[thechat] The Death of Democracy...

Chris Marsh chris at ecleanuk.com
Fri Feb 14 08:52:01 CST 2003


> I don't know too much about the other people but Ernst Zundel
> wasn't arrested because he was a holocaust denier or because
> he was against the Canadian Government, he was arrested
> because he contravened the hate speech laws in Canada. There

I guess this is more a matter of semantics than anything else. He
contravened the hate speech laws *because* he was a holocaust denier.
The problem with hate speech laws is that they can be very subjective.
If I say to someone "You are a black man", then I can be correct. Since
the word "black" is as political as descriptive, I can not only be
correct in saying this, but completely inoffensive as well. If however
this statement is taken out of context, I can now be convicted even
though I am a) not a racist and b) completely correct. If someone
believes that the holocaust did not take place, what place has the law
to punish them for a mere opinion? If someone says "Kill jews now
BECAUSE the holocaust did not take place", then there is a clear case
for incitement. The statement "Kill jews now" is identical to the
previous statement  as far as incitement goes, and as an opinion
regarding a historical record is not an incitement to do anything it is
irrelevant to the incitement charge. The author of the article is
certainly not defending racism and haters.

> were huge and sometimes militant demonstrations against him
> by the *people* - and let me tell you I knew a bunch of those
> people and they weren't friends of the Canadian government
> either. It's not some government conspiracy against racists.

No, it is a subversion of freedom to express one's opinions. It is an
introduction of thought crime, as hate is an emotion. What makes speech
"hate speech" is not what you say, but what you think while you say it.
This is a micro-step away from being what you think
_whether_or_not_you_say_it_. Having racist opinions should never be
illegal. Thoughts should never come under the juristiction of the law.
Doing something about them of course should be illegal, but only if a
law is broken that applies across the board. The "thought crime" should
however be irrelevant to the punishment. If the murderer of a black man
gets 25 years because he doesn't like black men, and the murderer of a
white man gets 15 years because he was "only" robbing him and had no
personal thoughts about him whatsoever what message do the family of the
white man get? That his life was worth less because the murderer didn't
care who he was?

> So putting that very poignant and powerful statement on top
> of an article defending virulent racists, haters and
> holocaust deniers is really kind of gross - but I guess in
> some ways it gets the point across. The point is that we
> should defend them because next it'll be the rest of us who
> don't agree with the government. But I don't think that his
> argument that the world is going to end up in war, the US
> gov't has all of this planned and is rounding up racists
> because they'll lead the people to "massive civil chaos and
> unrest" once the bombs start dropping, is at all logical or
> believable. I think the quote at the top of the article is
> the only part worth reading...

Whether or not it's believable is one thing, but it certainly has logic
to it. If you're fighting war abroad, the last thing you need is civil
unrest. And who most likely to lead that unrest? People used to
expressing unpopular opinion in voices deep and loud. In times of crisis
the man whose enemy is my enemy becomes my friend, and I sadly believe
that times of crisis are looming.

For the record I am not a racist, and don't defend those who are. I do
believe that everyone has a right to an opinion, and everyone should be
judged by the same standards. To say prior to conviction that person A
has rights and person B doesn't; doesn't do the victims justice let
alone the perpetrator or the alleged crime.


Chris Marsh

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