And shame the devil used to be a well known proverb.
Now… ah, now things have changed. Now we’re treated to the spectacle of Tanya Cohen a “human rights” activist telling us that “hate speech” is against human rights, and that, therefore we should stop people from speaking freely.
In sentences that should make you fall on your knees – if you are an American citizen/resident – and pray to the divinity of your choice in joy and gratitude that you live in the – still, despite all – land of the free, she excoriates the United States for being the only one of the Western civ countries to have no laws against hate speech.
Mike Walsh raged at her, so I don’t have to. You should totally read his article.
I did not follow his link to her full rant, because, heaven help me, I don’t need to become the first verified case of spontaneous human combustion.
But one of the things he quoted from her, stuck in my craw, like something indigestible and possibly poisonous.
First up, yes, I do strongly believe in freedom of speech, and I’ve worked with many human rights organizations to protest against genuine restrictions on freedom of speech and expression, such as government crackdowns on LGBT activists in Russia. Freedom of speech is the core of all democratic societies, and it’s a freedom that must be upheld in the strongest terms possible. But the people responding to my column with anger do not seem to understand what freedom of speech is. They seem to make no distinction between free speech and hate speech, and they seem to believe that freedom of speech includes the freedom to say anything.
Does she read what she writes? Is there in fact in this woman the vaguest scintilla of self-awareness or the ability to reflect on the random thoughts that, like scintillating and meaningless flickers of consciousness cross her brain? Or is she just some sort of parrot repeating meaningless phrases that she lacks the capacity to realize are meaningless?
How could she possibly have come to the conclusion that there can be freedom of speech but it doesn’t mean “saying anything they want?”
What does she define as hate speech? How can she define hate speech? Is a Muslim speaking about how women should be subjected to male rule in everything committing hate speech? Or is the activist who denounces such a Muslim (should such “activist” exist, of course, which in the west, by and large doesn’t. Well, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is now in the west and she is such an activist, beautiful and brave, but almost alone.)
Who is to parse through the forest of hate speech? Who is to decide which of the wounding words are hate speech? Who is to come from heaven and give us the ultimate judgement?
Later on another quote gives us the clue to the puzzle.
I do believe that, one day, the US will indeed pass a Human Rights Act and/or a new anti-discrimination law to outlaw hate speech and other forms of speech which violate basic human rights. Those of us on the right side of history, meanwhile, will be writing columns like mine, while racist bigots continue to write angry comments speaking out against human rights.
And I do believe she’s full of Shiite, and also that that phrase “human rights” doesn’t mean what she thinks it means, since she thinks it means humans have a right not to be offended. But never mind that – or rather do – let’s concentrate instead on the absolute stupidity of “the right side of history.”
Can someone please tell this overgrown child that history is merely the recorded progression of human events, and that it has no sides, right or wrong. Oh, sure, the victor writes his side as right, but other than that, there is nothing that – as she believes – compels humans history towards the ‘progressive’ narrative she loves. Yeah, yeah, that old Fraud, that ridiculous ink stained blob of hate and bile Karl Marx thought that history came with an arrow. He also thought Communism was scientific, something he divined by the method of pulling it from his posterior since he was no kind of scientist.
Those “Human Rights” to honor and dignity and what have you that she’s so devoted to were a Soviet ploy foisted on the UN to give them the ability to criticize truly free countries on specious grounds.
Specious, you say?
Surely unlike little Tanya, you can think. What is honor? What is dignity? Define those concepts in absolute enough terms that they can be used in law.
Heck, we have years of argument on things such as “what is libel” and keep coming up dry to the point that different countries have different definitions of it.
Using the idea that if you offend anyone, you’ve committed a hate crime, you can silence anyone, stop any troublesome questioner, turn “justice” upside down and define it as “social justice” which is in fact injustice in which people can be held liable for the alleged crimes of people who look vaguely like them and who died well before they were born.
Again, what is a hate crime? Killing people, or pointing out that the killers’ twisted and atavistic culture advocates subjugation of all who thing differently? Mutilating young girls and forcing them to marry much older men against their will, or pointing out that certain cultures mutilate young girls and force them to marry much older men against their will? Raging and demanding a share of other people’s hard earned wealth? Or pointing out that the underclass brings itself to straits through lack of certain cultural virtues?
There isn’t an answer to this, because there is no such thing as “hate speech.” There is hateful speech, and some of it is despicable. Say, when people tell two women who are defending freedom of expression that they’re the worst person in the world.
Note though that even that didn’t hurt the two reprobates… er… women except by making them wonder how they can both be the world’s worst person.
However sometimes the speech that seems despicable turns out to have been necessary. And the speech that everyone thought was correct and right and on the right side of history (say, the whole racial superiority and Arian wonderfulness thing so popular less than a century ago) turns out to be crazier than worm sh*t and to lead to a whole lot of senseless death and destruction.
That Tanya never even contemplates that the ability to define “hate speech” is going to be in the hands of the ruling class, and that any restrictions at all on speech mean there’s a good chance those silenced will be people standing athwart metaphoric trains headed to ovens yelling “stop” means she doesn’t think in any significant sense of the word.
Like a well trained parrot she repeats what she’s been taught.
And it is because of her, and her imitators in our own field, those who define justice as injustice and gagging as freedom of speech that you and I have to continue screaming.
Screaming as loudly and offensively as we can that the king is naked.
No one has the right not to be offended. Sometimes the thing that hurts the most is the thing you most need to hear.
And sometimes the thing that hurts the most is just a hurtful thing – and you need to speak back and refute it.
What you don’t need to do is murder cartoonists. H*ll you don’t even need to murder Tanya Cohen. You just need to point and laugh at her until she slinks back under the totalitarian rock she crawled out from, and maybe uses her time in the moist darkness to do some thinking on her crimes against reason and her enabling of totalitarians.
Perhaps she’ll even realize that any speech that has constraints isn’t free. Then she’ll stop being the sweat rag of totalitarian wanna-bes.
She — and us — will be the better for it.