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TinotopiaLog → EU to outlaw racism? (30 Nov 2001)
Friday 30 November 2001

EU to outlaw racism?

The EU have proposals under consideration that would, among other things, criminalize “xenophobic” speech. The define “xenophobia” as aversion to individuals based on “race, colour, descent, religion or belief, national or ethnic origin”.

  1. Does this mean that it would be illegal for Euro politicians and activist groups to put forth their complaints about American “imperialism”, “hegemony”, etc., which are based largely in general antipathy toward the United States?
  2. Does this outlaw Euroskepticism? That’s a kind of xenophobia, isn’t it?
  3. Does it mean that the British would no longer be able to legally hate and make fun of the French, the French the Germans, the Austrians everyone, and everyone the Spanish?

My guess is that it wouldn’t do any of those things; they define xenophobia as aversion to “individuals”. It seems that you could still legally hate an entire nation.

The most interesting question, should this tripe actually become law, will be #3 above. If an EU citizen who speaks one language hates another who speaks a different language, is that xenophobia, or just a colorful regional prejudice, like a Londoner thinking Geordies are idiots?

Posted by tino at 12:18 30.11.01
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