By Joshua Blakeney
I’ve voiced a great deal of criticism of so-called “hate speech” legislation in Canada in recent years. Unlike the people of Japan, I happen to live in a country where people are regularly criminalized for expressing opinions which the Canadian State labels “hateful”. One of my missions in life, therefore, has been to attempt to contribute to the debate that is taking place currently in Japan about whether or not such inane laws should be incorporated into Japanese jurisprudence.
It appears a great deal of money is being poured into think tanks and political organizations which are favourable toward such legislation in Japan. The mayor of Japan’s second largest city of Osaka, Tōru Hashimoto, is one political-actor who has been zealously promoting the idea that certain forms of inter-ethnic political criticism should be stamped out via the enactment of “hate speech” laws. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and many of his colleagues, however, have not been as supportive. This differs from the West where approximately 98% of legislators are happy to see bloggers, historians and political analysts thrown in jail for their ethnographic analyses.
“Hate speech” laws imply that ethnic minorities ought to be exempted from criticism. The main flaw of such legislation is that it fails to allow for a consideration of the power and influence held by the often politically-active ethnic groups being critiqued. Certain criticisms of the activities of the leadership of certain politicized ethnic groups may be in the public interest but “hate speech” legislation essentially abolishes criticism of such potential power brokers. The assumption is that if you’re a member of an ethnic minority then you’re, ipso facto, a vulnerable underdog in need of protection from the State.
Here is a summary of the absurd trial of Arthur Topham by Michael Hoffman:
Another Thought Crime Trial Underway in Canada
Miner on Trial at the Behest of the B’nai Brith
By Michael Hoffman
Quesnel, British Columbia, October 27 — Canadian Arthur Topham, 68, is a British Columbia (B.C.) placer miner who in his spare time operates the “Radical Press,” a website. On May 16, 2012 he was on his way to work at his mining operation when he was arrested by several police officers, handcuffed and charged with a “hate crime.”
Topham was charged with a single count of “willfully promoting hatred against people of the Jewish religion or ethnic group,” as well as “improper storage of firearms” found in his house near Quesnel, B.C.
“The branch has approved charges against him,” said Neil MacKenzie of the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch. MacKenzie said British Columbia’s assistant deputy attorney general had signed off on the hate crimes charge.
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