Today, the organizers, Canadian Citizens for Charter Rights and Freedoms, emailed me:
Your name has been proposed for a media pass to our M-103 conference. If you are interested, let me know.
I declined (possibly before drinking enough coffee to be coherent):
Hi David, Thanks for thinking of me. I appreciate your generous offer.
I’m currently not affiliated with any media outlet to which I could report my observations of the event, so it wouldn’t be right for me to accept a pass while other attendees have to pay.
In addition, while I’m thrilled to see a conference like this taking place — these issues are ones I’ve been writing about for almost 20 years, at some cost and risk — I’ve been troubled by one aspect of it since the details were first announced:
“Security will ensure that there will be no incitement, hatred or racism in word or thought whether by a speaker, or audience member, or volunteer.”
I certainly understand the impulse behind this statement, having attended my share of similar events.
However, I’m disappointed to see your organization adopt the use of the word “hatred” into its vocabulary. “Hatred” is the new “Islamophobia,” a leftist word that is designed to stifle speech rather than encourage it. So, if I may say so, is “racism,” which at this point means “having a candid conversation about possible racial/cultural quirks and tendencies,” something that used to be called “anthropology” and “sociology” — before, again, the left got hold of those disciplines.
Hatred is a very good thing. I hate the men who brought down the Twin Towers, with a passion that has barely diminished since 2001. I hate the killers at the Charlie Hebdo office and the Bataclan; of Nice and London and Manchester; and I hate the politicians and other elites whose policies made those crimes possible. Anyone who doesn’t hate something probably has an IQ of around room temperature.
Furthermore, the presence of the word “thought” in your statement is especially disturbing.
Surely your security is incapable of policing thought, and a group dedicated to “rights and freedoms” wouldn’t really want to employ such powers, were they achievable?
Finally, I’m really not the kind of person who is naturally drawn to any event described as a “learning circle.” For me, the seven scariest words in the English language are, “Now let’s break up into small groups.” I feel, perhaps arrogantly, that I have nothing more to “learn” at this point about Islam, terrorism, and the cravenness of our elites. What we need now is concrete action.
So if you guys are ever planning a march on Parliament or some such, I’ll gladly attend, pitchfork in hand 🙂
All these are simply my personal quirks, of course. I wish you sincere good luck with your event, and thank you again for thinking of me.