Challenging hate speech – yes but let’s adapt our existing legislation

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I recall feeling pleased back in 1971 when the government passed the Race Relations Act and appointed the first Race Relations Conciliator. It seemed there would finally be some redress against the nasty racism practiced against Māori such as when trying to rent homes or get private sector services. (For example, Pukekohe was known as a centre for anti-Māori racism – see “No Māori Allowed” by Robert Bartholomew. A later Race Relations Conciliator Hiwi Tauroa said as a young man he couldn’t get a haircut in the town because he was Māori)

There was certainly progress in “outing” racism in Aotearoa-New Zealand through the Race Relation Conciliator’s public role but later in the 1970s I recall the majority of complaints to the office were from Pākehā infuriated by “racist” statements by Māori activists and claiming Pākehā rights had been infringed.

A majority culture will often feel threatened by ignorance-generated fear of others and while anti-Māori racism was at the forefront then, Islamophobia and expressions of white supremacy are in the spotlight now as highlighted by the terrorist attack on the Christchurch Muslim community.

Into this mix comes the government’s proposal to enact new “hate speech” laws in line with the recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into these attacks.

The government is considering creating a new, clearer hate speech offence in the Crimes Act, removing it from the Human Rights Act.

That would mean anyone who “intentionally stirs up, maintains or normalises hatred against a protected group” by being “threatening, abusive or insulting, including by inciting violence” would break the law.

The punishment for hate speech offences could also increase – from up to three months’ imprisonment or a fine of up to $7000, to up to three years’ imprisonment or a fine of up to $50,000.

The groups protected from hate speech could also grow – the government is considering changing the language and widening the incitement provisions in the Human Rights Act.

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It has not yet decided which groups will be added. That is expected to happen following public consultation.

There are serious concerns in this proposal about issues of freedom of speech as have been passionately expressed on this blog and these are well-founded. In fact I think it will be the Muslim community and progressive voices who are more likely to feel the harsh edge of this law in a similar way to that experienced by Māori under the Race Relations Act.

Is it too far-fetched to see police under pressure to act (or even private prosecutions being launched) against Palestine solidarity activists on the basis that when we chant “From the river to the sea – Palestine will be free”* because it is claimed to be “threatening, abusive or insulting” to members of the Jewish community – which presumably would be a “protected group” under the proposed new law?

If you don’t think that’s likely then read this piece of despicable garbage from the Israel Institute’s David Cumin (ironically one of the spokespeople for the Free Speech Coalition) To accuse people who have spent their lives fighting racism in all its forms – including anti-semitism – as “calling for the murder of Jews” is unforgiveable. It says a lot about the pro-Israeli lobby becoming more desperate and hysterical than ever as they lose the public debate.

Needless to say Cumin himself and the New Zealand Jewish Council are apologists for deep-seated anti-Arab and anti-Palestinian racism.

So what should we do to protect vulnerable communities? Surely everyone has the right to feel safe and at home in Aotearoa-New Zealand?

Absolutely. Many of the concerns I have seen expressed around this relate to Muslim women in particular facing harassment, abuse and offensive behaviour and sometimes even having their hijabs grabbed. Similar experiences are had by other minority groups. However, we already have laws to deal with such abusive and deplorable behaviour in our Summary Offences Act of 1981:

Section 4: Offensive behaviour or language

(1) Every person is liable to a fine not exceeding $1,000 who,—

(a) in or within view of any public place, behaves in an offensive or disorderly manner; or
(b) in any public place, addresses any words to any person intending to threaten, alarm, insult, or offend that person; or
(c) in or within hearing of a public place,—
(i) uses any threatening or insulting words and is reckless whether any person is alarmed or insulted by those words; or
(ii) addresses any indecent or obscene words to any person.

 

Adapting this law to the new situation faced by minority groups is surely the best way forward rather than creating a new crime relating to speech. Similarly grabbing a woman’s hijab is assault and could be dealt with as such.

A similar approach should be taken for harassment and abuse on-line rather than creating a new law which by its very name sounds draconian and 1984ish.

It is likely our existing law needs to be strengthened when it comes to “inciting discrimination, hostility or violence” against minority communities but there is no need for specific “hate speech” legislation.

When he announced this proposed legislation last week Justice Minister Kris Fa’afoi said

“…abusive or threatening speech that incites can divide communities.

“Building social cohesion, inclusion and valuing diversity can also be a powerful means of countering the actions of those who seek to spread or entrench discrimination and hatred.”

That last point is critical. Legislation outlawing “hate speech” and driving it underground to fester will NOT build social cohesion. Social cohesion comes from making it socially unacceptable to abuse or threaten minority groups. This requires ALL OF US to call out this behaviour whenever or wherever we see it. It’s all our responsibilities rather than telling vulnerable communities they have to go to the police seeking a prosecution so they can feel safe.

Prosecutions will be necessary but are NOT A REPLACEMENT for community solidarity.

Let’s adapt our existing legislation rather than putting in place “feel good” legislation which comes with its own awful side effects.

 

36 COMMENTS

  1. It’s almost as if L.I.No.O are purposely busy doing ‘stuff’ that doesn’t matter and causes more laws to be passed in the future to correct these errors, to keep that next Govt busy. Such that no Govt does what REALLY matters to make the day to day life of the 90%’er better.
    Slavelandia is quite apt.

    • Ikr. How many times do we have to be proven correct on this and people like Lynn at the standard still go on like we haven’t curb stomped all his arguments. Literally a bunch of retards.

  2. Good points John. I have always thought that allowing ‘evolution’ of existing conditions has far better outcomes than ‘revolution’ that often just introduces a whole new set of problems and complexities.

  3. As someone who had my feelings and movement and speech suppressed during the tuhoe raids of 2007 I can tell you under no circumstances at all is the state worthy of increased powers of surveillance and criminising its own people. You just don’t have the right, or the brains that can gobat this crazy speech stuff like how we remember Genghis Kahn or Sun Tzu.

    • When Gaby recommended the book by his fallen hero ,,,
      Dirty Dershowitz — https://youtu.be/ADRRgaPwWeo?list=PL5a8wgxx-mTubDTE7_1LkrYsgmicTOEH5&t=3585

      Was that the book / pack of lies ,,,,, that Dershowitz wrote by being a Plagiarist from another persons pack of lies ???

      Gaby ?? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sws0V_pVhG4

      Looking at the comments it becomes apparent why Gaby admires him ,,,

      “I believe Dershowitz is a stain on Harvard’s reputation. They should kick him out of there for his incompetence, smears and fraudulent writing”

      “The entire world knows that Dershowitz is a sleezy lawyer”

      ” “I’m not a litigious person,”says Dershowitz. Was there ever a balder lie spoken in the history of Democracy Now? What a schmuck!”

      “love how to this day dersh still thinks he has a reputation to uphold. he’s one of the most universally loathed individuals”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AboneWJjQ54

      • I preferre holding those with wealth and power to higher standards over those who are disadvantaged.

        People like Lynn at the standard are afraid of breaking their own rules. Not only will I break my own rules it is better to under stand howbto break the rules, when to break the rules but most importantly why someone would break the rules and poke people in the eyes.

        You can’t just poke people in the eyes when ever facts are presented to peel back someone’s ideology then you’d just end up like gaddy an obnoxious cunt.

        The problem is that woke-whakahoahoa-pakeha will never accept being a minority. Another problem is that when Western medicine reaches a sufficient level of precision the birth rate starts declining.

        The latest proposal for mental health on the face of it has all the glorious notions of equality and satisfying the poor and disadvantaged and now we are planning a transport system designed to insure you won’t see any poor and disadvantaged now let’s meld that into a one people mentality as outlined in article 1 of the Treaty – that is still not the spirit of being one people. That is the pakeha majority solution that has been going on step by step for 50 years.

        The idea is to take land that is of value to woke pakeha and omit and leave out areas of concentrated poor and disadvantaged so that this knew transport infrastructure goes near maori freehold land but not into msori freehold land. And tangata whenua don’t want to have anything to do with the government’s planned infrastructure build up, they want there own maori authorities.

        Now the woke want to take these concepts and keep building on colinisation step by step taking what they want which is the way pakeha have been acting the whole time and if the poor and disadvantaged want to get to work they not only have to ask permission from the police if they can pass through this knew transport network on the way to work they have to ask the woke if they are virtuous enough to work.

        So populationz just get kicked out on one or another pretext. Pretty soon woke pakeha will have everything they want with very few variations. That is the alternative gaby and even the woke claim is justice that is to say expansion rather than security.

        There are solutions to properly defining borders and precincts like how Auckland museum properly categorises and displays New Zealand’s rich history with everything in its proper place. That’s what gabby bitterly opposes.

  4. Running scared are you Minto? Your vile racism against Jews and Israel can’t be obfuscated by your vile attacks here on Dr. Cumin, the NZII and the Jewish Council and elsewhere on Juliet Moses. Your ‘anti-Zionist’ mask slips at every turn exposing your inherent antisemitism. Let’s hope the new law sees you, Bravery and Griffiths gone for good, or, better still, in prison.

    • The real problem is you Gaby, you have never ever produced anything that Minto has said that is anti-semitic or Griffiths or Bravery, in fact anyone who is writing and fronting the rights of Palestinians. So stop doing these raves unless you can come up with something.

    • Freedom of speech is liberating and informative. It is safer not to drive the racists and hate-merchants underground – better to let them self-identify! Gaby’s comments are welcome as they illustrate perfectly the utter weakness of the Zionist argument and its inability to refute the abundant proof of its crimes. It would also be great to know what Gaby thinks the term ‘Semite’ actually means.

  5. I’m watching Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” again before it’s banned… Anti “hate speech laws” should have a Monty Python test written into them. So therefore, if the law, or interpretation of the law, could cause Monty Python to be banned; then the the interpretation of law, is flawed, or incorrect, and therefore not able to be enforced.

    • Yes Gaby-the-IDF-troll, let’s ramp up divestment and boycott of the terrorist state of Israel that continues to steal land not theirs and slaughter innocent civilians.

    • Well very interesting trolling Gaby, neither Hamas nor Hezbollah are on the list as terrorist entities.

    • What most people don’t get about the Israeli’s is that the people who suffered in the Warsaw Ghetto would turn around and create the Gaza Ghetto. That a people who suffered due to the ideology of Aryanism would in turn write “a law declaring Israel a national homeland for the Jewish people and putting a priority on Jewish-only communities,” (Wapo). During the second world war in the Nazi occupied countries, if a resistance fighter killed a German then the SS would round up the local village and extract retribution ten fold. The IDF uses the same tactic on the Palestinian Resistance. Its notable the Nazis failed to hold their expansion of territory, as the world would not stand for their supremacy.

      The whole world understands this is simply apartheid and just as boycotts and divestment worked in South Africa it will eventually work in Israel.

      Is the above anti-semitic under the hate speech law? (Don’t forget both Jews and Palestinians are semitic peoples).

  6. John sees the Arab’s self inflicted misery in Gaza/West bank as relevant in every thing he looks at

  7. What most people don’t get about the Israeli’s is that the people who suffered in the Warsaw Ghetto would turn around and create the Gaza Ghetto. That a people who suffered due to the ideology of Aryanism would in turn write “a law declaring Israel a national homeland for the Jewish people and putting a priority on Jewish-only communities,” (Wapo). During the second world war in the Nazi occupied countries, if a resistance fighter killed a German then the SS would round up the local village and extract retribution ten fold. The IDF uses the same tactic on the Palestinian Resistance. Its notable the Nazis failed to hold their expansion of territory, the world would not stand for their supremacy.

    The whole world understands this is simply apartheid and just as boycotts and divestment worked in South Africa it will eventually work in Israel.

    Is the above anti-semitic under the hate speech law? (Don’t forget both Jews and Palestinians are semitic peoples).

  8. This is terrible legislation.

    Cleary we already have laws to stop people acting violently towards others.

    We now have woke gone bad when Charlie Chaplin musicals are banned due to individual woke, soon this will turn political and people will be targeted (already Corbyn in UK has been labeled anti Semitic which took so much media time that he was unable to present other topics and helped push him out of power).

    We have Andrew Little already in two court cases for defamation – the second case, I believe the applicant was dead! It is a type of persecution to make saying something small as being criminal and destroying people’s lives and reputations over it.

    The bullies and fraudsters are often the best at playing the victims!

    In NZ under these laws, every minute some bully and exploiter would be filing criminal charges and bringing the legal system into a grid lock with all the woke and political prosecutions and complaints that will happen.

    Stop the madness!!

  9. This new ‘Hate’ speech legislation. Juliet Moses and her crew would be fuck’d then ay? 🙂

  10. Put your glasses on Gaby. Neither Hamas nor Hezbollah are listed as a designated entities! Sure, they each have associated wings that are listed but if you trawl the list, so does Israel.

    Of course, we will delight in seeing your apology and admission that you cannot read. In fact, you only re-submitted the same link as I used the other day to demonstrate that Juliet Moses was dishonest.

  11. Israel is not a ‘country.’

    It is a terrorist organisation, no different to Isis, illegally occupying someone else’s.

    • There is no excuse for terrorism. The killing of woman and children is a vile act rejected by any sane human being. Join me brother in rejecting the murder of all woman and children. Rejoice with me.

  12. The correct link for the truth about terrorist Hamas
    ttps://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/bs-xpm-2010-06-03-bs-ed-gaza-hamas-letter-20100603-story.html

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