Thursday, February 08, 2018

Heavy pressure on critic of Islam

Tom Kawczynski was voted out of his job as a town manager of a small community in Maine because of what many viewed as racist ideas promoted by a group he started.

And then he got shunned from crowdfunding sites too.

"After my firing without cause from the position as town manager in Jackman, I have gone out to seek help to sustain myself and my wife," Kawczynski told ABC News.

"The challenge that we've run in to is that many fundraising sites, because of the inaccurate characterization of my views, have deemed that what I'm trying to promote is a violation of my terms of service," he said.

His group, called New Albion, focuses on "defending the people and culture of New England," according to their site, and he told the Portland Press Herald that he opposes Islam because it is "not compatible with Western culture."

Though he denies being a racist or bigot, a spokesperson for the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, told ABC News that his opinions qualify as "white nationalist views."

Kawczynski told ABC he launched a GoFundMe page following his dismissal but "the same day I posted it up it was taken down."

While not directly addressing Kawczynski and his fundraiser, GoFundMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne told ABC News in a statement that "White nationalists and neo-Nazis cannot use GoFundMe to promote hatred, racism, or intolerance, and if a campaign violates GoFundMe’s terms of service, we’ll remove it from the platform."

In Kawczynski's case, he turned to a different site called FreeStartr, which bills itself as "Free speech crowdfunding."

The site, which did not respond to ABC News' requests for comment, is run by CEO Charles C. Johnson, a controversial figure who describes himself as an "investigative journalist" who touts his ban from Twitter.

In Freestartr's community guidelines, in a section labeled "Hate Speech" it reads: "Do not hate on individuals or groups, including on account of their sex, height, race, religion, lack of religion, sexual preferences or—wait, of course we’re kidding. There is no such thing as prohibited hate speech. It’s a term that censorship advocates have invented to justify their censorship."

Gene Policinski, the president of the Newseum Institute which includes the First Amendment Center, concurred that "hate speech is not a particular legal term." "One person's hate speech is another person's patriotic language," Policinski told ABC News.



Bird of Paradise said...

The same fools who think Islam is the Religion of Peace are the same ones who think the earth is flat like those Flat Earth Society idiots

Anonymous said...

Actually I think a lot of the "Flat Earth Society" members have their tongues firmly in their cheeks while those who call Islam a Religion of Peace have their heads firmly planted a lot further south.

Anonymous said...

Islam is not a race.