If I told you that there were increasing ‘hate speech’ prosecutions in a specific location, you might be concerned. Maybe because you’ assume more prosecutions mean more hate, and hate is bad. A few days back I reported that Austria has more hate speech prosecutions because a single prosecutor is being more aggressive in seeking convictions for speech.
Now, what if I told you there are very few hate prosecutions somewhere else. Good, right? Not really, according to this article:
Ontario has experienced a number of crimes motivated by hate in recent weeks, including spray-painted swastikas and pro-white signs posted in neighbourhoods.
These events have sparked a backlash too, with anti-racism signs posted in response and the store front of a nationalist newspaper graffitied.
So an increase in prosecutions is reason to be concerned. Very few prosecutions are a reason to be concerned.
Was anybody concerned that the nationalist newspaper headquarters was painted with graffiti? (I gather nationalist is now code for racist, and indeed it might be a racist newspaper.)
In Ontario, only three such charges have been given consent in the last five years.
[There are 13.6 million people in Canada’s Ontario province. — Dave]
Another 14 similar charges, not requiring special approval, have been laid over the same period of time.
Out of all 17 charges, there has been one conviction, one is going to trial, and the rest have been dismissed by the court or withdrawn.
A regular crime wave.
I’m having a hard time getting actually worried about hate speech. Hate speech prosecutions? They worry me.
Please note: I hate hate. Hateful speech, too. The one thing I hate more is censorship. These hate speech prosecutions are going on all over the world, but without any violent intent, I don’t think speech should be limited.