- Feb 18, 2010
- United Kingdom
Because that's literally the point.Just feel like whenever that law gets mentioned, it's always just kind of handwaved what specifically it prohibits and treated as though it's a lot more vague and broad than it actually is.
The point of laws like this to create a climate of legal uncertainty around what topics are permitted, and thus to shut down any discussion at all.
Like, if I argue that white people in countries where white people are the majority are unconscious beneficiaries of cognitive racial biases and are thus always incentivized to protect the racial privilege they enjoy, have I said that white people are inherently racist? Well, obviously not. The idea of anyone being "inherently racist" is extremely stupid, it's so stupid it doesn't even need to be rebuked in an academic context because it's a blatant misunderstanding of the meaning of inherency. Any critical discussion on race is takes place under the baseline principle that race is not inherent, let alone racism.
But, maybe the person I'm talking to is too stupid or too divorced from the conventions of intellectual discussion to understand the point and thinks that's what I've said is that white people are inherently racist. Or, maybe they're so fragile and easily offended that they immediately leap to the assumption that this is just a coded way of saying that all white people are inherently racist.
Then there's this issue of promotion, and there's a reason they use four different words, because the point is to make it extremely vague as to what actually counts as promoting a belief.
The wording of this law is fucking meaningless. It's painfully obvious that it's written by people who don't understand the subjects they're attempting to regulate, and as written it's entirely unnecessary because the positions it criminalizes are absurd. However, what it actually does (and what the point is) is to remind people that any nuanced or contextually specific discussion they might have in a teaching context can be deemed illegal if the stupid, illiterate people who write these laws find it offensive.