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Political Correctness vs. Free Speech


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Commented: So many damn censors...

Police harass Darren Grimes over the opinions of an interviewee


Link Here17th October 2020
Scotland Yard are continuing to harass YouTuber Darren Grimes despite the investigation being widely considered as an abuse of free speech.

Politicians and free speech campaigners have questioned the police response to a YouTube video of Grimes interviewing historian David Starkey on racial issues.

During the interview, on Grimes's YouTube channel called Reason, Dr Starkey said slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn't be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain, would there?

It has now emerged that Grimes has been asked to attend a police interview under caution to respond to accusations of stirring up racial hatred.

Sajid Javid and Tim Farron lead backlash against Met Police whilst Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted:

Decisions of the police to investigate particular cases are clearly an operational matter... but as a general principle, it's important the law protects freedom of speech.

Former Home Secretary Sajid Javid wrote on Twitter:

David Starkey's comments were appalling. But, the idea that it's appropriate to go after journalists for the remarks of their interviewees is plainly absurd. For the sake of our cherished free press, I hope the Metropolitan Police reconsider.

Former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said:

Grimes is not responsible for Starkey's appalling comments. In a free society, we surely don't do things like this?

The case will be raised at the Commons home affairs committee this week by Conservative MP Tim Loughton, who said Met Commissioner Cressida Dick should be questioned over a vexatious investigation.

Update: Police review

15th October 2020. See article from dailymail.co.uk

Police are set to review a race hate investigation against journalist Darren Grimes and David Starkey to ensure it is proportionate, after the historian made a damn blacks remark during a YouTube interview.

The Metropolitan Police's decision to probe Grimes sparked a freedom of speech backlash from politicians and journalists. In addition to the comments from Priti Patel, Sajid Javid and Tim Farron, Lord Macdonald, a former Director of Public Prosecutions, called the police probe sinister and foolish and described the investigation as a political stunt.

Now Grimes has tweeted saying that the Met Police was reviewing its investigation, and that he would not be interviewed by an officer. He said:

The police have cancelled my interview with them on Friday and announced a 'senior officer has been appointed to conduct a review into the investigation to ensure it remains proportionate. They say they'll update me in due course.

Offsite Comment: The persecution of Darren Grimes

17th October 2020. See article from spiked-online.com by Brendan O'Neill

The police investigation of Darren Grimes for interviewing David Starkey is a disgraceful attack on press freedom.

 

 

Triggered...

Disney admits its racism and preaches from the bible of critical race theory


Link Here16th October 2020
Full story: Disney+ Censorship...Cuts for political correctness and sexiness
Trigger warnings in classic Disney films have been updated from last year and now preach from the bible of critical race theory.

When played on the Disney+ streaming service, films such as Dumbo , Peter Pan and Jungle Book now appear with a Disney statement acknowledging its racist content and the company's racism. The statement reads:

This programme includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures, the warning says.

These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.

Rather than remove the content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.

Other films to carry the warning are The Aristocats , which shows a cat in yellow-face playing the piano with chopsticks, and Peter Pan , where Native Americans are referred to by the racist slur 'redskins'.

 

 

Offsite Article: The complex cruelty of comedy...


Link Here13th October 2020
With comedians coming under pressure to only perform ideologically pure material, can comedy and satire survive? By Andrew Doyle

See article from standpointmag.co.uk

 

 

Offsite Article: Why has Google censored the Great Barrington Declaration?...


Link Here 12th October 2020
Full story: Coronavirus...Internet censorship and surveillance
Big Tech now treats any opposition to lockdown as misinformation -- even if it's from eminent scientists. By Fraser Myers

See article from spiked-online.com

 

 

Tightly controlled...

Paris Opera considers the colour of ballet tights to be a racial issue


Link Here7th October 2020
Paris Opera is getting into a spin about race and diversity in its ballets and operas.

400 of its staff (about a quarter of the total) have signed an open letter calling for an end to the silence that surrounds racism.

The letter calls for a ban on blackface in its operas and ballets and for pointe shoes and tights to match dancers' skin colour, a practice already commonplace in Europe's major ballet companies. The letter also calls for a ban on use of the word 'nigger' in the dialogue of operas.

In response, the opera's director Alexander Neef has launched an external investigation into the claims, with a report to be published by December. Neef asked investigators to examine the ballet blanc, the tradition of female dancers all wearing white tutus or dresses, as well as other issues.

 

 

Correct English...

The BBC demands that programme makers get permission from divisional directors before using racial slurs


Link Here30th September 2020
The BBC has issued staff new guidance on the use of racist language in the wake of the controversy provoked by the use of a racial slur in a news report.

Use of the strongest racist language, as defined by broadcasting regulator Ofcom, must be personally approved by the corporation's divisional directors. There must be exceptional editorial reasons to use the strongest racist terms, the updated guidance reads.

The new guidance says the use of racist language must be editorially justified, and signposted, to ensure it meets audience expectations, wherever it appears.

It says the editorial justification test would now carry a presumption that such language will not normally be used unless a judgement at divisional director level had ruled otherwise.

 

 

Building division...

The government states its position on claims about British history being considered as toxic


Link Here29th September 2020
Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has been writing to museums and libraries about policies in the face of claims of British history being now considered as toxic. Dowden explained the Government position::

History is ridden with moral complexity. Statues and other historical objects were created by generations with different perspectives and understandings of right and wrong. Some represent figures who have said or done things which we may find deeply offensive and would not defend today. But though we may now disagree with those who created them or who they represent, they play an important role in teaching us about our past, with all its faults.

It is for this reason that the Government does not support the removal of statues or other similar objects . Historic England, as the Government's adviser on the historic environment, have said that removing difficult and contentious parts of it risks harming our understanding of our collective past. Rather than erasing these objects, we should seek to contextualise or reinterpret them in a way that enables the public to learn about them in their entirety, however challenging this may be. Our aim should be to use them to educate people about all aspects of Britain's complex past, both good and bad.

As set out in your Management Agreements, I would expect Arm's Length Bodies' approach to issues of contested heritage to be consistent with the Government's position. Further, as publicly funded bodies, you should not be taking actions motivated by

activism or politics. The significant support that you receive from the taxpayer is an acknowledgement of the important cultural role you play for the entire country. It is imperative that you continue to act impartially, in line with your publicly funded status, and not in a way that brings this into question. This is especially important as we enter a challenging Comprehensive Spending Review, in which all government spending will rightly be scrutinised.

 

 

Commented: The art of timing...

Philip Guston art exhibition postponed 4 years after references to Ku Klux Klan figures were considered untimely


Link Here28th September 2020
One of the most hotly anticipated blockbuster exhibitions on the art world's horizon has been pushed back after organizers raised concerns over images evoking racist violence in certain works. After its original planned summer opening was delayed until 2021 because of the pandemic, a high-profile Philip Guston retrospective organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Tate Modern in London, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston has now been put on hold for four years.

A joint statement signed by directors of all four museums said the exhibition was being pushed until a time at which we think that the powerful message of social and racial justice that is at the center of Philip Guston's work can be more clearly interpreted:

We recognize that the world we live in is very different from the one in which we first began to collaborate on this project five years ago. The racial justice movement that started in the U.S. and radiated to countries around the world, in addition to challenges of a global health crisis, have led us to pause.

Organizers raised concerns over painful imagery including the recurring Ku Klux Klan characters that appear in Guston's late-period works. Twenty-five such drawings and paintings featuring KKK imagery were to be included in one or more iterations of the show.

 

Update: Opposition

28th September 2020. See article from news.artnet.com

The postponement has been met with opposition from Musa Mayer, the artist's daughter and head of the Guston Foundation. Mayer said in a statement:

Half a century ago, my father made a body of work that shocked the art world. Not only had he violated the canon of what a noted abstract artist should be painting at a time of particularly doctrinaire art criticism, but he dared to hold up a mirror to white America, exposing the banality of evil and the systemic racism we are still struggling to confront today.

They plan, they plot, they ride around in cars smoking cigars. We never see their acts of hatred. We never know what is in their minds. But it is clear that they are us. Our denial, our concealment. My father dared to unveil white culpability, our shared role in allowing the racist terror that he had witnessed since boyhood, when the Klan marched openly by the thousands in the streets of Los Angeles.

The art historian and curator Darby English told the New York Times that the decision to postpone the show was cowardly and patronizing, an insult to art and the public alike:

Guston's paintings were thoughtfully created in identification with history's victims, English said, adding that it should be part of one's attitude to see them as opportunities to think, to improve thinking, to sharpen perception, to talk to one another, and not to grimly proceed with one's head in the sand, avoiding difficult conversations because you think the timing is bad.

 

 

Killing Whitey...

BBC responds to complaints about a joke on Frankie Boyle's New World Order


Link Here26th September 2020
Full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week
The BBC received complaints about a joke on Frankie Boyle's New World Order where a black comedian, Sophie Duker, jokingly supported the idea of 'killing whitey'.

In a segment where the panelists discuss if the movement glosses over the complexities of a world where we all need to come together and kill whitey, Boyle played a clip of black author James Baldwin talking about black power in an interview on the Dick Cavett Show in the 1970s.

Responding to the clip, Duker said white power is Trump Tower - a nod to Left-wing allegations that the US President is a racist.

She continued: But when we say we want to kill whitey, we don't really mean we want to kill whitey. Duker then quips to the panelists we do to roars of laughter.

The BBC has now responded on its website to the complaints, as always without explaining what the complaints were about. The BBC wrote:

We received complaints from people who felt comments made during the programme were offensive.

Our response

Frankie Boyle's New World Order was shown after 10pm and its content is within audience expectations for a post-watershed, topical, satirical programme from a comedian whose style and tone are well-established.

Every week on the show Frankie puts forward a number of topics for debate, this episode was no different. The panellists' comments were in response to a motion that was written and presented in line with the programme's tone and style.

Sophie Duker is a talented comedian and a regular panellist on Frankie Boyle's New World Order, and we look forward to continue working with her at the BBC.

Update: Another joke

28th September 2020. See article from irishmirror.ie

Frankie Boyle defended by BBC after Priti Patel joke sparks a few more complaints.

The comedian joked that the Home Secretary is the one woman in Britain who can orgasm by imagining a slow puncture at sea in reference to the refugee crisis

 

 

Offsite Article: Black Butts Matter...


Link Here26th September 2020
Portland's Stripper Strike is over a fair crack for all performers, but does this clash with a right for customers to be turned on by whoever they like?

See article from vogue.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Cancelling cancel culture...


Link Here26th September 2020
School pupils will be taught that cancel culture is a form of bullying and no platforming an attack on our freedoms

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

 

Commented: Intent to censor...

Scottish Injustice Secretary agrees to remove the worst part of his disgraceful speech censorship bill


Link Here24th September 2020
Full story: Scotland stifles free speech...Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill Hate Crime & Public Order (Scot) Bill
A disgraceful speech censorship bill will be tweaked to remove at least they very worst parts of the bill. Injustice Secretary Humza Yousaf admitted they would curb freedom of speech.

The SNP minister says that the censorship will only apply to those with intent to stir up hatred against any group.  Previously the hatred would be as perceived by the easily offended. A disaster in the modern world where people claim offence at the  most trivial hint of an insult. Think religious offence of so called micro-aggressions or unconscious bias etc.

Yousaf said:

There is a real risk that if the offences don't require intent to stir up hatred, there could be a perception and indeed uncertainty that the operation of this aspect of the offences may be used to prosecute what are entirely legitimate acts of expression.

This in itself might lead to an element of self-censorship. This is not the aim of the legislation.

The Hate Crime Bill also adds new characteristics to the law, such as age and sex, but it was claimed the plans will curb civil liberties, criminalise comedy and even target religious books.

Yousaf  said that he is still pushing ahead with the bill. He confirmed the government will amend the Bill at the next stage of scrutiny, when MSPs start going through the plans line by line.

Opposition Tory MSPs said they want to see even bigger changes before the laws can be passed with support at Holyrood. Jamie Gillies, spokesman for the Free to Disagree Campaign against the stirring up plans, said:

There's still too low a threshold for offending, the wording is hopelessly vague, free speech provisions are inadequate, there is no 'dwelling defence', and people outside Scotland could be caught.

Withdrawing the 'stirring up' offences wholesale is the only way to resolve these complex issues and ensure that other, vital civil liberties are upheld. The fact that the government hasn't done this means opposition to the bill will continue for months to come. It's a missed opportunity.

Offsite Comment: Plan to amend Scottish hate crime bill isn't enough

24th September 2020. See article from secularism.org.uk

The National Secular Society has welcomed news that Scotland's current hate crime bill will be amended, but warned that offences within the bill remain a menace to free and open debate.

 

 

And Then There Were None...

France is the last country to change the controversial title of an Agatha Christie novel


Link Here23rd September 2020
The great-grandson of the British novelist Agatha Christie, James Pritchard, has belatedly decided to change the French title of the book 'Ten Little Niggers'. An initiative taken many years ago in the English speaking world. Since the 1980s the book has been titled 'And Then There Were None'.

Now the book, which was originally published in 1939, has just been retitled in France from 'Dix petits nègres' to 'Ils étaient dix'  (They Were Ten).

Pritchard commented:

This story is based on a popular nursery rhyme that is not signed by Agatha Christie. I'm pretty sure the original title was never used in the US. In the UK it was changed in the 1980s and today we change it everywhere.

Agatha Christie was above all there to entertain and she would not have liked the idea of someone being hurt by one of her turns of phrase (...) If only one person felt this, it would already be too much! We must no longer use terms that could hurt: this is the behavior to adopt in 2020. "

In addition to the title an island in the book, called the Île du Nègre is also changing its name. The word "negro" appears 74 times in the text and all of these have been revised.

 

 

Strictly virtue signalling...

BBC responds to complaints about same sex dancers on Strictly Come Dancing


Link Here19th September 2020

Strictly Come Dancing
BBC One, September 2020

We've received complaints from some viewers about a same-sex pairing on the programme.

Our response

Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and is proud to have featured same sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series.

We have stated, in the past, that we are open to the prospect of including same sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers, should the opportunity arise.

Nicola Adams requested an all-female pairing, which we are happy to facilitate. The show is first and foremost about dance, the sex of each partner within a coupling should have no bearing on their routine.

 

 

Offsite Article: New World Order: The battle of the snowflakes...


Link Here18th September 2020
Full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week
This right-wing outrage culture is not helping the fight against wokeness. By Tom Slate

See article from spiked-online.com


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