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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Faceoff: Watch Your Mouth

Should freedom of speech extend to those who spread hatred?

Michael Coren and Karen Selick - September 17, 2007

From: Michael Coren
To: Karen Selick
Date: July 30, 2007 9:32 AM
Subject: Is hate speech still free speech?

Bobby James Wilkinson, the creator of the Canadian Nazi Party website, has been fined $4,000 by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and ordered to cease and desist spreading hateful messages. Seems about right to me.

Read the Coren vs Selick debate on freedom of speech here:


Posted by Matthew Johnston on December 22, 2007 | Permalink


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I don't see what is so hard about drawing a boundary. We have had laws against slander and libel for a long time, and there seems no need to change them. We also have had laws for a long time against incitement to commit crimes, yet they have not curtailed other free speech. Those laws seem sufficient to take care of the worst extremes of nuttery. So false public accusations of rape, as Micheal mentions, would be covered by slander/libel laws. Incitement laws should have been sufficient to deal with Wilkinson, because he called for violence against non-whites. Beyond that, free speech means not legally restricting Wilkinson or others from saying, "I hate spear-chucking, watermelon-eating niggers." As unpleasant as that is, it is a reasonable and easy distinction to make in the law. I don't understand why it seems neither Michael nor Karen can see that.

Posted by: Fact Check | 2007-12-22 9:46:53 AM

You may safely ignore anything Fact Check says, since he has been caught by our moderator posting here under other people's nics.

Posted by: obc | 2007-12-22 10:04:17 AM

hi guys. i've been away from the Shotgun the last few weeks. tests and stuff. i need updating. what's going on with the "Syed Soharwardy" post?

can somebody direct me to the offensive statements which inspired the complaint? i can't post on the "Syed" thread (wtf?).

Posted by: shel | 2007-12-22 11:30:37 AM

Coren, you're out of it on this one.

there is no such thing as "hate speech". there is only "free speech" and "slander" of an individual. these are the lines of common sense. pretty simple. slander hurts an individual's reputation and can lead to economic crisis for the individual. in a truly free society it is not possible to slander a group.

let fascist (social collectivist) whackjobs have their say and let them expose themselves as the irrelevant losers they are. the same goes for communist (social collectivist) whackjobs.

the very heart of racism lies in collectivism. collectivism relies on the State. Coren, why do you insist on trying to impose your moral agenda through the State, and substitute one bad idea for another, at the expense of liberty?

liberty isn't always sweet, but is much better than the alternative.

Coren, i know you mean well, but sometimes you domestic policy neocons are as pernicious to liberty as any social liberal.

Posted by: shel | 2007-12-22 11:52:00 AM

has the Shotgun been editing out offensive statements? have people been posting under other's names? lawsuits? appologies? censorship? a new (possibly politically correct) format coming in January?

wow. i don't know all the details of what's been going on since i've been gone, but things seem to have gotten a bit hairy around here.

Posted by: shel | 2007-12-22 12:04:45 PM


you can't use "Weimar" as an example. Weimar was, like most European countries, heavily controlled by a central authority. the Nazis simply expanded it.


slander of an individual is not free speech. it's a weapon.

Posted by: shel | 2007-12-22 12:22:23 PM

I wonder if the contents of muslim websites and the speeches of muslim imams will also be subject to this kind of interpretation. Considering that the koran espouses much of what Hitlers Mein Kampf does, will we see islamic sites and imams held to the same standard, considering they're advocating violence upon us and all.

Just a thought!

Posted by: Canadian Infidel | 2007-12-22 3:51:12 PM

[offensive comment deleted and IP address reported]

Posted by: Non-Kike | 2007-12-22 5:48:01 PM

Looks like I'll have to file a complaint with HRC if the above comment is not removed within... say, 30 seconds.

Oh, and don't forget to grovel with an apology, moderator. :)

Posted by: obc | 2007-12-22 5:53:42 PM

Karen has it one hundred percent right while Michael is out to lunch on the topic. You either have free speech or you do not. There is no such thing as partial free speech, for it is like being partially pregnant.

What we have is selected "free speech" instead, and the nutters like this neo-nazi gets tons of free publicity for himself and his cause. I say this belonging to the group he and his kind love to target. It would be better to expose him and his message to light through debate than this.

I do find the moderator's decision concerning the recent complaint a very sad blow against free speech. No, I never saw the posts in question, but bullying and intimidation have succeeded and free speech has lost. Freedom is never lost in one big event, it is lost drip by drip, until a people wake up one day to discover it completely gone.

Posted by: Alain | 2007-12-22 6:32:07 PM

Alain ~

"But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost is lost forever."

~ John Adams

Posted by: obc | 2007-12-22 6:37:58 PM

Bad ideas will not survive intelligent and persistent challenges by those who put forth good ideas. The most that Matthew Johnson should have done was to offer his challenger the opportunity to present a rebuttal to the ideas he hated. That is not what he wanted. Rather he challenges the blog itself. To all of you out there, keep your good ideas coming but with respect.

Posted by: DML | 2007-12-22 7:44:47 PM

Tell me EXACTLY what was said and EXACTLY what the Muslims didn't like (other than freedom of speech, that is). If you cannot do that, you are a bigger loser than I thought.

Put it up for every one to know what "crime" was committed that you so humbly in your dhimmitude wisdom admitted to, and in so doing, condemned the people on this blog who post.

You have also condemned this blog to mediocre pablum. Good job. In your capitulation, you have just moved freedom of speech one step closer to extinction.

Mr. Soharwardy, by continuing these inane complaints, only fuels the fire of discrimination
since most people are getting pretty sick of his constant whining. But this is indeed his job and how he maintains control over his sheep. See...I told you so...we are being discriminated against.

Pretty pathetic - and you fell for it.

Posted by: Jerri | 2007-12-22 8:06:56 PM

I have just been informed by the moderator that our visiting racist's comments all stem from the following IDENTICAL set of posters. I asked, and was granted, permission to air them:

The following user names are all associated with the same IP address:

A Canadian


Conservative Carl

Social liberal

Taliban-hugging fiberal

Delete THIS

Using alternate nics to hide behind can now be detected and will be exposed - so beware, you-know-whos!

Posted by: obc | 2007-12-22 9:04:45 PM

I tend to like Karen's take on the "boundary-creep" aspect. Especially in a "top down" governmental system. As for the Nazi argument, it was pretty easy for them to over run the general public with intimidation tactics. The public were unarmed.

And free speech in general does have its boundaries. Inciting violence should be one of them. Expressing an "opinion" no matter how tasteless or vile is something sensible people should just ignore as opposed to "I'm telling on you" Children behave that way. God! How I hate socialism! :)

Posted by: JC | 2007-12-23 2:26:24 PM

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