Saturday, December 10, 2005

Britain's thought police & America's future

Creeping and insidious political correctness in America, particularly in the MSM, is a subtle and growing danger. Stories that have been filtering out of Britain (and Europe in general) for the last few years may give up a glimpse of our future, when free speech potentially becomes a crime. Read about the plight of Lynette Burrows: "Police warn author over gay comments".

Lynette Burrows, an author on children's rights and a family campaigner, took part in a discussion on the Victoria Derbyshire show on Radio Five Live about the new civil partnerships act.

During the programme, she said she did not believe that homosexuals should be allowed to adopt. She added that placing boys with two homosexuals for adoption was as obvious a risk as placing a girl with two heterosexual men who offered themselves as parents. "It is a risk," she said. "You would not give a small girl to two men."

A member of the public complained to the police and an officer contacted Mrs Burrows the following day to say a "homophobic incident" had been reported against her.

By all accounts, Ms. Burrows was merely expressing an opinion. In a free society, citizens have the right to express themselves without fear of persecution. The list is long of countries that don't allow their citizens to speak freely, and those countries are not ones we wish to emulate. So is British intolerance of true free speech a step toward a totalitarian state?

A spokesman said it was policy for community safety units to investigate homophobic, racist and domestic incidents because these were "priority crimes".

It is standard practice for all parties to be spoken to, even if the incident is not strictly seen as a crime. "It is all about reassuring the community," said the spokesman. "We can confirm that a member of the public brought to our attention an incident which he believed to be homophobic.
Controlling speech is controlling the very essence of freedom. Rambix has recently posted an example from America, "Indoctrination, thy name is corporate America". As Americans, we see our free speech rights encroached upon incrementally. Ask any author or columnist who publishes views in opposition to the left, particularly when it comes to homosexuality or race. The venom and accusations of intolerance and "hate speech" are an almost automatic response from the left.

Canada is another country on the British road to restriction of speech, as Robert Tracinski notes in "Permission to Speak: The End of Free Speech".

Earlier this year, a professor at McGill University in Quebec, opposing a proposed chair in philosophy devoted to Ayn Rand's ideas, denounced Rand as a "fascist" and compared her to Hitler. In fact, Ayn Rand was a philosophic defender of individual rights and a fiery opponent of all forms of oppressive government; she was the polar opposite of a fascist. But under the Canadian "hate speech" law, such smears and misrepresentations can be used -- and were, briefly, in this case -- to suppress unpopular ideas.
Canadian Christians have been brought up on charges, and have faced legal action, in Canada for preaching the sins of homosexuality, "Police investigating Christian activist for hate crimes":

Two thousand leaflets attacking gays and lesbians have put a Christian activist in western Canada under investigation by Edmonton police for hate crimes.

The flyers by Bill Whatcott of Regina refer to gay marriage as "sodomite marriage" and use graphic language to describe the alleged sex practices of homosexuals.

The handouts also used derogatory terms to describe federal Defence Minister Bill Graham.

Whatcott stuffed his pamphlets into mailboxes in the riding of Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, and some recipients complained to police.

"The material is offensive and it's an affront on the basic tenets of our society, which is about multiculturalism, tolerance and peaceful co-existence," Const. Steve Camp, of the Edmonton police hate crimes unit, said.
Here you'll see the leftist code words: multiculturalism and tolerance. But the accusers aren't showing much tolerance, are they?

Take heed, because it's coming our way.