Posting to Autocat
On 9/8/2015 7:17 PM, John Gordon Marr wrote:
James presents the example of “Donald Trump’s characterization of ‘undocumented immigrants’ from Mexico, as well as his pledge to build a wall and deport 11 million people” and asks: “Is this an example of hate speech?” James, it */is/* an example of */predatory /*speech, regardless of whether Trump hates or not. It does harm, or can result in harm, and it inflates Trumps’ ego at the expense of others. …
But “predation” can be objectively defined as an act that does harm or could potentially do harm, leaving out intent as a subjective factor. You can’t escape accusation of “predation” by claiming that you don’t intend to do harm if you actually do harm (or set up a situation where harm will be done
This is going a bit far afield from cataloging. I have looked for definitions of “predatory speech” and have found very little. I have found no precise definitions.
To bring this back to cataloging, in the NAF, there is “Predatory pricing” “Predatory marine animals” “Predatory lending” and so on, all of which are more or less understandable, but there is no “predatory speech”. On the web, what I have found of “predatory speech” seems to be used primarily in relation to adults preying on children. I find that concept of “predatory speech” quite understandable.
Would Mr. Trump agree that his speeches are examples of “predatory speech”? Once again, I would venture that he would say no. Just as is happening here in Europe with the refugee/immigrant issue, people who want to stop it would reply they are not doing “harm” with their speech and in fact, they would say that harm is happening right now. They consider their speech more as “defending” their country from harm as well as defending their culture, their communities, their values and so on.
Continuing my examples from “The Index of Forbidden Books,” the compilers were trying to defend their beliefs from what they believed were attacks by Locke, Montaigne, Sartre and others.
I am not saying I agree with all or any of this, but my opinions–as a cataloger–are completely irrelevant. These considerations only confirm my belief that our predecessors were very wise to divorce the cataloger’s opinion from the item, and to try–as well as we can even though it can be difficult!–to describe materials in the way their authors would want them described.