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This is scary

Scotland's totalitarian new hate speech law

Yesterday, a group of people in Scotland protested a new hate speech law. "The irony of this hateful, spiteful law coming into play on April's Fools Day..." said one of the protesters. "Criminalizing free speech in this country is absolutely disgraceful."

While I was happy to see the protest, I am deeply alarmed that the Scottish government passed the law in the first place. @JK_Rowling rightly wrote on X that the law gives the government the power to arrest people who refuse to call male rapists and murderers “women” and “she” and “her” if that’s what those men demand.

The Hate Crime and Public Order Act of 2021 creates a new crime for "stirring up hatred," including related to trans identity. People can be arrested for things they say in the privacy of their own home. They can be arrested for simply being "insulting." And prosecutors need only prove your stirring up of hatred was "likely" not "intended."

You might think this all has nothing to do with you. You don’t live in Scotland. But it has everything to do with you. What you say online could be held as criminal hate speech in Scotland, simply by somebody reading it there.

And it’s not just Scotland. In the US, pro-censorship forces hope a Supreme Court victory will let them once again ramp up censorship demands by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.

EU officials are putting in place a sweeping online censorship system that far exceeds in power and scope anything attempted under Communism or fascism.

And last week, European political leaders weaponized their intelligence and security agencies in order to smear everyone from German farmers to conservative politicians as “Russia-linked.”

And yet the United States and EU governments pump far more money than Russia into “non-governmental” organizations like the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, the Aspen Institute, and the Atlantic Council to wage influence campaigns aimed at smearing ordinary farmers and truckers as “Russian-linked” and “far-right,” and influencing elections.

To understand how ridiculous and totalitarian the EU’s focus on “foreign manipulation” is, consider the fact that, during the Cold War, the US government’s Central Intelligence Agency not only allowed Americans to read Soviet newspapers but actually translated them into English and sent them to thousands of libraries across the United States.

Just think about it: do Europeans really need Russians, “Russia-linked” individuals, or “individuals echoing Moscow” to be angry about high energy prices and uncontrolled immigration? The entire “Russia influence” narrative coming from European politicians and intelligence agencies rests upon the monstrous insult that Europeans would be compliant were it not for Russians sowing discontent.

This is an old political trick: characterize your enemies as foreigners. It’s also a trick of totalitarians.

What’s driving all of this? Part of it is that EU politicians are trying to influence the June elections by demonizing their political opponents as puppets of Russia.

But another part of it appears to be driven by genuine hatred. Just listen to Scotland First Minister @HumzaYousaf condemning the Scottish government on racial terms. “Why are we so surprised by the most senior positions in Scotland filled by those who are white?" he said. "Lord President — white. Every high court judge — white!”

Humza suggests that the reason for all of this is because Scottish people are racist. But the real reason is that 95% of Scottish people are white. The fact that Humza, a nonwhite Muslim, is the highest-ranking Scottish politician is a sign of how non-racist the Scottish people are. For Humza to reach the top political job in Scotland and insist that the reason he’s so rare is because the Scottish people are racist is itself hateful, and pathological.

The bad news is that the censors are on the offensive and we are on the defensive. In the US, Europe, Scotland, Germany, Ireland, Canada, and Brazil, an alliance of government agencies, government-funded think tanks, and corporate media are demanding more censorship, whether through laws like the one enacted in Scotland or through executive actions by agencies like the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and FBI.

The good news is we are starting to find our footing. We have been proud to publish investigations that have uncovered government disinformation and censorship demands in Germany, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Canada, and Brazil.

These investigations reveal the same cast of characters, including intelligence and security agencies, mainstream news media, and ostensibly “non-governmental” organizations that happen to be heavily funded by governments.

As importantly, we can expose the hatred behind the hate speech policies, and continue to point out that the solution to hate speech is free speech, not censorship. The way to counter hate is to do what Darryl Davis did, which was persuade KKK members to see him as a human being, and to give up their white robes.

Davis will be the first person to tell you that he couldn’t have done his work with censorship, only with freedom of speech.

There’s much we need to do...

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