Hate speech has become a hot topic and in a pattern that has been repeated over and over again, in Western country after Western country those behind the push to criminalise people’s words are Muslim activists enabled by the media and authoritarian, left-wingers who support State control of everything. It is only to be expected that they would want to control our words as well as our lightbulbs.
Our laws for abuse are already adequate and just need to be enforced. In the recent Huntly incident even though there was no evidence of racial or religious abuse the young extremely drunk woman pleaded guilty to insulting and assaulting another woman and was punished for her crime. That should have been the end of it but because the victim of her abuse was a media savvy PR person it is being used as a lever to try to change our laws.
This is something that we must resist with every bone in our bodies as when laws have been changed to criminalise people’s speech overseas it has had a ” chilling” effect on free speech and has been used to silence and bully people with opinions that others do not agree with. So far the National government are resisting calls to legislate against ” hate speech” but in the past, they have caved when the media and activists have made a big enough noise so as voters we need to send them a strong message to stand firm on this issue.
Here are three examples from three different countries that show how hate speech laws have been used:
Bill Whatcott was charged with promoting hate after he distributed flyers during a gay pride parade in 2001 and 2002 that condemned gay sex as immoral. He was found guilty by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal in 2005. The words that were accused of being hate speech in his flyers were,”filth,” “propaganda” and “sodomy” Whatcott was dragged through the court system for five years before his conviction was overturned.
British politician Paul Weston was arrested on suspicion of religious or racial harassment after quoting a passage on Islam from a book by Winston Churchill.
Sweden: A veteran Swedish police officer despite acknowledging that his actions might result in a pay cut, demotion and/or termination posted the following rant to facebook.
“Here we go; this is what I’ve handled from Monday-Friday this week: rape, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, rape-assault and rape, extortion, blackmail, assault, violence against police, threats to police, drug crime, drugs, crime, felony, attempted murder, rape again, extortion again and ill-treatment.”
“Suspected perpetrators; Ali Mohammed, Mahmod, Mohammed, Mohammed Ali, again, again, again. Christopher… what, is it true? Yes, a Swedish name snuck in on the edges of a drug crime. Mohammed, Mahmod Ali, again and again.”
“Countries representing all the crimes this week: Iraq, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Somalia, Syria again, Somalia, unknown, unknown country, Sweden. Half of the suspects, we can’t be sure because they don’t have any valid papers. Which in itself usually means that they’re lying about their nationality and identity.”
The chief prosecutor of the Special Prosecution Office in Malmö reviewed the officer’s Facebook post and stated that, if it was found to be criminal he would be fired.
… the officer, who works as an investigator for the police in Örebro, a small city in southern Sweden, admitted what he was writing was not politically correct.
He said he did not care as he would soon be retiring after nearly 50 years of service.
The former deputy chief of the serious crimes division wrote: “I’m so f***** tired. What I’m writing here isn’t politically correct. But I don’t care.
“Our pensioners are on their knees, the schools are a mess, healthcare is an inferno, the police is completely destroyed. Everyone knows why, but no one dares or wants to say why.”
A South African cartoonist sums up what happens when you criminalise speech.
It should go without saying that such a law is profoundly dangerous for numerous reasons and erodes the foundations of a democracy. Citizens of a democratic country should not be criminalised for saying words or drawing pictures, no matter how offensive or inappropriate the words or pictures might be.
This cartoon I did for Maroela Media neatly summarises the “hate speech law”.
For those that think that certain speech should be punished consider the imbalance we already have inside our societies where one type of criticism gets condemned while another is tolerated and accepted. It is highly likely that this bias and imbalance will also occur inside our legal system if speech is criminalised here in New Zealand.