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Canadian Hate-Speech Law Violates Charter of Rights

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the problem-with-liberty dept.

Censorship 651

MrKevvy writes "The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal has found that federal hate-speech legislation violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the equivalent of the US Constitution's Bill of Rights. This decision exonerates Marc Lemire, webmaster of FreedomSite.org, but may have farther-reaching consequences and serve as precedent for future complaints of hate-speech."

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aha (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29301711)

Blame Canada!

Re:aha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29301771)

I hate you.

Re:aha (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29301835)

Future Canadian Ubuntu release names:

Busty Beaner
Crackhead Coon
Drunk Darkie
Flaming Faggot
Grumpy Gringo
Humping Homosexual
Jackin' Jiggabgoo
Klepto Kike
Limey Lobersterback
Morose Moonie
Nappy Nigger
Queefing Queer
Sleazy Spic
Transsexual Twinky
Weebly Wetback
Zany Zebra

Pffft! (2, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 5 years ago | (#29301795)

You hear that sound? It's the sound of Richard Warman shitting himself. Maybe he and Jack Thompson can start some kind of international law firm so they can get international ridicule now.

"Hate" speech is Free Speech (1, Interesting)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#29301959)

And if you don't like it, move back where your grandfather came from!

We shall do just FINE here, in the company of Voltaire and Jefferson.

Re:"Hate" speech is Free Speech (1, Flamebait)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302085)

Perhaps I misunderstood the tone of your post, but you do realize I was agreeing with you, right? Inciting people to violence should be punishable (although what "inciting" is needs to be better defined), but some redneck yammering about how much he hates Jews should be tolerated, even though I would find him to be abhorent. If nothing else, it gives an outlet for various voices to be heard, whether Fascist, Republican (but then I repeat myself), Green, Democrat, Socialist, Communist, whatever, rather than letting some sets of the population steam while feeling powerless. Or, to quote that fat, limey bastard Churchill, "It is better to jaw, jaw, than to war, war."

Re:"Hate" speech is Free Speech (2)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302219)

Gotcha. Thanks.

Let's hope... (5, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#29301813)

...this sets an example for people that insist anything NOT PC speech in the US should be suppressed.

In a perfect world, this happens: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29301895)

Uber die Schelde die Maas und den Rhein,

stiessen die Panzer [achtungpanzer.com] nach Frankreich hinein,

Husaren des Fuhrers [culturejamforlife.com] im schwarzen Gewand

so haben sie Frankreich im Sturm überrannt

Es rasseln die Ketten, es drÃhnt der Motor

Panzer rollen in Afrika Korps,

Panzer rollen in Afrika [wordpress.com] vor!

Heiss uber Afrikas Boden die Sonne glüht

Unsere Panzermotoren singen ihr Lied

Deutsche Panzer im Sonnenbrand

stehen im Kampf gegen Engeland

Es rasseln die Ketten, es drÃhnt der Motor

Panzer rollen in Afrika vor

Panzer des Führers ihr Britten [blogspot.com] habt acht

Die sind zu eurer Vernichtung erdacht

Sie furchten vor Tod und

vor Teufel sich nicht

an ihnen der britische Hochmut zerbricht

Es rasseln die Ketten, es drohnt der Motor

Panzer rollen in Afrika korps,

Panzer rollen in Afrika vor!

Re:In a perfect world, this happens: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29302151)

Fuhrer in this context means drivers. Britten is not a word.

Du verfailst es!

Re:In a perfect world, this happens: (2, Funny)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302165)

Deine Mutter ist eine Schlampe und du bist ein schwein.

Re:Let's hope... (4, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302021)

What ever happened to "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me?"

It is now "Sticks and stones can be forgiven as a condition of growing up in a fatherless home in urban America. But words will land your but in court for both civil and criminal sanctions..."

Re:Let's hope... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29302093)

In Soviet Russia, you hurt words!

Re:Let's hope... (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302139)

muad'dib was russian?

Re:Let's hope... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29302197)

Via maternal grandfather, possibly. Paternal line (Atreides) claims to be greek.

Re:Let's hope... (1)

dokhebi (89124) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302129)

Welcome to post (Lyndon) Johnson America.

As always, just my $0.02 worth.

Re:Let's hope... (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302271)

What ever happened to "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me?"

Because once you get past being called names at school, "words" can most certainly hurt you.

Re:Let's hope... (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302155)

I hope.

I saw a video on youtube where a guy was invited to a university to talk about immigration issues, and his own group's belief that the Mexico/Canadian borders should be closed, except for those who obtain a legal Visa for entrance. After about 10 minutes the students started shouting at him so he could no longer finish his prepared remarks, and he asked, "Don't you believe in free speech?" and one of them yelled, "Not when it's hate speech." The professor then walked-over and apologized to the speaker.

Since when is saying, "We should enforce the Congressional laws," considered hate speech? Also speech is not free, if you're only allowed to say what is "approved" speech by whatever group is in power (the students). That sounds like pure censorship to me - if you don't like what you hear, chain the person's mouth and shut him up.

Re:Let's hope... (3, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302263)

Public university, I assume?

I wonder if the students were reprimanded in any way. It would seem that, for the most part, university "free speech" tends toward the PC side. Ok, not "tends." Is.

Try speaking out against abortion at a university some day.

Re:Let's hope... (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302291)

College campuses are notorious for that. They either engage in outright censorship (try organizing a students for concealed carry [concealedcampus.org] protest on your local campus and see how the campus powers-that-be respond) or they just drown you out when they don't agree with you. Rather hypocritical of a group that usually claims to value free speech and liberty so much, isn't it?

Re:Let's hope... (3, Insightful)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302335)

Does freedom of speech require that people not drown you out? That seems a rather interesting definition of freedom of speech. By that measure, people are required to assist you with your speech, not merely not punish you for it.

Re:Let's hope... (4, Insightful)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302387)

Does freedom of speech require that people not drown you out?

Freedom of speech is not freedom to be heard.

Re:Let's hope... (0, Troll)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302325)

You're free to talk, but you aren't guaranteed the respect and cooperation of an audience. Especially if they're in a required lecture rather then something extracurricular.

Good (5, Insightful)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 5 years ago | (#29301831)

I have always been suspicious of hate speech legislation. It seems ideal for creating slippery slopes.

You Cannot Give Offense (3, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 5 years ago | (#29301937)

You can only take it.

Re:You Cannot Give Offense (3, Insightful)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302045)

Not that I disagree with you entirely but I would argue that the Westboro Baptists are pretty offensive when they practice their rights to carry "Pray for more dead soldiers" signs at a serviceman's funeral. Are you suggesting it's my fault that I'm offended by that? I'm not arguing that we should limit their rights to do that but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be offended by it.

Re:You Cannot Give Offense (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302153)

I'm surprised nobody has put one of those SOBs in the hospital yet. I would never condone the government taking away their right to free speech but I can't exactly say that I wouldn't be inclined to beat the ever living shit out of one of them if they pulled that stunt at my kids funeral.

Re:You Cannot Give Offense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29302393)

If I remember correctly, a woman got away from hitting one of them with her car in a fit of rage about a year ago. And, if it were your kid, I'll bet the jury would be pretty sympathetic with you if you went spider-monkey on them. (Not going to weigh in on whether that's human compassion or a perversion of justice).

AC 'cuz I've been modding in here.

-gnick

Re:You Cannot Give Offense (4, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302161)

I think the best way to solve the whole hate speech nonsense is it lessen the consequences of assault and battery

Re:You Cannot Give Offense (4, Insightful)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302167)

I've been discharged a while (USMC) but that doesn't offend me at all.

It might be because I believe prayer to be a completely worthless means of getting anything done, but it also might be because I know that even though people have all sorts of beliefs I consider weird, very few of them have any actual impact on my life.

Re:You Cannot Give Offense (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302175)

Not that I disagree with you entirely but I would argue that the Westboro Baptists are pretty offensive when they practice their rights to carry "Pray for more dead soldiers" signs at a serviceman's funeral. Are you suggesting it's my fault that I'm offended by that?

I'm not arguing that we should limit their rights to do that but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be offended by it.

Yes. The Westboro guys are assholes, who, if Christianity is correct are going to burn in hell for all eternity.

Why do you care what they think, say, or do? Don't waste your energy on them.

Re:You Cannot Give Offense (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302341)

A directed energy weapon, applied surreptitiously to the WBC, might be mistaken for a smiting from "God" and be inferred as a directive to stop their ways.
Just a suggestion.
A highly entertaining suggestion if YouTube footage is made available.

Re:You Cannot Give Offense (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302223)

You might not be able to choose what emotions someone stirs in you, but you do get to choose what reaction comes from those emotions. So in a sense, yes, you are choosing to be offended.

Personally, when I see signs like that, I chalk up to more evidence for the lengths of human stupidity. Then I go on about my day.

Worth noting (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29301839)

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal is not a real court and the real courts (ie, Canadian Supreme Court) have previously ruled in favour of restrictions on publishing 'hateful' content being a justified restriction of speech in this country, probably on the very same legislation since "communicate telephonically or otherwise" referring to the internet doesn't sound like a recently changed passage.

Re:Worth noting (4, Informative)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302083)

I'm not sure exactly what they're referring to in this decision, but the Supreme Court in R v. Keegstra and R v. Krymwoski that restrictions on hate speech were perfectly valid under S.1 of the Charter.

There are, however, a variety of differences between those cases and this; the primary one being that those were criminal complaints and this is not. That said, the Supreme Court and lower courts have long upheld the Human Rights Act and have often supported the decisions of the Human Rights Commission under that act, so I think the chances of this being overturned on appeal are slim. Any overturning would likely be procedural: the procedures do not provide sufficient safeguards, the Tribunal operated beyond its powers in this instance, etc.

I find it unlikely in the extreme that the Supreme Court would simply overturn the Act itself.

The tide is turning against lefties (0, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#29301841)

Sorry, lefties. Your crazed desire to give the government as much power as humanly possible to regulate everybody's thought and living patterns to match your own is failing.

Behold crazy statements like this:

"Hateful words do have an effect. ⦠The Internet cannot and should not be a wild frontier where anything goes."

Regulate those hateful ideas off the internet! Let the government decide what is hateful and what should be allowed! Nothing could possibly go wrong!

Re:The tide is turning against lefties (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#29301945)

Yeah, because conservatives have done nothing to increase the power of government. Come on, if you're going to criticize the left, use a criticism that cant be turned around and work just as well against the right.

Re:The tide is turning against lefties (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302037)

If I remember correctly, Trudeau and his government were the architect for this legislation. Not only was he the largest asshole to ever come out of Quebec. He thought all of Canada his personal playground, reguarlly believed he was unstoppable, and in general an asshole to the Canadian public. All while...people loved him, while he fawned terms similar to "hope and change".

Yeah...if you don't know how far the liberals have gone to get power in Canada you don't know squat. Including collapsing the government on a friday, using a non-confidence motion, after everyone had already gone home.

Re:The tide is turning against lefties (2, Interesting)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302193)

Trudeau was incredibly popular with a large section of the Canadian population in the East and in Central Canada for his policies and his attitude. He's pretty much only reviled in Western Canada- and there was more than enough assholeish behavior on both sides of that relationship to go around. "Let the Eastern bastards freeze in the dark", remember?

Re:The tide is turning against lefties (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302049)

Yeah, because conservatives have done nothing to increase the power of government. Come on, if you're going to criticize the left, use a criticism that cant be turned around and work just as well against the right.

Even if I have been? Am I only aloud to criticize current mistakes if I quote my criticism of prior mistakes as well? Damn! This could take a while...

Re:The tide is turning against lefties (1, Troll)

dmadzak (997352) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302095)

Yeah, because REPUBLICANS have done nothing to increase the power of government.

Fixed that for you. Republicans != Conservatives at the Federal level.

Re:The tide is turning against lefties (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302185)

I think we're talking about Canada

Re:The tide is turning against lefties (0, Flamebait)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 5 years ago | (#29301957)

Sorry, lefties. Your crazed desire to give the government as much power as humanly possible to regulate everybody's thought and living patterns to match your own is failing.

Um, you do realize that lots of people bashing your exalted Dear Leader Bush were harrassed by the FBI, not to mention all the legally protesting people at the RNC convention who were arrested and thrown in prison on false charges (though later released)? And then, of course, there is anti-flag burning legislation always brought up by Repugs. In red states, you can't lead anyone in a school prayer unless it is to the Protestant Fundamentalist version of God. I could go on, but really. Don't talk about the mote in your neighbor's eye when you have a whole beam in yours. Anti-hate speach legislation, while ill-founded, at least had at its heart the idea to stop the traditional practice of inflaming the mob's anger so as to go out and lynch minorities. Hardly in the same league as sending the Feds after people who simply disagree with Bush.

Re:The tide is turning against lefties (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302007)

Um, you do realize that lots of people bashing your exalted Dear Leader Bush were harrassed by the FBI

Citation needed.

Repugs

Repugs? Tell us what you really think of 33% of your fellow citizens.

Anti-hate speach legislation, while ill-founded, at least had at its heart the idea to stop the traditional practice of inflaming the mob's anger so as to go out and lynch minorities.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Re:The tide is turning against lefties (2, Insightful)

dissy (172727) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302203)

Um, you do realize that lots of people bashing your exalted Dear Leader Bush were harrassed by the FBI

Citation needed.

http://www.news8austin.com/content/headlines/?ArID=111986&SecID=2 [news8austin.com]

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0513-11.htm [commondreams.org]

http://ccrjustice.org/ourcases/past-cases/united-states-v.-brett-bursey [ccrjustice.org]

http://www.blogd.com/archives/000743.html [blogd.com]

Re:The tide is turning against lefties (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302359)

Fail. Not a single one of those articles you linked even mentions the FBI, let alone says that people were "harassed" by them.

Re:The tide is turning against lefties (1, Troll)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302031)

Um, you do realize that lots of people bashing your exalted Dear Leader Bush were harrassed by the FBI, not to mention all the legally protesting people at the RNC convention who were arrested and thrown in prison on false charges (though later released)? And then, of course, there is anti-flag burning legislation always brought up by Repugs. In red states, you can't lead anyone in a school prayer unless it is to the Protestant Fundamentalist version of God.

Citations?

Re:The tide is turning against lefties (1)

EvanTaylor (532101) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302333)

RNC protesters being arrested got pretty big headlines on all the news networks when it happened. Don't think you need to cite that, assuming your audience are NEWS website goers.

FBI being used to inappropriately investigate people who aren't in line with the party in power is not unusual. Really, watch your damned national and local news if you haven't seen stories about this.

The anti-flag thing is a stupid debate, real conservative republicans have been on the news debunking the idea of making the proper way of getting rid of a flag as stupid, and Scalia (SCOTUS, incase you didn't know), a conservative if you ever met one says it is free speech.

Every single thing this guy said has been covered by all the national news associations, not just idiot bloggers.

Asking for citations on such hugely public events which were covered by multiple news outlets just shows your own ignorance, and is not "+3 insightful"

Re:The tide is turning against lefties (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302247)

It always comes down to the "feelings". Their heart was in the right place, trying to stop hate, blah blah blah.

First, I suspect you will have a hard time showing that anyone had the "feds" sent after them for merely disagreeing with Bush. More likely, the people who did get a knock on the door were people who made some kind of threat, overt, or veiled. In which case, it is their job to a have a sit down with that person.

Second, there is a very high probability that the folks arrested at were engaging in acts of vandalism or disorderly conduct and refused to disburse. Many people probably were not involved, but if you hang out in the middle of a crowd of anarchists, who's favorite past time is to burn cars and break shop windows, then you have to expect to be caught up in law enforcement actions. The cops have no idea who they are or that their hearts are in the right place and they just want to peacefully express their absolute hatred for anything not in line with their agenda. They just know you are standing there with someone who probably through a Molotov cocktail at them. Since they were later released, then it was obviously sorted out at the station and everyone now knows their true hearts.

Lastly, the "Left" has been at the forefront of banning speech. Either through civil laws, administrative laws (think Universities) or just plain intimidation. So the beam is your problem to deal with.

Re:The tide is turning against lefties (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302265)

"arrested at were" should be "arrested at (insert any Left wing protest here) were"

Re:The tide is turning against lefties (2, Insightful)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302195)

Ah, "leftie". You're so 1980.

Americans don't even know what "left" is, because your right wing republicans are a bunch of fucking nuts who believe secret prisons, Jesus, and Homeland Security are the way to go.
Your "leftist" democrats are a bunch of corporate shills, and are basically old republicans who discovered that rights for gays and minorities are okay.

People at this very moment are screaming that socializing health insurance will destroy the American health care system... which is actually just a bunch of hugely profitable HMOs deciding who gets to live and who gets to die. Yes, that's so much better. Why find common ground that's best for the public when you can get together mobs of people and storm the debates to disrupt them. American politics provides no end of entertainment to the rest of the world.

Anyway, back on track to the article. Whatever the content of the site of the complainant, it's good to see a law being revisited. If only laws were created with expiration dates of less than a generation. Make the politicians work for their money, and keep the legal system consistent with social development.

I'm glad this is gone (4, Insightful)

Maury Markowitz (452832) | more than 5 years ago | (#29301843)

Thank god this is done with at last.

Hate speech requires a hate listener. Let's work on that problem, because that one doesn't violate anyone's rights.

Re:I'm glad this is gone (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302279)

Hitler was elected in a democratic way. He used hate speech to turn the country from a democracy to a dictatorship. EU learned the hard way, why hate speech should not be allowed by the Freedom of Speech. People are sheep and can be turned into murderers in a couple of years. This is why we should never allow any form of violence. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech [wikipedia.org] In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations, such as on "hate speech".

Re:I'm glad this is gone (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302287)

While it's true that hate speech requires a listener, that tends to blur the issue rather significantly.

For example, the US Supreme Court case of Brandenburg v. Ohio and the standard of imminent lawless action. There is a sliding continuum from, on the one side, speech that is rationally interpreted and allows the listener to act simply on their own rationally-considered decision and speech which causes an individual to act before they have reached a rationally-considered decision- and the latter is not permissible.

Is it possible to eliminate the listener on the second end of the scale? Not effectively. The most effective method for preventing harm to society in such a case is to eliminate the source.

free speech includes bad speech :-( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29301851)

so, you can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, but you can talk about a fire in a crowded theater. duh.

Re:free speech includes bad speech :-( (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29302099)

Yelling "Candy!" at a crowded Weight Watchers meeting is also forbidden.

But or And? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29301861)

"This decision exonerates Marc Lemire, webmaster of FreedomSite.org but may have farther-reaching consequences and serve as precedent for future complaints of hate-speech."

If the author means complaints against claims of hate speech, I'd say "and may have" is more appropriate. If that's not what the author means, the logic baffles.

Re:But or And? (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302027)

"This decision exonerates Marc Lemire, webmaster of FreedomSite.org but may have farther-reaching consequences and serve as precedent for future complaints of hate-speech."

If the author means complaints against claims of hate speech, I'd say "and may have" is more appropriate. If that's not what the author means, the logic baffles.

I believe you have parsed the sentence you quoted incorrectly. While an additional "may" would have clarified I believe most people are capable of reading that sentence to understand that the "may" applies to both verbs following it in the sentence: "...may have....serve...".

Eh? (4, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 5 years ago | (#29301873)

CHRT has no teeth on this. All they can say is "unlawful" and go on about their business about prosecuting people. If it was a real court we wouldn't be in this position now. What a pile of BS.

But...they can bury you in fines and ruin your life without ever having to be judged by the actual laws of the land. That type of stuff really pisses me off.

Hate speech serves no purpose (2, Insightful)

LitelySalted (1348425) | more than 5 years ago | (#29301883)

Hate speech, especially published hate speech, serves no purpose other than to degrade, criminalize or deter a particular person, race, or gender.

The real issue is people worrying about giving censorship a foot and they'll take a mile.

Re:Hate speech serves no purpose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29301933)

True - the people who preach hate against oil companies and banks would be served by nothing better than being tracked down, having their photos and addresses posted, and being subject to public humiliation, for example every time they walk out someone could walk along with them and tell others what kind of despicable persons they are.

Re:Hate speech serves no purpose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29301951)

90% of speech has no purpose. If you doubt me, listen in on 3 or more 19-40 year old women having lunch.

Re:Hate speech serves no purpose (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302017)

Hate speech, especially published hate speech, serves no purpose other than to degrade, criminalize or deter a particular person, race, or gender.

That shouldn't mean you get to outlaw it though.

Re:Hate speech serves no purpose (2, Insightful)

e9th (652576) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302029)

Like beauty, hate speech is in the eye of the beholder. What I find hateful, you might find insightful. When I can ban publication of that which I find hateful, you have a problem.

Re:Hate speech serves no purpose (2, Interesting)

reginaldo (1412879) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302109)

I agree. Where the problem comes in though, is defining the boundary between hate speech and ignorant rhetoric. For instance, if I were to say that women should not serve in the military as infantry because they don't have the musculature, is that hate speech?

What if I said women shouldn't be infantry because they are weak and can't handle it?

As a sidenote, I don't believe either of the above statements, I am just trying to prove a point.

Re:Hate speech serves no purpose (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302111)

Hate speech, especially published hate speech, serves no purpose other than to degrade, criminalize or deter a particular person, race, or gender.

The real issue is people worrying about giving censorship a foot and they'll take a mile.

Please define "hate speech" in a way that is objective and clear and does not require knowing what is going on inside the mind of the person using it.

Re:Hate speech serves no purpose (1)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302305)

Speech that a reasonable person would consider to be advocating or inciting unlawful conduct directed at a person or identifiable group of people.

Re:Hate speech serves no purpose (1)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302227)

So don't listen to them.

Being ignored is their worst nightmare.

Real issue is circumventing double jeopardy (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302249)

Because in the US that is what hate speech laws are being used for. Get off from a high profile case that "bothers" some politicians and you can be sure a hate speech charge will crop up. Been done in a few visible crimes around Atlanta, suddenly the Feds are brought in because there was enough to convict on the real accused crime.

The other point is that prosecuting under the guise of a hate crime can devalue the real crime. I don't care why they selected someone's house to rob/burn/etc, all reasons should be treated the same : equally bad. Yet we try to differentiate the crimes by assigning severity based on what they were thinking or what we think they were thinking?

Fortunately in both countries we can still each have our opinions, I just hope the Supremes start tossing the US version out as well... which reminds me, did the group who declared it wrong in Canada have the last voice on that?

Re:Hate speech serves no purpose (5, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302269)

>>>Hate speech, especially published hate speech, serves no purpose other than to degrade, criminalize or deter a particular person, race, or gender.

Oh really? During the 1790s several Americans who criticized the John Adam's presidency were called a "hate speakers". Well they didn't have that term then, preferring to call it "seditious speech", but it was the equivalent - they labeled those criticisms as having no purpose and therefore people were jailed for exercising their opinions, including Benjamin's Franklin's grandson.

If you give government power to stop hate speech (or seditious speech), then you give government the power to stop ANY speech that they don't like - such as saying Bush's War is bogus (hello jail) or Obama's Healthcare is monopoly (hello jail again). The Democratic Party was born when Jefferson and others decided to take power and reverse the Sedition Act.

I find it ironic that the same party is now trying to restore the Sedition Act - a different name but still the same effect.

Re:Hate speech serves no purpose (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302277)

It is exactly this kind of head in the sand thinking that gets us into so much trouble. I can hear people agreeing with it until it is too late to undo it. This is just as idiotic as the zero-tolerance policies of too many school systems in the US.

UGH. You know what, the posting itself is hate-speech. Hatred of intelligence and rational thinking.

Re:Hate speech serves no purpose (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302295)

No, the real issue is who gets to define hate speech. For example, is a church teaching what the Bible states about homosexuals hate speech? Is that "degrading" or "deterring?" Some say yes. Should churches not be allowed to do this? This is something Canadian churches have wondered about, I know.

Re:Hate speech serves no purpose (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302377)

Hate speech, especially published hate speech, serves no purpose other than to degrade, criminalize or deter a particular person, race, or gender.

Your hateful words with regard to hate speech serve no purpose other than to hurt and degrade people who speak hatefully. We need hate speech legislation to ban hateful speech so you can no longer say such things publicly and we won't have to worry your hateful speech will result in legislation that will ban hateful speech.

What is hate-speech? (0)

reginaldo (1412879) | more than 5 years ago | (#29301905)

It's gay that they got rid of this legislation. The canadian govt. is retarded for getting rid of a law like this...

It is a very slippery slope when defining what is hate-speech, and what is just parlance/slang. Even though my above statements could be construed as ignorant or hurtful, they can only be classified as hate-speech if they are delivered with the intent to hurt.

Re:What is hate-speech? (4, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302065)

It is a very slippery slope when defining what is hate-speech, and what is just parlance/slang. Even though my above statements could be construed as ignorant or hurtful, they can only be classified as hate-speech if they are delivered with the intent to hurt.

What the fuck is so harmful about speech delivered with the "intent to hurt"? Are people really so thin-skinned that they need protection from being called bad names? Please tell me that I'm not the only one that's sick of this politically correct nonsense.

Call me all the bad names you want. If you want to go the racial route you can call me a kike, kraut, polack, limey or mutt (probably your best bet). If you want to go the non-racial route you can call me fatty, geek, pimple-head, etc. None of those things are going to make me run crying to the police for protection from you.

Re:What is hate-speech? (1)

45mm (970995) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302187)

None of those things are going to make me run crying to the police for protection from you.

Same here. Though I'd probably punch the bastard in the face for it and subsequently be arrested for assault. Go USA!

Re:What is hate-speech? (1)

reginaldo (1412879) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302303)

Well, it's harmful because it's divisive and not constructive. Also it tends to rely on ignorance as opposed to logic.

However, I totally believe that any legislation that tries to protect us from "hate" sort of neuters us from a valid human emotion. I am pretty much against any legislation that limits speech to protect people, because in the end it does just the opposite.

Pft (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29301911)

Canadians don't have rights! :P

(I am Canadian, feel my ironic powers!)

In honour of this event (4, Funny)

Atrox666 (957601) | more than 5 years ago | (#29301921)

I hate you all...legally.

Re:In honour of this event (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302355)

Only a Sith deals in absolutes. I love you, but I must chop off your arm and both legs, and leave you to burn to a crisp. Nothing personal.

Re:In honour of this event (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29302375)

I refuse to give the Canadians my hot spinach. Let them grow their own!

Yay! (0)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#29301963)


Take that, Thought Police!

Surprised? (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#29301975)

Is anyone really surprised that anti-hatespeech laws violate the basic 'free speech' right? I mean, either a person is free to say what they want or not.

I'm not condoning hate speech. I think it's still immoral and unethical... But it's still covered under 'free speech' no matter how much I hate it.

Re:Surprised? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29302091)

I think larry flints lawyer in the movie about him (maybe the real lawyer also i duno) puts this whole point in an awsome nutshell

"I am not trying to suggest that you should like what Larry Flynt does. I don't like what Larry Flynt does, but what I do like is the fact that I live in a country where you and I can make that decision for ourselves. I like the fact that I live in a country where I can pick up Hustler magazine and read it, or throw it in the garbage can if that's where I think it belongs. "

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29302115)

Hey.. Wait a minute.....
You say that you Hate, Hate speech??
Isn't that hate speech?
--boom-- head asplodes...

Re:Surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29302229)

Yes and no. Yes in that anti-hatespeech laws violate basic free speech laws. No in that a person is NOT free to say what they want; the classic exceptions are "FIRE!" in a theater and inciting violence, though they are minimal.

Finally! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29302003)

I can finally say what I've been thinking all these years:

Quebecois, vous pouvez aller les porcs sucer!

Oh the Irony! (0, Offtopic)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302013)

I clicked the link to FreedomSite.Org, but they block it here at the office. (Yes, I know, that isn't censorship since it isn't the government - I'm lucky they let me browse Slashdot at all)

Re:Oh the Irony! (1)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302145)

I clicked the link to FreedomSite.Org, but they block it here at the office. (Yes, I know, that isn't censorship since it isn't the government - I'm lucky they let me browse Slashdot at all)

Censorship is censorship, regardless of whose doing it. Legality is a different matter.

Notwithstanding... (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302069)

All the legislature has to do is exempt it; the Charter has an explicit out called the "notwithstanding" clause.

Re:Notwithstanding... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302119)

Never happen, ever. Because it would be a green light for other provinces to start using not-withstanding like a giant bat. That's something the government doesn't want to do. The hate crime law is legislation anyway, any part of it can be repealed in force by the government at anytime.

They seem to be quite busy this week (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29302179)

On Monday, a white South Africa was granted asylum - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8233004.stm

Re:They seem to be quite busy this week (1)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302283)

On Monday, a white South Africa was granted asylum - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/8233004.stm [bbc.co.uk]

TWO things in one week?! Give those people a raise!

A good day for Canada (4, Insightful)

mikeabbott420 (744514) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302181)

Freedom of speech requires we allow assholes to say offensive things. Even the idiots who hate free speech should have the right to speak their moronic opinions ;)

Sticks and stones (1)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302199)

What happened to "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me"?

It's one thing his rights were upheld, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29302217)

...hate speech is so gay.

This can go both ways (1)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302231)

Now we can mount a campaign to "suggest" and "encourage" the death of that blogger based solely on his beliefs. If he dies, it isn't our fault!

Freedom of Speach ! ... At What Cost ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29302235)

Dont get me wrong, im all for freedom of speech, but ... does that mean that you can say *anything* you like ? Like for example, ... Deny the Holocaust ? Say you want all 'insert-favorite-group-here' burned by fire for what race they are, or belief system they have, or sexual preference ? Allow people to promote or encourage killing, or discrimination people for what they are or stand for ? You have to draw the line somewhere. And I am not saying that I should decide what that line is, or exactly where it lies, but I do feel that we should always keep having the discussion on where to draw the line. Just because you *can* say anything you like, it doesn't mean that you should. With the great power of Free Speech comes a great responsibility for what consequences your words may have.

Re:Freedom of Speach ! ... At What Cost ? (2, Insightful)

gujo-odori (473191) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302391)

Yes, it means you should be able to say all that. The alternative is being able to say only that which the current $POWER thinks you should be allowed to say. That alternative is far, far worse than any of the examples you cite.

I wholeheartedly agree with you that just because you *can* say a thing, it doesn't mean you *should* say it. However, it's a long, long, long way from there to "you should be legally prohibited from saying it." If free speech is allowed so long as that speech toes the line of political correctness, it's not free at all. Sure, that means people can deny the holocaust. Advocate child molestation (NAMBLA, anyone?). Print Nazi and KKK literature. Promote radical Islam. Etc. Offend, insult, infuriate the whole of society. Yes, they should be able to do that. The test of free speech isn't the middle ground. The test of free speech is the corner cases, and if you don't allow those, you don't have free speech. There's a reason why the amendment to the US Constitution guaranteeing freedom of speech is first; it's the most important. Without free speech and a free press, you don't have a free society. You don't have a democracy. You don't have a government "of the people, by the people, for the people." Sure, there's a good argument that we've gotten pretty far away from that already, and to a great extent, it walks hand in hand with restrictions (whether legal or social) on what sorts of speech should be allowed.

In most societies, people who say those sorts of things are going to have to stand the heat for it, so it's not for the faint of heart, but people should be legally able to state their beliefs, no matter what those beliefs are. You can't have partial freedom of speech; it's all or nothing.

Irony (1)

static416 (1002522) | more than 5 years ago | (#29302357)

The irony of cracking down on hate speech is that it only serves to bolster the profile and credibility of the hater as they yell "Censorship!". If the internet has taught us anything it's "Don't feed the trolls".
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