When all else fails, change the subject
I think the battle for freedom of speech is going pretty well, even though it's summertime.
Human rights commissions are being ridiculed on an almost daily basis in the media; their coalition is starting to fracture under the stress, as evidenced by the defection of the B'nai Brith; and the "lawfare" being waged against me and other critics of the HRCs hasn't worked, largely because of the broad public support expressed through the Internet (thank you, again). As the Canadian Human Rights Commission's stunned chief commissioner, Jennifer Lynch, admitted in June, her industry just didn't expect the "velocity" of criticism that her abusive, corrupt, censorious tactics had generated.
She may have been surprised by that criticism, but she's certainly done nothing to rein in her corrupt commission that has caused the criticism. Question: who do you think came up with the idea for a CHRC staff lawyer to sue me into silence? Lynch or Giacomo Vigna himself? I think Vigna sued me on his own, but that Lynch is totally supportive. She'd love to shut me and the rest of her critics up -- censorship is the CHRC way.
It's also foolish, because not only does it draw attention to the CHRC's problems and my criticisms of them, it also demonstrates the problem in action: the abusive politicization of our HRCs. And it also shows the HRCs tendency to attack their critics personally, rather than reply to them.
I visited Maclean's website today, and discovered that the most popular blog post on the site was one by Luiza Ch. Savage, about the surprise she felt when she encountered bitter and personal attacks about me, rather than intellectual rebuttals, from some of her intellectual friends when she broached the subject of my travails, in preparation for her large story on the subject, which you can read here.
In other words, instead of discussing the issues of censorship, multiculturalism, Islam, pluralism, international law, etc., some of her friends went on an anti-Ezra tirade. Here's her blog entry on the subject.
What's so funny about her blog is that a handful of leftist apologists for HRCs set out to... well, I'm not sure what, but they certainly proved her point. Many of responses to her blog post, 284 of them right now, are about my innate evilness, or whatever. (Granted, most of them are written by the same half-dozen kool-aid drinkers, many of them anonymously -- which leads one immediately to suspect a Richard Warman-style fake Internet persona at work either directly from the CHRC, or from one of their surrogates.)
Savage's whole point was that the story was bigger than me, or any other person, including Mark Steyn. It was about the Canadian, and in fact international, trend towards censorship, particularly censorship of ideas critical of Islam. People who couldn't get over their partisan or personal antipathy towards me were missing the point.
And they proved her right by not getting the point even as they discussed her point.
I know what's going on. The Internet commenters are likely CHRC trolls -- just like their other Internet aliases, like "Jadewarr". But the smart folks Savage referred to initially are probably sophisticated thinkers who are genuinely perplexed by the conflict between their politically correct, liberal values and applying those values to a scenario where the oppressors are foreign, Muslim, visible minorities, and the oppressed person (well, they're trying to oppress me!) is a white male (Jewish doesn't count as a minority when compared to Muslims. It does when compared to WASPs. I didn't make up the rules of politically correct poker, I just know which poker hands beat which).
In other words, Western liberals find it easy to stand up to censorship and theocracy when they come in the form of old white Catholic priests, and the targets are secular hipsters. (I actually can't think of any real-life examples of that, but that's at least how religious censorship is presented on TV shows like Law and Order.) Liberal circuits overload when the theocratic misogynistic bigots are Islamic fascists.
I agree with Savage, though: Western liberal intellectuals should ignore me and my real or imagined flaws, and focus on the principles and precedents. They shouldn't repeat the mistake that Canada has been making for thirty years, ignoring political censorship because it's generally been racists who have been censored by the HRCs. Those cases set the precedents for my current problems. And if the liberals don't fight the fight now, I'll become just another precedent that will eventually be used to go after them, too.
Real liberals get that -- folks like Alan Borovoy of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and even the folks at EGALE. If only our intellectuals had such smarts.