Sunday, January 31, 2021

Campus Racial Thought-Crimes

As the Maoist-like purges on university campuses continue, yet another faculty member has suffered the consequences of speaking words that may not be spoken and having views that are forbidden at universities where woke students, pretending to be supremely tolerant, indict others with their actual intolerance and join with faculty and administrators in suppressing views that they will not and cannot abide.

The latest victim is Charles Negy, an associate professor in the University of Central Florida’s Psychology Department. Negy’s thought-crime? In now-deleted tweets, Negy, who has taught at UCF for 22 years and presumably enjoys the protection oftenure, questioned one of the prevailing absolutes on university campuses: namely, that what is called “systemic racism” permeates and defines American society, and that even on university campuses—those places where the most enlightened and sensitive of all citizens reside—racism still shows itself in a dark undercurrent of bigotry, bias, and repressed hatred for non-white others.

The ubiquity of race obsession on campuses in the post-George Floyd age of Black Lives Matter has shown itself at schools other than UCF, as well. At Princeton University, as one noteworthy example, self-inflicted racial guilt was so prevalent that in September the University’s president, Christopher L. Eisgruber, published a self-flagellating open letter in which he bemoaned the fact that “[r]acism and the damage it does to people of color persist at Princeton” and that “racist assumptions” are “embedded in structures of the University itself.”

Negy rejected this notion and made the mistake of publicly questioning the idea that racism is so prevalent, so unrelenting that it defines all of our interactions and is the reason why, Negy mused, that Asians, as one visible example, thrive academically, economically, and socially while blacks do not.

“If Afr. [sic] Americans as a group,” Negy tweeted, “had the same behavioral profile as Asian Americans (on average, performing the best academically, having the highest income, committing the lowest crime, etc.), would we still be proclaiming ‘systematic racism’ exists?” What Negy suggested, of course, is heresy in the victim-centered culture of academia, where personal responsibility and initiative are discounted, and the oppression of the dominant white culture is assumed to be the principal impediment to the personal achievement of non-white groups.

White people, it is widely assumed, are “privileged” and control the culture and the levers of power; and black people struggle against these cultural and economic defenses at a fundamental disadvantage—all stemming from the country’s original sin of slavery. White people, because they are believed to be essentially racist just by virtue of being white, are implicitly racist, should experience white guilt, and must publicly acknowledge and atone for their racist inclinations.

Professor Negy challenged that notion, suggesting that decades of affirmative action, race-based preferences in hiring and college admissions, and set asides and other benefits of the welfare state have actually given black people advantages not shared with their white peers, that black people enjoy a type of privilege, too. “Black privilege is real,” Negy wrote in another now-deleted tweet. “Besides affirm. [sic] action, special scholarships and other set asides, being shielded from legitimate criticism is a privilege. But as a group, they’re missing out on much needed feedback.”

This was all too much for the sensitive and tolerant souls on the UCF campus, and a petition, which garnered some 30,000 signatures, was soon circulating in which Negy’s firing was demanded. UCF president Alexander Cartwright, who apparently was eager to satisfy the mob and fire the tenured professor for his offensive thoughts, did recognize that, as a public institution, UCF had to respect and honor Negy’s constitutional right to express any ideas he wished to, admitting in an interview that “The Constitution restricts our ability to fire him or any other University employee for expressing personal opinions about matters of public concern. This is the law.”

Any view which asks black people to be responsible for their own successes and failures, of course, contradicts the prevailing belief that blacks are perennial victims of white oppression and white privilege, that their social and economic failure is the result of systemic racism, and that their options in life are hobbled by the legacy of slavery, living in a racist country, and suffering because of a system of oppression that is both institutionalized and designed to maintain the status quo in which a white society benefits from and creates racial inequity. Negy challenged that orthodoxy.

Workers must have a right to free speech

The policing of workers’ private communications continues apace. The latest episode comes in a little-reported employment tribunal case from the north-east last week.

A Darlington classic-car dealer had a blazing row with his employee, Michael Austin, a paint-sprayer, over the way the business was run. Austin mentioned the spat on his Facebook page and complained of feeling low as a result of it. Numerous Facebook friends rallied round – all too enthusiastically, as it turned out. One suggested that Austin should punch his employer’s face. Another, knowing the employer to be gay, called him all sorts of uncomplimentary names, including ‘shirtlifter’. Despite having made no comment on any of these unedifying posts, Austin found himself unceremoniously sacked, apparently on the basis that he had broken his employer’s policy on social-media posts and had brought the business into disrepute.

Austin went to the employment tribunal, and (for once in a freedom-of-speech case) won, taking away nearly £30,000. The Facebook exchange didn’t, the judge said, seem to have had any serious effect on the employer’s reputation beyond the Facebook circle concerned. And whatever restrictions the company’s social-media policy might put on employees, it didn’t cover stupid things that third parties said there.

Good news? Up to a point. We still need to worry. For one thing, it is depressing that any employer should regard it as acceptable to fire a worker in a case like this. Austin was sacked for a private posting on a private account in a private capacity – and not even for anything he said. The alleged sackable offence was, as far as one can see, one of omission – nothing more than failure to contradict what his friends said. Things are coming to a pretty pass when employees are at risk from what they don’t say as much as from what they do. Whatever the ultimate result in court, no decent employer should even think of disciplining their workers in cases like this.

For another, we have to remember that in cases of this kind the outcome can very much depend on the employment judge, whose findings tend to be upheld on appeal unless they are clearly misguided. Austin, one suspects, was lucky. The judge he was allocated clearly saw the sacking for the piece of self-important pomposity and mountain-out-of-molehill-making that it was, and decided accordingly. But success wasn’t guaranteed. It’s not inconceivable that a different employment judge would have found that if he continued posting on Facebook without calling out what others said, he was implicitly approving their responses, and that there had been at least a danger that the comments would spread to the wider community of classic-car buyers. You are not, in other words, as safe as you think.

In the background, however, there lurks a further problem. Some European countries, such as France, regard it as beyond question that a person’s right to freedom of speech – however defined – applies as much against his employer as it does against the state. (Indeed, the French courts are also, as a rule, pretty generous to the employee in this respect.) We ought to have a similar rule here, but we don’t.

In the UK, subject possibly to the European Convention on Human Rights in very extreme cases (not even human-rights lawyers are quite sure about this), it is simply a matter of reading the contract of employment. If your contract – which in all but a handful of cases comes presented to you on a take-it-or-leave-it basis – says it is a sackable offence to post politically controversial matter on Twitter or make public comments on transgender issues, that’s it. Matters of this sort automatically become the employer’s business, whether they otherwise ought to or not. It is high time we had legal protection for employees’ speech on private social media – and indeed in a private capacity generally, whatever a contract of employment might say to the contrary.

There is some hope that there may be progress here. The Joint Select Committee on Human Rights under Harriet Harman, currently looking at free speech in the round, recently asked for views on whether free-speech protection for employees was adequate. We shall have to wait for the outcome, though perhaps without a great deal of hope. (You have until 31 January to submit written evidence to the inquiry.)

Meanwhile, however, you can be sure of one thing. Employers’ lawyers will have read about the Austin case. As you read this article, it is a racing certainty that some of them will be busy redrafting contracts of employment to say that employees must take reasonable steps to moderate their social-media feeds and thus make sure that if this ever happens again the employer will win. Until we have proper worker free-speech protections allowing workers to talk, there is, unfortunately, something else that most certainly will: employers’ money.




Friday, January 29, 2021

'You are screwing up history': Petition to rename Squaw Valley in California because it is a derogatory term for Native American women is blasted for caving to political correctness

A petition to rename Squaw Valley in Fresno County, California because it is a derogatory term for Native American women has been blasted by some residents for caving to political correctness.

A controversial proposal to change the valley's name was put to the Orange Cove City Council Wednesday night after a man named Roman Rain Tree put forward the request in December.

The proposal says 'squaw' is a derogatory term used for Native American women that has come to mean 'both a part of the female genitalia and a woman of ill repute'.

As such, the current name Squaw Valley 'perpetuates a sexualized, exploitative, and humiliating narrative that continues to focus the desires and disgust of early Euro-Americans on the bodies of Native American women', it states.

Advocates for the change are calling for it to be renamed Nim Valley which they say will 'properly honor' the area's Native American communities, in particular Native American women.

But the proposal has sparked a backlash with the Orange Cove Mayor Victor Lopez vowing to refuse to back it and social media users blasting those calling for change as 'snowflakes'.

Orange Cove Council members shelved the renaming in a teleconference meeting Wednesday night saying they need more information before a decision can be reached.

Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig, who represents the Squaw Valley area, said Squaw Valley residents must be included in any discussion about a name change if it is put back on the table, reported

Magsig said in a Facebook Live earlier Wednesday he was 'not interested in having any cities trying to tell communities outside of their city limits what the names should be of those communities.'

He said residents had been contacting him concerned about the name change and insisted he did not support it unless the community itself wanted it changed.

PETA roasted for suggesting people drop animal names from insults

Animal rights organisation PETA has been roasted on social media after it called on people to stop using animals names to insult one another.

PETA, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, regularly draws the ire of the internet for its controversial campaigns in support of animals.

Taking to Twitter earlier this week, PETA said using animal names to insult people “reinforces the myth that humans are superior to other animals and justified in violating them”.

The organisation listed a number of optional ways to insult humans, including calling someone a “coward” instead of a “chicken” and calling someone “repulsive” instead of a “pig”.

The animal rights organisation said using animal names as slurs “isn’t just harmful, but also inaccurate”.

“Pigs, for instance, are intelligent, lead complex social lives, and show empathy for other pigs in distress. Snakes are clever, have family relationships, and prefer to associate with their relatives,” PETA said.

“Anti-animal slurs degrade animals by applying negative human traits to certain species.

“Perpetuating the idea that animals are sly, dirty, or heartless desensitises the public and normalises violence against other animals.”

The latest idea from PETA has been roasted online, with thousands of people piling on the organisation’s tweet.

Controversial Republican Senator Ted Cruz labelled the idea “bullsh*t” while author Michelle Elman brought up a previous animal insult PETA itself had used.

You must be forgetting the time you compared fat women to whales.




Thursday, January 28, 2021

Instagram censors post for linking Joe Biden's 1994 law to mass incarceration

Facebook-owned Instagram on Wednesday censored as “false” a user’s claim that President-elect Joe Biden’s 1994 crime law contributed to the mass jailing of black people.

That claim is vehemently supported by both left-wing and conservative criminal justice reform advocates, and by lawyers for people with long prison sentences.

Artist Brad Troemel, who has more than 100,000 Instagram followers, posted a photo of Biden and then-President Bill Clinton, writing: “Find someone that looks at you the way Biden looked at Clinton after Clinton signed Biden’s crime bill into law. Bringing mass incarceration to black Americans.”

The post was quickly censored with an interstitial warning saying it is “False Information.”

A message explaining the censorship says, “Independent fact-checkers say this information has no basis in fact.” Users are told the claim was rated “False” by a USA Today reporter, Doug Stanglin, in July.

Facebook spokeswoman Stephanie Otway told The Post that Instragram won’t end its censorship unless USA Today changes its assessment.

“People can appeal a rating by contacting a fact-checking partner directly. Fact-checking partners are ultimately responsible for deciding whether to update a rating, which will lift enforcement on the content,” she said.

Whether Biden’s law contributed to mass incarceration is a matter of debate.

The 1994 law included $12.5 billion in grants to encourage states to adopt “truth in sentencing” laws that required inmates to serve most of their sentence. A separate three-strikes provision gave many drug dealers federal life sentences.

USA Today’s analysis leans in part on a report from New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, which found the law “helped fuel a prison construction boom” and that “while some states had already started to enact tougher sentencing laws, the legislation rewarded states for those decisions, providing powerful incentives for others to adopt them.”

USA Today focused heavily on whether the law increased the percentage of blacks within the prison system.

“Black prisoners in 1995 accounted for 45.7% of prisoners, and in 2002 accounted for 45.1%,” USA Today wrote.

The total number of prisoners in the US, however, increased from fewer than 1.6 million in 1995 to more than 2 million in 2002, meaning there were more blacks in prison.

Disney+ blocks under-sevens from watching 'racist' Peter Pan, Dumbo and The Aristocats for breaching 'content advisories'

Generations of children have been charmed by the magical tale of the boy who never grew up, but Peter Pan is now on a list of banned movies.

Bosses at Disney have blocked anyone under the age of seven from watching the 1953 animated classic on its streaming service over concerns that it portrays racial stereotypes, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Three other long-standing family favourites – The Aristocats, Swiss Family Robinson and Dumbo – have also been removed from children’s accounts for breaching ‘content advisories’ that were recently put in place.

Parents have been left dumbfounded after trying to watch the films on Disney’s £5.99-per-month service. One said: ‘I wanted to watch Peter Pan with my daughter, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.

‘Then I realised they had all gone – they had been removed from the kids’ accounts. It was shocking.’

It is understood the main reason behind Peter Pan being blocked is because it features a Native American tribe whose members are referred to as ‘redskins’.

Meanwhile, the 1970 movie The Aristocats has a Siamese cat character called Shun Gon, whose slanted eyes and prominent teeth have been described as a caricature of East Asian people.

Swiss Family Robinson, which was made in 1960, has been criticised for its ‘yellow face’ and ‘brown face’ pirates.

Dumbo, the 1941 cartoon about a lovable flying elephant, has been accused of ridiculing enslaved African-Americans on Southern plantations. At one point during a musical interlude, faceless black workers toil away to offensive lyrics such as, ‘When we get our pay, we throw our money all away’.

Disney implemented a revised content advisory in October to flag up any issues surrounding racial stereotypes and concerns were raised in relation to Peter Pan and the other productions. The decision to ban the films from children’s accounts was made by a group of external experts who were brought in to assess if the content ‘represented global audiences’.

While the films remain available on adult accounts, they come with a disclaimer that says: ‘This programme includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures. These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.

‘Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together.’

Disney says on its website that it is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the diversity of the human experience around the globe. The statement reads: ‘We can’t change the past, but we can acknowledge it, learn from it and move forward together to create a tomorrow that today can only dream of.’




Saturday, January 23, 2021

The controversial word Biden wants to axe while President

There is one controversial word US President Joe Biden hopes to axe from the nation's laws while in the top job and he’s getting to work right away to make it happen.

Following his inauguration on Wednesday (local time), Biden planned to send an immigration bill to Congress that would be the largest legislative overhaul of the US immigration system in decades if passed.

As part of the proposed reforms, Biden wants to change the word “alien” in US immigration laws to “non-citizen”.

Biden’s act to remove the word alien comes after a number of US politicians called for “illegal alien” to be removed from law.

In February last year, Democratic state representative in Orlando, Susan Lontine, told the New York Times it was “an awful term”.

Jose Antonio Vargas, the founder of Define American, a not-for-profit organisation advocating for migrants, also told the publication he remembered being dubbed a “resident alien” when he immigrated to San Francisco in 1993.

“Terms like ‘alien’ and ‘illegal’, which I grew up hearing on the radio and TV and reading in newspapers and magazines, had an isolating, disorienting, dehumanising effect,” he said.

More Big Tech Manipulations: Twitter Appears to Be Shielding The Lincoln Project Amid Member Scandal

Just at the time when the titans of Silicon Valley are under scrutiny for the targeted practice of silencing those voices with whom they take issue, Twitter comes out with more proof of a clear cut bias in its standards and practices. This time, instead of the work of taking down opinions from the right, what we see is something of a protection racket towards trouble seen on the opposite side of the spectrum.

That this latest move involves protecting some pretty disturbing behavior only underscores the level of partisan standards in these companies.

This past week a swirling scandal developed around co-founder of The Lincoln Project, John Weaver, concerning his history of grooming young men for sexual purposes. Weaver allegedly would use social media to lure his targets and frequently he would use promises of professional favors in exchange for those favors of a sexual nature. It becomes a very revealing detail about The Lincoln Project, and the character of its membership.

The amusement arrives in that this is an outfit that loudly rails against others they deem to be lacking in character and morals. Vocal member Steve Schmidt frequently lashes out at opponents in this fashion. He recently targeted the booking company Vrbo when they did not properly cower to demands leveled by The Lincoln Project. ‘’Smarten up. Act ethically. Act in the interest of the public good.’’

These are the lectures from the same group that overlooked Weaver’s behavior at the same time. This was much like last year when it was revealed the same man had filed to work as a lobbyist for the Russians as TLP waged a lengthy campaign demonizing Trump’s supposed ties to the same country. After initial individuals stepped forward about Weaver, a growing tide of claims led to Weaver releasing a statement admitting to his actions.

When the story became more valid The Lincoln Project removed any references to Weaver from their site without announcement, a sign that ties were getting severed behind the scenes. But in the following days something interesting followed the media curiosity. Twitter appears to be running interference on behalf of the anti-Trump/Pro-Biden ‘’Republican’’ PAC.

Those curious to see if the outfit has made any announcements about the move, or to delve back into past tweets to see if there are any incriminating posts that had been made are running into roadblocks. Basic searches involving The Lincoln Project account were not delivering any returns. Even simply searching the account by its handle -- @ProjectLincoln -- would not deliver the site as a return.

At a time when the major tech companies are undertaking a clearly coordinated effort to stifle conservative interests and coddle those on the left, this becomes a vastly more revealing decision by Twitter. That the site is showing a preference towards an anti-Trump account becomes rather obvious. That they are doing so to protect them and hide details involving troubling behavior makes this move by Twitter all the more disturbing.




Thursday, January 21, 2021

Josh Hawley Has Found a New Home for His 'Big Tech' Book

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has found a new home for his book, "The Tyranny of Big Tech," after Simon & Schuster canceled their publishing agreement with him.

The publisher cut ties with Hawley after he continued to pursue an objection to the electoral college certification following the riots on Capitol Hill. Sen. Hawley also faced calls for his resignation and was deemed a "traitor" by critics. He condemned the Capitol violence but said he was forging ahead with his election objection because of voter fraud concerns. He released a statement on Jan. 7 shaming Simon & Schuster for acting like a "woke mob."

But now Regnery Publishing, an imprint of Salem Media, has signed with the senator. They intend to publish in the spring.

In "The Tyranny of Big Tech," Hawley argues that the likes of Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple have stifled competition and liberty, and he suggests a few alternatives to the powerful Big Tech companies.

Regnery President Thomas Spence shared Hawley's sentiments about what he described as cancel culture:

"Despite Senator Hawley’s immediate and forceful condemnation of the violent incursion, social media teemed with calls for retribution for his objection to the certification of the electoral vote. The next day, citing his purported “role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom,” Simon & Schuster announced that it was dropping Hawley’s book, scheduled for publication in June. Responding to the impulsive decision, Hawley stated on Twitter, “Simon & Schuster is canceling my contract because I was representing my constituents, leading a debate on the Senate floor on voter integrity, which they have now decided to redefine as sedition.”

Gun-Rights Group Kicked Off Mailchimp over Unspecified ‘Serious Risks’

Mailchimp suspended Virginia’s top gun-rights group from their email distribution service, citing unspecified “serious risks.”

The Virginia Citizens Defense League said Wednesday that the leading email marketing service had blocked them from sending out emails through the service without providing a reason for their account’s suspension.

“There was no justification,” the group’s president, Philip Van Cleave, told the Washington Free Beacon. “They provided nothing. Basically, they just said we need to get our stuff and be prepared to move on.”

“In this case, our automated abuse-prevention system, Omnivore, detected serious risks associated with the account,” reads the email from Mailchimp to VCDL, obtained by the Free Beacon. “That said, this risk is too great for us to continue to support the account. We have to ask that you seek a new vendor for your email marketing needs. We appreciate your understanding in this matter.”

The Atlanta-based company blocked an email about Lobby Day, an annual pro-gun rally held in Richmond every year that is scheduled for Monday. The mayor has warned activists to stay away from downtown in Virginia’s state capitol over the coming days due to possible violence during demonstrations.




Tuesday, January 19, 2021

How Liberals Will Attack Your Credibility to Control the Narrative

Michael Deviney

“This claim about election fraud is disputed.”

Warning labels like this are growing exponentially at an alarming rate. It seems that every free thought is fact-checked by a third party, oftentimes as justification for censoring content.

This tactic, invoked by media outlets and social media platforms, is being used to silence and shut down debate on a range of topics in society today. Censorship and cancel culture are growing issues in many American institutions.

I know. This issue impacted me personally.

Last month, I was asked to write an op-ed explaining Republican gains in Congress by The Ithacan, my campus newspaper.

My submitted op-ed was shared internally with over 50 members of their editorial staff for review and was approved to be published.

The piece received immediate backlash. Within 24 hours of publication on Facebook and Twitter, the attacks began. I was called a Nazi and my family was attacked.

Criticism on the merits of my piece would have been perfectly acceptable, but this was defamatory rhetoric of the highest order.

What was my offense? I mentioned that there may have been fraud in this election and others in the past. I cited The Heritage Foundation’s credible work on the subject, including its Election Fraud Database.

The Ithacan took the rare step of removing the piece from its website and writing an editor’s note explaining its rationale for doing so.

To their credit, The Ithacan editors granted me an opportunity to resubmit the article, which was surprising. However, I had to fight tooth and nail to defend the credibility of my sources, including The Heritage Foundation, and to keep major points in the article.

The most perplexing aspect of this experience is that the same sources that were deemed problematic, and used as evidence for why the story was pulled, were allowed in the resubmission. That showed me the editorial process was in shambles.

As I sat waiting for the next round of social media hate, I realized that The Ithacan buried the article by sharing it in an existing Facebook thread deep in its timeline rather than posting it as a standalone where it was more likely to be seen by its audience. This was a clear example of The Ithacan taking additional steps to reduce the spread of information.

My experience is hardly the only example. It is becoming so commonplace that if a conservative dares to question liberal thinking, controversy follows.

Censorship appears in many forms, and attempts to discredit speakers are the latest tactic to silence conservatives and anyone who dares question authority. If you speak against the grain, the social media mob will attack your sources as pseudo-science, go after your credibility, and stop at nothing to block the discourse.

No one should be intimidated to give their opinion. We must stand up and speak out—don’t give in.

Leftmedia Aims to Cancel Independent Citizen Journalists

The old adage states there are always two sides to every story. Well, according to today’s Democrats and Leftmedia, such a notion is no longer applicable. In fact, in America today, the “other side of the story” is downright dangerous and must be squelched at every opportunity, and leftist Big Tech has been convinced to help do just that.

Independent journalist Andy Ngo recently asserted, “Left-wing journalists see an ally in Twitter and now feel emboldened to make more demands of censorship.” The reason that leftist journalists in bed with Big Tech are calling for more censorship has everything to do with advancing a leftist narrative with as little objective challenge as possible. It’s all about controlling the “news” that Americans receive in order to control how Americans think.

In America, the independent citizen journalist has always stood as a thorn in the side of the rich and powerful, challenging their ability to exert unlimited control over the national narrative.

As The Federalist’s Libby Emmons observes, “If it weren’t for the work of independent journalists and outlets, we would not have seen the violence that came with these protests, understood who was committing the violence, or gotten any insight into these disruptive movements under the surface of American culture.” And now, thanks to Big Tech doing the bidding of Democrats, “These journalists are now under threat of erasure by social media companies, and by those who are asking social media to target them.”

Ngo, who has risen in prominence in independent journalism for his efforts to expose the violence of antifa, has long been a target of the Left and Leftmedia. His accurate and brave on-the-ground journalism pokes holes in the Leftmedia’s dubious characterization of both conservatives and left-wing groups. They tried to get rid of Ngo for years, but now, with the help of Big Tech, they see the time as ripe for canceling and silencing not just Ngo but all independent citizen journalists.

In a very real sense, this is a classic example of a culture war. On one side is the wealthy establishment class that’s loathe to give up any of its immense control over the cultural levers of power. On the other are the independent journalists who have steadily been gaining greater cultural acceptance. After all, they — to borrow a favorite expression of the Left — “speak truth to power.”




Saturday, January 16, 2021

Famous ballets cancelled

The recently appointed director of the Paris Opera House, Alexander Neef, plans to remove three of the best-known ballet choreographies from the repertoire on account of those allegedly promoting White dominance, Neef told Le Monde.

The three ballets in question are The Nutcracker, Swan Lake and Die Bajadere (English title: The Yankee Princess), all choreographed by the late Rudolf Nureyev, considered the best ballet dancer of his generation, according to Origo.

The conflict goes back to September, incidentally, the month when Neef was appointed director. Then the artists of the Paris Opera House issued a manifesto entitled "On racial issues at the Paris Opera", in which they said, among other things, that performers of colored skin will refuse to be masked as white when, for instance, dancing the role of a white swan.

While the management of the Paris Opera House denied the information in a somewhat lukewarm manner, French-Canadian academic and political commentator Mathieu Bock-Côté, in a commentary in Le Figaro, attributed the issue to the Black Lives Matter movement.

"The motivations behind this are easily guessed. Since the George Floyd affair, as is now the ritual discourse of the racialist movement — which would like to make it the Zero Moment of a world conversion to diversitarian orthodoxy — the 'racialized people' working in The Paris Opera would have become aware of the repeated "micro-aggressions" they would suffer there for a long time," Bock-Côté writes in his article entitled "Racial obsession reaches the opera".

According to Le Monde, the three ballets in question have been targeted for the following reasons. In Swan Lake, the white swan is symbol of good while the black swan that of evil. In The Nutcracker, critics found issues with the Arabic-themed dance Coffee, while in The Yankee Princess — written by Hungarian composer Imre Kálmán — a dance scene involving Black children was questioned.

Antifa's Determined to Prevent a Book About Their Tactics From Being Published

Antifa members in Portland, Oregon are doing their best to take down conservative journalist, Andy Ngo, who has been covering their violent behavior for years. In fact, back in 2019, Ngo was attacked with a cement milkshake simply for documenting Antifa's protests and riots that almost always turn violent.

Ngo has written a book about Antifa's thuggery, called "Unmasked," about how they target people and how their actions threaten our democracy. The book is available for preorder and is set to be released early next month.

When Antifa received word that Ngo's book was for sale at Powell's bookstore, they decided to show up and demand that the local chain cease selling it all together.

Powell's responded by releasing a cushy statement saying they wouldn't sell the book in stores but it would be available for purchase online. It was their version of the "middle ground" even though they don't agree with the content of Ngo's book.

At Powell’s, a lot of our inventory is hand-selected, and hand-promoted. And a lot of our inventory is not. With several million titles available online at any given moment, complete hand-curation is not possible. Unmasked by Andy Ngo came to us through an automatic data feed via one of our long-term and respected publishers, Hachette Book Group. We list the majority of their catalogue automatically, as do many other independent and larger retailers. We have a similar arrangement with other publishers.

Of course, Antifa wasn't happy with it. A bunch of them gathered outside the bookstore in Portland, once again, making the demand that the store no longer sell Ngo's book in any capacity.

One of the people who showed up outside of Powell's bookstore said people need to show up every day until the store decides to stop selling the book. She compared the book to Mein Kampf.

"I completely understand those criticisms saying [Powell's] sells Mein Kampf, they sell these things – but they don't sell the Anarchist Cookbook – but anyways, I see that argument, but at the same time, this is active fascism," she explained. "There's a difference between the historical value that we get from 'Mein Kampf,' to not repeat that. This is different. This is active fascism that we can do something about right now."

Another known Antifa member, Dustin Ferreira, vowed to do whatever he could to get Ngo's book pulled from every outlet possible. The goal is destroy Ngo's career.

This whole thing is ironic. Antifa says Ngo is being a fascist for writing a book... about Antifa's crazy tactics that resulted in him being repeatedly attacked.

Let's look at the definition of fascism.

From Webster's Dictionary:

a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

Antifa complains Ngo is being a fascist. Antifa wants Ngo's book pulled. That is the definition of "forcible suppression of opposition." Antifa – the so-called anti-fascists – are engaging in fascism themselves.

And they wonder why most people don't take their demands seriously




Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Gosnell Filmmakers Banned From Twitter

They came for Trump and then they came for us. Please stay in touch with us. We are going to work hard to build our following off Twitter. In the meantime, please keep in touch with us on our email list:

Elon Musk tears into the 'West Coast high tech' who have turned into the 'de facto arbiter of free speech' after Amazon scrubbed Parler from the internet

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO had replied to a satirical tweet about Twitter and Facebook banning Donald Trump from their platforms. Twitter also permanently banned Trump loyalists as part of a broader purge of accounts.

Musk said Monday: 'A lot of people are going to be super unhappy with West Coast high tech as the de facto arbiter of free speech.'

Replying to another user who said 'West Coast high tech has to make the distinction between banning hate speech and banning speech it hates', Musk added: 'This is an important distinction.'

Parler went offline shortly after 3am EST Monday after Amazon booted the platform off its web hosting service, effectively shutting the site down until it can find a new hosting partner or fund its own servers.

The company's chief content officer, Amy Peikoff, further said that social media firms forcing Parler from their platform was Orwellian.

Matze told Fox News' Tucker Carlson that it was 'scary' how comprehensive his blacklisting had been, and how quick. 'You just never think it will happen, right?' Matze told Carlson. 'You know?

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday slammed tech titans for 'authoritarianism, cloaked as moral righteousness' during his speech on the broadcaster Voice of America.

Regarding Twitter's ban of Trump ACLU senior legislative counsel Kate Ruane said: 'We understand the desire to permanently suspend him now.

'But, it should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions.'

Amazon was on Saturday forced to warn its employees to 'be vigilant' following far right threats to blow up its data centers, a leaked memo reveals.




Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Left-Wing Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador Makes Surprising Statement on Censorship of Trump

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador condemned social media companies for censoring President Donald Trump this week, saying that he does not “accept” the move as being okay.

“I don’t like anybody being censored or taking away from the right to post a message on Twitter or Face(book). I don’t agree with that, I don’t accept that,” López Obrador said.

“How can you censor someone: ‘Let’s see, I, as the judge of the Holy Inquisition, will punish you because I think what you’re saying is harmful,’” he continued. “Where is the law, where is the regulation, what are the norms? This is an issue of government, this is not an issue for private companies.”

The Washington Post reported that presidential spokesman Jesús Ramírez doubled down on the message from López Obrador, writing on social media: “Facebook’s decision to silence the current leader of the United States calls for a debate on freedom of expression, the free exchange of information on the web, democracy and the role of the companies that administer (social) networks.”

Facebook to censor 'stop the steal' phrase

Facebook will remove certain content containing the phrase "stop the steal" from its social media platforms, in response to what it says are "continued attempts to organise events against the outcome of the US presidential election that can lead to violence".

The company, which is treating the next two weeks as a "major civic event", says it will continue to allow "robust conversations related to the election outcome".

"But with continued attempts to organise events against the outcome of the US presidential election that can lead to violence, and use of the term by those involved in Wednesday's violence in DC, we're taking this additional step in the lead up to the inauguration," the company said in a blog post.

"It may take some time to scale up our enforcement of this new step but we have already removed a significant number of posts."

A Facebook spokeswoman clarified the company would allow posts that clearly share the "stop the steal" phrase to either condemn baseless claims of electoral fraud or to discuss the issue neutrally.




Monday, January 11, 2021

BBC slaps “discriminatory language” warning on Dad’s Army classic

BBC’s war on classic comedy series continued when the broadcaster decided to “censor” a 1971 film version of classic sitcom Dad’s Army.

The way the BBC has gone about this is to place a label warning viewers of “discriminatory language.” The sitcom takes place in the WW2 setting, makes references to Nazis and uses the word “frogs” – a jargon expression for the French – reports are now recalling, trying to figure out what the discriminatory language might be.

The warning also refers to the term “fuzzy-wuzzies,” used by British soldiers to describe people from the Sudan.

The broadcaster itself does not seem to have stated what unacceptable language was in the movie that might have offended some of its viewers.

A spokesman for the BBC said that the decision was made in order to keep this content in line with a guidance issued “due to a specific discriminatory remark.”

But what certainly caused offense was the warning itself and BBC’s behavior. Dad’s Army is a highly popular classic sitcom that pulled in as many as 18 million viewers per episode during its 1968-1977 run. The franchise included the said feature film, and a stage show.

It remains popular to this day in many markets around the world, and now many of those who watched the movie on BBC’s iPlayer saw the “soft censorship” applied against it as a futile overreaction.

Woke Mob Attacks Princeton Prof Over Preferred Pronoun Survey

Woke Rule No. 1: Thou shalt not question woke ideology, or point out any inconsistency or ulterior motive.

Once again, the totalitarian underbelly of the woke mob has reared its ugly head, this time against Princeton Professor Robert George for daring to post a basic poll question via social media. The good professor simply posted the following survey question: “By listing or stating their ‘preferred pronouns’ people are making sure that others know their: sex, gender, [or] ideology.” The (correct) answer that garnered the highest number of votes was “ideology.”

But daring to expose the motivation behind nonsensical “preferred pronoun” demands has resulted in Professor George being blasted as “transphobic,” with a woke social media mob calling for his head. You see, George has a history of calling out the foolishness of “transgenderism.” In 2016, he stated, “There are few superstitious beliefs as absurd as the idea that a woman can be trapped in a man’s body & [vice-versa].” He’s also noted the scientific fact that “to regard a man as a woman is to misunderstand biology.”

Defending his survey question, George observed, “There is a temptation for people on both the right and left to suppose that no reasonable person of goodwill could possibly disagree with them or doubt the premises of their views. Yielding to that temptation, some on the right think that anyone who disagrees with them is a libertine; some on the left think that anyone who disagrees with them is a bigot. They are equally wrong.”

Ironically proving George’s point, woke activist Priyanka Aiyer argued, “[It’s] not productive to have a debate like this. We’re talking about pronouns, but that’s not actually what we’re talking about. We’re really talking about the existence and the validity of people whose gender is not the same as the one they were assigned at birth.” In other words, questioning someone’s woke ideology should not be allowed.

Shutting down debate or questions over concerns of not wanting to offend someone’s delusional sensitivities is in reality an assault on free thought and free speech. No free society should accept such totalitarian demands of thought control, let alone an academic institution.

Friday, January 08, 2021

Big Tech Censors Are at It Again

They seem to hold in utter contempt the crucial role of free speech in a peaceful society.

Buried beneath the news of yesterday’s mayhem on Capitol Hill was Big Tech’s effort to once again silence its political opposition. In something short of a shocker, it’s blaming it on Donald Trump.

By now, those who follow the president on Twitter have gotten used to the routine. “As a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C.,” said the serious-sounding “Twitter Safety” censor, “we have required the removal of three [of the president’s] Tweets that were posted earlier today for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy. This means that the account of realDonaldTrump will be locked for 12 hours following the removal of these Tweets. If the Tweets are not removed, the account will remain locked.”

Below that is an admonition that seems utterly lacking in self-awareness: “You may not use Twitter’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes.”

Got that? Twitter’s speech police won’t tolerate manipulation or interference in an election. Unless they themselves are doing it. Or perhaps they don’t consider censoring a bombshell news story that’s deeply damaging to their preferred presidential candidate just days before the election to be “manipulating” or “interfering.”

And what’s this “ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C.” Twitter mentions? Things look downright peaceful there today.

No matter. Jack Dorsey and his speech suppressors seem to be laying the groundwork to silence The Orange Menace once and for all.

“The company then went further,” The Federalist’s Tristan Justice reports, “declaring the Silicon Valley tech giant — which had already censored the president and affiliated campaign accounts at least 65 times over two years without censoring former Vice President Joe Biden once — is prepared to permanently kick the president off the platform for posts not even published yet.”

“Future violations of the Twitter Rules,” the company wrote, “including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the realDonaldTrump account.”

Twitter even vowed to consider the president’s speech away from their platform. “We’ll continue to evaluate the situation in real time, including examining activity on the ground and statements made off Twitter,” it said. “We will keep the public informed, including if further escalation in our enforcement approach is necessary.”

Here, we can’t help but set the over-under for President Trump’s permanent expulsion from Twitter at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, January 21.

Taking a backseat to no one in their efforts to suppress the speech of the opposition party’s president, Facebook and YouTube joined the fray. As National Review’s Brittany Bernstein reports, they’ve taken down the one-minute video President Trump published yesterday — the one that tells his Capitol Hill supporters to “go home in peace.”

“Facebook also announced it would be removing photos and videos illustrating Wednesday’s riot,” Bernstein continued, “claiming such content promoted criminal activity. No such widespread censorship was employed of the left-wing Antifa riots last year, where reporters stood in front of burning buildings and called the demonstrations ‘mostly peaceful.’”

In fact, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook and Instagram will be blocking Trump indefinitely. “We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great,” he explained, adding that the blocking will continue “for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.” Thus a sitting U.S. president may not exercise his own right of free speech in the public square. Astonishing.

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Activists are trying to get school board member fired over “crack the whip” phrase

A school board member in the US state of Washington is in danger of losing his job for expressing his worry about low graduation rates by using an idiom in an online meeting that has apparently become politically incorrect.

At least it has for the person behind the initiative to fire Clover Park School District School Board member Paul Wagemann for saying that the board needed to “crack the whip” in dealing with the problem.

But Taniesha Lyons, who ran against Wagemann in the last board election and lost, sees the idiom as racist and now wants Wagemann to resign for his alleged racism and bigotry. According to Lyons, who last month started a petition to this end, the expression has its roots in slavery.

In fact, the expression – as a UK court confirmed last year in a similar case – has to do with using the whip to control a horse, which is the definition agrees with.

Reports, citing the Suburban Times, say that Wagemann was referring to as many as 10 to 11 percent of students never graduating from school, and explaining that the use of the phrase was meant to ensure the board would do all it can to help reverse the trend and see these students get their diploma.

And although dictionaries bear out his version of the meaning and usage of the phrase – Lyons remains committed to painting Wagemann as a bigot and a racist, whose presence on the board jeopardizes the good name of the Clover Park School District as a place not tolerant of either.

Australia: Aboriginal activist files human rights complaint against Scrabble over racist slurs in game dictionary

A Northern Territory man has filed a formal complaint against the owners of popular board game Scrabble for including racist slurs against Aboriginal people in the game’s dictionary of playable words.

Aboriginal activist Stephen Hagan – formerly of Queensland, who last year forced Coon cheese to change its name – lodged the complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission against international toymaker Mattel for allowing the words “abo”, “coon” and “boong” to be played.

He said he was “absolutely flabbergasted” the company permitted the use of such offensive words.

Although the word coon can be misused, it has legitimate uses as well so does belong in the dictionary. "Coon" is short for "raccoon"

"Abo" is simply an abbreviation. Australians are great abbreviators

"Boong" is always derogatory these days but it was originally simply the name of an Aboriginal tribe, no more offensive than "Boori","Murri", "Koori" etc. So it has legitimate historical uses.




Wednesday, January 06, 2021

University of Michigan Claims Words ‘Picnic,’ ‘Brown Bag’ Are Offensive

The University of Michigan’s “Words Matter Task Force” (WMTF), created by the university’s Information & Technology Services (ITS) Department, has unilaterally decreed that it finds more than two dozen words and phrases offensive to people.
Included in the list of the offensive words are including “picnic,” “brown bag” and “blacklist,” among others.

“To effectively communicate with customers, it is important for ITS to evaluate the terms and language conventions that may hinder effective communication, harm morale, and deliberately or inadvertently exclude people from feeling accepted to foment a healthy and inclusive culture,” the pseudo task force said in a memo.

The WMTF said that acceptable alternatives to use are “gathering” instead of “picnic,” and “lunch and learn” instead of “brown bag.” The task force urges their woke sycophants to insist others alter their language to reflect their purview.

The task force – which bestowed the authority to redefine words and phrases upon itself, ignorantly targeted the word “picnic” because of the false narrative bouncing around social media that its genesis is related to lynchings. Of course, this calls into question the legitimacy of any edict emanating from the task force.

The Daily Mail reported that “The word ‘picnic’ appears to be banned because of false suggestions on the internet that it originates from the racist, extrajudicial killings of African Americans…The word picnic actually comes from the 17th century French word ‘pique-nique,’ a term used to describe a social gathering in which attendees each contributed with a portion of food.”

The Reuters News Agency published an article in July of 2020 with the headline, Fact check: The word picnic does not originate from racist lynchings, in which they reported, “Images circulating on social media make the claim that the word ‘picnic’ originates from the racist, extrajudicial killings of African Americans. This claim is false.”

Among some of the other words included in the WMTF’s “Kristallnacht word burning” edict:

* “Dummy” which should be replaced by “sample”
* “Crippled” which should be replaced with “weakened”
* “Crazy” which should be replaced with “unthinkable”

The task force also declared “off the reservation” should be replaced with “outside the norms” or “rogue.”

The “rogue” task force also went after “low-hanging fruit.” The Oxford Dictionary defines the idea as “a thing or person that can be won, obtained, or persuaded with little effort.”

But an activist, “outside the norm” college professor labeled the term as racist. “For African-Americans, if you say ‘low-hanging fruit,’ we think lynching,” said Mae Hicks-Jones, an adjunct faculty member of Elgin Community College in Illinois.

Hicks-Jones, who apparently sees everything through a lens of racism, also said “grandfathered” is a racist term. She said the phrase is reminiscent of a “grandfather clause,” which, she insists has connections to “privileged White people’s” right to vote over that of Blacks during the Jim Crow South.

Flag burning is not always protected Free speech

The leader of the Proud Boys activist group has been arrested on misdemeanor destruction of property charges relating to the burning of a Black Lives Matter flag from a historic black church during protests in December.

Enrique Tarrio, chairman of the group, was also charged with possessing a high-capacity feeding device after police found two clips of ammunition in his possession.

Tarrio could receive up to 180 days in prison and be fined $1,000.

The Hill:

Tarrio was among those who burned a Black Lives Matter banner that was taken down from Asbury United Methodist, a historic Black church, last month, he previously told The Washington Post, saying he would plead guilty to any destruction of property charges.

Under the misdemeanor charge, Tarrio could face up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Protesters also took down a sign with the same phrase from the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Police indicated at the time of the protest that they may add “hate crime” charges to any vandalism charges.

Tarrio had previously told the Post he would not admit to committing a hate crime, saying he and other Proud Boys members did not target the church because it has a predominantly Black congregation. Instead, he said, he was protesting the Black Lives Matter movement that “has terrorized the citizens of this country.”

The prosecutors may be hesitating in charging Tarrio with a hate crime because Mr. Tarrio happens to be black (he “identifies” as Afro-Cuban). Charging a black man with a hate crime against blacks would be ludicrous.

I find it fascinating that protesters can burn the American flag without fear of prosecution but get arrested for burning the flag of a radical racist organization that espouses violence against police and white people.




Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Democrat Ends Prayer With 'Amen. ... and A-Woman'

This is brainless. In the New Testament, Christ is recorded in the original Greek of the gospels as sayin ἀμήν on a number of occasions, which transliterates into English as "amen". But it has nothing to do with men (or women). The Greek word meaning "man" is ἄνθρωπος (anthropos).

So the word has entered Christian worship out of respect for Christ's use of it, not because of any English word it might sound like.

At the end of a prayer it means roughly "So be it" or "I agree"! But that is not the end of it. It has a broader meaning than that. When Jesus said: "Verily, verily, I say unto you ...." (e.g. in John 5:24), what word do you think he was using according to the original Greek text that was translated as "verily"? That's right. He was actually saying: "Amen, amen, I say unto you". So it's basically just a way of emphasizing the correctness of something

On Sunday, a Democratic representative — who also happens to have been a pastor for 37 years — gave an official prayer to open the 117th Congress. With great pomp and circumstance, he closed his prayer by invoking “the monotheistic god,” Brahma, and the god who supposedly goes by many names. He then concluded with the most asinine thing I have ever heard. He ended with “amen … and a-woman.”

Yes, in a moment worthy of The Babylon Bee, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), added the nonsense neologism “a-woman” to the classic prayer ending, “amen.”

“Amen” means “so be it,” “it is so,” or “verily.” Jews and Christians have used the term to conclude prayers for thousands of years. The word appears 30 times in the Hebrew Bible and 52 times in the New Testament. There is no connection — absolutely none — between “amen” and “men,” the far later English word for plural male individuals.

It honestly strains credulity that any educated Jew, Christian, or Muslim — much less a Methodist who served as a pastor for 37 years — would feel the need to make the term of assent “amen” inclusive by adding “a-woman.” Yet Emanuel Cleaver, who served as the pastor at St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Mo., from March 1972 to June 2009, did exactly that — and it seems he is proud of it.

Yet this “a-woman” fiasco should show Americans just how stupid and shallow much of Democrats’ pandering in the name of “inclusivity” really is.
Banned from Facebook for hate speech - for saying 'men are such fools'

Desperate for some laughter and gossip – a virtual vestige of my old social life – I logged on to a closed group of old friends on Facebook.

I found them avidly discussing the extraordinary story of Hilaria Baldwin, the yoga instructor and lingerie-clad Instagram-influencer wife of US actor Alec Baldwin.

The 36-year-old mother-of-five had, it appeared, erased her wholly American parentage and upbringing in favour of a more exotic – but fake – Spanish heritage.

She'd even changed her name from boring old Hillary to its Spanish equivalent. Hilaria spoke in a Spanish accent worthy of Manuel from Fawlty Towers.

Once, on TV, she affected to forget ('um, how do you say in English') the word 'cucumber'.

Her agent's online biography of her gave her birthplace as Majorca rather than stuffy old Boston, and Hilaria gave the couple's children ostentatiously Spanish names.

But her claim to have arrived in the US at the age of 19 in order to 'go to school' came as something of a surprise to her New England contemporaries, including former classmates.

The whole affair exploded when an anonymous New Yorker tweeted: 'You have to admire Hilaria Baldwin's commitment to her decade-long grift [con] where she impersonates a Spanish person.'

This all raised the question of how much her Trump-taunting husband really knew about the woman he'd married.

(She insists that when they met in 2011, she had no idea who Baldwin was. As, presumably, growing up as an innocent Spanish senorita in her humble Spanish home, she naturally had no television.)

Later, appearing on a chat show, Baldwin, 62, lovingly mimicked his wife speaking on the phone in a Spanish accent. This suggested that Hilaria's performance – if that was what it truly was – continues behind closed doors.

A friend of mine wondered on Facebook if Baldwin had actually been taken in. Or was he complicit or simply willing to suspend disbelief in gratitude at snapping up a beautiful wife who was 26 years younger than him and remarkably bendy?

I laughed and put my fingers on the keyboard. 'Men are such fools!' I posted, adding a cry-laughing emoji to ensure it was obvious my remark was an affectionate joke. At this moment, things took a dark turn.

To my astonishment, my remark was instantly removed from Facebook. And a notice flashed up on my screen telling me that my joke had been deleted and I had been suspended from the social-media platform for the crime of 'hate speech'.

I had apparently breached Facebook's Community Standards, which ban 'anything that directly attacks people based on what are known as their 'protected characteristics' – race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender, gender identity, or serious disability or disease.

My initial reaction was surprise. Then outrage. Nobody sensible could surely think my comment constituted a war on the defenceless male sex. My husband burst out laughing when I told him what had happened.

Since our Facebook group was private, Alec Baldwin couldn't possibly have seen the remark, which didn't even mention him by name.

But who cares if he could? Baldwin may have been a teensy bit gullible – but men have been fools for women since the dawn of time. And hurrah for that.




Monday, January 04, 2021

UK: A good year for free-speech haters

Rereading the headlines from 2020, it would be easy to imagine that Covid-19 was not the only virus ravaging the UK of late. To judge by the number of new laws and measures proposed to counter ‘hate speech’, anybody might think that hatred and discrimination against ‘protected groups’ had also been sweeping the nation this year.

In reality, of course, we live in one of the most tolerant societies on Earth, where such problems as racism or homophobia are shadows of their former poisonous selves. No, the 2020 war against ‘hate speech’ really reflects the elites’ hatred of unfettered free speech, and their fear and loathing of what the rest of us might get up to if allowed to think and speak for ourselves.

It seems that hate speech has rarely been out of the news this past year. Among the highlights was the probe launched by the Metropolitan Police after the historian David Starkey used the words ‘damned blacks’ in an online interview. The Met used the Public Order Act to investigate Starkey for allegedly ‘stirring up racial hatred’ – and, in an even more extraordinary step, to accuse the young interviewer, Darren Grimes, of the same offence for daring to ask Starkey questions and not dismiss his answers.

North of the border we have been treated to the ongoing spectacle of the Scottish National Party’s Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, which aims to extend even further the powers of the Public Order Act to police speech. SNP justice secretary Humza Yousaf has proudly assured everybody that his proposed law would make it a crime merely to possess material which somebody else might find hateful, or to tell the wrong sort of jokes at your own dinner table. Now the Law Commission has come up with a set of similarly far-reaching proposals to police hate speech in England and Wales.

In between times, we have witnessed the government seeking to force the online tech giants to crack down even harder on hate speech and ‘harmful’ content online, while a full supporting cast of academics, authors and others have been publicly disciplined, banned or ‘cancelled’ for allegedly using words that were too hateful or offensive for somebody to tolerate. Police have also spent a lot of time investigating speech-related ‘hate incidents’, where no crime has been committed but you can get a record anyway for speaking out of turn.

The anti-hate-speech zealots have not had everything their own way. On occasions they have overstepped the mark and been forced to take a half-step back. Thus the Met reluctantly dropped its investigation into Starkey and Grimes after a public outcry, while the SNP government has had to accept some tweaks to its proposed hate-crime law.

At the year’s end, some good news emerged from the High Court when two senior judges ruled that ‘free speech encompasses the right to offend, and indeed to abuse another’, adding: ‘Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.’ Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Warby overturned the conviction of Kate Scottow, from Hitchin in Hertfordshire, for calling a trans woman a ‘racist’, a ‘pig in a wig’ and a ‘man’ on Twitter. A lower court judge had ludicrously found Scottow guilty of breaking the non-existent ‘rule’ that we should ‘be kind to each other and not call each other names’.

How much difference in practice the judges’ sensible ruling will make to the wider crackdown on free speech remains to be seen; I recall Lord Justice Sedley using almost identical words in a ruling in defence of the right to offend some 20 years ago, but that did little to impede the zealots’ crusade.

Either way, the Scottow case highlights a bigger problem – that our free speech rights remain in the gift of judges. Free speech has been turned into a legal privilege rather than a universal liberty. It should not be up to m’luds to decide whether adults are allowed to be rude or ‘unkind’ to one another on social media or anywhere else. Let’s not allow one fair-minded judgement to obscure the greater danger of allowing a few judges to judge what the rest of us are allowed to think and say.

But the overall direction of travel is clear enough, with new precedents being set and measures imposed all the time. We can be sure that this will continue into the new year, because the crusade against the inflated threat of hate crimes is such a uniquely powerful resource for those who wish further to restrict our freedom of speech.

Crusading against hate speech gives the authorities a rare leg up on to the moral high ground, from where they can look down on the allegedly ignorant, malignant mob below. It enables them to curtail freedoms, but this time in the progressive-sounding name of equality and human rights. And it puts many free-speech advocates on the defensive – after all, who relishes the prospect of standing up for some sort of ‘right to hate’?

Perhaps above all, pursuing hate crimes hands the authorities a special licence to criminalise dissenting and unorthodox speech. Because hate crimes are defined in British law as ‘any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim, or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice towards someone based on a personal characteristic’.

Think about that for a second. A hate crime is whatever the alleged victim or ‘any other person’ says it is. That sweeping definition introduces a subjective standard into criminal law. Applied to ‘hate speech’, it means that the words you use can be deemed an offence according to how others interpret them, regardless of the context or your intended meaning. You can commit a ‘hate crime’ without knowing it, by saying something somebody else decides they don’t like.

The advocates of new measures against hate speech like to lecture us about how thousands of ‘hate crimes’ are being committed each year. Given the subjective standard of guilt that the law applies, I am only surprised that it is not many times more.

As we prepare to face new threats to free speech in the new year, we need to find ways to restate and update some first principles. Our liberty remains indivisible; we defend free speech for all, or none at all. It is not just about defending somebody else’s right to hate, but also our right to listen (or not) and judge for ourselves. Once you seek to infringe that freedom, the question is always: who decides where to draw the line?

Freedom of expression must include the right to express opinions that might be offensive or insulting to some. The fact is that, in the end, it is only those views deemed too extreme or offensive that need defending on free-speech grounds. The mainstream can look after itself.

We should also remind ourselves that, far from words being a weapon of oppression, the fight for unfettered free speech has been a key part of the struggle for freedom, democracy and equality throughout modern history. That is why the state has always sought to curtail that freedom, once in the name of protecting God or the Crown, now in the name of protecting minorities.

At the end of 2020, the truth remains that, whatever the problems, there is always one thing worse than free speech. And that is the lack of it. We need to keep telling that truth, however much some may hate to hear it.

Friday, January 01, 2021

It's SO upsetting to have a Chinese person portrayed by a Swede

Viewers have been warned about an 'outright offensive' character in the iconic movie Flash Gordon.

The British Board of Film Classification has added a warning about Ming the Merciless, advising the audience that the character played by the late Swedish actor Max von Sydow is a 'discriminatory stereotype'.

The 1980 movie was reclassified as a 12A earlier this year, and the BBFC said Ming is 'coded as an east Asian character' and would now be considered, 'dubious if not outright offensive'.

Earlier this year, Gone With The Wind was temporarily removed from HBO Max over concerns about its depiction of slavery.

On its website, the BBFC warns: 'An alien character is coded as 'Asian' due to his hair and make-up, although he is portrayed by a Caucasian actor.

'The character derives from the film's dated source material, but some viewers may find the depiction offensive.'

Apart from the fact that Ming is not a human being, but a member of an alien species, he doesn't look at all East Asian. He has a long, pale face, a long, thin nose, and blue or hazel eyes. Everyone knows East Asians have round, flat faces, small noses, and dark eyes.

A top UK law firm is erasing the words ‘he’ and ‘she’ from documents - to the horror of feminists

Julie Bindel

Seeking to embrace transgender ideology, the law firm Clifford Chance is removing all mention of ‘she’ and ‘he’ from its legal documents in favour of ‘they’.

In a development straight from some Orwellian nightmare, the firm has unveiled a computer program designed to ‘eliminate gendered language’.

Shouldn’t feminists like me be happy? After all, many law firms still begin letters ‘Dear Sir’ (rather than ‘Sir/Madam’) and have documents that use only ‘he’.

In a word, no. I am actually sickened and furious.

Far from showing a commitment to end the age-old sexism in our legal system, this is yet another example of the slow eradication of words and terminology to describe women in the law, business and society as a whole.

The change in terminology is not about being more female-friendly. Far from it. It is about pandering to trans activists.

Another change adopted by some firms is a requirement for staff to end their emails with ‘he/him’ or ‘she/her’ next to their signature, so the recipient knows how to reply.

On its website, Clifford Chance admits its decision could be seen as virtue-signalling but adds: ‘The reality is that, as well as being respectful of trans and non-binary identities, it is also a sensible and practical action to take.’

So there we have it. None of this is about being more inclusive of female staff or clients. Rather, it is aimed solely at appeasing pressure groups and their woke allies.

Such an approach is a cheap and easy win for Clifford Chance and potentially, a neat way to obscure any possible inequality. If all staff become ‘they’, it obscures how differently the sexes are treated as employees.