When is offence a matter of ego, or hurt feelings - and when is it offensive to the health and wellbeing of society as a whole?
This ought to be something that the relevant authorities concerned - starting with those involved in dispute, their employers, and if all else fails, a judge - ought to be easily able to discern.
Why not? Because a self righteous anti racist culture is setting the agenda. To fall foul of such a culture is to be vilified.
'Otherism' or scapegoatism - UNDER ANY guise or pretext - is undermining of truth - upon which we all utterly depend for sanity and integrity. It accords a negative value or lack of worth to another living soul because of taking offense.
When the offense issues from an emotional outburst arising from a heated exchange, an apology should be sought and accepted if offered - and made a basis of resumed relations. For such offence is the reaction of the hurt, hurting back - and this is hardly the act or intention of someone in their right mind.
To shift social attitudes so as to draw a line that says it is not ok to denigrate others in specific ways that before had been largely socially acceptable - is a step forward. But we cannot then attempt to use the force and the rule of law for controlling speech without nurturing the very conditions that seed hatred.
Externally applied control is a very dangerous tool, for life does not work, or align creatively and constructively, by being controlled - no matter how much force applied - nor how subtle or ingenious our lawmaking.
We need to use proportionate force to uphold and protect ourselves as a society so as to have stability enough in which to learn and grow in our humanity. For education is the dance of relationship in which conditions of trust are established in which blocks to creativity and intelligence are passed beyond and a mutual sense of worth is shared.
Life insults us daily - it does not support our personal plans. We are often frustrated, limited or opposed by every kind of circumstance. Some seem petty and others are devastating to us.
There are times to make a stand and if need be, our Spirit is our treasure, for if we let others cause us to lose our Spirit, we lose all that we are.
Those who do not live in their Spirit are mean-minded and blind to the living soul in others - having only the letter of the law.
The realignment of our society with truth is the adjustment from which all else will follow. If racism - or anythingism - is kept in the dark, suppressed but not undone - then it festers unhealed and continues to control us not only in terms of racism - but in terms of anti racism.
To ‘open a debate’ or to communicate with a purpose of healing rather than of strategic advantage, it is necessary that the notion and nature of speech or thought crime be properly discerned.
When we attack ourselves through the proxy of a scapegoat, we may get some sense of a passing satisfaction, but no one can put their hatred upon another and have it actually out of their own mind thereby! This is truth. But not the whole truth. For hatred is born of hurt, and hurt is born of a fearful sense of self and life. This is where healing can be accepted and conflict undone.
It is the currency of our notions of self and world that we trade as if real, that sets humanity up for a humiliating but ultimately humbling awakening.
To be vigilant for signs of personal attack so as to claim abuse is to feed the monster that sucks dry our Spirit. To attack attackers is surely self defeating.
Yes, we do need to constrain the self (or other) harming as part of a greater process - but that process must arise or extend from a true measure of love and wisdom - or else its just a recycling of history with all the inherent misery and woe wrapped up in a rebranded presentation.
Thanks for your attention