Ezra Levant on November 8, 2010 9:47 PM
My new Sun column:
The Alberta Human Rights Commission is at it again.
The latest embarrassment from this out-of-control government agency is their gift of tax dollars to a group called “Racism Free Edmonton.” It’s an ironic name, because the world view of Racism Free Edmonton is racist itself.
The Alberta Human Rights Commission is a specialist at the Orwellian perversion of language. Their counterfeit “right not to be offended” has meant the infringement of real rights, like freedom of speech.
What is Racism Free Edmonton’s advice for stopping racism? You must “acknowledge your white privilege.”
They say white Canadians “have likely harmed non-white people with our own whiteness.” Sorry, the only people I know who talk that way are race-obsessed bigots.
And in case you aren’t willing to be called a racist just because you’re born white, Racism Free Edmonton has another insult for you: You’re just a racist in denial of your racism. And denying your racism “perpetuates racism.”
The last time a government tried that logic was in the 1690s in Salem, Mass. There, 150 people were arrested and accused of witchcraft. Of course, most denied it which is exactly the sort of thing you’d expect a witch to say.
So let’s be a little more accurate. Racism Free Edmonton should be called Racism Edmonton. They have violated our rights as individuals to be judged on our own merits, by our own words and deeds. They have stereotyped us, saying everyone who is white is guilty. The corollary is obvious: Anyone who isn’t white is a victim. That’s a form of bigotry, too.
This is disgusting. But, given the involvement of the Alberta Human Rights Commission, it’s not surprising.
That’s the kangaroo court that accused me of “hate speech” in 2006 when I published a news story about the Danish cartoons of Mohammed, and the resulting riots overseas that murdered more than 200 people.
No fewer than 15 Alberta government bureaucrats and lawyers prosecuted me for 900 days for reporting the news and showing our readers the cartoons. And instead of being shut down for that abuse of process, the commission got a million-dollar budget increase as their reward.
The same human rights commission also persecuted Stephen Boissoin, a Christian pastor, for writing a letter to the editor criticizing gay marriage. They ordered him to pay a fine, and to never “disparage” gay marriage again, either in public sermons or even in private e-mails.
This, in a province whose motto is “strong and free.”
Neighbouring Saskatchewan is taking a baby step towards cleaning out these stables. They’ve announced that their human rights cases will now be heard by real judges not the radical activists who have turned Canada’s human rights commissions into reverse-racism hothouses.
Concepts like evidence and due process will now be implemented, and hopefully cost penalties for abusive, shakedown complaints, like the one that left me with $100,000 in legal fees.
But it’s not enough. Because even real judges should not have the power to censor people for being politically incorrect which is what Rev. Boissoin and I were really charged with. Political censorship is unconstitutional, and must be taken away from human rights bullies across Canada.
Still, Saskatchewan’s reforms would do more than anyone else including the allegedly Conservative governments in Edmonton and Ottawa.