Skip to comments.Unlike Others, U.S. Defends Freedom to Offend in Speech
Posted on 06/11/2008 6:01:20 PM PDT by shrinkermd
VANCOUVER, British Columbia A couple of years ago, a Canadian magazine published an article arguing that the rise of Islam threatened Western values. The articles tone was mocking and biting, but it said nothing that conservative magazines and blogs in the United States do not say every day without fear of legal reprisal.
Things are different here. The magazine is on trial.
Two members of the Canadian Islamic Congress say the magazine, Macleans, Canadas leading newsweekly, violated a provincial hate speech law by stirring up hatred against Muslims. They say the magazine should be forbidden from saying similar things, forced to publish a rebuttal and made to compensate Muslims for injuring their dignity, feelings and self-respect.
The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, which held five days of hearings on those questions here last week, will soon rule on whether Macleans violated the law.
...Some prominent legal scholars say the United States should reconsider its position on hate speech.
It is not clear to me that the Europeans are mistaken, Jeremy Waldron, a legal philosopher, wrote in The New York Review of Books last month, when they say that a liberal democracy must take affirmative responsibility for protecting the atmosphere of mutual respect against certain forms of vicious attack.
Professor Waldron was reviewing Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment by Anthony Lewis, the former New York Times columnist. Mr. Lewis has been critical of efforts to use the law to limit hate speech.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
...Some prominent legal scholars say the United States should reconsider its position on hate speech
...except for McCain-Feingold and political correctness.
In my opinion, our right to free speech is one of the least impeded constitutional rights that we have left. However, “campaign finance reform”, along with the rise of hate crimes legislation, is eroding even that bastion of freedom. We MUST fight to maintain this right; otherwise, we will definitely be doomed as free nation, no doubt.
Here is the problem... Some forms of vicious attacks are OK.
1) A religious extremist chops the heads off of people who were kidnapped for no reason other than not being followers of the extremist's faith.
2) A journalist verbally and in writing criticizes the extremists for their violence.
I can't wait to see which of the two is a "vicious attack" according to the PC Police of the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal.
“democracy must take affirmative responsibility for protecting the atmosphere of mutual respect”
No, you can’t legislate respect, mutual nor otherwise.
If you try, mr-canadian-in-news-story, can you make sure people that hold anti-queer and racist views get the respect that everyone else does? What, you don’t agree with those views, therefore they don’t deserve respect?
OK, I understand. You only want the governement to “respect” the views you agree with. How dictatorial of you.
Try this view: never in my country you stupid socialist trash. I’ll hate who I damn well please and will make that hatred known when I please.
A departure from the view...? At the risk of being brought before the Star Chamber for examination, I would like to suggest that the author is an imbecile. Devious, creative with words, but still an imbecile.
Of course the "suppression of hate propaganda" is "incompatible with the guarantee of free expression." Only an imbecile would deny it. And only an imbecile would suggest that such an attitude is merely a well-reasoned "departure from the view." As though such an expression lends credibility to the patently irrational argument.
If truth offends you, you have a big problem.
Multiculturalism is pure hatred; hatred of our national culture, which has proven itself superior to all others by producing a country to which all others wish to come.
Then they defacate on it by dragging the culture from which they escaped with them. Insanity.
Freedom has never been an easy thing to gain, or an easy thing to keep. We’re losing it inch-by-inch in this country.
Yeah, and they want us to vote for the first half of that bill’s name.
The kangaroo courts and star chambers in Canada are far scarier than any hate-speech!
It is not clear to me that the Europeans are mistaken.Well it should be, Jeremy.
(Would I be committing a "hate crime" in Canada to observe that Jeremy's intellect could not be considered profound?)
"There is only one justification for making incitement a criminal offense: the likelihood of imminent violence. The imminence requirement sets a high hurdle."Yes. And so it should.
Innocent intent is not a defense. Nor is truth. Nor is fair comment on true facts. Publication in the public interest and for the public benefit is not a defense. Opinion expressed in good faith is not a defense. Responsible journalism is not a defense.Every single one of these should be an air-tight defense.
The fact that any one is not is scarier than "hate speech".
After witnessing the travesties in Canada and France, I now see the wisdom of the judicial decisions in the U.S. in favor of freedom of speech--many of which seemed wrong--e.g. the desecration of the flag; allowing the Ku Klux Klan to march in Skokie; the criticisms of American foreign policy, the Viet Nam War, the War in Iraq, et al., that seem to border on treason; even restrictions on obscenity and pornography.
What frightens me about this case can be summed up with the following key words; Kelo SCOTUS 2005, 2nd Amendment restrictions, Roe v Wade SCOTUS 1973, Fairness Doctrine and Same-Sex Marriage. Each of the above derives from judicial or regulatory cases and takes something that had previously been considered clear law and brought it into dispute.
I believe that we are only 3 SCOTUS appointees (Obama?) away from having a "Living Constitution" that would take into account 'political realities' and foreign jurisprudence on some equal basis with our Constitution. Either the Constitution is the ABSOLUTE LAST WORD LAW OF THE LAND changeable only by the Amendment process OR it is paper to be interpreted in the ever changing winds of fashion.
This November, vote like your freedom is at stake because it really is!
On a previous thread on the Steyn / Maclean fiasco,
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2028489 "O Stalinoid Canada"
I posted the following ...
Yet Canadians tout their "CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS" as their equivalent of our "Bill of Rights" and better because it is modern and reflects the high ideals of the United Nations. The pertinent part of this document follows;
2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association.
Now to me in my ignorance, it appears that in Mr.Steyn & Maclean Magazine's case, they should simply stand, plead "Article 2b of the Canadian Charter and then sit down. Of course, I am neither Canadian or a "Queen's Counsel", [Where is Rumpole when you need him anyway?]
Sir, I think that you and I are in full agreement. What a travesty of culture to sell your freedoms for domestic 'feel good'. I wonder how well these would operate under Sharia Law?
I have to censor my own reply to this thought. The Constitution is the heart of what it means to be an American.
George Orwell pointed to the epitome of double think. One can see one's view entirely contradicted by another view. One can believe both. Thus pure hate, can be sloughed off, as something else if convenient.- This is if the wording was the same, as some poor condemned wretch would use, with just a different designation.
Objection! Assumes facts not in evidence. (What if there is no mutual respect?)
Unless, of course, it involves pornography or communism.
Professor Waldron is engaging in hate speech.
i hope i don’t get banned...
we have the freedom to say anything, it is up to those hearing it to respond rationally and logically to ascertain its veracity.
if you don’t like it is not a reason to ban it.
i hate when i due that..
...other than zero-tolerance policies and hate speech legislation, among other slippery slope P.C. B.S.
That is funny, it is pretty clear to me that the Europeans are flat out stupid. Once you give the Government control of your speech (HRC) or thoughts (hate crimes) you pretty much give them control over you. Then again the EU has been trying to enslave Europe under it’s unelected politicians anyways...
You take away any aspect of free speech in the United States and very slowly small concerned groups of citizens will organize. Their activity and numbers will grow and it will not be pretty. It will happen.
Virtually every Communist and Fascist state had (and has) pleasant-sounding stuff in their constitutions about freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc. But there was always some weasel-words about “maintaining public order and respect” that fatally undermined those guarantees. Same thing about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.