Paul Schneidereit on denormalization
Paul Schneidereit, the great freedom of speech advocate at the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, has a fun column today about the denormalization of Canada's out-of-control human rights commissions. I call it fun because it's flattering to me. But it's actually quite a serious column.
Here's the whole thing, and here are some excerpts:
To roll back the increasing, dangerous encroachment of human rights bureaucrats in the realm of free speech, the former publisher of the Western Standard argued the general public’s – and many politicians’ – until-then benign impression of the commissions themselves first had to change.
The means to accomplish this, Ezra pointed out, was easy: Let people know exactly what the commissions were doing, in matters like his, the complaints laid against Maclean’s magazine for an article written by Mark Steyn, and other cases that showed the disquieting lengths these appointed government agents seemed prepared to go to infringe on one of democracy’s most fundamental rights.
As awareness grew, Ezra reasoned, as human rights commissions became more and more "denormalized" in the public eye, so too would grow the opportunity for real reform...
Back in January, if someone had predicted that the governing Conservatives, fresh off another federal election victory, would hold a policy convention in which delegates would vote overwhelmingly to repeal Section 13 of the federal Human Rights Act, I would have told them they were wildly optimistic.
But that’s exactly what happened last week in Winnipeg.
Paul's right: human rights commissions have been revealed as abnormal. By that, I mean they violate Canadian norms, norms of freedom, of tolerance of different opinions, of natural justice, and of political neutrality in our government. And, especially in the case of the federal Canadian Human Rights Commission, they are grotesquely abnormal, to the point where they have become the largest spigot of anti-black, anti-gay and anti-Semitic online bigotry in the country. I know that's hard to believe, but CHRC staffers have testified under oath that they have joined neo-Nazi organizations and published literally hundreds of hateful messages online themselves, in an attempt to entrap others in such "illegal" conversations. How perverse -- and how un-Canadian.
It's no longer enough for the government to "tweak" the CHRC. It is infected to the point where it need amputation, if not more. How could such a sick organization continue? Seriously: how can staff who joined neo-Nazi groups be allowed to continue with their employment at a "human rights" agency? And how can Jennifer Lynch, the chief commissioner who approved the neo-Nazi tactics, be permitted to remain at the helm of such a sick ship? And don't even get me started about other scandals, like their decision to hire a disgraced ex-cop as a "hate speech" investigator, someone who was drummed out of a real police force for corruption.
Good grief. Denormalize them? Absolutely. As Paul points out, that just means telling the truth.