This week during training we had a debate that often pops up. The balance between 'freedom of speech' and the right people have not to be harassed and offended or anything that implies some people are worthy of less rights than others.
There is that famous metaphorical illustration that speaks about a cinema and how you could, if you wanted, shout 'fire' and everyone would rush out of the auditorium in response to your call. But in the absence of an actual fire - you would be held responsible for any harm, accidents and/or annoyance you had caused. This illustrates that - yes - you can say something but not without responsibility.
Theorectically, it's simple. We live in a society that generally values the rights of an individual to be free from abuse over the right for others to say absolutely anything they like (e.g. racist comments).
I guess the complications arise in individual circumstances e.g. a piece of art that someone interprets as offensive or a provocative comment about any group of people. Then I guess it is important to interpret between intention and interpretation, facts and opinions.
All isms are just misguided opinions that view others with less rights after all aren't they? Now that's another thought. Typical. I'll have to do more thinking. And on Friday too.