What Would It Mean to “Stop The Hate” in Mr. Richardson’s Case?
It would have been helpful of Karen Lee Ziner to provide some detail as to the factuality of this assertion:
[Steven] Brown, of the ACLU, [who isn’t a lawyer, by the way] called Richardson’s actions “clearly and patently illegal” and said “there are legal remedies available” for people who believe their civil liberties have been violated.
As well as to this:
[José] Genao said yesterday he plans to file a discrimination claim against Richardson with the Providence Human Relations Commission.
Genao’s explained motivation is telling:
Genao said he wants people “to know not to be afraid to report incidents like this” and to make others “think twice” about taking actions similar to Richardson’s.
So, whatever the actual legal ramifications for a private store owner who has mistreated his customers (in a way having nothing to do with fraud), the idea is to make people believe that such laws exist to inspire self-censorship. In David Richardson’s case, a bit of forethought would certainly have been wise, as would be some introspection concerning proper behavior in a pluralistic society. But there’s something bullying and dark in the over-hyped reaction.
The potential for a charge of “hate speech” is more than just presumptuous; in its inevitably fluid definition, it’s dangerous.