15/05/2024 lewrockwell.com  5 min 🇬🇧 #248609

Hijacking 'Hate Crime'

By John Leake
 Courageous Discourse

May 15, 2024

According to Kamban Naidoo-Senior Lecturer, Department of Criminal and Procedural Law, University of South Africa:

Hate crimes were first recognised as a specific category of criminal conduct in the United States of America. Evidence of such recognition is supported by a number of state level and federal hate-crime laws that were enacted in the United States between the early 1980s and 1990s. There is a tendency in some American literature, however, to trace the recognition of hate crime as a specific category of criminal conduct to two specific historical time periods. The first historical period that is usually considered, is the nineteenth-century post-American Civil War period when federal civil-rights statutes were passed by the American Congress to protect vulnerable groups of people who were victimised because of their race and prior status as slaves. The second time period that is considered is the mid-twentieth century, post-Second World War era up to the period of the Civil-Rights Movement. Irrespective of the origins of hate crime as a category of criminal conduct, their recognition has spawned a new category of crime and criminal laws in the United States of America and internationally.

The first time I saw a depiction of criminal conduct that seemed to fit this description was in the 1979 film, The Great Santini. One of the characters is a young black man in rural South Carolina named Toomer Smalls (masterfully played by Stan Shaw) who makes a living as a bee keeper. In a series of horrible scenes, Toomer is abused by dreadful bigot named Red Pettus. For no apparent reason apart from the fact that Toomer is a black man, Red mocks him, smashes his jars of honey, and shoots several of his beloved dogs.

I vividly remember thinking that Red's conduct was one of the most shameful things I'd ever seen, though "hate" isn't the first word that comes to mind in describing it. "Mean," "malicious," and "depraved," seem like more suitable words. In abusing Toomer, Red, it seemed, was asserting (or trying to assert) his superiority over Toomer.

A decent judge sentencing Red for his crimes (destroying Toomer's property, shooting his dogs, and accidentally shooting Toomer) would doubtless consider Red's malice an aggravating factor. The original concept of "hate crime" was apparently an attempt to punish with greater severity crimes that are motivated by malice for the victim solely because of his race.

In recents years, various governments in the west have introduced legislation to punish not only criminal acts with this additional element of malice, but online speech that is deemed to express hatred toward someone on account of that person's color, race, sex, disability, nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origin, religion, gender reassignment, or sexual orientation is forbidden.

The main problem with online hate speech laws-it seems to me-is that it is left to law enforcement to determine what exactly constitutes hate speech. In recent years in Britain, multiple persons have been prosecuted for hate speech because they posted the lyrics of popular rap songs containing the "N" word on Instagram and other online platforms.

Especially confusing about these prosecutions was the fact that the rap songs were legally distributed in Britain. Law enforcement determined it was permissible for the rap artists and their producers to sell these songs, for the public to consume them, and for Jay-Z to use similarly offensive words at a music festival in Glastonbury. However, if a white person quoted the lyrics online, they could be prosecuted and punished with fines, ankle bracelet monitoring, and even jail time.

The Canadian government recently introduced a new bill called the  Online Harms Act. The bill is being sold (by Prime Minister Trudeau and the media) as principally designed to protect children from pornographers and sexual predators. While this is certainly a laudable objective, it is just one component of the legislation.

Two other components of the bill pertain to online "hate speech" and propose making two substantial changes to existing laws in order to give the state enhanced power to prosecute what the government deems to be hate speech.

  1. Changes to the Criminal Code to better address hate crime and hate propaganda;
  2. Changes to the Canadian Human Rights Act to allow individuals and groups to file complaints against people who post hate speech online.

On the face of it, this is a terrible mechanism for expanding the Canadian government's already bloated power that was abused by Trudeau during the pandemic. If passed, the Online Harms Act will almost certainly result in the state censoring and punishing a wide range of online speech deemed by law enforcement (using loose, arbitrary, and ideological definitions) to persecute political opponents, critics, and dissidents.

If anyone in Canada should be prosecuted for hate speech, it's Prime Minister Trudeau for his numerous public statements that created widespread fear, loathing, anger, and contempt for those who refused to receive the experimental COVID-19 gene therapy injections.

In the German language, Trudeau's public pronouncements are called a "Hetzkampagne," best translated as "smear campaign." A Hetzkampagne consists of public pronouncements designed to stir up anger, fear, and even hatred of a particular group that is deemed (by the pronouncer) to pose a threat to the health and wellbeing of society. The objective of such a campaign is to suspend constitutional protections of the targeted group, thereby enabling the state to place them under house arrest or incarcerate them, fine them, confiscate their property, or even put them to death.

I hope the people of Canada will soon wake up and oppose Prime Minister Trudeau-who is obviously suffering from severe malignant narcissism-before he acquires additional power that he will doubtless use for tyrannical purposes.

This originally appeared on  Courageous Discourse.