Like most Canadians, I had previously associated the term human rights with the noble goal of eliminating real discrimination against blacks, Jews, Muslims, gays, women and other groups that historically have been targeted by bigotry. Yet with little political fanfare or media scrutiny, human rights commissions have shifted their mission in recent years. As real discrimination has waned in our increasingly tolerant society, they have shifted into the field of what George Orwell called "thoughtcrime."The book itself has also been featured on the Michael Coren Show and it's received great review from Rex Murphy (Check out Rex Murphy's G&M article titled The right to offend the easily offended.) Now, with NP giving us the preview, there will be not only more people willing to purchase the book, but also - more people aware of the abuse which takes place in Canada in the name of "human rights".
Human rights commissions now monitor political opinions, fine people for expressing politically incorrect viewpoints, censor Web sites and even ban people, permanently, from saying certain things. I've also seen how empire-building government bureaucrats actively seek out complaints -- even absurd complaints that have nothing at all to do with real human rights -- to keep a caseload churning through their grievance industry.
It's not just politically incorrect ideas that are under attack. It could be almost anything. I was stunned to discover that Canada's human rights commissions ruled that a McDonald's restaurant in Vancouver had to accommodate an employee who couldn't wash her hands often enough at work. I learned about a Calgary hairstylist who filed a human rights complaint because the girls at salon school called him a "loser." The commission actually had a trial about it. In another case that seemed stranger than fiction, an emotionally unstable transsexual fought for --and won-- the right to counsel female rape victims at a women's shelter, despite the anguished pleas of the rape victims themselves not to let him in.
The more I dug, the more I discovered that my interrogation at the hands of the government wasn't unusual. Every day, Canadians from coast to coast are trapped in these Alice in Wonderland commissions, where bizarre new human rights are made up on the spot and where regular legal procedures don't apply. Sometimes, it feels like Saudi justice; sometimes, it smacks of the old Soviet Union; sometimes, it sounds like a Saturday Night Live sketch. Rarely does it feel Canadian.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
National Post provides a sneak preview of the famous book: