14 January 2008

I Demand a Hearing Before the Ontario Human Rights Commission !!!!

My sensitivities have been attacked. An awful calumny has been directed to all citizens of the United States. If Ezra I. Levant (link goes to his YouTube page, and for more, here's his webpage) can be hauled before the commission for publishing the Mohammed Cartoons, then I believe Toronto Star columnist Rudyard Griffiths should be brought in and forced to apologize for the gross calumnies he's levelled at the people of the United States in this recent column.

I task the commission with helping Mr. Griffiths discover in his heart the truth of how hurtful his words might seem to an American, and leading him to correct the error of his ways. Just as Mr. Levant has been dragged to your commission by a single interlocutor with a dubious claim of injury, I think I can show that my injuries are as real as those of Mr. Soharvardy who filed this complaint (PDF at link) against Mr. Levant.

I don't think my status as a non-Canadian in any way should limit my right to appeal to this commission to address the hurtful actions of Mr. Griffiths, human rights are universal and as such do not respect borders. The commission should show their commitment to being a forward thinking and enlightened body by extracting an apology on my behalf regardless of my non-Canadianess.

I realize on first read, Mr. Griffiths column may not be hurtful, but when examined further, I think I can clearly show that it is a dangerously damaging calumny against all Americans, and as such, should be apologized for with all due haste.

Here are examples directly from his column:

For starters, the Republicans and the Democrats are falling over each other to position themselves as champions of the ailing American middle class. In both camps of presidential hopefuls, this has meant more than just the usual populist attacks on greedy lobbyists and "special interests" in Washington, D.C. This time, however, there is a heavy dose of protectionist rhetoric not only in the stump speeches of the Democratic front-runners but among the traditionally laissez-faire Republicans. These relentless bipartisan attacks on NAFTA and the outsourcing of American jobs do not bode well for a Canadian economy that sends three-quarters of all its exports to the U.S.

"What's wrong with this?", you may ask. Plenty, first he suggests that populist attacks are usual in our politics, and I object to that characterization vehemently. Our greatest leaders never resorted to populist class warfare rhetoric, whether it be Ronald Reagan, or even John F. Kennedy, or best politicians seek to rise the lot of all Americans and not pit one class against another. Even the very perception that there are 'classes' in America is a pernicious one. There are disparities between rich and poor, I'll grant that, but these are not based in a traditional class structure as such. Through self improvement anyone can rise, and through self destruction anyone can fall, as a people we transcend class, or founding documents do not mention class, and even though class may occasionally enter in to our politics, that's our business and should not be pointed out to us by outsiders.

The next terrible passage I'd like to point out is this one:

Canadians should also take note of the growing isolationist sentiment that is surfacing in both parties. It is not simply that a majority of Americans want their troops out of Iraq. Instead, at both poles of the political spectrum, voters are warming to candidates who espouse making deep cuts to foreign aid and either ending completely or scaling back overseas military missions so that more money and resources can be spent on U.S. domestic priorities.

All I can say is, "take that back, Mr. Griffiths". That's a damn, dirty lie. Isolationism was a code word for nazi-sympathizers during the 30s, so any use of the term "isolation" or its variants with regards to American politics and its people is tantamount to calling us nazi-loving fascists. Whether or not this was Mr. Griffiths intent is irrelevant to the amount of hurt his words has caused me, or the legitimacy of my claim before the Human Rights Commission. Judging from the hearing involving Mr. Levant, it is clear that Canadians enjoy a "right" not to be offended by anyone in any way, I demand the same right as a fellow North American, and I expect that right to be recognized.

One more paragraph to quote, I saved the worst for last:

The buzzword in the U.S. primaries is change. If it occurs on the scale that the political mood of America today suggests, we can expect a significant and ongoing spillover effect in Canada in 2008. If only for the reason that many Canadians still believe that this country, not America, is destined to be the most progressive and forward-looking democracy on the continent.

What vile words! What bile, what a disgusting turn of phrase. How dare you, Mr. Griffiths, even suggest that America was on the road to becoming "the most progressive" democracy on the continent. You know who else considered themselves progressives? Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Chavez, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, mass murderers all, to suggest that we are headed in that direction is to suggest we will soon descend into statist totalitarianism. "Progressivism" always means a larger more intrusive state, and these states when not born of violence (they skip straight to full blown totalitarianism) start of with small erosions of freedom, but grow ever more intrusive and constraining of liberty as time goes on (the Alberta Human Rights Commission is a clear example of this phenomenon, they are both about as 'progressive' and 'totalitarian' as can be).

If you refuse to grant me standing before the Ontario Human Rights Commission (I am assuming they'd have jurisdiction over Mr. Griffiths of the Toronto Star), then I call upon a Canadian of American descent living in Toronto, to take up the cause and file a complaint on behalf of all Americans who find buzzwords such as "isolationist", "populist" and "progressive" to be the horrible insults that I do.

It's clear that in Canada you do not have the Free Speech right to insult someone elses sensitivities, and since my sensitivities have been insulted, I demand redress.

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