Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Stuff and Nonsense

I think one of the most astounding, arguably dense articles to be published anywhere on the issue of censorship vs. freedom of speech was published in one of the most unlikely quarters of the world, New Zealand. A correspondent sent me the text and link to an article titled: “Want equality? Curtail free speech.” It was written for “Stuff” by a fellow by the name of Jacob Van De Visser. “Stuff” was described by the correspondent, Lindsay Perigo, as IslmoMarxist.

A New Zealand kiwi’s
impersonation of a golden eagle.


Freedom of Speech? Stuff and nonsense! It’s a short article, so, instead of beginning with my own comments, I’ve reproduced the article here so you can guffaw or be astonished as you will. Mr. Perigo, in his own remarks, wondered if the piece was tongue-in-cheek satire because it is so blatantly irrational and hostile to freedom of speech

I’m not certain of its sincerity, either, but given the avalanche of anti-speech articles and the ubiquity of actions that have taken place before and after Donald Trump’s election (see the Gatestone column here about American campuses opposing or shutting down speech, except that which doesn’t violate student “safe spaces”) in November 2016, together with the tone and content of Stuff’s other articles, it is wholly consistent with the irrationality of what is occurring in the West.

The Stuff article begins here.

It's time for New Zealand to criminalize Islamaphobia!

On March 23, New Zealand awoke to the horrific news of yet another terrorist attack, this time in London.

A deranged individual ploughed a car into innocent pedestrians and brutally stabbed a police officer to death before being shot. Five people died, including the attacker. [Italics mine]

The Twittersphere was soon abuzz with conjecture and accusation. Who was to blame? What were the motives?

I felt sick as I read comments saying “Islam is to blame” and “it must be another Muslim”.

The fact that the attacker was a Muslim is irrelevant. The issue is that Islamaphobia was the first response.

If you are a Muslim, you continually have to defend your faith against people who accuse it of being a dangerous and violent set of ideas. Islam is the religion of peace; anyone who understands this knows it has no part in the ideology of ISIS.

Life is a constant fight for other minorities, too.

If you are a member of the LGBTQAA+ community, you must battle for your rights. You are forced to choose from just two bathroom choices when often you don’t fit either. Workplaces often fail to be inclusive to this community, refusing them places in the boardroom.

If you are a woman, trans or otherwise, there is no escape from rape culture. On any given day you might hear a rape joke, or be given a “compliment” such as being asked for your number by a stranger. The men who make these comments defend them as harmless, but unwanted harassment can trigger harmful flashbacks to previous similar incidents or experiences of sexual assault.

The misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, Islamaphobic hate speech directed at oppressed groups is damaging to society - and with the rise of Donald Trump’s brand of politics, it is also being legitimised.

So, what does this have to do with free speech? And how might things change for the better?

Well, there is some hope. The Canadian parliament has passed the M-103 motion, which calls on the government to condemn Islamaphobia. It is the silver lining of a dark and depressing cloud, and it is something I think New Zealand should seek to not only emulate but improve.

Our Government should look to criminalise not only Islamaphobia, but racist rhetoric and the criticism of feminism and LGBTQAA+ rights.

Free speech is all well and good, but it should not be defended at the expense of minority groups.

Nothing quells fear and hatred like making it illegal, and if we stop opposing progressive values then surely the constant fighting will stop too.

New Zealand is not a place of tolerance at the moment, but I believe if we curtail free speech, we will be on the path to a fairer future. 

End of Stuff article.

No hablar Kiwi, dice el gamberro M13.
¿Quieres drogas?  ¡Soy tu hombre!
To make a solid argument for something, one must connect the dots. But the dots in the minds of anti-freedom of speech advocates are all over the map, unconnected (or disconnected, assuming there were once brains in which dots could be severed). The mind of an “anti-fascist” activist visually resembles a Jackson Pollock canvas. It is not for nothing that militant groups, such as Antifa, protest what they call “fascism” by adopting the tactics of demonstrably fascist thugs. It is, again, Soros-Speak. Or, Hillary-Speak.

“We must censor freedom of speech in order to protect it.” Or:”We must censor the Internet in order to protect it.” This is George Soros-Speak; in order to create an “open society,” which would be closed to anyone who values his freedom of speech and freedom, certain types of speech must suppressed, banned, or punished. In 2011,

Hillary Clinton’s prescription for suppressing “offensive” or “hate” speech would be to “shame” it if not outright obliterate the First Amendment. Mr. Van De Visser’s Stuff article, in language and in tone, could well have been written while he snorted up his sleeve, but it could as well have been a paper submitted  for discussion by The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), an office within the OSCE  (The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)  that claims to be dedicated to democratic elections, respect for human rights, rule of law, tolerance, and non-discrimination.

M13 gangsters react to freedom of speech.
Or are they Maori copycatting M13 criminals?

Their stated overall objective is helping governments protect and promote human rights, fundamental freedoms and tolerance and non-discrimination, as well as to improve and strengthen democratic practices and institutions. Except that the actual theme of the two-day proceedings had a lot more to do with countering ‘hate crime,’ criminalizing ‘hate speech,’ and demonizing ‘Islamophobia’ and ‘Islamophobes’ than it did with genuinely championing the right to believe, live, and speak freely.

I'll let Mr. Perigo have the nearly last word:

Good that the real fascists are coming out of the closet. Having been shrieked down by hysterical Muslims at Auckland University last year I know just what a menace to free speech they and their fellow-travellers are. At least the writer of this piece, assuming it isn't a satire on Political Correctness, is honest.

Anymore, it’s difficult to distinguish between satirical writing and serious polemics.


  1. The theme of that statement is, "Just shut up and we won't have to hurt you any more." Of course it's not satire. Or, if that is what it is trying to be it's a failure because it's not cleverly written and it's way too close to the truth. This statement is either incredibly stupid or a very poor attempt at irony:
    "Free speech is all well and good, but it should not be defended at the expense of minority groups. Nothing quells fear and hatred like making it illegal, and if we stop opposing progressive values then surely the constant fighting will stop too."

    But it sounds just obliviously stupid enough to have been written in all sincerity by an "IslamoMarxist", as it holds that if everything that hurts the feelings of certain approved "progressive" interest groups is outlawed, they will not longer feel the need to act out violently and all will be tickety-boo. (It makes Muslims feel bad that some people disapprove of the teachings of our faith! It makes men who like to wear dresses feel bad that women won't share their bathrooms with them! It makes some women feel bad that men they don't like ask for their phone numbers!") Rational adults who do not assume the right to act out violently if their feelings are hurt by someone else's opinions do not count and may be silenced by threat of government violence (censorship) if they express opinions that hurt the feelings of the protected groups.

  2. I'm glad to report there has been a big push back here in the form of an open letter from Paul Moon, professor of history at Auckland University of Technology:

    The open letter in full:

    Freedom of speech underpins our way of life in New Zealand as a liberal democracy. It enables religious observance, individual development, societal change, science, reason and progress in all spheres of life. In particular, the free exchange of ideas is a cornerstone of academe.

    Governments and particular groups will from time to time seek to restrict freedom of speech in the name of safety or special interest. However, debate or deliberation must not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most people to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed.

    Universities play a fundamental role in the thought leadership of a society. They, of all places, should be institutions where robust debate and the free exchange of ideas take place, not the forceful silencing of dissenting or unpopular views.

    Intellectual rigour must prevail over emotional blackmail.

    Individuals, not any institution or group, should make their own judgments about ideas and should express these judgments not by seeking to suppress speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting the ideas they oppose, without discrimination or intimidation.

    We must ensure that our higher learning establishments are places where intellectual rigour prevails over emotional blackmail and where academic freedom, built on free expression, is maintained and protected. We must fight for each other’s right to express opinions, even if we do not agree with them.


    Assoc Prof Len Bell, Dr Don Brash, Dr David Cumin, Sir Toby Curtis, Dr Brian Edwards, Graeme Edwards, Dr Gavin Ellis, Sir Michael Friedlander, Alan Gibbs, Dame Jenny Gibbs, Bryan Gould, Wally Hirsh, Prof Manying Ip, Sir Bob Jones, Prof Pare Keiha, Assoc Prof Hon Luamanuvao, Winnie Laban, Dame Lesley Max, Gordon McLauchlan, Prof Paul Moon, Sir Douglas Myers, Assoc Prof Camille Nakhid, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Prof Edwina Pio, David Rankin, Philip Temple, Dame Tariana Turia, Prof Albert Wendt.

    This letter has been signed by 20 high profile NZers from the left and right, academics, writers, ex politicians, businessmen and women etc. Here in NZ, it has caused our air waves to be full of the discussion! Very timely considering what happened to Ayaan Hirsi Ali (though I think her main issue with security was a threat in Australia rather than NZ).

    Also, the Islamo Marxist "Stuff" published this piece yesterday: