Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: How much speech does it take?

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  • Che Tibby,

    one of the great ironies is that multicultural policies, as implemented in australia and canada, are actually intended to first integrate, then assimilate ethnic minorities. the explicit intention of the policy is to make it easier for minorities to blend in.

    the evidence of its success is places like lygon street in melbourne, and the wholesale digestion of vietnamese, greek and italian cultures by “mainstream” australians.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Tristan,

    I think free speech is a fundamental right and that the best thing about free speech is it allows bigots to crawl out of their corners so we can shine the light on them and everyone can see them for what they are. Better for us to see them rather than the be tucked away in dark corners and alleyways

    I am with you I find it hard to hold that position when nearly 100 people get slaughtered by one of these cockroaches.

    Having said that the Norewegain response has been awe inspiring.
    A facebook group to support the killers family has over 30,000 members. I can only dream of a New Zealand as tolerant and loving as that.

    It makes me want to move to Norway!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 195 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tristan,

    Having said that the Norewegain response has been awe inspiring.
    A facebook group to support the killers family has over 30,000 members.

    And the great and beautiful irony -- as far as Breivik and his fellow travelers are concerned -- is that Norwegians see such an expression of humanity as their own cultural imperative.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18837 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to Tristan,

    I think free speech is a fundamental right and that the best thing about free speech is it allows bigots to crawl out of their corners so we can shine the light on them and everyone can see them for what they are.

    I get what you're saying but I still think that some people should be denied not so much the oxygen of publicity as the oxygen of oxygen.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7357 posts Report Reply

  • MikeE, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    Free speech does not imply an obligation to publish or promote... Far better that these racist idiots be out in the open than underground.

    Kingsland • Since Nov 2006 • 138 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Reeves,

    It makes me wonder just what Farrar's "essential values" of New Zealanders might be. Can you imagine even trying to start agreeing on what those are? The term is, essentially, meaningless.

    I guess the fact that he thinks that such a term even means anything is a good indicator of his view of society: believing that such a term denotes goes with a willingness to take stereotypes as a useful way of viewing people.

    In this case, he clearly believes that a stereotypical NZer exists!

    Though I suppose the "we" he has in mind all know what he means by "essential values"---nudge, nudge.

    In fact, the "essential values" you choose will determine if you are a "we", i.e. "one of us", for his purposes.

    At which point it all sort of goes into a pile of circular reasoning---and hence the term is shown to be meaningless :-)

    Near Donny Park, Hamilton… • Since Apr 2007 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    yeah I was about to post Giovanni's link too

    I'm a big believer in countering hate speech with more speech - calling Beck and the whaleblubbersrs/kb denziens of the world on their crap is more important than ignoring them and hoping they'll go away - as we've seen in Norway that doesn't work

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2127 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to MikeE,

    Free speech does not imply an obligation to publish or promote… Far better that these racist idiots be out in the open than underground.

    I do still wonder how Farrar can face getting up in the morning and writing a blog post in the knowledge that it will be another opportunity for those people to air their inane and abhorrent views.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18837 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso, in reply to MikeE,

    Free speech does not imply an obligation to publish or promote… Far better that these racist idiots be out in the open than underground.

    Unless it builds a tolerance. I think you could point to the toxic public discourse in the United States as a significant problem. There is a lot to be said for not allowing for certain things to be said, or for certain language to be accepted as part of the mainstream. Which generally doesn't involve making speech illegal, but enforcing and policing voluntary standards, and shaming the transgressors. In New Zealand we have Michael Laws and Kiwiblog commenters, but in most mainstream media spaces you just can't get away with anything remotely as vile (eh, Paul Henry?).

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7357 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    The usual tea party suspects cranked up the denial machine when Breivik's guilt was proven. At best they played the No True Scotsman card. At worst, the Crusader Rabbits of this world have probably been listening to too much Alex Jones, and accusing the 'Marxist Left' of doing a Reichstag burning as an excuse to take away their guns. Waco, Ruby Ridge and the Montana Freemen, anyone?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4238 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    The events in Norway have brought me to tears several times this week. It's hard to view any of it without getting some sense of the terror the teenagers on that island must have experienced.

    Unlike like many here I don't believe free speech is a right. I believe it is a privilege earned and maintained by hard work. When the folk on Kiwiblog speak the way they do, it is hard to imagine much of a difference between their voices and the voice of someone shouting "fire" in a crowded theatre. When your speech does demonstrable harm is there any way you can claim a "right" to such speech?

    But suppressing such speech doesn't do any good either. So we are left with watching scum like Kris K spew their evil into the town square.

    And that brings tears to my eyes as well.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3343 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    but you don't just let him spew his evil - you go down there with your soap boxes and call him out on it .... make sure he and the rest of society know that what he's saying IS vile and evil

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2127 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    I think you could point to the toxic public discourse in the United States as a significant problem.

    it is a significant problem. when "free speech", a concept created to protect the few from the powerful, is used to demonise or denigrate the powerless then you have the exact opposite of the society we aspire to.

    i sometimes wonder if two racists meeting a pub and realising they share the hate that dare not speak its name is better or worse than many of them discovering each other at Kiwiblog.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I do still wonder how Farrar can face getting up in the morning and writing a blog post in the knowledge that it will be another opportunity for those people to air their inane and abhorrent views.

    Because it makes him seem smart and reasonable by comparison?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I do still wonder how Farrar can face getting up in the morning and writing a blog post in the knowledge that it will be another opportunity for those people to air their inane and abhorrent views.

    I’ve given up, just as I can’t grok why the Daily Post published Te Ururoa Flavill’s callous and dangerously ignorant suicide concern-troll. ( TRIGGER WARNING FOR ANYONE AFFECTED BY YOUTH SUICIDE. SERIOUSLY. )

    Ugh.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11926 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    re: Farrar. the farmer is only a little responsible for the dog biting the sheep.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Mr Flavill must resign, not the least for this,
    "If a child commits suicide, let us consider not celebrating their lives on our marae; perhaps bury them at the entrance of the cemetery so their deaths will be condemned by the people," he wrote.
    Inhuman.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I do still wonder how Farrar can face getting up in the morning and writing a blog post in the knowledge that it will be another opportunity for those people to air their inane and abhorrent views.

    You know him, but:

    I'd suggest that the mainstream right actively encourages those views as a way of ensuring the support of the disaffected and neutralising any tendency for them to get behind radical movements of a progressive nature.

    The relationship between the mainstream and fascist right wing in Europe before WW2 is quite educative - see Rothermeres, Halifax, German aristocratic military, etc. (If I can even raise that area without being told off for breaking a rule set by an American lawyer in 1995).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4444 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to merc,

    Flavell. Being in a cabinet with Paula Bennett might do this to people, I think.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4444 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    The heart of the matter is not whether someone is right wing or left wing. Promotion of, and committing acts of violence is the black art that we should strive to suppress. Let's raise ourselves above finger-pointing rhetoric, feel for the victims and their loved ones, and condemn the violence of a homicidal maniac.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 177 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Others apologised for him as well,
    Mana Mental Health Service manager Gavin Pike felt Mr Flavell made his comments out of frustration.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    but you don’t just let him spew his evil – you go down there with your soap boxes and call him out on it …. make sure he and the rest of society know that what he’s saying IS vile and evil

    I got bored with doing that: it does not daunt them and it basically becomes trolling. And on their own blogs, they make it clear they're not interested in an exchange of speech:

    Leftists/”progressives”/socialists are not welcome here. Pay for your own soapbox.

    That's on the home page of Crusader rabbit. Meanwhile, a new and particularly fevered post contains passages like this:

    Despite the media feeding frenzy as they pump up their circulations by deliberately ‘chumming’ the bloodied waters with the subliminal psychological triggers so beloved of Marxist-Socialists and their fellow travellers – ‘right wing’, ‘extreme right wing’, ‘Christian fundamentalist’, ‘Nazis and neo-Nazis’, ‘xenophobia’, ‘EDL’, ‘white racist’, ‘racist, racist, racist’, ‘right wing terrorists’, ‘hatred, hatred, hatred’ and so on ad infinitum – there is something happening below the surface.

    This ‘something’ is deep at the moment, and one only gets occasional glimpses of its passing shadow whilst reading between the lines, but it is certainly there even though it is very difficult to grasp.

    They seem to perceive some great turning point in their favor.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18837 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Che Tibby,

    re: Farrar. the farmer is only a little responsible for the dig biting the sheep.

    I’d agree with you, up to a point. but if you’re going to starve and mistreat said dog, and fail to keep your fences in good order you don’t get to throw up your hands and say “nuttin’ to do with me” when said dog starts worrying the neighbour’s flock.

    But, hey, folks like Farrar and Lynn Prentice have heard all this over and over again. They don’t care, and frankly they’ll have no incentive to clean up their passive-aggressive troll-farming until it starts costing them cold, hard cash.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11926 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby, in reply to merc,

    Gavin Pike felt Mr Flavell made his comments out of frustration.

    my reading as well. people are reaming him, but, what are we do about suicides? how do you make people, depressed, lonely, [other] people realise how intensely selfish their act is? make them realise that no matter how dark that space they're in is, there is always a light in the high window?

    having been in that room, the only thing that brought me out was knowing the harm and shame it would cause my family, friends, and the future i'd be closing off.

    easy answers to my questions can be sent on a postcard to the appropriate address.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman, in reply to Russell Brown,

    ...the knowledge that it will be another opportunity for those people to air their inane and abhorrent views.

    Case in point, today's thread on Glen Beck's comments.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

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