Canada, it is a silly place. Yes, I was raised there, and yes I acknowledge it. Sadly, in recent years it seems that Canada has gone from silly to downright dangerous. This is particularly true if you are a Conservative or dare to ever even think of speaking out against the politically correct, sub-zero establishment.
You’ve no doubt heard about Ann Coulters’ escapades in the Great White North. College leftists (who’d had no qualms with terrorist sympathizers speaking at their school in the past) were so offended with the idea of what Madam Coulter might say ,that they attempted to ban her from the premises. When that didn’t happen, the young Green-Day liberals decided to stage a protest. Of course (as is often the case with liberal protests) things got out of hand, with protesters becoming so unruly that the situation had become not only a safety hazard to Ann herself, but for the myriad people who were there to hear her speak. Woodstockers would be proud! So students thirsty for knowledge and debate have to deal with all of this hooplah because many Canadians forecasted that Ann Coulter might engage in –cue dramatic chipmunk– hate speech!
See, leftists will read that and deem the censorship completely appropriate. Liberals and censorship go together like Batman and Robin, milk and cookies or hockey and beaver pelts. Unlike canucks however, Americans are apprehensive towards the idea of censorship because of the “rugged individualism” that rests at the center of our cultural landscape. We gained our freedom by flipping the bird to the monarchy… Canada gained it by bending down, kissing the ring and making concessions. American leftists love to hold Canada in high esteem however, and often use it as a blueprint for what the United States should become (the silly accent notwithstanding).
Enter “hate crime” laws. For those of you who don’t know -- those who buy into the idea of “hate crimes” believe that if you kill someone, a harsher sentence is merited if the victim happens to be a minority or gay. The laws are designed to place emphasis on intent, ergo criminalize thoughts in the process. See, I don’t think that murder needs a footnote. As a matter of fact, if leftists believed in harsher sentencing of convicted felons these policies wouldn’t be an issue in the first place. If only one of the four people that Tookie Williams brutally murdered had been gay, Clooney might have left his protesting shoes in the closet.
See how clever this little backdoor is? When you criminalize thought through hate crime legislation, you can ultimately criminalize speech based on the premise that the words are reflective of hateful thoughts. Combine that with leftists basing their arguments on the premise that conservatives are all bigoted, homophobes (mostly because we’re all secretly gay) and you’ve got one hell of a powerful tool in your hands.
You needn’t ask Ann Coulter. Just ask Stephen Boisson, a Canadian pastor who now faces fines and possible jail time due to his speaking out against homosexuality. No he didn’t beat any gay people up, no he didn’t use words that would incite violence, and no, he wasn’t even caught rejecting advances from Boy George in a Los Angeles porta-potty. He simply stood by the doctrine of his church and actively expressed himself. Canadian human rights tribunals were not happy.
Whether you agree with Boisson or not, one has to ask themselves if we want that kind of a cultural shift in America. Do you want the government to have the right to tell you what you can and cannot say? Should the folks in Washington be the ones to determine whether your dissent crosses the line into the territory of “hateful?” Should the “rugged individualism” of America be made a relic of the past, pushed aside to make way for more legislation that fosters “tolerance?”
But most of all… Does this mean that I can go to jail for calling Sean Penn a wiener?