Monday, September 15, 2008

Canadian Human Rights Commission: at war with history

Will the Canadian Human Rights Commission try to move in future to clear the nation's libraries (or only internet libraries?) of all the "historical texts" that fail to live up to today's politically-correct standards, according to the Canadian Human Rights Act that outlaws publications that may expose some group to hatred or contempt, now or in future?

Believe it or not, that seems to be the implication of some of their testimony in closing arguments over Marc Lemire's constitutional challenge to Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act. Lemire has live-blogged today's proceedings in a number of posts at his freedomsite blog. In one post, he notes:
“The Tribunal does not have the power to create an exception for jokes,” as proposed by the defendant, Miss Blight argued. “The Commission’s position is that there is no free pass for jokes either,” she added.

Hadjis challenged Miss Blight’s denunciation of an article on the freedomsite on homosexuality and the AIDS epidemic. Mr. Lemire’s response was that the statistics showed higher Black and homosexuals had higher AIDS rates. “But does this cross the Taylor threshhold?” he asked. “People get their facts wrong all the time,” he added.

“It’s further submitted that there is no free pass for historical materials, just because they were written several or many years ago. In fact, the Bahr case, the Tribunal considered The International Jew and found that it violated Sec. 13. Historical texts can violate Sec. 13,” she said.
The FreedomSite Blog: MORNING SESSION: "No Free Pass for Jokes," Internet Censors? Spokesman Insists

In earlier reports we see that the CHRC is also arguing that web sites whose commenters break Section 13 are themselves responsible for the commenter's "hate speech". Well, that's going to be an easy way to shut down the comments at blogs you don't like.

Free Dominion is also live blogging the hearings.

UPDATE: I may not be appreciating the CHRC's argument about what kind of republication of historical texts they will try to block. Free Dominion, in its live blogging, briefly notes:
Now onto books
Anti-semitism in books on a library shelf is OK

Shakespere`s anti-semitism is OK

they don't cause antisemitism
So it will only be illegal to republish or make available books that will cause antisemitism? But who's to say Shakespeare doesn't cause antisemitism? In future, maybe he will! And that very possibility is what the Canadian Human Rights Act outlaws. Forget judges and the rule of law. We need seers.

UPDATE 2: Section 13 called into question by chair of Canadian Human Rights Tribunal


Blazingcatfur said...

Much the same argument was made by Anuj Desai about Tsesis Thesis.

truepeers said...

Yes, I wrote about Tsesis too.

The fact that the Attorney General of Canada is still defending this piece of legislation (section 13) that goes against all our best traditions and mitigates against people speaking and recognizing plain truths, in favor of some politically correct group think, is reason enough to kick Harper out of office. If only there were a party willing to take a stand.