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Freedom of Speech

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Man Of Kent:
    <STRONG>Even if this man is racist, does that mean he is unprofessional? Does it preclude him from being able to mark any papers?
    </STRONG>
    Not necessarily, but it must be considered. You disagree?
    <STRONG>Is there something wrong with his assertion that genetics can affect intellect?</STRONG>
    That's not what he has suggested though, is it. He has specifically singled out blacks as being intellectually inferior. If that leads him to consider black students as inferior, then it may well affect his marking impartiality. Who knows but, as I say, it should be considered.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't really see how thinking one group of your students are intellectually inferior to the rest before you've even seen their work could possibly not affect their education.

    (edited for embarrassingly stupid spelling mistake!)

    [ 21-05-2002: Message edited by: Prufrock ]
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Kentish:
    <STRONG>That's not what he has suggested though, is it. He has specifically singled out blacks as being intellectually inferior.</STRONG>

    Based on genetics. Whichever gentic make up he chose would identify a specific group of people who share that genetic make up. It could have been linked to ginger hair (would we have been so offended if it was?), or poor eyesight.

    I'm not saying I agree with him, but to dismiss his concept on the basis that it is racist confirms my comment about PC stifling the debate. Challenge it scientifically by all means.

    What if, scientifically he is right?

    <STRONG>
    If that leads him to consider black students as inferior, then it may well affect his marking impartiality. Who knows but, as I say, it should be considered.</STRONG>

    Sorry, but you have highlighted different things there. He feels that black are intellectually inferior, and he grades their work differently [possibly].

    Where is the link? Why should one automatically lead to the other?

    I'm not saying you have condemned him already, but the FIRST reponse to his comments have been to label him racist and therefore unfit to teach.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What if, scientifically he is right?
    People should not be told......
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Man Of Kent:
    <STRONG>Sorry, but you have highlighted different things there. He feels that black are intellectually inferior, and he grades their work differently [possibly].

    Where is the link? Why should one automatically lead to the other?
    </STRONG>
    Hence the 'if' <IMG SRC="rolleyes.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">.
    <STRONG>I'm not saying you have condemned him already, but the FIRST reponse to his comments have been to label him racist and therefore unfit to teach.</STRONG>
    Well then I think we should define racism:
    "hostile attitude or behaviour to members of other races, based on a belief in the innate superiority of one's own race".

    All I have done is question his motives in posting this diatribe on a website which can be accessed by his students.

    If his own private views affect his impartiality as a lecturer then he should not be allowed to continue at the university. Just in the same way that a member of the BNP should not be allowed to judge Miss World <IMG SRC="wink.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Toadborg:
    <STRONG>People should not be told......</STRONG>

    Why not?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Why not?
    Because of the harm done to those people, we live in a culture where intelligence is very important and if you could identify people that you thought were less intelligent then yourself then the harm done to that group would be very great.....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Toadborg:
    <STRONG>Because of the harm done to those people, we live in a culture where intelligence is very important and if you could identify people that you thought were less intelligent then yourself then the harm done to that group would be very great.....</STRONG>

    That's not exactly in the spirit of "the truth shall set ye free" now, is it? Also, aren't you pretty much asking for people to be judged on the basis of appearance / assumed equality rather that what is actually the case?!? Again, there I thought that the ideal was that every individual/group be judged on his/her/their own true merits.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by MacKenZie:
    <STRONG>

    That's not exactly in the spirit of "the truth shall set ye free" now, is it? Also, aren't you pretty much asking for people to be judged on the basis of appearance / assumed equality rather that what is actually the case?!? Again, there I thought that the ideal was that every individual/group be judged on his/her/their own true merits.</STRONG>

    The "politically correct" set want not the truth, but to cling to their feel-good fairy tale day dreams. Reality is a fearful concept: better to reduce everyone to the lowest common denominator, than to allow anyone to rise according to their talents and capabilities.

    US educational system is a travesty, as the focus has shifted from self-respect toward self-esteem. "Doesn't matter if Johnny is dumb as a doorknob; must eliminate test scores so that he doesn't feel badly about himself for being so ignorant AND stupid."

    Better to hide within ignorance than to be expose to different patterns of thought, isn't it? Welcome to The New Dark Ages...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Toadborg:
    <STRONG>Because of the harm done to those people, we live in a culture where intelligence is very important and if you could identify people that you thought were less intelligent then yourself then the harm done to that group would be very great.....</STRONG>

    Er...don't exams already do that?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Again, there I thought that the ideal was that every individual/group be judged on his/her/their own true merits.
    The ideal would be that every individual would be based on their own merits I suppose, but if you know or think you know that one group has a certain set of characteristics then you will react differently to the individual.....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Toadborg:
    <STRONG>The ideal would be that every individual would be based on their own merits I suppose, but if you know or think you know that one group has a certain set of characteristics then you will react differently to the individual.....</STRONG>

    You mean like blind people have trouble reading, or Deaf people have trouble hearing, or that wheelchair users struggle going up stairs...

    Already happens dude. People are different, while all should be treated with the same level of respect it isn't possible to react and treat everyone the same. That's a PC world, reality isn't that cosy...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    OK I meant racial groups cleverclogs......
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Toadborg:
    <STRONG>OK I meant racial groups cleverclogs......</STRONG>

    But how is that different to how we treat mental disorder or physical incapacity?

    If, scientifically, there is a natural difference in intellect, why should this be hidden from the public?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Kentish:
    <STRONG>It's a clear conflict between the individual's right to freedom of speech, and the university's responsibility to provide an equal education to all of it's students regardless of sex, race, disability etc.

    I just wonder why he felt the need to publicise his views over the internet, and use his university professor status to give it authority...</STRONG>

    I'd say that the conflict is in the University wanting to be seen to provide an equal education to all of it's students regardless of sex, race, disability etc.

    Despite all the temptation and desire, no-one yet has presented decent evidence that this teacher ever marked anyone down on racial grounds, and for all we know, he may have given them positive discrimination because he believed they were overcoming a greater handicap of genetic nature.

    As for why he chose to publish - isn't that what scientists do?

    If I understand correctly, he published his findings of research done. Research that didn't state "all people of this race are stupid" but rather that found certain racial groups tended to have higher or lower scores in certain abilities. Anyone has a right to publish their studies. The correct response would have been to commission a deeper or broader study to disprove the first findings.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    why should this be hidden from the public?
    because....
    That's a PC world, reality isn't that cosy...
    the damage done to that group would be too great. Would you really be happy if it was scientifically proved that white males from Kent were on average less intelligent than everyone else, imagine the damage it would do to you personally (not the best example because with black people you can tell by looking <IMG SRC="rolleyes.gif" border="0" ALT="icon"> )
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Black_Knight,
    I tried not to jump to any conclusions when posting this topic. Not least because none of us have actually read the article itself.
    And I don't disagree with what you're saying - you've mostly echoed my own thoughts.

    However, if he were to be found to offer preferential treatment to non-blacks, or was found to be racist in ways other than intelligence then I would have to seriously consider whether he is fit to teach at a public institution such as a university.

    MoK,
    I assume you have not published any of your own work on the subject of racial differences in intellect, so if I were you I would be very careful not to jump to the support of this guy...

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I would also like to emphasise Toadborg's point about individuals being unique, and although part of a racial group, we are all different and are of varying intelligence.

    Also, going back to a point I made before, this paper was presumably based on some kind of research (one would hope so) - and so the methodology needs serious scruntiny before the conclusions are accepted. Standard 'Western' IQ tests such as the one used by the BBC to other week are based on our experience - and would obviously be more difficult for someone of a different culture to relate to. Just a thought.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Toadborg:
    <STRONG>the damage done to that group would be too great. Would you really be happy if it was scientifically proved that white males from Kent were on average less intelligent than everyone else, imagine the damage it would do to you personally (not the best example because with black people you can tell by looking <IMG SRC="rolleyes.gif" border="0" ALT="icon"> )</STRONG>

    You mean like with Essex Girl jokes?

    I understand what you are trying to get at, but I go back to my previous point. We make assumptions about people everyday based on what we see and often those assumptions are completely baseless. If this was proved (which I doubt) then there is no good reason why this should be kept hidden, at least it would be scientifically relevant.

    We don't hide any other genetic 'ailment', the only motivation in this situation appears to be becuase it affects a particular skin colour...and it is <STRONG>you</STRONG> who is making that the most relevant aspect.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    We don't hide any other genetic 'ailment'
    Yes you do, if you have an illness or disease then you don't want everyone to know about it because it will affect their perception of you and that is bad......
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Um... excuse me, everyone, but can we just get back to one essential fact, as demonstrated by alessandro? BLACK PEOPLE AREN'T STUPIDER AS A RACE THAN WHITE PEOPLE! such a theory has been comprehensively disproven by genetic studies. The debate is heading in a worrying direction: it seems ot be discussing 'should it be ok to discriminate against black people because they're so damn dumb?' Even if it's a theoretical argument it's utterly pointless and counterproductive.
    The important questions at the root of this, as I see it, are these: at what point do you lose your right to free speech? when do you cross the line between being privately wrong and publically offensive? and how should society react to that?
    My definition of the right to free speech, which I'm pretty sure most people would agree with, is this: you can think whatever you want. You can say pretty much whatever you want - until you start affecting other people's quality of life unjustly. I can think that a woman's place is in the kitchen - but forcing my wife to cook and clean against her will? that's wrong.
    Any comments?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I was of course talking hypothetically, of course I don't believe this guys rot... <IMG SRC="eek.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">

    Freedom of speech is bollocks, if something is going to have a negative impact on society then it should be banned, conversely I think there should be complete freedom of speech when it comes to politics.....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Kentish:
    <STRONG>MoK,
    I assume you have not published any of your own work on the subject of racial differences in intellect, so if I were you I would be very careful not to jump to the support of this guy...</STRONG>

    I <STRONG>don't</STRONG> support what he is saying, I doubt that it has any scientific basis at all and I defy anyone to point where I said it has.

    What I am defending is his right to say it and against those who automatically question whether he should be allowed to hold office, because of personal beliefs. To me that is the action of the thought police.

    If he was found to be acting in a racist manner then he should be sacked, without question. But that wasn't the case here. All he did was air an opinion.

    Would anyone have made such a fuss if he'd suggested that the lower intellect applied to people with ginger hair?

    The only reason anyone has taken an interest is because he referred to a ethnic minority, hence the PC debate. What this whole process has shown is that whilst you can voice an opinion people will look at the possible racist overtones, rather than the scientific basis.

    Like I said earlier, <STRONG>if</STRONG> his assertions were proven, would that make him racist, or just right?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Man Of Kent:
    [QB]

    Would anyone have made such a fuss if he'd suggested that the lower intellect applied to people with ginger hair?

    QB]

    MoK,

    The problem with this argument is that there has never been outright subjugation of ginger haired people simply because of their hair color.

    I agree with you though, he's allowed to have his views, as stupid as they are, because you can't tell someone what to believe or not.

    The problem is though, as a university professor, he commands a certain amount of respect. People would be more inclined to believe him than an unwashed lunatic screaming on the street.

    I say let him keep his job as long as it can be proven that he hasn't discriminated in grading students. His credibility is going to be destroyed by the real experts anyway.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Alessandro:
    <STRONG>The problem with this argument is that there has never been outright subjugation of ginger haired people simply because of their hair color.</STRONG>

    True, but should that make any difference? Either equality means just that, or it means that we should pussy foot around ethnic minorities because of past subjugation. Surely it would be just as offensive however he put it, provided again that it has no scientific basis.

    The reason that we are having this debate is because he is white and he was talking about blacks. If he was black and said this, then no-one would have said anything. It would have been argued on a purely scientific basis, if anything it could be argued that the lecturer is a victim of racism himself. Ie He is not allowed to hold a view about ethnic minorities because he is white.

    <STRONG>
    His credibility is going to be destroyed by the real experts anyway.</STRONG>

    Agreed, if they ever get involved.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    But the past does matter. There's no getting away from it. Wounds don't heal that fats. Example: calling a black american 'boy' is way more offensive than calling a ginger 'boy' - because of the historical context of whites ordering blacks around by use of the term. If we were starting from scratch - yes, in an ideal world you would just entirely ignore race. But people DO still notice it. People ARE still sensitive because of the injustices of the past. We'll get away from this situation much quicker if we're a little more careful now.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Prufrock:
    <STRONG>But the past does matter. There's no getting away from it. Wounds don't heal that fats. Example: calling a black american 'boy' is way more offensive than calling a ginger 'boy' - because of the historical context of whites ordering blacks around by use of the term.</STRONG>

    Whose wounds haven't healed? Who is it that is hurting?

    As for 'boy', calling anyone boy could be an insult, you don't have to be black to feel that. Ask Whowhere (?) about that, I believe that Thanatos used it in reference to him.

    <STRONG>
    If we were starting from scratch - yes, in an ideal world you would just entirely ignore race. But people DO still notice it.</STRONG>

    Hang on a minute. Either race is relevant or it is irrelevant. Either we are all treated with the same respect of we aren't, you cannot treat some people better just because they are black. That's called racism.

    The minute you take someone's race into consideration when you are talking to them you are making a judgement based solely on the colour of their skin...

    <STRONG>
    People ARE still sensitive because of the injustices of the past. We'll get away from this situation much quicker if we're a little more careful now.</STRONG>

    Injustices perpetrated by whom? me, you?

    We'll get away from this situation quicker if we stop pussy footing around ethnic minorities because we might upset them. Perhaps if we actually treated people the same we wouldn't see the barrier...stopping the witchhunts would be a start.

    Has anyone covered McCarthyism in their history lessons....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Man Of Kent:
    [QB]
    True, but should that make any difference? Either equality means just that, or it means that we should pussy foot around ethnic minorities because of past subjugation. Surely it would be just as offensive however he put it, provided again that it has no scientific basis.

    The reason that we are having this debate is because he is white and he was talking about blacks. If he was black and said this, then no-one would have said anything. It would have been argued on a purely scientific basis, if anything it could be argued that the lecturer is a victim of racism himself. Ie He is not allowed to hold a view about ethnic minorities because he is white.
    [QB]

    Well, I have to agree with you for the most part. He is being treated this way because he is white. And yes, in theory I believe that racial differences shouldn't even be dignified by the law. For example the "equal opportunity" laws in the US which are anything but.

    You can't ignore Prufrock's point though, that we aren't starting from scratch. Its not like somehow the last few hundred years (and even more than that if you really want to get into it) are completely forgotten. Racially (sp?) motivated crimes are still happening today. South Africa had apartheid a decade ago. People would love to believe that things are all perfect now, but they aren't.

    The question is whether or not its worth it to society as a whole to use unjust means to acheive a just end.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If he was black and said this, then no-one would have said anything.
    I really think you are wrong, society and the media will react to rascism from any group i.e. the banning of Louis Farrakhan
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Toadborg:
    <STRONG>I really think you are wrong, society and the media will react to rascism from any group i.e. the banning of Louis Farrakhan</STRONG>

    Different example, I meant if he was black and was talking about blacks...

    He is labelled racist because he is white and talking about blacks, meaning that HE is being judged based on his skin colour, not on the scientific "proof".

    I also don't deny that racist crimes occur, nor that there are racists. What I object to is anyone suggesting that skin colour should be a consideration <STRONG>at any time</STRONG>. At some point we have to start living in the now, not what my ancestors did or did not do
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Man Of Kent:
    <STRONG>He is labelled racist because he is white and talking about blacks, meaning that HE is being judged based on his skin colour, not on the scientific "proof".</STRONG>
    Who said he was white? <IMG SRC="confused.gif" border="0" ALT="icon">
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