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  1. 13 Oct '16 02:22
    http://www.denverpost.com/2016/10/11/suicide-facebook-boulder-students-chat-killing-blacks-jews/

    In Boulder, Colorado, USA, the teenage leader of a Facebook neo-Nazi group has committed suicide.
    Police say that the group consisted of about 15 high school students
    from several high schools in Colorado. The members explicitly discussed
    killing blacks and Jews. Now Facebook has shut down that group.
    After its leader committed suicide in order to show his devotion to his cause,
    some other members now prefer to claim that they were just harmlessly
    joking when they discussed killing blacks and Jews. Should Facebook
    ever have tolerated such 'hate speech' (even in claimed jest) in the first place?

    The police confirm that none of the students will face criminal charges.
    But at least five of the students already have been expelled from their schools.
    Is that right?

    What the students did was reprehensible, but not illegal. I have some
    concern, however, that expelling students from school could make the
    situation worse rather than better. I believe that they should be expelled
    if they pose a physical threat to other students. But if not, and if their
    bigotry and hatred is motivated by ignorance, then I don't see how
    expelling them from school will make them less ignorant, bigoted, or hateful.
    Wouldn't it be better to put these students into a program where they
    can be made less ignorant and encouraged to become more tolerant?
    It may not work for all of them, but probably could help some of them.
  2. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    13 Oct '16 15:46
    Nazi, dead... oh well
  3. Standard member vivify
    rain
    13 Oct '16 17:48
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Wouldn't it be better to put these students into a program where they
    can be made less ignorant and encouraged to become more tolerant?
    These teens learned to become how they are from a combination of social, familial and cultural influences, which they're exposed to far more than a single class in school. There's nothing a class can teach students they don't already know: racism is bad, hate speech is wrong, etc. It's like saying rapists just need to be educated.

    I think a school should be allowed to expel such students, provided that it's a school one has to earn to get in (beyond simply meeting minimum requirements to pass a grade), or if it's a school the parents pay for.
  4. 13 Oct '16 22:25
    Originally posted by vivify
    These teens learned to become how they are from a combination of social, familial and cultural influences, which they're exposed to far more than a single class in school. There's nothing a class can teach students they don't already know: racism is bad, hate speech is wrong, etc. It's like saying rapists just need to be educated.

    I think a school shoul ...[text shortened]... d simply meeting minimum requirements to pass a grade), or if it's a school the parents pay for.
    Reportedly, these students came from several different high schools.
    Several of them already have been expelled; the others have not been so far.

    I am *not* claiming that all that hateful racists need is one class to 'cure' them.
    But if we make no effort to help change them, they seem unlikely to change on their own.
  5. Standard member vivify
    rain
    13 Oct '16 22:49
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    But if we make no effort to help change them, they seem unlikely to change on their own.
    Very true.
  6. Subscriber Wajoma
    Die Cheeseburger
    14 Oct '16 01:23
    Originally posted by vivify
    ...hate speech is wrong, etc. It's like saying rapists just need to be educated.

    Hate speech is not wrong.

    Hate is a legitimate human emotion and it is an appropriate response to the initiators of force and threats of force.
  7. 14 Oct '16 02:06
    hang em all
    save time and money
  8. Standard member vivify
    rain
    14 Oct '16 06:04
    Originally posted by Wajoma
    Hate speech is not wrong.

    Hate is a legitimate human emotion and it is an appropriate response to the initiators of force and threats of force.
    Emotional responses to *legitimate* "threats of force" aren't considered hate speech. Most reported instances of hate speech are simply rantings of ignorant people against those who pose no threat to them. This makes hate speech wrong.
  9. 14 Oct '16 18:47
    Originally posted by vivify
    Very true.
    At what point, if any, should we write off hateful racists as 'hopeless' and deserving
    only punishment rather than attempted rehabilitation?

    I don't know if I would be ready to write off high school students without criminal records as 'hopeless' yet.
  10. Standard member vivify
    rain
    15 Oct '16 16:46 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    At what point, if any, should we write off hateful racists as 'hopeless' and deserving
    only punishment rather than attempted rehabilitation?

    I don't know if I would be ready to write off high school students without criminal records as 'hopeless' yet.
    I don't think these teens should be treated as hopeless; but they've spread their racism via social media, so it's quite likely that they may affect other students. That's why I think their schools should have the right to expel these teens, lest they have a larger problem on their hands with more students sharing their beliefs.

    Teens aren't like children. Teens have been known to form violent gangs, often have sex, use drugs, and are notorious for bullying each other. Furthermore, teens are often smarter than their parents, especially in this age of the internet. To rehabilitate teens with this type of commitment to racism would take more time and resources than the average school has. The teens on the Facebook group should receive formal counseling from a separate institution that's dedicated to reforming citizens or youths.

    It should also be pointed out that children are taught from a young age, at school, to respect each other, to accept social and physical differences, etc. There are no end to children's shows that promote tolerance and the like. For teens to still be so openly racist, despite the social stigma against it, indicates that their problems start from home, rather than from a lack of education.
  11. 16 Oct '16 20:01 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by vivify
    I don't think these teens should be treated as hopeless; but they've spread their racism via social media, so it's quite likely that they may affect other students. That's why I think their schools should have the right to expel these teens, lest they have a larger problem on their hands with more students sharing their beliefs.

    Teens aren't like childr ...[text shortened]... against it, indicates that their problems start from home, rather than from a lack of education.
    I don't necessarily object to a school expelling a student for being a member of a neo-Nazi Facebook group.
    That would depend upon whether the school is public or private and its already declared policies.
    It also should depend upon the individual student's participation in that Facebook group.
    A student who just signed up for the group and posted nothing is less culpable than a leader.

    I am concerned about a student being expelled just for *unpopular* legally protected speech.
    During the McCarthyist era, reportedly some students got expelled because their parents
    allegedly were Communists rather than for anything that these students had said or done.
    Even if these students had said that they supported Communism, would their expulsions have been justified?

    Given the nearly universal worship of the military in the USA, a student might risk expulsion from
    some American schools if one said that one approved of Iraqis killing the Americans
    who had invaded and occupied Iraq.

    *If* it's true that overt racism is as stigmatized now in the USA as Vivify claims, then he
    should *not* have to worry about a Facebook group influencing other high school students.
    The Roma (gypsies) were the victims of Nazi genocide. If these American teenagers had
    posted only about killing Roma, not blacks or Jews, then would they be condemned as much?
    My point is that racism against some (politically influential) minorities is taken more seriously than against others.

    Vivify mentions that there are many ongoing campaigns to 'promote tolerance and the like'.
    Vivify seems to believe that only extraordinarily bad teenagers would ignore these campaigns.
    There also are ongoing campaigns to discourage unwed teenage pregnancies.
    But more than a few American high school students continue to fall pregnant.
    Some schools routinely used to expel unwed teenage girls who had fallen pregnant.
    Even if one believes (which I do not, she's typically immature or unlucky) that an
    unwed teenage girl must be extraordinarily bad to fall pregnant, she still has a right to
    an education. (And why not expel a teenage boy who impregnates a teenage girl?)

    I have no sympathy whatsoever for neo-Nazis, who obviously would hate me.
    But I am concerned about how their treatment could affect how others are treated.
  12. Standard member vivify
    rain
    17 Oct '16 03:56 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    I don't necessarily object to a school expelling a student for being a member of a neo-Nazi Facebook group.
    That would depend upon whether the school is public or private and its already declared policies.
    It also should depend upon the individual student's participation in that Facebook group.
    A student who just signed up for the group and posted nothi ...[text shortened]... ould hate me.
    But I am concerned about how their treatment could affect how others are treated.
    "I am concerned about a student being expelled just for *unpopular* legally protected speech."

    There's a difference between "unpopular" speech and harmful speech. Saying you hate Jews is unpopular; saying they should be killed is harmful. The Facebook group's speech can incite violence, which is why it shouldn't be allowed.

    "*If* it's true that overt racism is as stigmatized now in the USA as Vivify claims, then he
    should *not* have to worry about a Facebook group influencing other high school students."

    That logic doesn't follow. Sexuality in women has been highly stigmatized for centuries. Does that mean that teenage girls can't be influenced into have sex? Or that women can't be persuaded to have one-night stands? Even if America's more puritanical decades, strippers and burlesque dances have always existed, despite the heavy social stigma against even the men who go to such places, let alone the women who put themselves on display. Parents have always been wary that their daughters could be influenced to be "tramps" by seedy men or women, even though the culture at large frowned on such behavior by women.

    Bigotry is no different. Hateful ideas can easily spread, despite the stigma against it, especially if the recipients of those ideas are teens, who are known to be very impressionable.
  13. 17 Oct '16 22:14
    Originally posted by vivify
    "I am concerned about a student being expelled just for *unpopular* legally protected speech."

    There's a difference between "unpopular" speech and harmful speech. Saying you hate Jews is unpopular; saying they should be killed is harmful. The Facebook group's speech can incite violence, which is why it shouldn't be allowed.

    "*If* it's true that over ...[text shortened]... especially if the recipients of those ideas are teens, who are known to be very impressionable.
    Vivify seems willfully ignorant of the biases influencing American school authorities in
    interpreting 'harmful' speech. Historically, this has included punishing students for
    opposing the USA's wars abroad. It has included punishing students for supposedly
    supporting or sympathizing with unpopular political or religious ideologies.

    I know that some American students have *not* been expelled or, indeed, punished in any
    way by their school authorities after they have advocating the killing of some peoples who
    are much less politically influential than blacks or Jews in the USA. In the USA, the
    political reality is that 'hate speech' against some groups draws instant public condemnation,
    while 'hate speech' against some other groups often gets ignored, excused. or minimized.

    In Israel, right-wing Jewish mobs often chant 'Death to the Arabs!' on the street, sometimes
    then proceeding to attack passing suspected Arabs. There's a vast difference between
    how Israel's authorities respond to many Jews chanting 'Death to the Arabs!' and how
    they respond to any Palestinian Arab who would dare to say 'Death to the Jews!' in public.
  14. Subscriber Brother Edwin
    7 edits
    18 Oct '16 00:23
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    http://www.denverpost.com/2016/10/11/suicide-facebook-boulder-students-chat-killing-blacks-jews/

    In Boulder, Colorado, USA, the teenage leader of a Facebook neo-Nazi group has committed suicide.
    Police say that the group consisted of about 15 high school students
    from several high schools in Colorado. The members explicitly discussed
    killing blacks ...[text shortened]... to become more tolerant?
    It may not work for all of them, but probably could help some of them.
    'neo-Nazi.' What does that mean these days? Could be anyone who isn't fanatically left-wing.
  15. Standard member vivify
    rain
    18 Oct '16 03:27 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Duchess64
    Historically, this has included punishing students for
    opposing the USA's wars abroad. It has included punishing students for supposedly
    supporting or sympathizing with unpopular political or religious ideologies.

    I know that some American students have *not* been expelled or, indeed, punished in any
    way by their school authorities after they have ...[text shortened]... how
    they respond to any Palestinian Arab who would dare to say 'Death to the Jews!' in public.
    "In the USA, the
    political reality is that 'hate speech' against some groups draws instant public condemnation,
    while 'hate speech' against some other groups often gets ignored, excused. or minimized."

    This is irrelevant.

    In your OP, you asked if it was "right" for the school to expel the teens for their actions. My answer: schools should be allowed to punish any teens found committing the legal definition of hate speech. It doesn't matter what was "historically" allowed. All that matters is that a more sensible criteria for free speech (like the right to oppose U.S. wars) is currently in effect; laws banning outright racism are also in effect.

    The U.S. gradually moves toward legal steps to end legal forms of bigotry; for example, gay marriage is now legal everywhere in the U.S., when at one time, it would've been legal to terminate employment for being gay. This is all that matters.

    "Vivify seems willfully ignorant"---Duchess.

    And here I thought we were having a civil exchange of ideas. I guess I was naive to expect anything different from Duchess.