- McLibel -

Slander is actionable.

Posted by: William R. James on June 05, 1999 at 11:45:27:

In Reply to: Racism & Sexism are slanderous posted by Sue on March 23, 1998 at 09:51:48:

: I find it strange that William thinks people have every right to say things that are racist or sexist, but don't have the right to slander people or industry. Racism & sexism are slanderous, they are about labelling and abusing or insulting people based on their sex or the colour of their skin, irrespective of their capabilities and personalities as individuals. So where is the truth in racism & sexism?

Being false does not make a statement slanderous. If I were to say the moon is made of cheese I would be false but it does not qualify as slander.

With regard to people even saying something sexist or racist does not qualify either. It's too broad of a group. The scope makes it impossible to declare a victim.

: The fact that some forms of slander are actionable, whilst others are not, just goes to show that laws are generally in place to protect the rich and powerful in our society, and that ordinary people cannot trust the state to look after our interests.

Slander is actionable. Lies, mistruths, etc, are not necessarily actionable because they are not necessarily associated with a crime or injury.

: Its up to all of us in our neighbourhoods, workplaces and everywhere else to challenge racism & sexism whenever they crop up, and to make sure that such shallow minded views are consigned only to history and have no part in the future.

And what method do you propose to insure that people only speak what the state allows and approves?

: As for Oprah's comments being stupid and rude, as far as I'm aware all she said was that she had been put off eating burgers ever again. I don't see how that is stupid or rude. She is entitled to her opinion, and here in England there are a lot of people who share the same view as her and have stopped eating burgers. They don't think the risk to their health is worth taking - that sounds pretty sensible to me.

As long as she voices her opinion and doesn't cross over into making false statements to injure people, she has every right to say whatever she pleases.

William R. James

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