“Whatever else, poetry is freedom.”
--------------------- Irving Layton
Canada’s greatest poet, Irving Layton, grew up in the hardscrabble area of Montreal where Jews had to battle for their rightful place. Irving Layton was not a whiner – he was a fighter. He learned from experience, street experience. He advised me that survival required two punches to the face for every one punch received. Good advice.
He stood up for himself, and by doing so, he stood up for me and for you and for Canada, and by extension, for everyone on this planet who believed in the primacy of the individual over groupism and tribalism, of freedom of speech over muffled speech. He stood up for himself. He would never have countenanced a government agency standing up on his behalf. He would have rightly regarded that as a weakening of his own survival skills.
Irving Layton wrote: “There is no force more subversive than poetry and that is why tyrants have always feared it and sought to suppress it. But not only tyrants. Everyone who has a vested interest in preventing the individual from discovering the truth of his own self and his own capacities fears the liberating power that resides in poetry.”
Human rights commissions have become the current equivalents of the censorious U.S. House Committee on UnAmerican Activities, which was launched with the good intention of stopping the spread of odious ideas but ending in disgrace and injustice, so much so that President Harry S. Truman referred to it as the "most un-American thing in the country today."
Human rights commissions are the step-child of the defunct Ontario Film Censorship Board set up to protect civilians from smut, pornography and immorality, proselytizing that society needed to be protected from the epidemic of rape and sexual assault that would follow if there were no censorship. The Board ended up becoming an embarrassment of injustice when it banned ‘Not A Love Story’, an anti-pornography movie because it contained images of oral sex, but the violent scenes were okay. The Board was ridiculed by the international community for its continual harassment of the Toronto International Film Festival.
Human rights commissions have become a re-re-re-tread of the zeitgeist of Victorianism, protecting the widespread cultivation of an outward appearance of dignity and restraint while practicing its antithesis; it was quintessential hypocrisy but now with a 21st century style gag. Human rights commissions do not decrease instances of hate; it nurtures them by driving them underground where they cannot be seen, where they cannot be fought in the full light of free speech.
Human rights commissions have become carriers of the infection of the alcohol prohibitionists, of the marijuana (reefer madness) prohibitionists, of the porn prohibitionists, and now, hate prohibitionists. The carriers of this prohibitionist infection are always the self-righteous, the interest groups claiming to protect society from itself, asserting they know what is best for the good of society while preventing the bad.
These prohibitionist groups have a fundamental mistrust of democracy; they cannot put their faith in the common sense of free speech, or in the historical record of the liberating power of free speech. The prohibitionists view the civilian masses in a democratic society to be intrinsically weak, that Canadians are a hair-trigger away from committing another holocaust.
The liberation of societies from the tyranny and oppression of the divine right of kings, from dictatorshit, from totalitarianism, did not come about from restrained speech. Democracy owes its existence to free speech. How can the continuity of democracy be assured when it is permitted only one arm to defend itself against totalitarian or ideological enemies, when incompetent human rights commissions tie the other arm with the restraint of censorshit.
The prohibitionists are poetry prophylactics; they prevent the conception and creativity of wit; they disarm the word warriors that are most effective at fighting hate. The prohibitionists are imposing their own bigotry on our democratic society. They are committing textual assault against free speech. It is not freedom of speech that needs restraining; it is the inept bureaucrazy of the human rights commissions that need restraining. They have become nothing more than a mafia of meddling mediocrity rats of the lowest disorder.
I have developed a deep and profound hatred for the contaminating effects of human rights commissions. I hold the entire group of human rights commissioners in naked contempt for their textual assault on free speech. I will continue to call for their complete liquidation as a group in our society. So there you have it; go shake your rattle tail to the nearest human rights commission near you.