Social Question

kheredia's avatar

How do you feel about organizations like the KKK being allowed to hold rallies and openly express their hatred toward others>?

Asked by kheredia (5558points) February 18th, 2010

I’m taking a political science class and we were talking about freedom of speech and this conversation came about. I was just thinking that although I don’t agree with the way these people think, they do have the right to practice their freedom of speech. How do you feel about this?

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80 Answers

ArtiqueFox's avatar

I abhor it. I really do. I loathe seeing thier rallies. I hate hearing their speeches more. If the KKK and “cousin” groups would just go extinct, modern generations may have an easier time with race relations.

If legal dangers didn’t exist, I would say outlaw the speech rights of members of the KKK and the like. But the danger of outlawing one group’s rights to speech is it gives the government an invitation to keep going. Let’s outlaw the speech rights of activists, to keep the peace. Let’s outlaw the speech rights of immigrants to keep the peace, let’s outlaw the speech rights of tax payers to keep the peace…on and on it goes. Give it an inch, go a mile, they say.

faye's avatar

Don’t hate laws come into play here?

kheredia's avatar

@ArtiqueFox That is exactly what we were talking about in my class. The ACLU cannot pick and choose who’s laws they protect or not. That would only leave room for other organizations to be denied their rights. We love our liberties but if we want to keep them then we are forced to accept the rights of organizations like the KKK.

dalepetrie's avatar

My understanding of the law, and I think it’s appropriate if we want freedom of speech, is that as long as you don’t threaten someone or incite violence with your speech, you should be able to state your opinion, no matter how uninformed, ignorant and just plain wrong it may be. If we didn’t allow it, we’d have to look at religion, politics and where would it end?

gemiwing's avatar

I’m fine with it because that means me and about a thousand of my closest friends can stage an anti-KKK rally at the same time and place.

We always outnumber them.

faye's avatar

I watched Oprah try to have a show with kkkers on. If they weren’t talking so cruelly, it would be funny to laugh at how Dumb with a capital D they are.

davidbetterman's avatar

They have the same 1st Amendment rights as do you…

dpworkin's avatar

It is the ugliest, most minority views that we must protect. The quotidian majority views don’t need protection. Instigation to commit violent acts is already against the law.

DarkScribe's avatar

I think that it is great. Makes them easier to find when you want make their lives “interesting”.

Nullo's avatar

The Klan isn’t the only organization out there that’s repulsive to me, and they’re relatively harmless (unlike outfits like Planned Parenthood, which unceremoniously discontinues service to millions of Life™ subscribers every year); I’ve long since learned not to stress over them.
Anyway, the First Amendment is one of those things where if you make one exception, you’ll likely find yourself on the wrong end of another.

jerv's avatar

Freedom is a double-edged sword, and though I am strongly against their agenda, I fully support their right to assemble peaceably, and say whatever they want to say.

Now, if they do anything actually illegal like inciting riots or condoning criminal activity such as lynchings or vandalism, then they cross the line, but if they just want a protest or tell their followers to petition their legislators, then they are well within their rights.

Of course, you are also within your rights to call them every name in the book as well.

dpworkin's avatar

Planned Parenthood ceremoniously provides services for people interested in family planning. The other crap is just a matter of (minority) opinion.

davidbetterman's avatar

Planned Parenthood helps mothers obtain abortions.

Nullo's avatar

@dpworkin
So you deny that Planned Parenthood kills unborn children?

dpworkin's avatar

@davidbetterman And I’m glad they do.

dpworkin's avatar

Unborn Children is a meaningless phrase. They terminate unwanted pregnancies; blobs of goo. God terminates more pregnancies than Planned Parenthood ever dreamed of, so I’m assuming it must be OK.

Nullo's avatar

“Unborn children” means “such children as have yet to be born”.
Blobs of goo that happen to be individual people.
And Planned Parenthood ain’t God.

dpworkin's avatar

Oh look! We seem to disagree. The difference is that in this fuzzy world of unprovables, I don’t wish to impose my views on anyone else. I hope you and yours never, ever have to have an abortion.

davidbetterman's avatar

@dpworkin Now you believe in God? LOL

@Nullo You are correct…calling unborn children blobs of goo is a way some people desensitize themselves to the fact that abortion is murder.

YARNLADY's avatar

When people are free to express themselves you will always have extreme positions. The trick comes in the actions.

dpworkin's avatar

@davidbetterman Calling blobs of goo “unborn children” is a way some people virally impose their strictly religious, crackpot unscientific views on the majority.

judochop's avatar

F the KKK. They took my baby away.
My God, Joey Ramone is high fiving Fluther right now.

Tenpinmaster's avatar

Well the problem is that the KKK can hold rallies in public areas but when it comes to groups like the christian coalition all the sudden people want to go into outrage. All the sudden people complain about “separation of church and state” and ooooo you can’t do that here in a public place. You can’t talk about GOD. But you can sure have some hate monger KKK jerk speaking about how the white race is superior and all others should die. I think either everyone should have a right to protest or hold rallies or no one should.

Nullo's avatar

@dpworkin
I realized something in the interim: You, grumpy old man that you are, have much the same composition as the unborn. You are yourself a blob of goo, a much larger one that has been stretched by time over a creaking frame. Yet somehow your case is different enough that you’d take exception to someone trying to abort you now.
At what point can you point at the unborn and say, “This here, this is an individual creature with rights”?

The difference is that in this fuzzy world of unprovables, I don’t wish to impose my views on anyone else.
Except that you have been trying to do exactly that.

I hope you and yours never, ever have to have an abortion.
Thank you. I have the same hope, and it is a hope that I extend in turn to all.

ucme's avatar

Shit, gives me something to laugh at.Look at the silly men Mama.They resemble warped ice cream salesmen in their fucking ludicrous “uniforms” Only the nasty bigoted type who don’t sell chocolate flavour.

Cruiser's avatar

I think it’s fantastic for better or for worse. If you are genuine in your interest here and dutifully study the subject of your question you will see no greater example of the both the power and need for free speech as provided for us by the second amendment.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Cruiser Second amendment?

Cruiser's avatar

@Dr_Dredd Coffee please!

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Coming right up! :-)

Silhouette's avatar

Exactly the same way I feel about the church’s who preach the evils of homosexuality or any organized group whose message is intolerance. Shuuudup That said, I think they have as much right to their voice and opinion as I do mine.

Broken_Arrow's avatar

How, exactly, are they any different than say, the Teabaggers? Or the Republicans? Or the Religious Right? Same shit, different name.

davidbetterman's avatar

@dpworkinCalling blobs of goo “unborn children” is a way some people virally impose their strictly religious, crackpot unscientific views on the majority.

Virally..LOL whateveh.

But my opinion on unborn children has nothing to do with religion. The fact is, the second the sperm penetrates the ovum and begins growing, we have an unborn child.

Just because a body of politicians chooses one scientific view that this is not a child until so many days have passed in an effort to allow population control through abortion doesn’t make it/them correct. And parroting their incorrect ruling doesn’t make you right, either.
I do so enjoy your personal attacks, though, as I hope it means you have blown off enough steam to discontinue beating your wife and your little blobs of goo (children).
Peace

dpworkin's avatar

@davidbetterman Just as in the rest of the world, you and I hold views so opposed that we are never going to reconcile them. You have all of your arguments marshaled, and so have I. We will have to accept that on this issue we must forever disagree. I’m sorry you felt attacked. I meant to attack your views on these issues, not you personally. I have no reason to be angry with you.

Strauss's avatar

@Broken_Arrow GA! I agree. I would add to that list any number of the “leftist radical groups” of the sixties and seventies, e.g., The Weather Underground, Youth International Party, Black P-Stone Nation, A. I. M…

Extremely unpopular views, but they all were able to exercise their right to express them.

CMaz's avatar

That is pretty much it and why they can and do.

“these people do have the right to practice their freedom of speech”

As much of a bunch of douches they are.

syzygy2600's avatar

fuck the KKK. Because of those assholes, no white person can say their proud of their heritage without some whiny self righteous liberal accusing them of being racist.

Val123's avatar

It’s America.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

As @dpworkin pointed out, it’s not popular speech that needs protection but speech that goes contrary to majority opinion. There would be no need for the first amendment otherwise. I may despise what they say but I support their right to say it. The kind of “hate speech” laws other countries have are unconstitutional in the US.

tinyfaery's avatar

Those assholes have the right to express their opinons just like any other assholes.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I agree with @jerv. Freedome of speech isn’t about picking an choosing who has that right while not allowing othersw that same right. However, the great thing about this is, they have their right to speak and we have our right not to listen or to speak back if we feel it necessary. Education and power in numbers is the key to finally silencing these groups. The more people that are raised to be tolerant and accepting of others the less people there will be supporting these rallies and that is far more powerful and effective than trying to silence them by law.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I hate that people feel those things and feel the need to spill their hatred and venom. On the other hand, I truly am glad to live in a country where they can, and they can feel safe in doing that. And as much as I hate those assholes, I really would defend their rights to the death.

“Freedom of speech” doesn’t mean a damn thing unless even people with ugly things to say can have it, too.

galileogirl's avatar

It is important to have as few restrictions on freedom of expression as possible but no right is absolute. When neo-Nazis wanted to march past Holocaust survivors’ homes and businesses in Skokie, Il, the Supreme Court decided there right to express themselves by displaying the swastika was stronger than the village’s right to be protected from seeing it.

On the other hand Tom Metzger’s right to to tell his White Aryan Resistence followers that they had a civic duty to kill black people was deemed not protected by the first Amendment and when he was subsequently sued, his organization was bankrupted.

We can’t limit free expression just because we don’t like what someone is saying. If we think someone’s expression is egregious we have to use the court’s to decide. After all someone might take umbrage with what you have to say.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

I like the enemy who easy to spot and watch.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Oh, yes. Idiots can speak freely, but others are also free to try and make them irrelevant. grins wickedly

Case in point.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo you said “So you deny that Planned Parenthood kills unborn children?”
that was your first completely unnecessary self-serving and instigatory (yes I made that a word) comment of the bunch…take it elsewhere (preferably away from fluther)...I am personally insulted and outraged that you’d say that PP is worse than KKK and by comparison bring about more harm..I am offended on behalf of my mother who’s had abortions, on behalf of my friends and myself who’ve used the services of PP and have volunteered and donated to them…we know what is the good that they do even if you don’t.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I, personally, hate those orgs but they are allowed to say and do these things…however, to me, freedom of speech doesn’t have to mean freedom of hate speech.

davidbetterman's avatar

But freedom of speech does mean hate speech. That’s the whole point. Just not hate speech which might tend to incite hate actions.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@davidbetterman it might. it might incite me to kill them.

davidbetterman's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir LOL…Well…I guess you win that round!

judochop's avatar

Who was it that said;
I do not agree with what you have to say but I will defend to the death, your right to say it.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@judochop supposedly Voltaire, but he never said it in quite that way. That’s a paraphrasing of a sentiment that he shared. The words were written “about” him in a work on his life published in the early 1900s.

filmfann's avatar

In San Francisco, NAMBLA was meeting in one of the City libraries.
While we have to let everyone have the right to free speech, this seemed remarkably stupid, since City taxpayers were now paying for a meeting place for one of the most abhorent groups I know of.

faye's avatar

@filmfann Did no-one petition?

filmfann's avatar

@faye Once it hit the newspapers, there was a lot of yelling, but the City said they couldn’t stop it.

faye's avatar

I think I could have walked with a sign in my hand for that. I should have said protest but I’ve had a wee bit of wine.

Nullo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
that was your first completely unnecessary self-serving and instigatory (yes I made that a word) comment of the bunch.
It’s true though, innit? I didn’t use the pretty words for that one, since the frills tend to soften and hide the more uncomfortable parts of the truth. This is what children are before they’re born, hence “unborn children.”
@dpworkin‘s response was much better than yours, by the way. More content, less grousing.

…take it elsewhere (preferably away from fluther)
Aw, and here I thought that Fluther welcomed differing viewpoints. Nice job avoiding the question, though.

I am personally insulted and outraged that you’d say that PP is worse than KKK and by comparison bring about more harm..I am offended on behalf of my mother who’s had abortions, on behalf of my friends and myself who’ve used the services of PP and have volunteered and donated to them…we know what is the good that they do even if you don’t.
Well, that’s tough. I’m not here to avoid bruising your feelings. Speak your mind, be yourself, all that good stuff, right?
The Klan has evil philosophies. Planned Parenthood has evil practices. Evil is evil, but some kinds of evil have a more profound impact than others.
Maybe we ought to explore why you’re offended? Or perhaps you could explain the good that you see in snuffing out the unborn. I can understand abortion’s value as a medical procedure – someone recently made a post about abortion in the face of cervical cancer, and I think that I could get behind that – but for convenience? To cover for irresponsibility? Nuh-uh. And yes, I am aware that Planned Parenthood offers services beyond abortion.

The Klan has a terrible past, and they’re only marginally nicer today. But in terms of current threat (unless they simply don’t make enough impact to compensate for the way that I don’t keep up with the news) – body count in particular – they’re laughable, especially when you compare them to an organization that annually unplugs millions of people before they’ve even had a chance at life.
And don’t even get me started about PP’s racist roots.

judochop's avatar

@Nullo When comparing apples to oranges is it okay to tell a blind person they taste the same?

Nullo's avatar

@judochop
No, but it is okay to say that they’re both tree-borne citrus fruits. And we already have grape-flavored apples; orange-flavored ones shouldn’t be too hard to manage :D
This all began when I used Planned Parenthood as an example of another organization that I loathe and yet must put up with. Then @dpworkin and @Simone_De_Beauvoir took issue. The rest is history.

Oh, and that quote of yours is presumably from Voltaire. Interesting guy; as you might imagine, he and I disagree about some things :D

judochop's avatar

@Nullo I’ve been following. I made sure to read down first.
Oh and grape apples and soon to be orange ones is an excellent response. You are right but all things grow on trees right? At least the equivalent to a tree or branch. We are planted, rooted, sprouted and then grow, branch off and seed again. It’s easy for me to see where the good and bad run in the same vein. Surely you can see that, right? I neither like nor dislike PP so my feelings for them are somewhat neutral. I’ve had experiances with them. I’ve also had experiance with hate crime. I can tell you, hate crime spread through me like a virus. The KKK have the right to esemble and the right to march just as we all do but never without the risk of someone or another organization putting in thier own $0.02

Nullo's avatar

@Broken_Arrow
The Tea Partiers (the other term is unnecessarily offensive) dislike big government. Republicans dislike big government when it suits them. The Religious Right wants more God (or at least, less anti-God) in society. They vote together (more or less) to avoid being swept away by the big government and anti-God coalition (which also tends to vote together); this is a direct result of the two-party system.
Meanwhile, the Klan wants to kill and/or suppress ethnic minorities.

Can you see the difference now?

jerv's avatar

@Nullo It’s a good thing that Christianity has mellowed out a bit over the last few centuries then, since they were killing/suppressing ethnic minorities pretty effectively for a while.

And I am not so sure that the Religious Right really is against big government since Theocracies are governments too. Or do you mean to say that they are against big secular government since they want to have ultimate power to regulate what people can/can’t do in the bedroom, what can/can’t be taught in the classroom, and otherwise run people’s lives? Seems to me that they are for Big Government!

Nullo's avatar

@jerv @jerv @jerv,
I guess the shift was too sudden. I didn’t put down that the Religious Right was necessarily in favor of smaller government, but rather they were in with the small-government groups because those, at least, aren’t entirely incompatible. :\ Big Government has lately become closely tied with social liberalism, you see.
It’s not Christianity per se that has mellowed; it’s that more people are familiar with the Bible and what it says (and doesn’t say), making it more difficult for people (like the Pope) to misuse the faith of others.
It’s been my experience that those of the Religious Right are perfectly happy with a republic, and would prefer one where everybody happened to be Christian (since the present bunch seems bent on eradicating the faith, and because thinking about people burning forever and dragging others with them—-what the regulation that you take issue with would be aimed at preventing—is kinda sad). Their idea of theocracy is somewhat more literal than the conventional interpretation: rather than have the nation be governed via proxy by God (for you atheist/agnostic types, that’s where the priests run everything in the name of God), it would be governed by God directly. Structurally, it looks more like a cross between a monarchy and a large family directed by a paterfamilias. It is/to be established by God in its time.

mammal's avatar

i feel the urge to annul the privilege of freedom of speech

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo no, it’s not true because I don’t believe it’s murder. and there’s no reason to keep baiting me because this is not a question to do this on and you’re not being any kind of revolutionary by removing ‘the frills’ – this is typical cliche anti-choice tripe.

galileogirl's avatar

@mammal Stifle that urge;

Nullo's avatar

So you’re saying that Planned Parenthood doesn’t kill the unborn? Or that it’s okay to kill the unborn? You must understand that I do the bulk of my Fluthering when I’m tired; you risk losing me by not being clear.
Stop baiting you? You were the one to attack me, dearie. I simply stated a fact (that PP ends lives) wrapped in some opinion (that they’re thus as bad or worse than the Klan) to say that you learn to cope. Suggesting that I should shaddap while you rag on my post makes it sound like you’ve got some double-standard issues.

No, I’m not being any kind of a revolutionary. I am being a conservative. Word choice has the power to shape perception; I’m trying to counter decades of somebody else’s wordsmithing in a much shorter timeframe, so my blows must be sharp.
I am offering you an alternate viewpoint, one that I have no reason to believe is any less valid than your own. That’s not tripe. And if you wanna talk cliched responses, you should look at that last post of yours.

Whaddaya mean, not a question to do this on? Seriously. Threads get diverted all the time and it doesn’t seem to bother anybody. This tangent exists because you (and @dpworkin, though he spared us the outraged sputtering) took issue with my asked-for-in-the-question opinion.

I am not “anti-choice”. Those are your words, yours and those of every person that would rather kill the unborn than trouble themselves with the responsibility. I believe in free will and a fair amount of self-determination for all, and that everybody ought to get a crack at life; that includes women. But it also includes children. I am Pro-Life.

The Associated Press Style Guide suggests that the terms “pro-choice,” “pro-life,” “anti-choice,” and “anti-life” are too loaded, and that for peace and sanity (and continued newspaper circulation), the terms “pro-abortion” and “anti-abortion” be used instead.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo it’s neither because I reject your premise that it is murder – this means PP doesn’t kill and that it has nothing to do whether or not it’s okay by you

mattbrowne's avatar

German law defines very few exceptions to freedom of speech for example everything related to Nazism which includes the promotion of racism. If the KKK held rallies it would be illegal. However the neo-Nazis in Germany avoid writing documents that might be considered illegal tweaking their texts carefully to appear legal. Undercover agents know what’s really going on. German neo-Nazis also use American websites to promote hatred because US law is slightly different.

jerv's avatar

True, but Germany doesn’t have the First Amendment either. Maybe something functionally similar, but not the same one that we have.

Of course, we also have a Judicial branch whose job it is to interpret the intent of the Legislature when making laws. The way I see it, the intent of the German prohibition on Nazis is to prevent the violent past. Unfortunately, you really can’t legislate how people think, only how they act, and I would like to think that Germany has laws against kidnapping, beating, torturing, and/or murdering people that preclude the necessity for such anti-Nazi legislation.

mattbrowne's avatar

@jerv – No, you can’t legislate how people think, but you can try to protect unsuspecting kids falling prey to brainwashing done by neo-Nazis. Think of it as containing the virus or meme.

The first sentence of the German constitution is
“Human dignity is inviolable.”

Promoting racial hygiene for example violates this principle. And it also means there is no torture under any circumstances.

jerv's avatar

@mattbrowne Are you implying that Neo-Nazis have a monopoly on brainwashing? I think that our “Poor people deserve to suffer because they could have been rich if they wanted to, so they must be lazy slobs!” attitude in this country is no better, strips many people of their dignity, and is a different kind of torture yet it’s allowed, but I digress.

As for racial hygiene, I will grant that we haven’t actually fired up the ovens, but we have edged a lot closer to that direction post-9/11. The question is this; are the Liberals or the Conservatives the True Americans?

Strauss's avatar

@jerv I think the True Americans are those who are tolerant of all, in spite of differences in race, gender, political belief, religious belief, activism or lack thereof, etc. Were have been operating out of fear, especially since 9/11, and fear tends to block out all reason.

mattbrowne's avatar

@jerv – Oh, there are plenty of brainwashers out there. I just think neo-Nazis are promoting one of the most perverse ideologies ever invented.

Young-earth creationists are also trying to brainwash kids. But this ideology doesn’t promote physical harm to others, it merely slows down progress (which in some cases can also lead to the death of people, for example children with cancer who require the best therapies based on our understanding of evolution). Still, young-earth creationists should say whatever they want. And we have to fight them with the power of our words instead of laws. There should be extremely few exceptions for the freedom of speech. Virtually none. Exceptions in my opinion include nazis or imams declaring jihad asking people to fly airplanes into skyscrapers.

And both liberals and conservatives are true Americans. Same for greens or independents or the founders of totally new political parties all committed to upholding constitution of the United States.

Val123's avatar

@jerv I don’t think that’s a valid comparison. The well off people who have those views of poor people just voice their individual opinions. There are no organized parties to expound them, and further, they don’t promote killing off the poor people.

jerv's avatar

@Val123 While most don’t go that far, I’ve seen enough counter-examples that I have no choice but to say that you are incorrect.

Val123's avatar

@jerv K. Do you have some examples for me?

Nullo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir
Then what is it? Those are people getting aborted, you know.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Another reason to dislike the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is that it strongly supported National Prohibition of alcohol and its strict enforcement! http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/FunFacts/Prohibition.html

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Yes. I want them right where I can keep an eye on them.

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