and practice is growing among usrnwith respect to migration and thernstatus of ethnically diverse immigrants.rnIt is high time we thoughtrnabout it carefully.rnMcNeil’s obvious argument is thatrnvery little careful thought has been givenrnto the racial and ethnic question in thernWest, but most particularly to the factrnthat all the races and ethnic groups ofrnthe world are well represented in thernUnited States—uniquely so among thernmajor countries of the world, as far as Irnknow. Our current usage of the wordsrn”racism” and “racist” is clearfy taking usrnaway from this objective.rnWhen Bush nominated ClarencernThomas to the Supreme Court to replacernThurgood Marshall, he said thatrnThomas was the best legal mind in therncountry, or something to that effect,rnwhich we knew to be untrue. And, morernrecently, Clinton spoke at least in an obfuscatingrnway when he appointed variousrnwomen and minorities to his Cabinet.rnWhy do our leaders mislead us? Whyrncan’t they say, with McNeil, that a smallrnruling group should be recruited fromrnthe different nationalities and groupsrnthat comprise this country? This countryrnis multiracial, and eventually we’llrnhave to accept McNeil’s words.rnNow turn to the legal aspects of racernand racism; hate speech, speech codes onrncollege campuses, crimes of various sortsrnthat are racially motivated, etc. Thernlegal situation with respect to freedomrnof speech can be fairly summarized asrnfollows. Although the Western-typerndemocracies share basic values, they differrnin the order of importance attributedrnto these values. Each society determinesrnthe position of freedom of expression accordingrnto its own history, institutions,rnsense of security, and tolerance of dissent.rnAlthough in the United States thernreach of freedom of expression has notrnbeen static, the contemporary SupremernCourt speaks of this freedom in almostrnabsolute terms and attributes to it a commandingrnpriority over other competingrnliberties.rnThe First Amendment, with which allrnlaws in the country have to be consistent,rnis straightforward and simple: “Congressrnshall make no law respecting an establishmentrnof religion; or abridging the freedomrnof speech, or of the press; or the rightrnof the people peaceably to assemble, andrnto petition the Government for a redressrnof grievances” (italics mine).rnGiven the current state of FirstrnAmendment law, it is unlikely that thernUnited States Senate will ratify the U.N.rnConvention on the Elimination of AllrnForms of Racial Discrimination (adoptedrnin 1963 by the General Assembly ofrnthe U.N.). Although the United Statesrnsigned the convention, it did so with thernfollowing caveat:rnThe Constitution of the UnitedrnStates contains provisions for thernprotection of individual rights,rnsuch as the right of free speech,rnand nothing in the Conventionrnshall be deemed to require or tornauthorize legislation or other actionrnby the United States ofrnAmerica incompatible with thernprovisions of the Constitution ofrnthe United States of America.rnCongress never ratified the conventionrnbecause of Article Four. This articlernwould require the United States to declarern”all dissemination of ideas based onrnracial superiority or hatred” an offensernpunishable by law.rnOn the other hand, Great Britain didrnratify it. In 1965, Pariiament (whose actsrnare the law of the land—the UnitedrnKingdom has no written constitution,rnthough the Parliament there does try tornpass laws within certain unwritten constraints,rne.g., it tries to preserve freedomrnof speech) passed section six of the RacernRelations Act, 1965 (RRA 1965). Underrnthis section, a person is guilty of incitementrnto racial hatred ifrnwith intent to stir up hatredrnagainst any section of the publicrnin Great Britain distinguished byrncolour, race, or ethnic or nationalrnorigins: (a) he publishes or distributesrnwritten matter which isrnthreatening, abusive or insulting;rnor (b) he uses in any public placernor at any public meeting wordsrnwhich are threatening, abusive orrninsulting, being matter or wordsrnlikely to stir up hatred against thatrnsection on grounds of colour, race,rnor ethnic or national origin.rnThis section is notable in several respects:rnfirst, it reverts back to the seditiousrnlibel standard (in fact, the FirstrnAmendment of the United States Constitutionrnwas created in direct response tornthe British sedition laws that make criticismrnof the government illegal) in that itrnrequires the speaker to have “intent” tornstir up hatred; second, it punishes onlyrnthe cruder forms of speech; third, it targetsrnonly public racist commentary; and,rnfinally, the use of the law to combatrnracist speech requires the consent of thernAttorney General (the law requires thatrnno prosecution be brought without thernconsent of Britain’s Attorney General).rnThe intent requirement made it very difficultrnfor the Crown to win convictionsrnunder the RRA 1965. For example, itrnproved impossible to convict the publishersrnof a newspaper who declared asrntheir goal the “return of people of otherrnraces from this ‘overcrowded island’ torn’their own countries.'” The defendantsrnargued that their newspaper had educationalrnvalue as a means of addressing importantrnsocial issues, and the prosecutorsrnwere unable to prove that the defendantsrnintended to instill in the populace anyrnhatred of immigrants. So, in an effort tornmake prosecutions for incitement easier,rnsection 70 of the Race Relations Act,rn1976 (RRA 1976), discarded the intentrnrequirement. Convictions could henceforthrnbe based upon the mere proof thatrnthe speech or publication of “threatening,rnabusive or insulting” words was likelyrnto stir up hatred against “any racialrngroup in Great Britain.” Even with thernrelaxation of the government’s burden,rnthere were few prosecutions consideringrnthe rise in racial strife and violence duringrnthe period 1976-1981. In a furtherrneffort to strengthen the incitement laws.rnParliament passed Part III of the PublicrnOrder Act, 1986 (POA 1986). UnderrnSection 18, the “use of threatening, abusive,rnor insulting words” is an offense if:rna) the speaker intends thereby to stir uprnracial hatred, or b) having regard to allrnthe circumstances racial hatred is likelyrnto be stirred up. Now a person can bernpunished for either intending to stir uprnracial hatred or for using words likely tornstir up hatred. John Tyndall, the editorrnof Spearhead, which is published by thernfar-right British National Party, was convictedrnunder this act and served sixrnmonths in prison.rnThere is nothing like the First Amendmentrnof the United States Constitutionrnin any other country; in those Europeanrncountries having formal, written constitutionsrn—e.g., Germany, Italy, andrnFrance—there is no equivalent clause.rnTherefore, in other Western democracies,rncertain kinds of speech are illegal.rnIn Israel, a kind of Western, democraticrninsertion into the Middle East, the far-rnAUGUST 1994/47rnrnrn