Hi. As rancid as the last thread was I think it would benefit all of us to to have a proper conversation about free speech. One not bracketed under race or any particular flash point, or framed as bait. What this thread is NOT about: 1. Should we kill (BAN ME PLEASE)/women/men/<insert_harrased_group> 2. Is misogyny and racism okay 3. Are online troll armies a force of good (in case anyone was confused about those answers: oh goddd... fuck you) What I would like instead this thread would would be the performance of speech and what liberties should be the common denominator to that regard. This question is very important because both intent and consequence are extremely vital factors and it could be problematic to intuitively privilege any over the other. So to just maybe kick it off as far as I have surmised there are two broad legitimate camps about this issue notwithstanding internal nuances. Camp 1: The notion of anything free works only in absolute. Because once you start carving it up with terms and conditions you are automatically conceding to subjective factors. Everyone can feel offended or hurt at something or the other, so therein we have a potential slipperly slope. Where does it stop. In other words a logically absurdum application of the neoliberal "limited" free speech rationale would be a de facto North Korea. No one needs free speech for benign statements. Free speech is only ever invoked in case a statement is against common consensus, no one needs the protection of free speech to talk about the weather. Opinions and trends change over history - and free speech needs to be objective and consistent to facilitate any societal change. Grow up you damn snowflake, and keep it simple. Apply consistent standards with unflinching determination. You are gambling with hard won privileges, the cost of which you don't understand objectively. When the white person becomes the last safe target of censure, ridicule and comedy he goes out and elects a Donald Trump. The end. Selections of people in this camp: Voltaire, George Carlin, Bill Maher, Noam Chomsky, Christopher Hitchens among others Camp 2: Speech only ever works in context. One must always analyze the power equation between the speaker and the recipient, who may or may not be intended, because free speech is only ever public by nature so you cannot ever broadcast to a 100% intended audience. Secondly your intent and tone is only ever determined in conjunction with your social and material conditions. All of which is why it is okay to #punchanazi and not okay to #punchablackwoman, why there is a difference between the black man using the word "n1gger" and a white person doing the same, or for that matter the difference between #killallmen and #killallwomen as competing expressions. The question of power is only manifested from the balance (or imbalance, rather) between the stakeholders involved (the speaker and the audience). Another way to understand this would be the stance of many PoC/Women/left-leaning comedians - that good comedy should always "punch up", i.e make the hegemonic group the object of ridicule in order to demistify oppression and rebel with speech-act; and obviously vice versa the reverse effect takes place, wherein we "normalize", "trivialize" and continue propagating problematic attitudes towards the oppressed. The power equations themselves are fraught with nuances and complex dynamics and it's about time we shut up and paid attention. Selections of People in this camp: Derrida, Foucault, Judith Butler, Dave Chapelle, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Most left-liberal Late Night Show hosts, among others -- All of this also spills off into other socio-cultural debates: such as the nature of cultural appropriation and the freedom of expression, libel and sedition, consequence v/s ideal, safe spaces (particularly as the idea that you can "zone" off space as unequally available for certain kinds of rhetoric based on the interest of impact and balance), art and humor, etc. I tried to keep this intro digestible in order to make this discussion accessible to a wide range of people, but at the same time (hopefully) provided enough context to kick-start a meaningful discussion ion good faith. Please do keep merking to minimum, I know it is usually condoned and I have often indulged in it myself, but because the nature of this thread is such, that this will be extra detrimental here. Cheers.