Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Inspiring story - updated

In 1996, a black teenager protected a white man from an angry mob who thought he supported the racist Ku Klux Klan. That's the story - and it's a good one, with good pictures, here.

UPDATE: I should have coupled the story above with this one. The headline is "In which a black man hires a member of the KKK as his lawyer", and that's the story.

It raises some interesting issues. How do you feel about this bit, for example:

"“If he doesn’t like blacks, that’s on him,” Willie says. “But I’m not going to go in there, harass him and not hire him because I’m black. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be. If you know someone has a racial bias, why would you want to agitate that person? I’m not a troublemaker. As long as you don’t assault me, I couldn’t care less. You’re entitled to speak your opinion. That’s your right.""

That is the attitude of someone who thoroughly agrees with the US First Amendment approach to freedom of speech. Jeremy Waldron, the philosopher, disagrees. He recounts the story (here, but I've seen it from him elsewhere) of watching the conviction and sentencing of a man, in Oxford Crown Court, who had distributed "posters depicting Britons of African ancestry as apes". Waldron's American colleagues are appalled that a man was sent to prison for doing that. Presumably Willie from the New Statesman story would be too.

No comments:

Post a Comment