Free Speech is for Jerks

Screen Shot 2017-06-16 at 11.36.04 AM
Screenshot of the blog “The Baconfat Papers”

Recently an Edmontonian man was charged with hate speech for a blog he wrote called The Baconfat Papers (www.sunrayzulu.blogspot.com). The blog has been removed, but I found some of his articles via Wayback Machine.

Now, while I hate racism and think it’s evil (and this guy’s blog was especially despicable — basically at the Westboro Baptist Church level), if a guy wants to write a racist blog, he has the right to do so. That’s free speech, and free speech is for jerks too. If you are offended, don’t read it.

If a guy writes a blog which physically threatens someone or calls for others to physically hurt someone, that’s different. That’s no longer free speech of course, since someone’s life may be in danger.

I don’t know if the author of Baconfat, Barry Winters, actually physically threatened anyone; maybe he did. If he did, yes he needs to be charged — but not with hate speech.

“Hate Speech” is one of those ambiguous terms that confuse the issue and leave too much room for abuse. If Barry Winters physically threatened someone, then let him be charged specifically for that. Or, if he called for others to physically hurt someone, let him be specifically charged for that. But if he just wrote a bunch of blogs about how he hates Natives and gays, so be it — that’s just his opinion. It’s evil and wrong, and you can either write to him and tell him why he’s wrong, or, more wisely, just ignore him. There are plenty of guys like Barry Winters out there. They pose no threat unless we give them a platform. And the way to remove their platform is to ignore them — not remove free speech for everybody. Because in the end, who will it be that defines “Hate Speech?”

~Further reading…

He may be Canada’s ‘ultimate troll,’ but should Edmonton blogger be charged for spreading hate?

Progressive Conservatism

This is What it’s Like to be a Race Baiter in Alberta

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This is What It’s Like to be a Race Baiter in Alberta

edmonton-skylineHaving grown up in Edmonton Alberta, I could write a pretty informed article on the racism you might find there. I’d start by providing real and explicit examples of racism which I have seen with my own eyes, such as the time I saw a white man yell at a Pakistani 7-11 clerk, “Go back to where you f&%king came from!”

And after I listed off the real and explicit examples of racism which I have seen with my own eyes, I would then go on to explain that Edmonton, with its population of over 900 000 people, is not a racist city. In fact most Edmontonians are good and welcoming people. And while the population is predominately white (to be expected in any Canadian city) there are many different nationalities living there.

But that kind of article (you know – an honest one) is not what you’re going to get from the Huffington Post. No, you will get an article which begins like this:

The world looks at Canada as a culturally neutral country. But the so called “melting pot of the North” is really… just Toronto. Western Canada is nowhere near the pot…

When I landed at Edmonton International Airport, it felt like I moved to Texas. There were retail stores that sold cowboy hats, hunting gear and some white people looked at me as if I were a ghost. It was only the beginning of the culture shock.

Those asinine words were written by the author, Malia Waterman, of a HuffPo article entitled This is What It’s Like to Be Black in Alberta. Cowboy hats are racist! And if someone perceives you looking at them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable, that’s racist too! Got it?

The idiocy continues…

It was my first week in the city, and a long list of job interviews was lined up. I went to a print shop to print a resume, and there were a lot of customers with only one cashier. My computer timed out, and I went to the front desk to add money on my card while other customers were waiting for assistance. As I waited, a white man smirked and asked me “What happened? Did you run out of money?” I was stunned and noticed an Asian man had an embarrassed look on his face as if he felt bad about what happened because of the stereotypical racist comment. I replied, “Don’t you see me waiting to refill my card?” His face turned red, and he kept quiet.

So, some guy makes an ambiguous comment and… he’s a racist! And, good thing she was able to read that Asian man’s mind, because how else would she be able to back up her story? Also, I’m surprised she was able to get herself a long list of job interviews, you know, being black and all.

I think this is my favourite part of the article…

I am naturally a confident person, and a pep in my step is a part of my personality. There are times when I run errands in downtown Edmonton, and some white people will look at me like “Who does she think she is?” REALLY! Are all black people supposed to look down at their shoes and say “Yes Sir” like it is the 1920s?

So, people are yelling racial slurs at her? Are they trying to run her down with their cars? Are they angry that she’s walking to fast? Are they calling her the “N” word? Or telling her to move back to Toronto because her kind ain’t welcome here? I don’t get. I wonder if this woman is schizophrenic, and is just seeing these things in her mind. Because unless she can come up with some real examples of racism, rather than these “felt-attacks” she claims to be experiencing, I can’t take her seriously.

Edmontonians, like most Canadian city dwellers, will only get passionate about hockey. Other than that, they just want work their jobs, go home, open a beer, and relax. Sorry Malia Waterman, nobody in Edmonton cares enough about you to persecute you. Try wiping that huge chip off your shoulder and being friendly with people. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how welcoming Edmonton will be towards you.

In the meantime, please watch this video of a sketch performed by the Kids in the Hall back when Canadians still had a sense of humour…