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Rowan Atkinson on free speech


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10 minutes ago, J.I.A.H.N said:

I agree.........

 

I mean, if a person wants to say...........all politicians are idiots...........I am fine with that, but if he says all white politicians are idiots, that is racist

 

To me, there is a caveat..........

 

It seems to me, when a dark skinned person says he is dark skinned, that is racist, as it differentiates his skin color from someone else......as I suggest in my speech, skin color is only the covering.........the blood is the same color. The same can be said for every other color of the rainbow. we need to stop, Identifying ourselves by color, we all do it, and it is wrong.

 

B ut as to your statement.............lines and boundaries, need to be established...........which like I said earlier......they already have been......we just have forgot decentcy, and what is right and what is wrong.

 

You simply can not just say what you think or feel. It is not a god given right. There are boundaries, but unfortunately, some parents have stopped teaching them, and there are no consequences, and then it esculates more and more, until we simply forget what they were..............to me that is the sad part! 

 

I mean, look at the Evangelists down in the states......they used to be god fearing, and now they are self serving.......along way from where they started. It all connects!

Fully agreed with this and the rest of your post as well. It doesn't matter if someone is white or black; once you start targetting their skin colour, or religion, or sexual orientation, it becomes hateful rhetoric.

 

I do believe that a lot of people will understand the boundaries of what a joke is, but there are still others who do not. Some people make sexual jokes thinking that it's funny, but it would be harassment or just plain inappropriate.

Edited by Dazzle
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17 minutes ago, Dazzle said:

Fully agreed with this and the rest of your post as well. It doesn't matter if someone is white or black; once you start targetting their skin colour, or religion, or sexual orientation, it becomes hateful rhetoric.

 

I do believe that a lot of people will understand the boundaries of what a joke is, but there are still others who do not. Some people make sexual jokes thinking that it's funny, but it would be harassment or just plain inappropriate.

After reading this last comment, it occured to me that we have omitted ethnicity, as I can remember the terrible words that depicted where that person came from, regardless of skin color..........it works both ways, but in some ways I can not blame them, because of language, etc......but again, it all connects and divides us.....

 

We are all at fault............whites more than others...........but with deepest respect...........the Chinese are not far off.......but I am sure, it is with all ethnic groups, to some extent.....

 

What is that called, when you just keep going in circles, and more circles? That is what it appears to be like. Kinda like those Russian dolls, you open one, and there is another inside, and so on and so on! As I have said many times....what a Fn mess!

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2 hours ago, Dazzle said:

I re-read your post and your other posts. I don't know if it's 'assault', per se, but I can understand if someone would feel threatened by it. (I'm not black and I cannot presume to know what I'd feel in that context)

 

There are definitely parts of the USA where it is considered 'assault' (which is why we also have 'assault & battery' to differentiate), and I have known black men who felt threatened and reacted appropriately.  A history of institutionalized racism will do that to you.

I am also lucky enough to not be a historically marginalized person, and so don't know how I would feel. I can only go with what those who are members of marginalized groups have explained to me and how they (and their peers) feel.

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8 hours ago, Dazzle said:

See, that's the thing, I did watch the video. These are my takeaways from that video:

 

He quickly pointed out the dangers of censorship from the government that he himself would largely be immune to, given his public profile.

 

He said there's a lot of interpretation to what "insulting" means, which I agree with him entirely. His examples included some incidents involving a horse being called gay, among other ridiculous situations, all of which I agree are ridiculous.

 

The problem is that he doesn't distinguish hate speech and its effects on people. He has emphasized that an insult should be allowed (I have no issues with this), but he goes on to talk about "intolerance" and how it's trying to be controlled. THIS is the section where he gets himself into trouble, in my opinion. Just as the logic is that "insulting" is too broad of a category to describe something, racist/hateful language is definitely offensive and insulting (depending on what is said), but Rowan talks NOTHING about this.

 

He makes some good points about "free speech" and mentions that we should take responsibility for what we say. Sure, that's a great message, but in this video specifically, the people who use racist language will not care about that so-called responsibility. I'm not saying the law should intervene either. It's worth noting that his speech which was originally intended for 'mild' insults is open to interpretation, just as his claim that "insult" is too broad. What is mild to one person may not be mild to another.

 

When you think deeper as to how he expressed himself, there are more problems than there are solutions to his talk here. So let's just say someone said something racist, which another person took offense to. The first person could easily claim "it's just a joke bro". In my opinion, that situation is absolutely garbage and we don't want to see that. Rowan should've defined the boundaries on what constitutes free speech, but he didn't. Are we to assume that racist language should be allowed? The fact that he was silent on that front is crappy.

You're right, he could have defined the boundaries of his talk because they are pretty strict.  The boundaries are limited to what the Reform of Section 5 dealt with.  Insults alone.  Not hate speech or racist speech.  And I assume that the audience would have known this in 2012 UK.  Most people don't have issues with most insults and people shouldn't be arrested for them.  Section 5 was a poor law.

 

I understand that the part of the issue that you are more concerned about is hate and racist speech and Atkinson didn't even go there.  But this is where all the real problems occur.   

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5 hours ago, Crabcakes said:

You're right, he could have defined the boundaries of his talk because they are pretty strict.  The boundaries are limited to what the Reform of Section 5 dealt with.  Insults alone.  Not hate speech or racist speech.  And I assume that the audience would have known this in 2012 UK.  Most people don't have issues with most insults and people shouldn't be arrested for them.  Section 5 was a poor law.

 

I understand that the part of the issue that you are more concerned about is hate and racist speech and Atkinson didn't even go there.  But this is where all the real problems occur.   

I did a search and that in 2013 that they removed the word "insulting" from this section 5, so it's no longer there. So the campaign worked for that.

 

Still, insults can be racist. I don't know if the law was written poorly, or if it's covered under a different section - I don't know UK law at all.

 

Could contain: Page, Text

 

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1986/64/section/5

 

 

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