of the opposite gender, particularly during a period of life when the reproductive impulse and any young lady’s powers of personal attraction are at their height, have been persuaded by ideological influences hosted and specially cultivated by Yale to see themselves on the basis of myths, stereotypes, and crude historical misunderstandings as victims, and then encouraged to exploit that status for personal and group power and rewarded for doing exactly that with attention and applause.
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” is an ancient article of life wisdom imparted by parents to very young children over many generations. Modern liberal society has retreated in maturity to an intellectual state on the other side of childhood, to a state of infantilism, in which name-calling is inflated into a national issue superseding First Amendment rights and the tradition of free speech in Academia, and is viewed as demanding federal intervention and a coercive university response.
The tradition of academic freedom is based upon a general recognition that the period of the education of young people at university is a special period in which a completely open and unprejudiced approach to inquiry is appropriate and in which students traditionally enjoy special immunities from responsibility and conformity.
College students traditionally mock society’s sacred cows and college students are traditionally expected to let off steam and express high spirits through a variety of outrageous pranks. Only fools and outrageously presumptuous tyrants would ever take expressions made by fraternity pledges undergoing a ritual ordeal as statements accurately representative of real positions or as in any way meaningful at all. The fact that two incidents of fraternity ritual farce have been treated as matters of literal heretical expression and as gravely important transgressions by federal and university officials demonstrates only that both Yale and today’s United States are prey to ideological impulses capable of causing them to lapse readily into totalitarian regimes governed by nincompoops.
Yale’s 1975 Woodward Committee Report on Free Speech.
Indignant female surgeons force President of the American College of Surgeons to resign over Valentine’s Day editorial. New York Times:
Dr. [Lazar] Greenfield, 78, was the editor in chief of Surgery News when the editorial was published but resigned that position in the wake of the controversy; the entire issue of the newspaper was withdrawn. He is an emeritus professor of surgery at the University of Michigan School of Medicine.
The editorial cited research that found that female college students who had had unprotected sex were less depressed than those whose partners used condoms. It speculated that compounds in semen have antidepressant effects.
“So there’s a deeper bond between men and women than St. Valentine would have suspected, and now we know there’s a better gift for that day than chocolates,” it concluded.
The editorial outraged many women in the field, some of whom said that it reflected a macho culture in surgery that needed to change.
Then burns her own copy of the Koran, page by page, using bacon for bookmarks. She is a bit too fond of coarse language. She gets a little too moralistic for my personal taste. And these videos are way too long, but she is hard-core and decidedly cute. She gets extra testosterone points, too, for supplying her Colorado address for the convenience of any offended Muslims. (Gosh, do you suppose she might possibly own a gun?)
She ought to move to South Carolina and run against that pansy for the Senate.
Wendy Kaminer comments on the Department of Education’s witch hunt in search of hostile atmosphere creators at Yale.
What accounts for such feminine timidity, this instinctive unwillingness or inability to talk or taunt back, without seeking the protection of university or government bureaucrats? Talking is apparently beside the point. “I just want to be able to walk back to my dorm at night without hearing all this crazy stuff from these guys,” one student complains. I sympathize (I was a young woman once, too), but “hearing crazy stuff” from people in public is part of life in a free society, a society in which you enjoy equal rights to say crazy stuff.
Putatively progressive feminists might agree, if only they regarded women as equal to the task of talking back, if only they distinguished between men who “say stuff” about women and men who “do stuff” to women. In the feminist view reflected in the Yale draft complaint, the misogynist rants of some undergraduate men (perhaps a relatively small percentage of them) is not speech. It’s a series of “dangerous,” “sex-discriminatory threats” that “intimidate” and “terrorize” women, constituting a hostile environment (or “rape culture”) that causes sexual violence.
That simplistic, practically hysterical anti-libertarian approach to offensive speech appears to be shared by the Obama administration. OCR [Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights] has initiated an investigation of alleged civil-rights violations at Yale, and, coincidentally, on April 4th, it issued a “Dear Colleague” letter to schools, colleges, and universities nationwide, clarifying their obligations to prevent and address sexual harassment. OCR’s letter conflates harassment and rape. It defines sexual harassment as “including” sexual violence and ignores the conflicts between sexual harassment regulations and free speech, or, in public schools, the constitutional limits on regulating “offensive” speech. Given OCR’s expansive and potentially repressive approach to punishing and preventing “bullying,” it’s not surprising but still distressing to find no concern for speech in its letter on harassment.
The only nod to civil liberty in OCR’s letter is a reminder that students accused of sexual harassment (including sexual violence) should be accorded due process. Indeed, “(p)ublic and state-supported schools must provide due process to the alleged perpetrator”—but not too much due process, it seems: “However, schools should ensure that steps taken to accord due process rights to the alleged perpetrator do not restrict or unnecessarily delay the Title IX protections for the complainant.” This suggests, oddly and ominously, that the statutory rights of the accuser trump the constitutional due-process rights of the accused.
Generally, the OCR letter displays much more concern for the sensitivities of accusers over the rights of the accused. Schools should, for example, separate complainants and alleged perpetrators while investigations are pending, and in doing so, they should “minimize the burden on the complainant.” Why not also minimize the burden on the alleged perpetrator? The Obama administration, like the administrations of so many colleges and universities, implicitly approaches sexual harassment and sexual violence cases with a presumption of guilt.
Campus investigations and hearings involving harassment or rape charges are notoriously devoid of concern for the rights of students accused; “kangaroo courts” are common, and OCR ’s letter seems unlikely to remedy them. Students accused of harassment should not be allowed to confront (or directly question) their accusers, according to OCR, because cross-examination of a complainant “may be traumatic or intimidating.” (Again, elevating the feelings of a complainant over the rights of an alleged perpetrator, who may have been falsely accused, reflects a presumption of guilt.) Students may be represented by counsel in disciplinary proceedings, at the discretion of the school, but counsel is not required, even when students risk being found guilty of sexual assaults (felonies pursuant to state penal laws) under permissive standards of proof used in civil cases, standards mandated by OCR.
I don’t know the ages of Obama’s OCR appointees, but they seem to be operating under the influence of the repressive disregard for civil liberty that began taking over American campuses nearly 20 years ago. As FIRE President Greg Lukianoff remarks, students have been “unlearning liberty.” Concern about social equality and the unexamined belief that it requires legal protections for the feelings of presumptively vulnerable or disadvantaged students who are considered incapable of protecting themselves has generated not just obliviousness to liberty but a palpable hostility to it.
The Left simply invokes a simplistic kind of sophistry to re-define speech it doesn’t like as an aggressive act and to transform disapproval and displeasure at oppositional mocking speech into victimization.
“Those DEKE and Zeta Psi initiations dared to ridicule our self-important ideology of victimization, and that created ‘a hostile atmosphere’ preventing us from feeling equal, and that should be a federal offense.”
The claim being made here is arrant nonsense, which any rational adult should recognize immediately, but American society has not been headed by rational adults since at least the 1960s.