Saturday, April 10, 2010

Free Speech in Canada Flatlining

I just finished reading Joseph Brean's full page wrap-up of hate speech jurisprudence, and the word I'd use to describe it is...disappointing. For while Brean hits all the highlights, or lowlights, the cases that have made a few obscure "haters" and their accusers household names in the free speech community (Boisson, Lund, Whatcott, Taylor, among others), he rather misses the point of it all. It is not, as he writes, that some recent rulings in regular courts, having overturned cockamamie rulings in "human rights" courts, "suggest the legal threshhold of hatred is being moved higher, drawing ever more extreme speech into the protective fold of free expression." It's that "hate speech" is whatever the ideologues in charge of our "human rights" system and members of the Trudeaupian intelligentsia say it is. Thus, the speech of some punk in the boonies logging on to express his fondness for Der Fuhrer: Achtung, that's obvious hate speech (and until recently, had the punk had the misfortune to be spotted by Richard Warman, Canada's prize-winning Nazi detector, he might have found in self in deep "human rights" doo doo). The zesty free expression of some Palestine House gadabouts calling for another round of Jew extermination: not so much.

There's another humungous problem, too: Canada's Official Jews, delusionally, have been counting on a band-aid--state censorship--to counteract the effects of Canada's open door immigration policy which has, over the past few years, kited the number of Muslim immigrants from lands where Zionhass is like mother's milk. As Dr. Phil might have said under such circumstances, "How's that workin' out for you, Bernie?"

So rather than merely do another round up of "hate speech" cases, I wish Brean had addressed that aspect of things and how, in the absence of a true understanding of and robust dedication to free speech, the be-all and end-all of democracy, we have ended up seriously undermining our own freedom, and turning ourselves into the laughingstock of the Western world.

Brean concludes his article thus:
At the University of Ottawa this week, soon after the Ann Coulter debacle, an equally controversial figure came to speak about freedom of expression. Doug Christie is a lawyer who has argued for such hatemongers as John Ross Taylor, Ernst Zundel and James Keegstra, and is involved in the Marc Lemire case that will probe Section 13.

His lecture was not inflammatory like Ms. Coulter's well-known schtick, and focused on the law, rather than the issues. As he put it: "I have been trained by the Supreme Court not to engage in hate speech, even though no one can define it in advance."
Earlier in the piece, Brean quotes the preternaturally optimisitc Ezra Levant as saying that, in light of recent court rulings, "Canada's a little freer now." But if even Doug Christie, who represents some of the freest-spoken (if distasteful) souls in the land, has trained himself not to say anything Coulteresque (as if her words are anywhere near as outré as the musings of Christie's clients; shame on you for so suggesting, Joe Brean), you know that free speech in Canada is on life support, and failing fast.

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