Section 13 repeal: Warren Kinsella’s spiteful response

It’s difficult to know where to begin with Warren Kinsella’s illogical and rather juvenile diatribe regarding the repeal of the notorious “Section 13” of the Canadian Human Rights Act.  So, in no particular order, here are my responses to his undignified venting:

Firstly, those who use terminology such as “kike”, “nigger”, “faggot”, “Paki” and “Chink” are incapable of expressing themselves in a more rational (and literate) manner.  Nor are such crude ignoramouses likely to affect the opinion of anyone except their own kind.  They are aggravating and annoying, but have little ability to cause harm by words alone. 

Secondly, the abolition of Section 13 most assuredly does not open the floodgates to such things as “your upset kids announce they’ve received e-mails covered in swastikas”,  communications saying “Death to the Jews”, or people writing “God hates fags” all over your Facebook page.

The criminal code covers harassment, and the courts are entirely capable of taking aggravating circumstances into account in sentencing.  Mr. Kinsella’s predictions appear to me to be completely unfounded, and designed to advance an agenda rather than to convey any meaningful reflection of reality.

What the repeal of Section 13 has achieved is the loss of the ability of human rights “practitioners” to persecute those who do not toe the “politically correct” line by dragging them in front of kangaroo courts that can determine their own procedures, do not regard the truth as a defence, and are quite capable of basing a finding of guilt on little more than an allegation of “hurt feelings”. 

At long last, after many years of being deprived of the most basic of human rights, those accused of “hate crimes” will now have the benefit of due process, the assumption of innocence until proven guilty, and their accusers will no longer have automatic access to public funding through the “human rights” industry. 

Ominously, Mr. Kinsella’s suggestion that we should “make it easier for identifiable groups to sue for defamation” seems to indicate a desire to find another way to turn the spigot back on…

There will be no more just hauling off and embarking on a self-righteous crusade courtesy of the taxpayer.  No more guaranteed convictions, no more “punishment through process”, no more serial complainers such as Richard Warman, who received the “Saul Hayes Human Rights Award” from the Canadian Jewish Congress for ‘distinguished service to the cause of human rights’ in June of 2007.

And how about “Harper had no mandate to do this. It never came up in the election.”  So what?  Harper can’t bring up every single issue that is on his mind, and in any event, are majority governments to be forbidden to act on any issue coming up three or four years into their term that they did not address earlier? 

Macleans.ca quoted Harper as saying in a 1999 interview with Terry O’Neill of BC Report newsmagazine that: “Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society… It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff.” 

Harper was not in Parliament then, but he clearly placed himself on the record for anyone taking the trouble to look.

“Now that Section 13 is gone, the only tool we have to deal with hate propaganda online is the Criminal Code”? – Well, really!  To my mind, that says it all about Mr. Kinsella’s mean and spiteful attitude towards those he disagrees with.  And referring to MP Brian Storseth, the author of the bill responsible for the repeal, as “a nobody Conservative MP” is equally telling.

Now you will have to go after your enemies the proper way, using due process, Mr. Kinsella. 

Deal with it.

Jeff Goodall.

Haters will love changes to human rights act

Toronto Sun
Warren Kinsella
June 9th, 2012

Kike.

Don’t like that? Too bad.

Nigger. Faggot. Paki. Chink.

Don’t like those, either? Again, too bad.

As of last week, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government made it a lot easier for you to be called any of those things — or any number of other racist, hateful epithets — when they killed a key part of the Canadian Human Rights Act. That part, Section 13, prohibited the communication of hate via the telephone or the Internet.

The section came into being in the ’70s because some neo-Nazi groups were using hate lines to communicate some pretty awful stuff.

More than a decade later, the Supreme Court told a litigious white supremacist the section was constitutional and a reasonable limit on his free speech rights. A decade after that, with the haters spending a lot more time on the Internet than on telephones, Parliament decided to expand the section to cover online attacks.

Then, just this week, a nobody Conservative MP was successful in getting Section 13 killed, making use of the Harper regime’s favoured sleight-of-hand, a private member’s bill. Section 13 was dead.

Lots of conservatives are delighted by this. That may be because most of them, I suspect, have never been on the receiving end of a web attack calling them a “nigger” or a “faggot.”

I think the Harper folks have made a big mistake, and for lots of reasons. One, Harper had no mandate to do this. It never came up in the election.

That’s because, two, his minority governments had always defended Section 13. In fact, his justice minister, Rob Nicholson, regularly ordered his lawyers to intervene in cases to defend the section. But that’s not all. Problem three is a big one: Now that Section 13 is gone, the only tool we have to deal with hate propaganda online is the Criminal Code.

Online hate’s not going away.

So, we are now going to see a dramatic increase in the number of hate expression cases involving the Criminal Code. The Human Rights Act, which is non-criminal, is a much better route than the Code.

Do you want to see people going to jail for every case of online hate? Me neither. It’s unnecessary, it’s expensive and it is going to whip up more conflict, not less.

What I favour is citizen-based advocacy, with no human rights commissions or Criminal Code provisions being necessary at all. Make it easier for identifiable groups to sue for defamation; that is the best way for a society to express itself.

When that was done in Oregon in the 1990s with the White Aryan Resistance, it put them out of business. They have never recovered. That is always the way to go: Citizen-based advocacy. Being condemned by a peer is always more effective than being pursued by a bureaucrat or a judge. But the Harper regime hasn’t done that.

Let me conclude this way. It makes the point better than a pedantic academic treatise ever could.

Close your eyes and imagine for a moment you are a Jew, and your upset kids announce they’ve received e-mails covered in swastikas and “DEATH TO THE JEWS.” Or imagine you’re a person of colour, and you turn on your work computer and your e-mail inbox is full of KKK propaganda. Or, imagine you are a gay kid — living in the closet and living in fear — and you open your Facebook page, and someone has written “GOD HATES FAGS” all over it.

It’s just words, some say; it’s just some symbols. Big deal. No one has hit you, no one has beaten you up.

But, to me, some words and some symbols should never, ever be used with impunity.

No useful “idea” is conveyed by calling someone a kike, or nigger, or faggot, or paki or chink. In Canada, online, it has now become a lot easier to do.

See original here.

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