GuyInTaiwan wrote:No, you don't agree that the law should be applied in all directions on this because you have stated that you believe in hate laws, i.e. that those that target certain people should be punished additionally or more severely than those that target other people, or even those who don't express any reason at all for targetting another person.
I do not think that the application of hate laws excludes the law being applied in all directions. If anyone, of any race, targets another person because of their race (regardless of what their race is), then the hate law is being applied fairly. If the law adds punishment for racial motivations, and is applied to anyone of any race on either side of the incident, it is being applied fairly. If the law said you can't harass black people, that would be unfair.
No, I don't think it's reasonable for people to assume they can live out their lives and be protected from having to endure listening to people rant about the colour of their skin anymore than it should be reasonable for anyone else to be protected from being "offended". Maybe I think certain political, religious, scientific or any other kinds of views are offensive.
What people believe is different from who people are. Using a racial slur is quite different than mocking a person's beliefs. If she would have got on a train and ranted against abortion, it would be hard to argue she was targeting anyone because she can't see people's beliefs. She got on the train, saw black people, and singled them out.
Again, so what? A disturbance is a disturbance.
The laws of most countries differentiate disturbances based on many factors. You are arguing that racist slurs in a public place where people really have no route of escape isn't one of them. I disagree.
I don't see this as some special racist case that should cause a national outcry. I see this as London business as usual with the loons on parade. I just encountered way too much random bullshit from people to take this as representative of anything other than the state-sponsored feral underclass, which crosses ethnic bounds far more than this woman would like to admit, by the way.
I agree. In general, the reason I oppose too many limits on speech is because what tends to happen is that problems just get swept under the rug and people hide their true feelings-the racism (or whatever 'problem') tends to be hidden instead of addressed. In this case, however, I think this woman's intention was to disturb, harass, and cause a nuisance based on race. She saw black people and set out to make them uncomfortable. Protecting free speech is important because we don't want to legislate what people think. I don't think the heart of this law is trying to change her. Call me an old fashioned American, but I like the idea of protecting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When I weigh that in this case, I don't see that the nutter on the tram is being denied that by this law-but she is doing her best to deny it to others.
There tends to be, on the one hand, a group of people who are so sensitive to racial issues that they think everything should be regulated-that's not where I'm coming from. On the other end, there are people who think that any attempt to address racial problems through laws is unfair, reverse racism, etc. I'm not on that side either because while I know we can't regulate what people think or feel, countries should set some limits on what is acceptable and what is not in regards to behavior. The other problems you address in London could be addressed too-I'm not trying to downplay any of that. In fact, one of the reasons I like living in Taiwan is because I have to put up with none of that type of bullshit-violent kids, especially.