I was going to make a snide comment about how the French judicial system really showed the world it was serious about hate crimes when it fined John Galliano 1 euro for his anti-Semitic rants. But, you know what? At least France has a hate crime law they actually use, so I can't be too snide. Facing jail time, he was actually fined 6,000 euros, but it was suspended provided he is not arrested for the next five years.
Thursday, September 08, 2011
This is a very interesting case from France because it goes against everything we stand for here in the US. It is very difficult here to use hate crime laws unless someone is attacked physically because anyone can say anything they want because of free speech. If Galliano was in a bar here and said the same things he said in France, hopefully he would have still been fired, but nothing else would have happened to him. Probably would have been kicked out of the bar but he would not have faced jail time.
My problem with France's law is that it effectively makes everyone be completely PC all the time and never express an opinion that contradicts the chosen line set forth by the government. So, what that does is then people move underground to say these things or keep them bottled up to explode at some later point. Just because the government makes you say the right things does not change the beliefs of people. I would much rather have them able to speak their mind so I know who they are and what they think rather than listen to some standard PC thing in which they don't believe.
Plus, I think the law in France kind of makes people even more sensitive. If someone says something another does not agree with, instead of discussing it back and forth, they don't because maybe a third person will pick up the phone and call the police to tell on them. I think I will stick with free speech.