Free Speech

by Tim Cushing


Filed Under:
canada, faith goldy, kerry diotte



Canadian Politician Hangs Out With Racists; Issues Legal Threats To People Calling Him A Racist

from the man-lies-with-dogs,-complains-about-being-called-'flea-bitten' dept

A Canadian politician is getting upset -- litigiously upset -- that people are characterizing him by the company he keeps. Parliament member Kerry Diotte's legal rep (Arthur Hamilton of Cassel Brock Lawyers) has sent takedown demands to a handful of Twitter users for calling him a racist.

Bashir Mohamed was one such user. His tweet called Diotte a racist for "openly associating" with "white supremacists like Faith Goldy." Goldy was, until recently, a correspondent for the Breitbart-esque Rebel Media. Rebel Media is run by another pal of Diotte's, Ezra Levant, who has shown support for white nationalist groups like the one that headed up the Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally that ended with a car being driven into the crowd by someone with white nationalist views.

If anyone wants to questions Goldy's white nationalist association -- and by extension, Diotte's tacit approval of her ideals -- here's Goldy in her own words and actions.

In the opening moments of her video, Goldy denied the suggestion that just because she sympathizes with some of what the Charlottesville organizers have said, she is a white supremacist, a racist, or a neo-Nazi. At the same time, however, Goldy conceded she "does not bathe in the guilt of white tears" and that she is an opponent of "state multiculturalism" and "cultural Marxism," all terms that fall easily into the lexicon of white nationalism. And she made an appearance in a podcast broadcast by the Daily Stormer, a notorious and unabashed neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic and white supremacist website.

Why would a politician want to associate themselves with an extremist? Maybe it's because Diotte doesn't necessarily find these views extreme.

[C]onservative politicians — Mr. Diotte included — have been perfectly content to embrace extremely dubious allies like Ezra Levant’s alt-right outfit The Rebel, climate denialists like the Friends of Science, and anti-LGBTQ activists like Parents for Choice in Education. Even Brian Jean’s new campaign manager, Hamish Marshall, is a co-founder of The Rebel.

Why all this background? Because it sets the stage for Mohamed's tweet… and the ridiculousness of Diotte's takedown demand. This is what Diotte's lawyer baselessly asserts in his legal threat [PDF], referring to Mohamed's "Diotte is a racist" statement:

You know such statements to be inflammatory and untrue. You are also fully aware of the danger of releasing such libelous and slanderous statements on a medium such as Twitter, given the ability of your statements to be replicated and rebroadcast by others.

The statement may be "inflammatory," but there's no indication Mohamed believes it to be untrue. And that's the key here: this isn't a blatant false statement made with knowledge that it isn't true. It's a statement of opinion based on Diotte's actions and the people he chooses to associate with. If you hang out with and support people others believe are racists, they're going to believe you're a racist too. That's how association works. And it's a really dumb thing to predicate a lawsuit on, especially when you might be asked to demonstrate how hanging out with white nationalists indicates a lack of bigotry on your part.

No one likes to be called a racist. Not even most racists. The Huffington Post reports Diotte is sending out legal threats to other Twitter users who've recently called him a racist, using the same boilerplate.

At least three other people, also in their early 20s, received a similar letter from Diotte's lawyer. Haiqa Cheema, 22, has left up her tweet about Diotte from Oct. 24. She and two others declined to comment when reached by HuffPost.

Canada's defamation laws are friendlier to plaintiffs than ours, but this is still a long shot. The response letter [PDF] from Mohamed makes it clear this isn't defamation, but rather protected speech.

Mr. Diotte is a Member of Parliament, a public figure, who in the past has posed with Ms. Faith Goldy ("Goldy"), a renowned White nationalist and racist, in photos that he himself has posted on social media. Mr. Diotte has praised the work of Ms. Goldy publicly. Mr. Diotte also has a history of liking tweets made by well known racist twitter accounts. Mr. Diotte has failed to denounce these White nationalists and racists even after people have called on him to do so. Mr. Diotte has failed to distance himself from the dangerous ideologies these individuals hold and espouse.

[...]

Considering the circumstances, Mr. Mohamed's tweets represent fair comment, and touches on matters in the public interest: a Member of Parliament expressing support for a well known White nationalist and racist, has for the past number of years been at the source of inflammatory statements regarding the place and status of minorities in Canada.

The only thing Kerry Diotte is guaranteed to obtain from these legal threats is more people seeing assertions he's a racist, and digging into his professional and personal relationships for evidence supporting this claim. Diotte isn't looking for a courtroom victory. He's just looking to shut up as many critics as possible, as quickly as possible. And it hasn't been a complete failure. Some tweets have come down and some Twitter users are refusing to discuss this publicly. But others are fighting back, and that's only going to make Diotte look vindictive as well as bigoted.


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    P Jorative, 16 Nov 2018 @ 10:45am

    Why are you spreading mere smear, little globalist UK serf?

    You at the least picked a side and gleefully help disrupt civil society.

    You've declared your own virtue, now expect to be hailed as a great champion of equality.

    What you're saying of course is the childish notion SJWs are so fond of, that labeling is good as fact, and that you have no intention of nuancing a person's actions -- especially if honest. Actually, labeling is better in view of SJWs, so they don't have to bother with substance and the drawbacks of stating their own views.

    But what ARE your views on far more important matters like globalism under unelected rulers, the European Union (wanting a new army to ENFORCE its rule), and especially Israel and its recent murdering hundreds / wounding thousands of Palestinian protestors? HMM?

    Won't say, eh? Then you are just a nasty little attack dog hiding your own views.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    kenhamer, 16 Nov 2018 @ 11:27am

    Russian troll alert!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 16 Nov 2018 @ 11:34am

    'They bring the best snacks to events you see.'

    Mr. Diotte is a Member of Parliament, a public figure, who in the past has posed with Ms. Faith Goldy ("Goldy"), a renowned White nationalist and racist, in photos that he himself has posted on social media. Mr. Diotte has praised the work of Ms. Goldy publicly. Mr. Diotte also has a history of liking tweets made by well known racist twitter accounts. Mr. Diotte has failed to denounce these White nationalists and racists even after people have called on him to do so. Mr. Diotte has failed to distance himself from the dangerous ideologies these individuals hold and espouse.

    Maybe, just maybe, if you don't want to be lumped in with a group/category, it might help to not take pictures with them and post those on your social media accounts, show support of what they say, and refuse to denounce them when called to do so. The most generous interpretation I can think of at that point is that while he may not support them, he also doesn't object to them either, and as defenses go that's paper thin at best.

    The attempts to silence people calling him out may have worked on some, but from the sounds of it it's just made others even more determined to keep the issue in the light, all but ensuring that even more interest will be given to looking into it.

    If only there was a term for that...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 12:49pm

      Re: 'They bring the best snacks to events you see.'

      If only there was a term for that...

      It's like when you come in from the beach, and bring some sand in with you. You notice the sand which prompts you to clean the floor, and you end up picking up a lot more dirt than the few grains of beach sand you were initially going for.

      I think I'll coin this analogy as "The Stray-sand Effect."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Nov 2018 @ 2:49pm

      Re: 'They bring the best snacks to events you see.'

      Maybe, just maybe, if you don't want to be lumped in with a group/category, it might help to not take pictures with them and post those on your social media accounts, show support of what they say, and refuse to denounce them when called to do so.

      “What do you have when you have a Nazi and ten other people sitting at a table talking to him? Eleven Nazis.”

      (Note: Not calling anyone a Nazi, just using the saying to further the point of the quoted part of the prior comment.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 11:37am

    Reacting this badly to mean words on the internet? He must be new here. Or just an asshole; it's pretty hard to tell the difference these days.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bt, 16 Nov 2018 @ 11:47am

    We are about to witness another victim of The Streisand Effect.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 11:49am

    Let's make America great again. By making racists ashamed again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    John Smith, 16 Nov 2018 @ 11:56am

    Mikey of course hangs out with nothing but choir boys :::eyeroll:::

    Guilt by association is a fascinating concept that's for sure.

    Of course if oen took issue with who Mikey hangs out with he'd find a way to deflect or just ignore it.

    Isn't that a big thing on twitter for the SJW snowflakes?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Matthew Cline (profile), 16 Nov 2018 @ 12:04pm

      Re:

      Mikey of course hangs out with nothing but choir boys :::eyeroll:::

      Guilt by association is a fascinating concept that's for sure.

      It's the politician issuing legal threats that got him a spot her on Techdirt. If he had simply refrained from the legal threats we wouldn't be talking about it here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 6:08pm

      Re:

      Go ahead, then.

      Cite who Masnick hangs out with. If you're so certain that information would be damning, you'd point it out.

      But oh, what a shame, you won't even point out your name. Now what are we supposed to do about your lack of credibility? Nice usage of foresight, dumbass!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 7:55pm

      Re:

      It ceretainly is a big thing to old impotent liars.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Gary (profile), 16 Nov 2018 @ 11:58am

    Shock

    An article about a scumbag politician hanging out with actual nazi's.
    And the alt-right twats come out to complain. Go figure.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 12:14pm

    Christ. If I decide for whatever reason that Tech Dirt has become problematic, maybe the platform is running too hard hitting articles and refusing offers of evenings out or invites to high-profile events in exchange for more favorable coverage, nothing is easier than having out team over at BuzzPop start running articles claiming Tim Cushing is a racist.

    I don't even have to prove the case. Simply run the smear piece and repeat it over and over. The other journalists accepting the invites to high-profile events and self-censoring even help out by writing their own article calling Tim Cushing a racist linking back to the original unproven claim.

    That's the state of journalism in 2016 unchanged through today.

    The onus is on anyone to provably provide example where racism comes into play for this politician.

    The only court of justice where the politician, or rankly Faith Goldy as well, can be called racist is social justice. And by modifier is by definition injustice performed for political ideal. One has to reject racist identity based beliefs for social justice arguments to apply. Through word salad redefining what it is to be racist and turning it around.

    Nope. Those who render false claims are worse than the labels they try to hammer others with in order to get their way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 12:51pm

      Re:

      Those who render false claims are worse than the labels they try to hammer others with in order to get their way.

      Labels like "SJW?"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        JEDIDIAH, 16 Nov 2018 @ 1:55pm

        The sarcasm and the irony.

        Not sure you can make an actual case of damages for libel/slander over that kind of remark.

        ...which of course kind of obliterates much of the narrative espoused by people that would be given that label.

        Utterly hilarious.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 4:05pm

      Re:

      So which claim about Faith Goldy is false?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 7:58pm

      Re:

      Do it.

      Put up or shut up.

      Let’s see the article.

      Or are you just lying out your ass?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 12:16pm

    from "alt-right" to "alt-light" to ambient racism

    "Rebel Media is run by another pal of Diotte's, Ezra Levant, who has shown support for white nationalist groups like the one that headed up the Charlottesville "Unite the Right" rally "

    I think you might be a bit confused, Tim. The "Unite the Right" rally was organized by Richard Spencer, who passionately hates Jews. Ezra Levant is a proud, activist Jew (though one with anti-Muslim and anti-3rd-world-immigrant opinions) who fired his employee Faith Goldy for attending the Charlottesville rally and getting too friendly with some of its more anti-Semitic elements. While both Richard Spencer and Ezra Levant could both be called "racists," there is little overlap between the individual ideologies of these two racial identitarians, and likely no friendship between them. And let's not forget that the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 3379 declared Zionism to be a form of racism.

    It seems to have always been a common problem throughout the mainstream media: putting all the many different and wide ranging (and often mutually exclusive) white-identity ideologies under the same label, and no doubt sorting them out today is even more complicated, with all the new ones that have popped up in recent years, particularly those that renounce many of the central tenets of the more hard-core racist ideologies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 2:00pm

      Re: from "alt-right" to "alt-light" to ambient racism

      Ezra Levant is a proud, activist Jew (though one with anti-Muslim and anti-3rd-world-immigrant opinions) who fired his employee Faith Goldy for attending the Charlottesville rally and getting too friendly with some of its more anti-Semitic elements.

      Levant fired Goldy for appearing on the Daily Stormer's podcast.

      He then claimed that the people bearing Nazi paraphernalia at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville were leftist "agents provocateur."

      I don't know about you, but if I wanted to disassociate myself from a movement that I had little overlap and no friendship with, I wouldn't be an apologist for them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 4:32pm

        Re: Re: from "alt-right" to "alt-light" to ambient racism

        Ezra Levant was practicing damage control. He leans hard on Jewish financial donors (He crowdfunded a trip to Israel for most of the Rebel's reporters ... and allegedly pocketed the leftover money) so there's little doubt that he was sweating bullets when the news broke that his reporter was rubbing shoulders with the worst kind of people.

        Anyway, it's common knowledge that the most extreme people in any controversial movement are commonly plants.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Nov 2018 @ 8:19pm

          Re: Re: Re: from "alt-right" to "alt-light" to ambient racism

          “Anyway, it's common knowledge that the most extreme people in any controversial movement are commonly plants.”

          Unless you mean ferns we are going to need to see a citation.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anonymous for a reason, 16 Nov 2018 @ 12:32pm

    *In the opening moments of her video, Goldy denied the suggestion that just because she sympathizes with some of what the Charlottesville organizers have said, she is a white supremacist, a racist, or a neo-Nazi. At the same time, however, Goldy conceded she "does not bathe in the guilt of white tears" and that she is an opponent of "state multiculturalism" and "cultural Marxism," all terms that fall easily into the lexicon of white nationalism. And she made an appearance in a podcast broadcast by the Daily Stormer, a notorious and unabashed neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic and white supremacist website.*

    Just because someone hangs out with these kinds of people, doesn't mean that they share the same viewpoints. It is irresponsible to demonize people like this for just interacting with people with differing opinions... if anything, they should be applauded. It doesn't matter what edgy opinion someone has. ethno-nationalist, Communist, Facist, Progressive; it is through open interactions with them, and talking about the differences in our viewpoints that allow for the best opinion to be found. Demonizing people for sharing sympathy with the views of another group (mainstream or fringe), only helps to further embolden those with actual (I don't want to use this word but I have to) problematic views, and further ingrain those who are already in an echo chamber, to stay in their echo chamber.

    Society needs to have more faith in the common person, because the truth is that your average soccer mom isn't going to vote for this "Jews will not replace us" far right parties, and your average sports man won't vote for "communism will win" far left parties. Your average voter is a decent person and can vote sensibly. They may not have the same opinions as you, but they are still sensible. Don't let the loudest people determine your opinion on what the public opinion is. At the same time however, these people should also be given the loudest public presence possible. the CBC should be hosting actual white nationalists for interviews. Do you believe the public will believe their ideas? I think instead, the interviewee will just be shown to be a fool if they have actual bad ideas, or like a sensible person if they are alright.

    I'm of the opinion that Gouldy has perfectly reasonable ideas, but of course the mainstream media won't let you know what her actual beliefs are. Like everyone, there are things I disagree with, but that's irrelevant to the point I'm trying to make. I suggest all of you listen to her at the source instead of taking third hand information. Demonizing people will just put us further down the rabbit hole of authoritarianism that we seem to be willfully throwing ourselves down for the past few decades.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gary (profile), 16 Nov 2018 @ 12:40pm

      Re: Really?

      Just because someone hangs out with these kinds of people, doesn't mean that they share the same viewpoints. It is irresponsible to demonize people like this for just interacting with people with differing opinions... if anything, they should be applauded

      No really - If they are supporting White Nationalists, going on Nazi talk shows as this person has, they should be called out. You can't be a featured guest on Nazi talk show and just brush it off as "It's nice to accept other viewpoints."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 1:13pm

        Re: Re: Really?

        White nationalist leader Don Black's son grew up immersed in his father's racism, and then basically brushed it all off during his first year of college, and has ever since become a fervent anti-racist.

        Faith Goldy went in the other direction of course, first adopting her boss and mentor Ezra levant's anti-immigrant/anti-muslim attitudes, and then traversing even further down that rabbit hole than Levant ever intended.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 12:53pm

      Re:

      Your average voter is a decent person and can vote sensibly.

      Bless your heart.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 12:52pm

    > An article about a scumbag politician hanging out with actual nazi's.

    > And the alt-right twats come out to complain. Go figure.

    The demand for actual nazi's greatly outstrips available supply.

    In response, those with a mind toward click-bait dollars have been happy to provide stead supply of actual nazi's through false label. Surprisingly, people don't particularly take kindly to being called a nazi when they're the farthest thing from it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 1:26pm

      Re:

      The demand for actual nazi's greatly outstrips available supply.

      Andrew Anglin (of the Daily Stormer): yea or nay on being an "actual nazi?"

      If 'nay,' then I don't think we can come to terms. Even his lawyer calls him one.

      If 'yea,' then how is agreeing to be interviewed for a Nazi's website without uttering a word of condemnation, as Goldy did, "the farthest thing" from being one?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Gary (profile), 16 Nov 2018 @ 1:36pm

        Re: Re:

        I don't believe it is an any way a stretch or a mistruth to call Andrew Anglin an actual Nazi.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 1:56pm

        Re: Re:

        Andrew Anglin seems to be more of a roll-playing troll trying to push people's buttons and entertain his young rebellious audience by being the quintessential bad guy spewing the most forbidden extremist thoughts imaginable. It's hard to conceive that any of the more serious racist opinion leaders would even want him around, as his extreme over-the-top hate and nonstop ridiculous allegations, laced with heaping doses of utter nonsense, is going to give the serious white nationalists a worse name in the public mind than they already have.

        And having a Filipino girlfriend is not likely to get him on the good side of the actual hardcore racist groups that he pretends to represent.

        But like Alex Jones, Andrew Anglin obviously understands the commercial value of being as controversial as possible.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Nov 2018 @ 3:22pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          There may be a difference between a sadist who believes in the Nazi propaganda he's spreading and enjoys the pain that it is inflicting upon his targets, and a sociopath who is out for clicks and just doesn't care about the pain inflicted.

          I find I don't really care which describes Anglin: anyone who can convincingly, over a sustained period, pretend to be a Nazi, who calls himself a Nazi, and who sets out to do Nazi-like things in public, is a Nazi.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Thad (profile), 19 Nov 2018 @ 7:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Rule of Goats:

          If you fuck a goat, but you're only doing it to provoke controversy, you're still a goat-fucker.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Painted, 16 Nov 2018 @ 1:22pm

    Ugh, this guy.

    And my city makes Techdirt /facepalm.

    This guy has been a right-wing crackpot for years, writing awful tabloid columns for the local right-wing newspaper. Such an embarrassment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Brent McKaskell, 16 Nov 2018 @ 4:45pm

    White Nationalism Is An Unstoppable Juggernaut

    White Nationalism Is An Unstoppable Juggernaut.

    Is there any hope for us?

    "Hold Back This Day" - The Last Whites On Earth And Their Valiant Struggle To Survive - https://tinyurl.com/ycwdg37k

    "The Towers of Eden"- The Day Concentration Camps Came To America - http://tinyurl.com/hsjytdx

    "Eternity Beach" - An Alt-Right Novel You Will Never Forget - https://tinyurl.com/y8vbcwtc

    "Fast Times At Cultural Marxist High" - Because High School Is A Battlefield For Your Mind - http://tiny.cc/jftoyy


    "Beyond This Horizon" - A White Nationalist Blueprint For Tomorrow - http://tinyurl.com/jshg4nw

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Nov 2018 @ 7:01pm

      White Nationalism Is An Unstoppable Juggernaut

      For what reason, then, are Nazis and White supremacists so worried about “White genocide”? I mean, if White nationalism is as “unstoppable” as they say it is…

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 17 Nov 2018 @ 8:17am

        Re:

        Sounds like wishful thinking of a bigoted mind in that case. 'We're unstoppable, we've got to be, and if we believe it hard enough then it's sure to be true!'

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 17 Nov 2018 @ 7:28pm

      Re: White Nationalism Is An Unstoppable Juggernaut

      Feel free to go back to your White Nation where you came from, then. And leave the rest of us alone.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Nov 2018 @ 12:01pm

    Americans meddling in Canadian politics. How amusing.

    The Canadian leader of the NDP freely hung around with terrorists and members of his team are alleged to have committed sexual harassment. According to this article what does that make him?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Diginess, 25 Nov 2018 @ 12:16pm

    oh good

    So that means I can call all the people coming from Arab nations child molesters, women oppressors, and religious extremists due to them hanging out with...well, anybody. That's pretty much their common law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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