The Mark Steyn affair is the most disturbing demonstration of the creeping authoritarianism of political correctness — not only because of Canada’s geographical proximity but also its moral proximity.
Me? I’m a bureaucrophobe. The thought of government speech detectives hitting the pavement (or perhaps Google) to discern which words are suitable public discourse is an odious one. In Canada’s case, hate speech need only undermine the “sense of dignity and self-worth” of any designated group.
Scouring the U.S. Constitution, one can see that free speech is not contingent on making the masses feel loved or to foster their dignity.
So let’s hope Canada’s idea of “tolerance” is relegated to life up north.
Censorship is making a comeback. Outside the United States, it is considered an acceptable price to pay for the new diversity Western Man seems now to value more than the old liberty.
Canada’s commitment to multiculturalism and the equality of all religions, races and cultures requires the silencing of those who do not believe all races, creeds and cultures are equal.
The dogmas of the Diverse Society dictate that the cherished rights of the Free Society be sacrificed on the altar of social tranquility.
What has caused this reversal of the advance of freedom?
Western Man has come to believe there are more important values than freedom, if men use their freedom in ways our new Lords Temporal find unacceptable. (…)
“The best test of truth,” said Justice Holmes, “is the power of thought to get itself accepted in the marketplace.”
Nonsense. Editor Elijah Lovely was lynched in Alton, Ill., in 1837 for advocating abolition — against the view of the marketplace. Truth is truth, whether the majority agrees or not.
Yet, one’s money ought to be on the new censors, for men who believe deeply in something, even when wrong, usually triumph over men who believe in nothing.
Today, the true believers in Islam and the true believers in diversity uber alles are making common cause against those who believe in freedom of speech and the press. As the former have the convictions and increasingly the power, they may prevail, and not only in Canada and Europe.
A new orthodoxy is arising. Freedom’s finest hour may be behind us.
The New York Times recently quoted Waldron favorably, in a story that glided from the Canadian case against Mark Steyn to a discussion of Nazis and racial epithets, without a hint of the fact that what Steyn said was both factual and worlds away from Nazism or racism. What Steyn wrote was essentially a straightforward presentation of Islamic supremacist statements made by Muslims.
If that’s hate speech, so was reporting what Hitler said in 1935.
The problem with laws against “hate speech,” such as those in Canada under which Steyn is being prosecuted, is that “hate speech” is in the eye of the beholder. Our First Amendment isn’t designed to protect speech that is popular: that would make it redundant. Rather, it is designed to protect speech that is unpopular with any group, even the majority of Americans.
Laws against “hate speech” become weapons in the hands of those who wield political power, or who are jockeying for that power: they are weapons to silence their opponents. The Times will never tell you, of course, that there is a worldwide and ongoing movement by Islamic jihadists and their allies (and useful idiots in the media) to label all critical examination of Islamic supremacism as “hate speech.”
And who will be the chief beneficiary if they succeed? The Islamic supremacists, and only the Islamic supremacists. We will be mute and hence defenseless in the face of the jihadist onslaught.
Many times, groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations have classified true statements about Islam and jihad as “hateful.” Several years ago CAIR began a campaign against National Review magazine because of a biography of Muhammad the magazine was then advertising; CAIR did not specify that anything in the book or National Review’s advertisement for it was inaccurate though nothing was. This phenomenon has recurred several times since then. We are now in danger, under the guise of forbidding “hate speech,” of forbidding discussion of the reality of Islamic jihad at precisely the moment that Islamic supremacists are pressing forward as never before with their program of stealth jihad against the West.
Left out of this fascinating tour of speech-control laws around the globe: Mark Steyn is no Nazi, and whatever one makes of his arguments, it is disgusting to insinuate otherwise.
If Steyn were in the cross hairs for defending abortion rights, I suspect the New York Times would be more careful about leaping to Nazi comparisons.
But it seems that throughout the West, “leaders” are willing to accommodate those who would stifle, intimidate or, ultimately, ban free speech, all in the name of “tolerance.” You could read all about it in Steyn’s book. It’s not banned — yet.