Friday, July 20, 2007

Who the Heck Is Mary Lynne Gentes?

My favorite Conservative website, FreeDominion, has been hit with a Canada's Human Rights Commission complaint for allegedly promoting "hate speech". Presently, which of the threads on the site drew the complaint is unclear, but Flanders over at SoCon Or Bust thinks it was this one, entitled, appropriately enough, "Big Fat Racist Thread!". Furthermore, while "leftist bloggers" are being blamed for raising the complaint, the name on the documentation is apparently "Mary Lynne Gentes," who I for one have never heard of and who keeps a very low Internet profile, at least under her own name.

And a couple of things. Firstly, open sewer of opinion that the blogosphere may be, I disapprove in principle of trying to restrict it in this fashion. IMHO You fight words with words. However, after having read portions of the thread in question (where, among other things, one poster argues that "Jews and Nazis are equally bad"), it would surprise me if it was NOT in violation of the relevant legislation.

Connie (FreeDominion's owner) should probably have seen this one coming and shut the thread down. It ran for over a week, after all.


SUZANNE said...

You have to admit, the procedure is screwy: to have a charge laid against you, and no one explains the charge, after two phone calls to the HRC. That's not right.

bigcitylib said...

I thought they were waiting on the paperwork to arrive before they would explain over the phone. Wouldn't surprise me if that was some stupid bureaucratic procedure they had to follow.

Holly Stick said...

And all the idiot FDers are screaming "persecution!" and planning to bring down the CHRC, without even knowing yet what the complaint is.

Don't you people have any self-control whatsoever?

JimBobby said...

Whooee! It's a pretty high hurdle to qualify fer gettin' charged under Canada's hate crime laws.
Here's a good info sheet on the legislation.

I don't reckon anybuddy should make frivolous charges but if somebuddy's advocating racial violence or preachin' genocide, we don't hafta tolerate it in the name of free speech. There's limits, I figger, to what can be advocated in a civilized society.

Most folks got enough commonsense an' common decency so's not to go spoutin' actionable incitements to violence. Them that don't have common decency can be dragged into court.


Kingston said...

Well if your correct, BCL and it concerns a post on her blog that she allowed, or even through oversight, it does not bode well for the future of blogging.

Holly Stick said...

It's not a blog, it's a forum. Many different posters and many discussions, so the owners probably do not read them all. Still, I think that they might be considered publishers and so might be liable.

And while they do kick off white supremacists once in a while, there is plenty of bigotry there.

Cherniak_WTF said...

Then the legislation should be change to allow for more free speech.
There is no "fair" way of applying this law.

You took offence at "Jews and Nazis are equally bad" and on the superficial level, I understand what he was trying to convey.

I may think that the Religious Right are a bunch of homophobic fuckwads and that most of what they write is intensely thick but I'd never take away their right to write what they want - even if I feel they should be jailed for such speech.

I believe in more freedoms, less government intervention. This means that I'm ready to put up with some offensive shit as long as in society we have more rights. This freedom extends to SSM, abortion on demand and yes the right to write anything down without fear of big brother looking over you.

Holly Stick said...

What bothers me is that they don't even understand what is wrong about the things they write. Like the kind of person who starts a sentence by saying "I'm not a racist, but..." and goes on to prove that they are.

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