The Alberta “Human Rights” Commission has dismissed the charges against Ezra Levant over his publishing of the infamous Danish Muhammed cartoons in a now-defunct magazine he owned. Levant’s scathing response to the dismissal is almost entirely on the money, in my view. That the absurd charges were dismissed does not mean that the Canadian hate speech system works; the fact that such charges can be brought in the first place, costing the man an ungodly amount of money to defend himself, means the system is inherently unjust and should be done away with. There is no “human right” not to be offended by someone else’s views, period. Long excerpt below the fold.
The two complaints cost Alberta taxpayers in excess of $500,000 and, according to access to information documents, involved no fewer than 15 government bureaucrats. What a scam – on the part of the complainants, who were able to wage “lawfare” against an infidel without paying a cent; and on the part of the HRC, as a make-work project.
Fire. Them. All…
Is this a victory? I suppose, in a narrow technical sense, it is. I’m off the hook now for both of the HRC complaints. That’s two legal battles done – though I’m still up to my eyeballs fighting defamation suits and other legal actions that the human rights industry piled on top of these complaints.
But I’ve read the dismissal letter three times now, and each time it makes me more angry. Because I haven’t been given my freedom of the press. I’ve simply had the government censor approve what I said. That’s a completely different thing.
Pardeep Gundara – a second-rate bureaucrat, a nobody – had to give me his approval for me to be allowed to go back to my business. For 900 days I was in the dock, waiting for this literary giant to pronounce his judgment on me. And I found favour in his eyes – but barely.
Sorry. I don’t give a damn what Gundara or the HRC says. Getting his approval is not a success. I won’t legitimize his arrogant “authority” by saying “thank you, master”. I’ll say: “who the hell are you? Besides a busy-body bureaucrat?”
Look at his rationale for acquitting me: because the Western Standard met Gundara’s home-made tests of reasonableness. We published the cartoons in “context”; we published letters that “criticized” them; and my favourite, the cartoons weren’t “simply stuck in the middle” of the magazine. Gundara must have thought for ten whole minutes to come up with that list of journalistic do’s and don’t's. And – phew! – he likes me. He really likes me!
Sorry again, I don’t give a damn if he likes me. In fact, it rather creeps me out that a whole squad of teat-sucking bureaucrats spent 900 days inspecting me and the Western Standard. I positively want to offend them. In fact, that’s pretty much the only test of my freedom: can I do exactly what Gundara says I shouldn’t? I’m not interested in publishing recipes or sports scores. I’m interested in bothering the hell out of government.
And so he should be. And please don’t respond by telling me that Levant is a conservative/fascist/whatever and therefore….well, therefore something. Absolutely irrelevant. Free speech does not just apply to those you agree with.