When is “free speech” not free?

When you have to pass your speech through a "human rights filter" then it is no longer free:

In a wide-ranging interview this week about the upcoming changes to her commission’s mandate, she [Barbara Hall, chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission] stood firmly by her position that media have a responsibility to put their writings through a "human rights filter" before publication, and said the commission is keen to call out those who do not, jurisdiction be damned.

I’m not sure exactly what a "human rights filter" is, but it appears that anything that might potentially offend someone is off limits. Actually that isn’t quite correct. It must be something that might offend a visible minority. Being a white male, it doesn’t matter if I’m offended.

Of course given that I live in Canada currently I should be very careful what I say lest I offend someone.

Frankly I prefer free speech without limits. I think that we do people a great disservice when we assume on their behalf what might offend them.

Thanks to Kathy Shaidle for reminding me about this travesty.


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