Today we have a few new things happening. First, you’ll notice the Flickr widget in the side of the blog showing previous portraits. You can also now click on the main self portrait for the day and you will be taken to the larger Flickr copy of it. Also today we have two links! Well, actually they are both links to the same story but on different websites. Both say mostly the same thing but with slightly different supporting information. It’s interesting to read both.
So the thread today is whether hatecrimes or hatespeech should be prohibited. Since new laws were passed in England in 2010, hatespeech is now a crime. These folks have been found guilty and face up to 7 years in prison each. I think hatespeech laws are vital in turning the tide for equality for all but I know that this is something that is a very polarizing topic here in the US. Whenver I mention it here people always cite the 1st amendment and say that they will die to defend it. The difficulty is that quite often people feel that they are going to die (and sometimes do) if you don’t prohibit hate speech. Which is better? To die defending free speech or to die because someone wanted it protected?
Just so the Americans don’t think they have a monopoly on free speech [lots and lots of other countries have it too…along with apple pie 🙂 ], there is a difference in banning free speech and banning speech that makes someone feel that they are going to die and terrorises them. But I am not an expert in US law. Would distributing a leaflet like this and saying things like this be considered protected free speech? If so, I believe that is very wrong and it saddens me.
So there we have it. There is a lot about England and it’s history that doesn’t make me always proud of my heritage, but of this I am pround and I wish that we had the ability to jail people who did stuff like this in this country.
As for today’s self portrait, I felt that seeing as we are talking about rights being stripped away or removed, I would reflect my interpretation of that in the portrait. I’m going to start to link topics and portraits (were appropriate) in the future.
Have a super saturday everyone!