Intellectual freedom in Canada: How hard it is to face real problems in an intellectual climate of "diversity," "multiculturalism," etc.
At the Covenant Zone blog, Jonathan Trupeers reports on a recent meeting of Jewish Canadians at a Reform synagogue in Vancouver, to discuss resurgent anti-Semitism. Naturally, Barbara Kay's recent National Post column on the hounding of a Jewish schoolteacher ("Toxic classrooms," November 30, 2009), with no useful action by the authorities, was an item of discussion.
While some people were quite impressed by the panel, I was disappointed by what I learned from Trupeers's account. I explained,
As a free speech blogger and journalist, I, for one, was deeply disappointed in what I read.As I later wrote to a sympathetic Jewish friend,
I don't think a single one of those people gets it.
For example, Barbara Kay's column was not about incidental insults to Jewish children, but a great and growing level of anti-Semitism among new immigrant families from Muslim countries - that is tolerated by a cowardly school board administration. Do you imagine that the HRCs will be going after the administrations any time soon? Crickets chirp.
- The "human rights" Commissions are increasingly widely perceived as a shakedown racket, and for good reason. Of course, such rackets are vulnerable to getting taken over by, say, Islamists, who may then use them to go after Jews or anyone else whose words or existence "blasphemes" Islam.
- As I see it, there are three stages in the "human rights" metastasis:
1. The Chill - Catholic priests and traditional Protestant pastors are hounded and fined and spend money they don't really have defending themselves against lone gay activists who don't like traditional Christian teachings on the gay lifestyle. As if they have any choice but to teach the Church's views. Newspapers daren't permit themselves any frank discussion of obvious and sometimes coercive agendas of identified "victim" groups.
2. The Shakedown - frightened people often pay up when the "human rights" busybody demands it, or in advance of his call. Maybe it is a gay bed and breakfast owner who is allergic to dogs and doesn't want one in his home, maybe it is a restauranteur who gets it in the neck for asking a pot smoker to move out of his doorway, but that guy had a "medical pot" licence, so he is the "disabled", and therefore, the "victim". Never mind that the restauranteur is supposed to enforce a no smoking ban anyway.
It's the perfect setup for shakedown, with many civil servants getting well-paid jobs in the bargain, to hound and help shake down their fellow citizens.
3. The Takeover - The Islamist sees the opportunity to move in on such a sweet racket. He can readily work with the leftist because neither of them believes in traditional civil rights and liberties. That's what happened to Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant. It was terrible for them, but their experience galvanized the media against infamous Section 13 and "human rights" Commissions in general. The almost unanimous vote of the Conservative Party against Section 13 should tell you something too. Plus the fact that the first MP to speak out, Keith Martin, is a Liberal and belongs to a visible minority. And so forth.
Note that I only mentioned one Jew as a "human rights" target, Ezra Levant. And he is leading the charge against the racket, thank G-d.
What none of the speakers seemed to get is that most people don't even think about Jews when they think about "human rights" Commissions. They think about Chill, Shakedown, and Takeover, and more and more people are thinking about that, too.
In Toronto, where I live, the police protect Islamist-directed "death to the Jews" marches, and warn civil rights activists who protest them. That's part of the Takeover stage, of course.
One outcome of the fact that the metastasis has proceeded this far is that a government conference on anti-Semitism may not do much good. Most attendees will probably refuse to acknowledge the Islamist strain of anti-Semitism, currently by far the most virulent, as many recent events attest, and as Barbara Kay valiantly reports.
Much like holding a conference on sexually transmitted diseases that pointedly avoids discussion of AIDS.
The sad thing is, you do have heroes in the Jewish community, like Kay and Levant . Why not get behind them while there is time?
As far as I am concerned, there is no diversity with respect to civil rights. No multi culti to discuss with respect to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
One speaker, for example, compared the administration tolerating abuse of a teacher to name-calling among kids playing hockey, as if they were equivalent. Unless the administration consists entirely of people under 16 years of age ... they are not equivalent!
I didn't get a chance to mention that a following post suggested that the story about the schoolteacher might not be true because he couldn't find it on the Internet. Yet Kay - who must protect her sources - pointed out that the teacher had chosen not to sue, for fear of repercussions for her family.
Maybe she was wise. Have you seen the images Ezra Levant provides of the cut wounds inflicted on the woman who complained about irregularities at Soharwardy's mosque?
Happens at my church all the time.
Oops, I meant the complaints, not the violent attacks.
An intelligent elderly Jewish person I know called this sort of response "denial." I was saddened that a journalist of Kay's calibre would be subjected to this kind of thing when she is trying to act in her community's interests, but ... them's the breaks.