One Response

  1. The problem is not dehumanizing language, but who is using it and what power do they have.

    In both Nazi Germany and Rwanda, the government and government-controlled media were using this language. If I, or a group of like-minded citizens, decides that people with freckles are subhuman, we can talk or publish blogs saying so till the cows come home and it is of no consequence. But if the government, one of the basic functions of which is to protect its citizens, begins attacking them, that signals danger, because the government has the power to make good on its threats in a way that I or the John Birch Society, or even the Ku Klux Klan, does not.

    Free speech must remain free, no matter how insulting or hateful, with the exception of inciting to harm others, and with the exception of the government, which has unequal power compared to its citizens. I am not sure that Mr. Fry understands the distinction.

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