Someone finally gets it right…
So very seldom does anyone connected to anything of government manage to get anything right, even the slightest touch of reason deserves to be applauded. But, this is so far beyond just a touch of reason!!!
On Wednesday, an Ottawa official named Athanasios Hadjis quietly announced that section 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act, popularly known as the hate-speech law, will no longer be enforced.
The law prohibits the transmission on telephone or Internet of “any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt” on the basis of “race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for which a pardon has been granted.”
Mr. Hadjis is an adjudicator with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, which rules on discrimination cases. While he is not a judge, and therefore can’t strike down a law, he is the main gatekeeper for the hate-speech law, and his decision was bold.
“I have concluded,” he said, that the law is unconstitutional under 2(b) of the Charter of Rights, which guarantees freedom of thought, opinion and expression. As a result, he declared that “I will simply refuse to apply these provisions” to the hate-speech case he was judging, and by extension to any future cases.
Suddenly, the place known as the public sphere looks very different. For the past three decades, Canada has tried to keep it clean and neutral by preventing the appearance of the sorts of words and images that are linked to discriminatory actions. Kathleen Mahoney, a University of Calgary law professor who advocates such laws, boasts that Canada has more laws limiting harmful speech than any other country.
But there is a strong sense, even if Mr. Hadjis’s decision is overturned by the Supreme Court, that the era of hate-speech laws is coming to an end.
First, in practical terms, hate-speech laws have failed. Attacks on people based on religion or skin colour remain rare but occasional crimes in Canada, but their prevalence hasn’t been affected one way or another by outlawing hateful speech.
The psychology under it is actually very similar to claims of school uniforms eliminating gang violence in schools. If you actually look at the violence stats before and after the requirement of uniforms is in place at an institution, you find the exact same levels of violence — but no one can identify if a perpetrator of violence was a gang member or not. Thus the violent act is simply listed as violence and not attributed to a gang.
Laws intended to stop the speech of those who are inherently criminal will do almost nothing to arrest their behaviours (and it is almost always the behaviours that pose the threat.) All silencing them does is hide them from view. The problem is that, then, those same laws are used to also silence those with no criminal intent.
If there is ever a set of otherwise useless laws that have been used to suppress the truth and cancel the debate, it’s hate laws. They have been used to fine religious leaders speaking out against abortion. They have been used to destroy therapists who would treat politically correct disorders some do not want to be healed. They have been used to force religious institutions to hire those who do not support their views and they nearly cancelled the degrees of hundreds of teachers who believed homosexuality should not be promoted. That’s not the elimination of hate — that’s reverse discrimination — politically correct hate against those who would stand in the public square and speak..
Personally, I WANT every wack job, hate monger, lunatic and predator to have the right to stand on the public street corner of the internet and shout their vile proclamations at the top of their digital lungs. It’s when your enemy goes silent that you know you are in trouble anyway and I WANT to know exactly where the problems are…
I want to watch them stand there toe-to-toe with every other idea and have to defend themselves from all the other people now free to speak and/or call them idiots…
I also WANT the ranks of the politically correct to have to stand up and defend the oh-so-sacred ideas they hold dear (Because I’m gonna enjoy watching a lot of them start looking pretty silly..) 😉
By some miracle, even the human rights commission agrees that we’re finally big enough boys and girls to be able to talk to each other — or at least have the right to go make some popcorn and watch the fireworks go down.
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. ~Voltaire