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But too often it's being applied simply to shut up people that don't agree with someone else.
 
Detective 445 said:



Ronald Morgan said:

I have.

Define exactly what "offensive" means. You can't. What's offensive to one person isn't offensive to another. That was why animation studios had so much trouble with Standards and Practices, trying to figure out exactly what "nothing offensive is allowed in cartoons" meant. And it soon turned out that what was blocked on one occasion was allowed on another. So even the censors couldn't agree on whether something was offensive or not.

We're just going to have to agree to disagree here.


This misses the point. The idea of political correctness isn't to force anyone to do anything or stop them from voicing an opinion. It simply holds them accountable for what they say. Accountability is something that bigots and intolerant people are terrified of.



Ronald Morgan said:

But too often it's being applied simply to shut up people that don't agree with someone else.
 

How? What is the mechanism that is silencing someone?

Insults. Accusations. Loss of friends. Wanting to fit in is a good way to get people to keep their opinions to themselves.

Let me contribute that there you can be prosecuted for calling someone an offensive name. It's called "fighting words" and it's an exception to the First Amendment established by the Supreme Court in Chaplinski v. New Hampshire (1942).

As to political correctness, my observation is that the meaning has changed. When I was growing up, my mother -- a staunch Republican, a Goldwater Republican -- taught us to use "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" in mixed company to be polite to those who were not Christian. (That is one example of many of my mother training us to be polite. It's called "being raised right.") That was political correctness years ago: being polite.

That meaning has changed. Now rude people use it as a shield. Just yesterday, Donald Trump quoted someone from his audience calling a rival a p---y. His defense? "I didn't want to be politically correct, which is a problem for this country."

It's not a problem if you're not rude.



Ronald Morgan said:

Insults. Accusations. Loss of friends. Wanting to fit in is a good way to get people to keep their opinions to themselves.

Agreed. That's how the world works. But no one is being victimized or forced to be silent. They're just being called out for their comments.

I agree with 'Tec. The First Amendment allows you to say what you want -- with exceptions, like above -- but it mostly doesn't protect you from the consequences of your words.

Most people misunderstand the First Amendment. Primarily, it protects you from prior restraint. That is to say, the government can't stop you from saying/publishing something unpopular. However, there is little defense as to consequences. If, for example, you want to publish a pamphlet calling for the violent overthrow of the government, the government can't stop you. But it can prosecute for sedition afterward.

It's more complicated than that, of course, after 250 years of court decisions. But it doesn't mean "I can say what I want without consequences."


Detective 445 said:



Ronald Morgan said:

Insults. Accusations. Loss of friends. Wanting to fit in is a good way to get people to keep their opinions to themselves.

Agreed. That's how the world works. But no one is being victimized or forced to be silent. They're just being called out for their comments.



Captain Comics said:


That meaning has changed. Now rude people use it as a shield. Just yesterday, Donald Trump quoted someone from his audience calling a rival a p---y. His defense? "I didn't want to be politically correct, which is a problem for this country."

It's not a problem if you're not rude.


Yeah. I'm picturing a scenario where I walk into a bar and start making racist jokes or crude comments. If, I don't immediately get punched out, chances are I will be standing alone before too long. Should I then complain that the PC police are trying to silence me and shut me down? Am I being told that I need to agree with everyone else's opinion? No, chances are I am just a major asshat.

Only in Florida: "Man Arrested for Throwing Alligator Into Fast Food Drive-Thru"

A Florida man who allegedly hurled an alligator through a Wendy’s drive-thru window has been arrested, according to NBC affiliate WPTV.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Joshua James threw the alligator through a drive-thru window of the Royal Palm Beach, Florida restaurant.

The incident happened in October, but James, age 23, was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals this week.

FWC officials say James pulled up for his order and after a server handed over a drink, James reached into the back of his truck and tossed the 3-and-a-half foot gator through the drive-thru window.

Randall Munroe did an ok job explaining that view.

(warning: moderately offensive language)



JD DeLuzio said:

Randall Munroe did an ok job explaining that view.

(warning: moderately offensive language)


Bullseye.

This week in Florida Man news.

ClarkKent_DC said:

Only in Florida: "Man Arrested for Throwing Alligator Into Fast Food Drive-Thru"

A Florida man who allegedly hurled an alligator through a Wendy’s drive-thru window has been arrested, according to NBC affiliate WPTV.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Joshua James threw the alligator through a drive-thru window of the Royal Palm Beach, Florida restaurant.

The incident happened in October, but James, age 23, was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals this week.

FWC officials say James pulled up for his order and after a server handed over a drink, James reached into the back of his truck and tossed the 3-and-a-half foot gator through the drive-thru window.

Captain Comics said:

Let me contribute that there you can be prosecuted for calling someone an offensive name. It's called "fighting words" and it's an exception to the First Amendment established by the Supreme Court in Chaplinski v. New Hampshire (1942).

True, but it also bears pointing out that, in the decades since that ruling, the Supreme Court has repeatedly narrowed the application of "fighting words".  In 1972 (Gooding v. Wilson) and 1974 (Lewis v. New Orleans), the Supreme Court overturned the convictions of individuals who had been arrested and charged with cursing at police officers, as the Court felt that the "fighting words" exemption to free speech had been applied too broadly.

Also, in order for "fighting words" to apply, the intention to incite or inflame must be present, and that's a difficult thing to establish.  Again, the Court has held that the mere utterance of a slur or insult does not, on its own, constitute an intent to incite.

So what that means in day-to-day life is this:  say you're standing in line at the supermarket and you idly remark, "Gee, I wish they'd open up another register."  Now, suppose, to that, the man in line behind you says, "Who cares what you think, you (insert any insult you like here, even the vilest curse word or, if one was a minority, a racial slur)?"

If you were to call the police, and if they got there in time, and you pointed to the man and said, "He just called me a (vile insult), I guarantee you that, in any jurisdiction in the land, the man would not be arrested.  Even if the man said, "Sure, I called him a (vile insult), he would not be arrested.  I was a cop and I wouldn't have arrested him.  None of the dozens of cops I ever worked with would have arrested him, either.  It's not against the law to insult someone or call someone by an offensive name---at least, not without a clear and present intent to incite, and this situation doesn't present one.

Furthermore---let's rewind that scenario a bit---let's say the man called you a (vile insult), and you hauled off and belted him in the mouth.  And then the police are called.  When they arrive, the man, nursing a bloody lip, points his finger at you and says, "He hit me!"  And you tell the police, "Yes, I hit him---because he called me a (vile insult).  Then there will be an arrest---you will be the one wearing handcuffs.  Or, at least, the subject of a warrant for arrest, after being charged for assault---after the man you hit presses charges with the magistrate. 

That's because, as I said earlier, being called a name---even a vile or racially insulting one---is not, in and of itself, a legal justification for committing assault.

There is no protection under criminal law against simply being offended.

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