Perhaps the most regular plaintiffs at Canada’s Human Rights Commissions over the past 30 years have been Jewish community organizations (B’nai Brith, Canadian Jewish Congress, etc.), in the goal of persecuting Neo-Nazi-style Jew-haters into silence. As a Jew, I respect the good, peace-loving work these organizations perform. However, many Jews, like Ezra Levant, Jonathan Kay, Barbara Kay, and a host of other members of the primarily secular-Jewish constituency of these groups, have come out squarely against these groups’ efforts to continue using the notorious “Star Chamber” HRCs, now that they are being abused to the point of absurdity. For a primer on why Jews like me are cheering for antisemite Marc Lemire in today’s Super Bowl of all HRC hearings, read Jon Kay’s brilliant column first published online last night, then in today’s print edition of the National Post, “How to turn a neo-Nazi into a free-speech martyr”– as blogging friend Blazingcatfur recommended last night, well worth a full read, including the comments section following the article. A taste:
Marc Lemire is a former leader of Canada’s neo-Nazi Heritage Front. He helped distribute flyers informing Canadians that “Immigration can kill you.” On the Internet, he acts as webmaster for a variety of anti-Semitic organizations.
In short, he is a bigot — a poster-boy for all those who claim that racism is still alive and well in modern Canada.
But when Lemire faces offagainst representatives of the Canadian Human Rights Commission (HRC) on Tueday, I will be rooting for him — and so will thousands of other Canadians who are otherwise contemptuous of Lemire’s way of thinking. It may seem impossible that decent, ordinary people could be convinced to take the side of an alleged neo-Nazi. Yet, somehow, Canada’s “human rights” establishment has managed the task.
There is only one way to get people to support a despised outcast such as Lemire — and that is to turn him into a martyr for a larger principle — in this case, the principle that Canadians should be able to express themselves without subjecting their opinions to the judgment of heresy-sniffing bureaucrats. At Tuesday’s hearing, Lemire will be interrogating two HRC employees who are investigating whether he violated Section 13.1of the Human Rights Act, which prohibits Canadians from electronically communicating “any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of [their group identity].” As Canadian Civil Liberties Association general-counsel Alan Borovoy told National Postreporter Joseph Brean, Section 13.1 could theoretically be used to censor a book detailing widespread German complicity in the Holocaust, since such a book would be “likely to expose” Germans to hatred.
Pitch-perfect, from a writer I lambasted in a published letter to the editor about two years ago for being a narcissistic twit, and who I blogged about last year as being a shame to his mother’s fine name. For whatever reason, the editor of the Post’s comments section has grown significantly in intellect – and blogosphere respect – in recent months.
Look for regular updates today from Deborah Gyapong and Ezra Levant, both of whom will attempt live-blogging from the tribunal. Look for hilarious mockery at some point today from Mark Steyn. And links to all the best stuff should appear, as always, at Small Dead Animals.