Opinion

Strike Up the Band: Tyranny Is Coming To Your Town

Peter Allan is a “hate crimes sergeant” with the Sussex Police in the UK. His title is scary enough in and of itself, reminiscent of the Thought Police in George Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. “The charges brought in this case are extremely serious,” Sergeant Allan said as he described the conviction and sentencing of Nigel Pelham to more than a year in jail because he expressed anti-Muslim sentiments on Facebook.

Pelham, says Allan, expressed “some truly offensive views.” Pelham thinks that Britain should create a “bomb a mosque day” and that people might want to “put a Muslim on top of a bonfire.” Not someone I’d care to have over for dinner, but I would defend the man’s right to express his opinion. In my town, it’s called freedom of speech. Not in the UK. Pelham was found guilty on eight counts of publishing “threatening” statements intended to “stir up religious hatred against Muslims.” The sentence—20 months in jail plus a fine (a “victim surcharge”) and the confiscation of Pelham’s computer—was imposed even though the defendant did nothing but express his opinion.

When you strip away the rhetoric, Pelham was convicted under Islamic blasphemy law—requiring the punishment of any criticism of Islam—which apparently is now the law in the UK. Sergeant Allan, illustrious patriot that he is, urged residents to report their fellow citizens if they find anything offensive posted on social media. The more you dive into this case, the more it resembles the totalitarian world of Nineteen Eighty-Four. Labeling selected unpopular opinions as “hate speech.” Neighbor spying on neighbor. Sending people who disagree with you to jail.

The very same mentality is alive on this side of the Atlantic as part of the Left’s agenda to strip the US of its core values. Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch, threatened to prosecute anyone guilty of “anti-Muslim rhetoric.” In the UK, Nigel Pelham’s conviction was based on an existing statute. Lynch was ready to jettison the Bill of Rights even though there is no law on the books making it a crime. A statute was introduced in California that would criminalize anyone who denies global warming. If the Left succeeds in creating “hate crimes,” I could wind up behind bars for the opinions I express in my latest book, Tyranny of the Minority. I describe the attempt by minority special interests to impose their agenda on the majority.

In the UK, the Muslim minority has successfully deprived the majority of the centuries-old right of free speech. In the US, not only does the Left hope to torpedo the First Amendment, it wants to demonize the majority (especially the “deplorables” who voted for Trump) using arcane concepts such as “white privilege” and “toxic masculinity.” Under the guise of diversity and social justice, the intention of the Left is to divide the nation into racial and ethnic enclaves based on the racist concept that “people of color” and women are oppressed by white, heterosexual, Christian males. This argument is used as an excuse for violent street protests, the shut-down of free speech on college campuses, anti-white social programs, and the delegitimization of Donald Trump’s bona fide presidency.

Another tyrannical trend is the attempt to criminalize the use of standard gender pronouns such as “he” and “she.” New York City has enacted a “human rights” law that requires employers to use an employee’s or tenant’s or customer’s preferred name, title, and pronoun regardless of the person’s birth gender, appearance, medical history, etc., under threat of a $250,000 fine. As reported by attorney Eugene Volokh in the Washington Post, “people can basically force us—on pain of massive legal liability—to say what they want us to say, whether or not we want to endorse the political message associated with that term, and whether or not we think it’s a lie.”

If I decide to call myself “Milord” or “God,” New York’s statute requires that you must comply. If one of your employees fails to call me God, you are under a legal duty to fire that person. If one of your customers fails to comply, you have a duty to dump that customer. “I think we should all feel uncomfortable,” says Volokh, “about government regulators forcing people to say things that convey and support the government’s ideology about gender.”

Canada just passed an even more draconian law making it illegal for anyone to use the wrong gender pronouns. Failure to comply means you can be jailed, fined, and forced to take anti-bias training. Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, professor at the University of Toronto, argues against this law for two reasons. First, it infringes on free speech. Second, it enshrines dubious gender ideology into law. The Left, Peterson says, is using the “so-called transgender community” to impose its ideology on the majority. “The very idea that calling someone a term that they didn’t choose causes them such irreparable harm that legal remedies should be sought is an indication just how deeply the culture of victimization has sunk into our society.”

My question is: How will Canada and New York City enforce these medieval laws? I suspect that Canada in particular will be forced to reconsider the practicality and prudence of its latest statute. “This tyrannical bill,” says Canadian activist Jeff Gunnarson, “is nothing but social engineering to the nth degree, all in the name of political correctness.”

Another example of tyranny involves a social media law in Germany aimed at criminalizing arbitrarily selected speech. Social media users can be sentenced to five years in prison for “inciting racial hatred,” whatever that means. This week, German police raided the homes of 36 people accused of “hateful” social media postings. What will you do when your local police show up at your door accusing you of saying the wrong words?

Yes my dear friends and fellow citizens, tyranny is on the march and it could be coming to your town. What are you going to do about it?

Ed Brodow is a political commentator, negotiation expert, and author of Tyranny of the Minority: How the Left is Destroying America.