Category Archive: free speech

Oct 19 2011

Canada’s hate speech laws collide with reality

For those of you who are noticing an alarming trend in my writing, I will come clean: I really like Canada. So much so, that I can’t seem to shut up about it. I’d apologize, but a) I’m not sorry, and b) I know that this glut of Canadiana is a passing phase, and I’ll …

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Sep 20 2011

Hate speech: it’s got a funky beat, and I can bug out to it!

  One of the frustrating things about delving into the world of anti-racism is that you will inevitably run into someone who makes a completely unbalanced equivocation between the racism that people of colour (PoCs) encounter and the discomfort associated with race relations from the point of view of a white person. “I live in …

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Aug 31 2011

Fuck you too, Syria

I haven’t commented much on Syria, despite the fact that its revolt is just as bloody and horrific as the one in Libya. President Assad, the ruler of Syria has been waging a constant campaign of terror and violence against his citizens for opposing his regime. One of the more heinous acts I’ve seen come …

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Aug 11 2011

The barbarians have switched gates

A few months back I wrote a post about Andres Serrano’s artistic installation “Piss Christ”. In it, I made an allusion, likening Philistine knee-jerk religious reactionaries to a horde of barbarians swarming around the gates of civilized society: The fact is that rationality has surpassed our need for imagined explanations and intuitions ¬†to govern our …

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Jul 27 2011

I get e-mail

Regular readers will remember a couple of weeks ago when I went to Amsterdam and stuck it to the reactionary jerk-offs that wanted to burn one of my favourite books. Well I dedicated that post to the author, Lawrence Hill. Mr. Hill’s books have been a major source of inspiration for me both as a …

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Jul 11 2011

This post is for Lawrence Hill

Book of Negroes in Osterpark

Regular readers here will remember my frustration and anger toward a Dutch group representing ancestors of former slaves, who threatened to burn a book by one of my favourite authors, Lawrence Hill. Not only are book burnings stupid and counterproductive (since they elevate the profile of the idea you’re attempting to destroy), but they are …

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Jun 30 2011

Perhaps a more attractive droid?

There is a particular paradox with my post this morning that I didn’t really go out of my way to point out. That paradox has to do with finding a case that we (as free speech advocates) can sell to the public as an argument¬†for unrestricted free speech rights. Its self-contradictory nature comes from the …

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Jun 30 2011

Free speech advocates: this is not the droid you’re looking for

I am in something of an unusual position, being an outspoken crusader both for human rights and for free speech. It crops up in my discussions of hate speech as a free speech issue again and again. The reason why I say my position is somewhat unique is that usually those who defend absolute speech …

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Jun 23 2011

The Book Burning of Negroes

Long-time readers of this blog (at least, those that memorize everything I say) may remember two salient details. The first is that I am a big fan of Canadian author Lawrence Hill. His books explore race and racial issues through a Canadian and mixed-race lens, so it’s perhaps no surprise that I am such a …

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Jun 07 2011

Guilty of hate speech; guilty of crime?

For all my bluster and polemic, I am tormented by a fundamental uncertainty when it comes to hate speech laws. My position on hate speech is unequivocal – I am against it. Spreading hate is abhorrent, and its effects tend to move beyond the words themselves. I am particularly aware of the fact that anti-gay …

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