This from Chris Cook, of the estimable University of Victoria Gorilla Radio (yes Gee-Oh, as in, our furry friends… or cousins…..or descendants, depending on your evolutionary perspective and level of optimism about the human race)
“For American readers who value and feel protected by the 1st Amendment (right to free speech), it may seem strange that a country would enshrine in law the opposite condition; but Hate Crime legislation in this country is widely supported. Canada is an ethnically, and politically diverse country, consisting of minority populations from the world over, and it was deemed fair-minded to ensure all are protected from the “tyranny of the majority.” But it’s a double-edged sword, making possible an abuse of the statutes, allowing an equally odious tyranny, the stifling of dissent and criticism by a dedicated minority.
Such is, I believe, the case here.
To understand the nature of the B’nai Brith complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, it’s instructive to visit the Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) website; there is explained the goals of the CJC, and their marching orders to regional branches of B’nai Brith in defending Israeli interests. The CJC’s ‘General Expectations of Canada,’ and presumably of Canadian Jews and Christian Zionists loyal to Israel, right or wrong, are to take “constructive interventions against resolutions or motions” made in Canada that:
i) blame only Israel and its policies for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
ii) indict Israel’s legitimate counter-terrorism measures with no reference to or condemnation of Palestinian terrorism.
iii) deny or undermine Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state in the Middle East.
iv) employ existentially threatening language such as referring to Israel as a “racist” or “apartheid” state and apply terms such as [“genocide”(?)], or “ethnic cleansing” to the conflict.
v) are based upon inaccurate media information or Palestinian Authority propaganda.
vi) predetermine the outcome of direct, bilateral negotiations in keeping with UN Resolution 242 and 338 or circumvent such a process.
At the same time, Canada’s delegates must support and encourage efforts at the UNCHR that:
i) will ensure a comprehensive accounting of international human rights situations such that grievous international human rights issues are not ignored or soft-pedalled as a result of a politicized, anti-Israel agenda.
ii) highlight the crippling impact of continuing Palestinian terrorism – which has been explicitly legitimized in the CHR resolutions – on the peace process and on attempts to establish a true human rights regime in the Middle East.
iii) draw attention to the deficiencies within the Palestinian Authority regarding human rights and the building of a viable civil society for the Palestinian people.”
Or as a reader writes:
"Let me get this right...
Its OK for Israel to be a Jewish state, but the US is NOT a Christian state and India is NOT a Hindu state...
just wanted to be sure..I am getting confused...
Is calling someone a RACIST not OK but you can still be one...what about BIGOT?
Or maybe some racists ae better than other racists...
by the way, what IS racisim..I've almost forgotten.
My head hurts..what about baby-killer, is that existentially threatening? Satanic spawn.. or rag-head... or how about Islamicist...or...subhuman vermin scum?
Can I kill you, but nicely? In an entirely politically correct, racially diverse, ethnically sensitive, gender-inclusive sort of way....?
For samples of the kind of offensive speech that would be classified as hate speech, see Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination and think about how far you’d be willing to go in shutting people up. What might the fall out be?
If what someone like Don Imus says is “hate speech,” why isn’t what Rush Limbaugh says too…or Al Sharpton…or any number of other people? Pushed to absurdity, practically everything can be construed as some form of hate of someone or at least of their strongest values. Free speech does have limits – usually when you incite people into some sort of dangerous action during war-time. When you advocate violence or assassination. But that’s not what we have here is it? Offending people shouldn’t be against the law. Sometimes it just might be our civic duty.
Here, folks, is why we need to support the one representative who has consistently fought for free speech, for the Bill of Rights, for constitutionality and the preservation of civil liberties every step of the way – Congressman Ron Paul.