Thursday, October 25, 2018

Why we should all hate the hate-crime laws

The proposed expansion of British hate-crime laws would only make matters worse

The mission creep of Britain’s hate-crime laws mean it may soon be illegal to hate anybody else at all, whether at football matches or in your own head. Even if you show your feelings through silent jazz hands rather than aggressive clapping.

The Home Office has asked the Law Commission to undertake a review which, reports the Guardian, ‘will look at whether there are any gaps in the hate-crime legislation’, and propose measures to fill them in with even more legal cement. The original plan, following a fuss led by politically loathsome Labour MP Stella Creasy, was to make misogyny – prejudice against women – a hate crime, so that police could send wolf-whistlers to the dog house.

Now, however, it is reported that the review will also consider whether ‘hostility to men and elderly people could be hate crimes’ (BBC). Hostility towards adherents of the ‘goth subculture’ might also be added to the list of hate crimes. Which would make it illegal to hate somebody not only for having black skin, but also for wearing black eyeliner.

This news has been met with understandable outbursts of astonishment and ridicule. The madder-sounding ideas may not ultimately be endorsed (which might enable the authorities to present a ban on sexist cat-calling as the sensible face of hate-crime law).

But, in truth, there is method in their ‘madness’. The idea of criminalising ‘hostility’ not only to women, but to men and elderly people – that is, to absolutely everybody – is only the logical extension of the irrational crusade to turn offensive ideas into hate crimes.

The definition of hate crime has already expanded well beyond its anti-racist origins. This mission creep means that the list of what UK law deems ‘protected characteristics’ now includes race, religion, sexual orientation, disability and transgender identity. There seems no reason why that mission should not creep further still, to cover everybody and his dog (animal hate is surely next in line).

The explanation for this dangerous trend lies in the elastic definition of a hate crime. The Metropolitan Police website spells it out: ‘A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender. Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is equally important that these are reported and recorded by the police.’ In other words, if anybody says it is a hate crime, it is – even if no actual crime has been committed.

This is an entirely subjective judgement, about how somebody feels – a far cry from the objective assessment of evidence in normal criminal procedures. On the basis of such a subjective interpretation words and gestures can be branded hate crimes. The courts can also decide that physical criminal offences from violence to vandalism have been ‘aggravated’ by the hateful mindset of the offender, and increase the sentence.

If a hate crime is about how hurt somebody feels, then how can the subjective reaction of one group be considered more important than another? It is surely not for you or me to deny the personal feelings of any man or woman, goth or grandmother. Equality demands that all must be protected from whatever they deem offensive or hateful.

This is where the campaign to criminalise incorrect thoughts and feelings ends up. The authorities are trying to turn the whole of society into a ‘safe space’, a protective padded cell, where no opinions can be expressed which anybody else finds offensive. This is not ‘political correctness gone mad’, but evidence of how PC has gone mainstream, how identity politics has conquered the world. Now every issue is turned into a reverse arms race to see who can appear most victimised.

Understanding these trends can help to make sense of the exaggerated public focus on ‘transphobia’, which many find bewildering. The relative handful of trans activists demanding special protection from words are actually the poster boys/girls for the state’s crusade against ‘hate crimes’. To be transgender is an entirely self-defined, subjective agenda. You can insist that you are a woman, in a triumph of personal will over physical reality, and then insist that you have a moral monopoly over your truth, and that everybody else must accept it. Anybody transgressing by using the incorrect pronoun or name is then guilty of hate crimes. The state is advancing its war on offensive speech behind the banners of the trannyban.

We might also now make sense of this week’s headline-grabbing figures which show reported hate crimes increased by 17 per cent over the past year, and that anti-religious hate crimes have doubled in three years. The vast majority of these are not crimes in any conventional sense, which have been investigated and prosecuted. They are reports of alleged incidents, many of them online, which police simply record as true without question or corroboration. Given the subjective definition of a hate crime and the trawling operations conducted by police and campaigners, it is a wonder the recorded increase is not even bigger. Meanwhile, the authoritative British Crime Survey, based on the wider public’s actual experiences, has found no increase at all in the incidence of hate crimes.

Thanks, but, as a soon to-be elderly man, I don’t want hate-crime laws expanded to cover the likes of me. We need to roll back the censorious state, not encourage more mission creep.

In a civilised society, so long as we are talking about words and thought rather than violent deeds, we should be free to hate whoever we choose. It should not be a crime to hate Muslims or Christians, Stella Creasy or Jacob Rees-Mogg, transsexuals or manspreading sexists. The only way to challenge prejudice is through more speech, not censorship.

Hate-crime laws only make matters worse. They invite more and more groups to claim the protective status of modern victimhood, and demand the punishment of anyone whose words trespass against them. And they turn assorted morons and bigots into martyrs.

The notion of criminal offences being ‘aggravated’ by the hateful motives of the perpetrator has taken us further into the sphere of thoughtcrime. People can now be punished more severely not for what they are proven to have done, but for what they were allegedly thinking at the time. The courts should stick to judging criminal offences, not offensive thoughts.

Tory home secretary Sajid Javid says that the new review and crackdown is necessary because ‘hate crime goes against the British values of unity, tolerance and mutual respect’. Genuine tolerance, however, means allowing the expression of ideas that you hate – and then taking them on in a fight to the finish. By contrast, the sort of phoney ‘unity’ imposed by banning offensive speech can only amount to what comedian Rowan Atkinson calls ‘a veneer of tolerance concealing a snakepit of unaired and unchallenged views’.

Granting the state more power to police an emotion such as hatred should be no more acceptable than giving the government the right to dictate who or what we can love. Next thing we know they’ll be making self-loathing compulsory. All together now, ‘If you all hate hate-crime laws, clap your hands…’.


Another Example of Liberal Paternalism Harming Minorities

Derrick Hollie

The people of Buckingham County, Virginia, live in the geographic center of the state, but if paternalistic liberal environmentalists have their way, economic prosperity will pass them by.

A compressor station for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline has been proposed for Buckingham County, a rural part of the state that has seen more than its share of economic difficulties.

A compressor station, as the name suggests, compresses—or pumps—natural gas to move it through the pipeline system. The natural gas in this case would be compressed by a gas-fired turbine, which burns a portion of the natural gas in the process, and in so doing emits some pollutants.

While going through the process of obtaining approval, backers of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline have jumped through every hoop and have been held—and held themselves—to the highest environmental standards.

They have made an earnest attempt to do right by the people of Buckingham County and the other Americans the pipeline will serve.

It shouldn’t be controversial to say that the people who are most familiar with a problem are usually the ones best equipped to tackle it.

In Buckingham County, the black population is significantly higher than in the rest of Virginia, and it is African-Americans and other minorities who are the most susceptible to falling into energy poverty.

Energy poverty occurs when households are unable to afford their basic electric and heating needs because of high energy prices.

High energy prices are destructive for all segments of the population, but for the black community the impact is even worse. Backers of the pipeline say it will save consumers an estimated $377 million annually on their utility bills in addition to creating construction and maintenance jobs.

Even so, I couldn’t support the project—no matter how attractive it might be from an energy standpoint—if I felt it had the potential to damage Virginia’s communities or the environment.

I’m satisfied with the strict emissions limits included in the draft permit. Although the station is classified under federal and state regulations as a “minor” source of emissions, the limits included in the draft permit are much more typical of those imposed on larger facilities with much higher emissions levels.

In fact, the limits in the draft Buckingham permit are four to 10 times stricter than the limits in any other permit recently issued for compressor stations in Virginia.

These stringent limits will help ensure Virginia’s air remains clean and healthy as we expand our energy infrastructure.

But this kind of balanced approach to the issue is not what we’re seeing from those who would prefer that we never invest in traditional energy sources.

It was exclusively white activists with their matching T-shirts and picket signs who were speaking out against the proposed compressor station at a recent hearing, claiming it to be “environmental racism.”

Sometimes, it’s helpful for those with social power to stand up and speak for the disadvantaged—such as when Kim Kardashian used her clout to help free a grandmother with a life prison sentence for a minor drug conviction.

Instead, what I saw in Buckingham County reeked of a so-called “white savior complex.” At one point, I was verbally attacked by a white woman and told that I “should pray for forgiveness.”

A second (also white) woman’s protestations were so over the top, I ended up looking for a police officer to help.

Imagine if that scenario had been reversed. Picture me, a black man, yelling at a white woman and chasing her around. I might as well have put my hands behind my back and gotten on my knees, because I would have been going straight to jail.

They were calling for “environmental and social justice,” but what does their version of “justice” look like? Expensive energy, coupled with depressed wages and low job prospects? No, thank you.

Liberal paternalism is too often more harmful for minorities than it is helpful. In the case of Buckingham County, Virginia, it’s insulting at best, and downright racist at worst.


Scandal-Free? Hardly. Networks Bury Democrat Vice

"The worst form of media bias isn't how they cover a story, but what they choose to cover in the first place."  

As we reported earlier this week, the recently released film “Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer” is being deliberately underreported. In a column discussing the censorship of the film, media watchdogs L. Brent Bozell and Tim Graham agree on the reason: “The networks simply do not want to tell the truth about abortion.”

Sadly, such sanitizing and protectionism go far beyond “Gosnell.” Whether it’s glossing over the atrocities of abortion or refusing to report on current scandals implicating high-profile Democrats, the media’s problem with concealing unflattering Democrat amoralism is systemic. In fact, NewsBusters recently chronicled six instances of Democrat scandals being ignored by media behemoths ABC, CBS, and NBC. These indecencies include:

Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke, who falsely claimed to have not fled from a DUI crash two decades ago. The networks allotted the fib zero time.

Sen. Robert Menendez (NJ), whom the Senate Ethics Committee formally vilified in April for his having made a deal with a donor in which gifts were swapped for promotional support. A mere 49 seconds were devoted to the committee’s admonishment.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (MO), whose husband has profited $11 million-plus via “a business that buys up tax credits awarded to Missouri affordable housing developers and sells them to high-income entities seeking tax relief,” according to The Washington Free Beacon. ABC, CBS, and NBC have yet to mention it.

Jackson Costco, an ex-staffer of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who doxxed Republicans for their support of Supreme Court nominee-turned-Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The incident has received zero coverage.

Colorado gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis, who shoved an ex-female employee. Neither of the networks have reported on the situation.

DNC Deputy Chair Rep. Keith Ellison (MN), who is alleged to have been violent towards his ex-girlfriend. Given Ellison’s stature, this is a major allegation, yet a measly three minutes and 47 seconds have been devoted to it.

And there’s plenty of other material the media could but probably won’t cover. For example, CBS’s local Dallas affiliate reports, “Four women are facing felony charges, accused of being part of what Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office called an organized voter fraud ring in Fort Worth.” Unsurprisingly, “The indictments show several of the ballots in question were for Democratic candidates.”

Farther north, “The Minnesota Democratic Party has suspended a spokesman for calling for violence against Republicans even as two GOP candidates have been assaulted in suspected politically motivated attacks,” according to The Washington Free Beacon. The spokesman stated that leftists would “bring [Republicans] to the guillotine.”

Meanwhile, The Daily Wire says, “Law enforcement officials arrested a Democratic operative on Tuesday for attacking the female Republican campaign manager for Nevada GOP gubernatorial nominee Adam Laxalt, the second time this year that the operative has been arrested for allegedly physically attacking Republican women.”

For a Leftmedia that feasts on faux scandals, there’s no shortage of legitimate scandals to keep it happy if whistleblowing is truly what it’s pursuing. But the press would prefer to keep it a partisan affair. As Investor’s Business Daily writes, “In contrast, even minor scandals that involve no-name Republicans typically receive lavish coverage from these networks. … The obvious explanation is that they want to portray Republicans as corrupt, and Democrats pure as the driven snow. So they play up stories that fit this narrative, and ignore those that don’t. The worst form of media bias isn’t how they cover a story, but what they choose to cover in the first place.” Exactly.


Morocco is ejecting sub-Saharan [black] migrants. They blame Europe

Poor countries are less able to tolerate parasites

Rabat, Morocco: In a widespread crackdown, sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco are facing arbitrary arrest, banishment to remote sections of the country and, lately, outright expulsion, analysts and rights advocates say.

Rights advocates contend that the raids, which government officials acknowledge, began in the summer and were coordinated with Spain and the European Union to stem the tide of migrants to the Continent. The Moroccan government says they were aimed at only migrants who are in the country illegally and human traffickers.

The crackdown began in June and intensified in late July, after at least 600 migrants successfully crossed to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in northern Morocco, rights groups say. Sub-Saharan migrants, even some with valid residency permits, described wholesale round-ups in which they were herded onto buses with little more than the clothes they were wearing and taken to cities hundreds of kilometres to the south.

Abdoulaye N., 31, a Senegalese immigrant who, like other migrants interviewed for this article, asked that only his given name be used for fear of reprisals, was one of those swept up in the raids.

Four years ago, he had settled in the city of Tetuan on the Mediterranean Sea, where he obtained a residency card and slowly integrated into Moroccan society. He sold cheap jewellery in the market, sent money home to his family and generally kept a low profile.

Yet, one morning in early September, five plainclothes police officers burst into the apartment he shared with two other migrants and arrested them. Told the raid was part of a simple document check, they found themselves hours later on a bus that took an overnight trip 965 kilometres south to the desert city of Tiznit.

Far from an isolated incident, their banishment is consistent with hundreds of other accounts, human rights advocates say, leaving many sub-Saharans living in fear of arrest and displacement, often afraid even to stay in their homes. GADEM, a human rights group based in the Moroccan capital of Rabat, estimates that about 6500 migrants have been arrested and displaced since the crackdown began.

The government has also begun expelling some migrants, rights groups say. A total of 91 migrants, including six minors, have been expelled since September. Another 37 remain in arbitrary detention, GADEM said in a recent report. Moreover, the group said, many migrants detained in the summer were dressed only in shorts and T-shirts and are now suffering from the increasingly cold nights.

GADEM's report on the expulsions was buttressed by the Moroccan Association of Human Rights, which published videos of groups of migrants being taken to the airport and deported.

At the same time, the Moroccan Association of Human Rights in Nador, among other groups, has reported an uptick in attacks on migrants. As outsiders, they have never been welcomed by native Moroccans, who see them as soaking up state benefits in a country that struggles to provide jobs and health care for its citizens.

Morocco's crackdown on migration has extended to its own citizens. In late September, the Moroccan Royal Navy shot and killed a young Moroccan woman who had boarded a boat full of migrants trying to cross illegally into Spain. Moroccan officials said the Navy opened fire after the boat refused to stop, but some non-governmental organisations have questioned the circumstances.

For years, most migrants seeking entry to Europe went through Greece and Italy. But after those portals were shut down, the migrants turned their sights to Spain, where the arrival of migrants entering the country illegally surged to 40,623 so far this year, making it the leading destination for migrants from Africa.

Those numbers pale next to the 1 million or so migrants and asylum-seekers who entered Europe in 2015, but are about triple the number who entered in 2016. That, in turn, has led to rising anti-immigrant political pressures in Spain.

Traditionally, King Mohammed VI of Morocco has been publicly welcoming to sub-Saharan Africans. Yet, despite these proclamations of support, migration has often seemed intended as a lever to pry concessions out of Europe, said Helena Maleno Garzon, a human rights worker and founder of the group Walking Borders.

Something like that seems to be occurring now, she says, citing a $275 million aid package from the EU, agreed to in September, ostensibly to help with basic services and to support job creation.

Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita acknowledged the crackdown but said it was aimed at fighting unauthorised migration and human trafficking, and he vehemently denied that Europe was dictating Morocco's migration policies.

"Morocco does not play and will never play the role of policeman for the European Union," he said. "Morocco will continue to be a host country for sub-Saharan Africans. What you call 'expulsions' are made according to the norms. Embassies of African countries are involved in the process for identifications."

Migrants from Africa stormed a border fence to enter Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta from Morocco n December.
Migrants from Africa stormed a border fence to enter Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta from Morocco n December.CREDIT:AP

Still, analysts say there is no denying that the two governments work closely together on the issue.

"There are very intense and constant contacts at all levels between Spanish and Moroccan officials over the hot topics such as migration, security, coordination and other things," says Haizam Amirah-Fernandez, a senior analyst at the Elcano Royal Institute, a public policy research institution in Madrid.

"Depending who you ask, the interpretations will differ," he said. "When there is a high level of arrivals, it is understood that it's a message sent by the Moroccan authorities, saying we are not happy for this or that reason."

On a visit to Rabat this month, Consuelo Rumi, the Spanish state secretary for migration, said that Spain was ready to act as "the voice of Morocco in the European Union," to help Morocco receive more financial and material aid in its efforts to control migration. Rumi also said her government would look to regularise the papers of some of the estimated 200,000 Moroccans who live in Spain without official residency.

Whatever the motivation for the crackdown, human rights groups have denounced the raids. GADEM said that many migrants, like Abdoulaye N., did not realise they were being expelled until they were dropped off hundreds of kilometres from their homes, and that many reported harsh treatment, with people often confined for hours on end without access to food or toilets.

The Moroccan Association of Human Rights shared videos and photos of officials piling black-skinned migrants into buses in Tangier, Tetuan and Nador and dropping them off in the south. Images of harsh police treatment also emerged in local news reports.

"It is shocking to see that young children are among those subjected to these brutal punishments, as well as UN-recognised asylum-seekers and refugees as well as registered migrants holding residency cards," Heba Morayef, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa director, said in a statement.

An estimated 70,000 sub-Saharans reside in Morocco, according to several organisations, though the numbers are difficult to verify. About 24,000 got their papers during a legalisation campaign begun in 2014 and another 28,400 in a similar effort in 2017.

Abdoulaye N. thought he was one of those who benefited from the program, until his arrest.

"The legalization campaign is useless," he said. "The fact is we have our residence cards and they still embarked us. At first, they left us at peace on the markets and in the streets. Now, they are preventing us from working with or without papers."

Rights groups say that some people have died during the roundups, usually under murky circumstances.

A 16-year-old boy from Mali arrested at the market in Tangier and an older man from Gambia were found dead, handcuffed together near the city Kenitra, apparently after falling off a bus, the Moroccan Association of Human Rights reported.

"This is a huge step backward for Morocco," said Maleno Garzon, who has been based in Tangier for more than 15 years. "As Moroccans see authorities arresting these migrants, they automatically assume they're criminals and it nourishes racism and xenophobia."

The result is a growing hostility to migrants, whether legal or not. Many say they appear in public only in groups, to ward off attacks. "Even when you're at work, your heart isn't at peace," said a 39-year-old woman from the Ivory Coast, who gave only her first name, Pelagie. "Our kids are terrorised. We can't even go out to food shop without the fear of getting mugged."

Patricia G., 36, also from the Ivory Coast, said: "There is a big difference between the official discourse and the reality. We see that the king wants us to have our rights, but it's not always easy with the authorities here."



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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