The days of freedom in Western Europe are quickly coming to an end, ushering in a new era of restrictive laws aimed at protecting minorities of every color, creed, gender, and stripe. And while no one will stand taller or scream more loudly for the rights of people to be treated equally regardless of their race, religion, or appearance, we cannot sit idly by and watch one of the West’s most prized freedoms vanish into thin air without sounding the alarms.
Make no mistake about it, freedom of speech is the freedom upon which all the rest of our various Western democracies rests. Without it, we no longer HAVE freedom of any kind. We merely have the illusion of freedom. When there are certain viewpoints that are not only marginalized but actually criminalized, the people are no longer in control of their own destiny. You have entered the realm of the all-powerful State, where government officials determine – without question – the path of acceptable discourse. And once they’ve determined that, they’ve determined everything else.
Last week, the London Metropolitan Police issued new guidelines warning residents about what qualifies as a “hate crime.” There is no way to have a firm understanding of Western law and history and read these guidelines without getting a dark chill up your spine.
“A hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because of your disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other perceived difference,” they write.
Okay. So far, so good. We don’t actually think there’s any particular reason to make this distinction – crimes are crimes, there’s no reason to create a new classification based on WHY the crime was committed, but that’s an old debate that has apparently been resolved.
It’s the next part where things start getting weird.
“It doesn’t always include physical violence,” the police say. “Someone using offensive language towards you or harassing you because of who you are, or who they think you are, is also a crime.”
That’s a problem. And it only gets worse from there:
If someone commits a criminal offence and the victim, or anyone else, believes it was motivated by prejudice or hate, we class this as a “hate crime.” It means the offender can be charged for the crime itself and also their reasons for doing it. If someone does something that isn’t a criminal offence but the victim, or anyone else, believes it was motivated by prejudice or hate, we would class this as a ‘hate incident’. Though what the perpetrator has done may not be against the law, their reasons for doing it are. This means it may be possible to charge them with an offence.
So in other words, crime is now in the eyes of the victim? You didn’t care for what that guy over there wrote on a poster? Report him to the London Metro Police and tell them that YOU BELIEVE that it was written because of some kind of illegal prejudice. It will be classified as a “hate incident” and potentially charged as a crime…even if no crime was actually committed! They say right in the paragraph – even if what the perpetrator has done “may not be against the law, their reasons for doing it are.” WHAT? Just…what the hell?
This is the most Orwellian thing we’ve seen in real life in a long time. And the fact that many American liberals think this is the way things should be over here is a cause for deep concern.