Comedian Mike Ward ordered to pay 35k+ in damages for offensive comedy

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kropotkin1951

Unionist wrote:

And by the way, on a more serious note, let go of the "dignity" theory. Sounds like a very cool First World preoccupation. Human rights are about women having the vote, children of colour being allowed to go to the same schools as whites, Jews being allowed to buy property in Québec (remind to send you a 1955 bill of sale wherein the purchaser guarantees not to re-sell or lease to "persons of the Jewish race"), Indigenous folks being served in public establishment whether the asshole owner wants to or not, LGBTQ+ folks not being fired when their gender or orientation is discovered - etc.

Look after all that, and in my humble submission, dignity will grow incrementally.

But if I publicly call you an asshole and an idiot, I really don't expect the authorities to round me up. Your dignity would survive such a slur, anyway.

Thank you for making my case that you at minimum do not understand the concept of dignity of the person. You also have shown you don't really get what the decision was about. It doesn't matter if you publicly call me an asshole it would only be a problem if you publically said I was an asshole because of my disability and it could be shown I was harmed by it. You are usually better with the nuances but this kind of case strikes a chord with many people who think that free speech should Trump all other rights. I didn't take you for someone who believes that but now I am not sure.

I will repost this good explanation of the decision. If anyone cares to read it they will see that calling me an asshole would not come close to being any kind of basis for a complaint. Besides I sometimes can be a bit of an asshole when I'm pissed at someone.

Quote:

Step 1: Was there discrimination?

Hughes writes that three conditions have to be met in order to establish whether discrimination occurred.

The first condition: Was someone singled out? This was easy for the tribunal to answer. Jérémy and his mother were mentioned by name in several of Ward's performances.

The second condition: Was someone singled out and subjected to different treatment even though Section 10 guarantees them equal treatment? 

Not all of Ward's jokes about Jérémy make reference to his physical disability. One, for instance, links Jérémy, the pope and pedophilia. No discrimination there, says Hughes, because the joke isn't based on Jérémy's disability.

But Hughes does single out three jokes in particular in which Ward ridicules Jérémy's appearance — physical characteristics that are due to Treacher Collins syndrome, a condition he was born with. So Jérémy was singled out because of his disability.

That's not cool according to Section 10, says Hughes. 

The third condition: Has the discrimination affected Jérémy's "dignity, honour and reputation"? Here things start to get fuzzy. 

Hughes acknowledges that not every insult qualifies as a violation of someone's dignity. There has to be real harm. That, of course, can be subjective. 

But Hughes writes the "Tribunal has no doubt" that Ward's jokes caused enough damage to Jérémy to merit being called a violation of his dignity. 

Step 2: Are jokes protected speech?In Irwin Toy Ltd. v. Quebec, the Supreme Court of Canada laid down more specific guidelines about free speech. (Albert Couillard/CBC)

Free speech in Canada is not absolute. But, as Hughes notes, certain types of speech are protected.

He cites the 1988 landmark Supreme Court decision in Irwin Toy Ltd v Quebec, which outlines the types of speech that do enjoy absolute expression. These include speech that aims at truth, speech that contributes to social and political decision making or speech that is an expression of self-fulfillment. 

Ward's jokes had to meet one of these conditions in order to qualify for free-speech protection. 

Hughes doesn't deny that comedy has certain civic virtues, but decides that it can't be a pretext for discrimination.

"A comedian cannot operate solely in function of the laughs of his audience," he writes. "He also has to take into account the fundamental rights of the victims of this jokes."

Hughes adds that Ward's jokes don't raise questions of public interest. Given that, they don't qualify for protection. 

With that conclusion, Ward's case is lost. His jokes were found to have discriminated against Jérémy and aren't considered to be protected speech.

At that juncture, the only thing left for Hughes to do was determine the extent of the damages.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/mike-ward-comedian-human-rights-t...

 

swallow swallow's picture

Ward is trying to get his legal bills paid via https://www.gofundme.com/mikewardca - which seems to undermine his argument that he's putting out lots of money to fight for free speech. Comments there are interesting though mostly in mosstly-french ("appel? Cour Suprême? Come on....") I'm quite sure he'll manage to raise the money (he already has over $20K from some 1,000 donors) and will profit enormously from the whole business. Because being a bully is profitable. 

Ward was in the news for the Quebec comedy gala awards a while back. His skit was not broadcast as planned and he boycotted the televised gala on "free speech grounds." Lots of media, but let me link the Gazette's arts columnist: [url=http://montrealgazette.com/opinion/gala-les-olivier-there-are-limits-to-... les Olivier: There are limits to freedom of expression[/url] 

(The banned skit availiable at link; the original transcript with "Jewish joke" removed at http://www.journaldemontreal.com/2016/05/13/guy-nantel-et-mike-ward-en-c...

6079_Smith_W

Pondering wrote:

Comics get a lot of latitude which they should but there are limits.

Where, though?

Joking about someone really wishing a child dead, and deliberately encouraging someone to commit murder? Do you think that might be a little bit further over the line than making fun of someone's appearance? 

Fact is we have limits, which are for the most part a good balance. Whether this decision will stand or, like some others, be struck down, remains to be seen.

 

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Thank you for making my case that you at minimum do not understand the concept of dignity of the person. You also have shown you don't really get what the decision was about. It doesn't matter if you publicly call me an asshole it would only be a problem if you publically said I was an asshole because of my disability and it could be shown I was harmed by it. 

I see. So, what if I call some Catholic bishop, by name, a fucking asshole and pervert because he opposes women's right to choose? And what if I mercilessly ridicule his stupid and anti-human "faith", you know, that Jesus fucking Christ told him to be a shithead, haw haw haw. And what if I kept going after him in that vein day after day after day, and earn a million bucks from all my laughing audiences. And what if the poor shit is profoundly "hurt" by my attacks and charges me with discrimination based on his sincerely held fascist religious beliefs.

You think he is protected by human rights legislation??

As you see, all I've done is replace "disability" by "religion".

I pray to God and Jesus fucking Christ that some court overturns this dangerous decision.

 

wage zombie

Unionist wrote:

And please see someone in health care about your hands. They must be hurting something awful from that "biggest straw man evvveerrrr!" you're building.

Unionist wrote:

I see. So, what if I call some Catholic bishop, by name, a fucking asshole and pervert because he opposes women's right to choose? And what if I mercilessly ridicule his stupid and anti-human "faith", you know, that Jesus fucking Christ told him to be a shithead, haw haw haw. And what if I kept going after him in that vein day after day after day, and earn a million bucks from all my laughing audiences. And what if the poor shit is profoundly "hurt" by my attacks and charges me with discrimination based on his sincerely held fascist religious beliefs.

You think he is protected by human rights legislation??

As you see, all I've done is replace "disability" by "religion".

SMH

kropotkin1951

Unionist wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Thank you for making my case that you at minimum do not understand the concept of dignity of the person. You also have shown you don't really get what the decision was about. It doesn't matter if you publicly call me an asshole it would only be a problem if you publically said I was an asshole because of my disability and it could be shown I was harmed by it. 

I see. So, what if I call some Catholic bishop, by name, a fucking asshole and pervert because he opposes women's right to choose? And what if I mercilessly ridicule his stupid and anti-human "faith", you know, that Jesus fucking Christ told him to be a shithead, haw haw haw. And what if I kept going after him in that vein day after day after day, and earn a million bucks from all my laughing audiences. And what if the poor shit is profoundly "hurt" by my attacks and charges me with discrimination based on his sincerely held fascist religious beliefs.

You think he is protected by human rights legislation??

As you see, all I've done is replace "disability" by "religion".

I pray to God and Jesus fucking Christ that some court overturns this dangerous decision.

This decision may get overturned. However in your far out comparison was the bishop a vulnerable 12 year old?

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Comics get a lot of latitude which they should but there are limits.

Where, though?

Joking about someone really wishing a child dead, and deliberately encouraging someone to commit murder? Do you think that might be a little bit further over the line than making fun of someone's appearance? 

Fact is we have limits, which are for the most part a good balance. Whether this decision will stand or, like some others, be struck down, remains to be seen.

I quoted him. I wasn't joking. He expressed the desire that by the time the court case is heard Jeremy will be dead. He should be aware that a crackpot fan could take him at his word and seek to make it happen. "I was only joking" is not a license to say whatever you want.

I don't have the public platform that Ward has. The judge took that into account. The impact of Ward's "jokes" about Jeremy's illness were heard by millions.

6079_Smith_W

Pondering wrote:

I quoted him. I wasn't joking. He expressed the desire that by the time the court case is heard Jeremy will be dead. He should be aware that a crackpot fan could take him at his word and seek to make it happen. "I was only joking" is not a license to say whatever you want.

I don't think you not joking...

(or more accurately, failing to get the joke, considering he is in no danger of dying... of any disease or of your completely improbable scenario)

... gives you any more license than if you were joking. So it is kind of immaterial.

Though really, this concern about license and alleged lack of limits is yours, not mine. I don't think we're in any danger of seeing poor vulnerable little kid jokes as the next craze in shock comedy.

 

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

wage zombie wrote:

Unionist wrote:

And please see someone in health care about your hands. They must be hurting something awful from that "biggest straw man evvveerrrr!" you're building.

Unionist wrote:

I see. So, what if I call some Catholic bishop, by name, a fucking asshole and pervert because he opposes women's right to choose? And what if I mercilessly ridicule his stupid and anti-human "faith", you know, that Jesus fucking Christ told him to be a shithead, haw haw haw. And what if I kept going after him in that vein day after day after day, and earn a million bucks from all my laughing audiences. And what if the poor shit is profoundly "hurt" by my attacks and charges me with discrimination based on his sincerely held fascist religious beliefs.

You think he is protected by human rights legislation??

As you see, all I've done is replace "disability" by "religion".

SMH

 

Can't believe Unionist of all people juxtaposed disability vs religion. Nevermind the false equivalencies of degree.

 

I guess minors don't deserve our protection. It's all fair game, like the real world. Damn kids need to grow up.

6079_Smith_W

There are no degrees in the legislation; they are equivalent. That's why Unionist is quite right to be concerned.

But sure. They aren't the same and we don't deserve equal protection because of our beliefs (religious and political) because we are free to change our minds and end the discrimination.

http://www.iraqinews.com/iraq-war/urgent-red-crescent-claims-isil-detain...

 

 

Unionist

RevolutionPlease wrote:

Can't believe Unionist of all people juxtaposed disability vs religion.

I didn't. It's the law which makes zero distinction between discrimination based on disability and discrimination based on religion.

We have to be careful when we're suppressing speech. When you open a door for a guest, you never know who else will rush in.

Quote:
Nevermind the false equivalencies of degree.

It's hard to tell people, "your hurt isn't as bad as that other person's hurt" - when the law reads exactly the same way.

Quote:
I guess minors don't deserve our protection. It's all fair game, like the real world. Damn kids need to grow up.

So if Jérémy had been 18 years old, no problem? See, I don't see in the law where it distinguishes between minors and adults. In fact, the Commission awarded punitive damages not just to Jérémy ($10,000), but also to his mother ($5,000), for "jokes" that Ward told about her.

It's a tough case, because everyone is disgusted by Ward's assholery. But those are the kinds of cases where we have to be most vigilant not to open the door, unless we're absolutely sure about what we're doing and what impact it will have on other future cases.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

smith, that link doesn't allow me to return here without reloading.

 

what is the point you're trying to make?

 

ward's actions incited hatred against jeremy.

 

i know this is a slippery slope but minors with disabilities deserve our protection from being singled out and specifically identified for scorn.

 

and numerous examples linked above trying to equate this with generalizations of groups of people shows there's a breakdown in critical thinking.

6079_Smith_W

This was not a case about incitement of hatred. And his being a minor is not a legal factor (though I'd say it, as well as his personal story, may have played into the decision).

It was about discrimination which they found harmed his dignity and reputation.

And my point is that there is no absolute scale of degrees when it comes to the things which are protected under the Act. Nor should there be, when someone can be attacked just as badly for any one of those things.

 

kropotkin1951

Unionist wrote:

I see. So, what if I call some Catholic bishop, by name, a fucking asshole and pervert because he opposes women's right to choose? And what if I mercilessly ridicule his stupid and anti-human "faith", you know, that Jesus fucking Christ told him to be a shithead, haw haw haw. And what if I kept going after him in that vein day after day after day, and earn a million bucks from all my laughing audiences. And what if the poor shit is profoundly "hurt" by my attacks and charges me with discrimination based on his sincerely held fascist religious beliefs.

You think he is protected by human rights legislation??

Of course in the US it is okay to name a specific citizen of the Islamic faith and call them a terrorist and urge that they get thrown out of the country and if imply that if they died before they could be deported that would be just to bad.  I happen to think that is not alright even if it based on one of the three nasty religions that arose in the Middle East. I also happen to think it is not all right to name a specific man and because he is gay call him a paedophile and imply he doesn't deserve to live because he is gay

A human is a human and we all deserve to live in dignity even if some of us believe in a Spirit in the Sky or are disabled or have a non hetrosexual orientation etc. It seems that your biggest problem with the case and human rights law is that it extends to religious views. 

swallow swallow's picture

Ironically, Mike Ward is willing to self-censor when it comes to religion, but he stands up for his right to mock children with disabilities for profit as a sacred cause. 

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:
It seems that your biggest problem with the case and human rights law is that it extends to religious views. 

Nope, sorry, wrong. If some comedian makes merciless and offensive jokes against someone who loves Israeli apartheid or U.S. imperialism - yeah, some individual American - and calls them horrid offensive names because of their sincerely held political beliefs and thereby offends against their "dignity" - even if the jokes are as horrible and inexcusable as Mike Ward's, my first instinct will be to defend them against any "human rights" charges.

If they cross over into defamation, either civil or criminal, or hate speech - different story. But those are different proceedings under different laws, and we must err on the side of free expression there as well.

But that's not what this case is about. It's about "discrimination", by one individual against another, in speech.

And no, I only gave religion as an example. Now I've given another example, nothing to do with religion. So what's your reply to that?

 

Unionist

swallow wrote:

Ironically, Mike Ward is willing to self-censor when it comes to religion, but he stands up for his right to mock children with disabilities for profit as a sacred cause. 

There's nothing "ironic" about it. Mike Ward is a despicable asshole. You think his "logic" in these matters is worth considering, even for its irony? I don't. The reason I am skeptical and concerned about the "human rights" charges against him has nothing whatsoever to do with him. It has to do with how the despots who rule this society will use such precedents in cases that really matter - to suppress dissent and rebellion. Mike Ward is a useful idiot to establish such a precedent. Let's not get sucked into that game, please.

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

\Mike Ward is a useful idiot to establish such a precedent. Let's not get sucked into that game, please.

I hear what you are saying, but really, he is more our useful idiot, just  as Bill Whatcott and Larry Flynt have been in the past. After all, whose stands to benefit from him taking this to an appeal? If he gets this overturned and the law changed or fine-tuned as has happened in other cases, we will have him to thank for going to bat for it.

Doesn't have any bearing on how  people might think of his actions, but he is the one who so far seems willing to take on the law.

And regarding that other comment,  who cares if he is selective about where he wants to pull a punch (or gets sloppy, according to the other interpretation)?

Unionist

I agree with you, Smith. Forgive me for wishing that we had a more worthy martyr to take on this cause.

 

6079_Smith_W

That is more than often not the case. You also say it at #61.

Usually it is a case like this. Robin Sharpe is another. 

There are fewer who are actually doing it for a good political cause, like Lenny Bruce. And Flynt might have done it for a very good cause, but probably lots would not want to see or admit that, given his porn career.

Of course, there is far worse than any of this freely and legally available that never had to run the legal gauntlet that Joyce, Burroughs and Ginsberg did. Just look up "transgressive art".

 

kropotkin1951

Unionist wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:
It seems that your biggest problem with the case and human rights law is that it extends to religious views. 

Nope, sorry, wrong. If some comedian makes merciless and offensive jokes against someone who loves Israeli apartheid or U.S. imperialism - yeah, some individual American - and calls them horrid offensive names because of their sincerely held political beliefs and thereby offends against their "dignity" - even if the jokes are as horrible and inexcusable as Mike Ward's, my first instinct will be to defend them against any "human rights" charges.

I am a non religious, white, temporarily able bodied, hetrosexual, male. There is no personal insult you could sling at me that would engage human rights legislation. The same goes for Israelis or imperialists. You are really trying hard to prove your point but it seems more and more like you haven't got a clue what a human rights complaint entails. The last red herring you threw out would be speech that contributes to social and political decision making.  It's not all that hard if you open your mind a little and try to analyze it in your usual thoughtful fashion.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Sorry I don't have the the link, but it wasn't just discrimination. Jeremy was subjected to bullying and harassment due to the actions of Mike Ward. I'd call that incitement of hatred. Jeremy was just an individual, so luckily for Ward, hate crime laws likely wouldn't apply.

 

Disability is still a bastion that has not been accepted. Still is easy to denigrate in 2016, with not many folk batting an eye, just like other battles we've had to overcome in the past.

 

I understand where those that disagree with me are coming from but I'm going to respectfully ask the mods to move this topic to the disability forum.

 

Love you all.

Unionist

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Unionist wrote:
If some comedian makes merciless and offensive jokes against someone who loves Israeli apartheid or U.S. imperialism - yeah, some individual American - and calls them horrid offensive names because of their sincerely held political beliefs and thereby offends against their "dignity" - even if the jokes are as horrible and inexcusable as Mike Ward's, my first instinct will be to defend them against any "human rights" charges.

I am a non religious, white, temporarily able bodied, hetrosexual, male. There is no personal insult you could sling at me that would engage human rights legislation. The same goes for Israelis or imperialists. You are really trying hard to prove your point but it seems more and more like you haven't got a clue what a human rights complaint entails. The last red herring you threw out would be speech that contributes to social and political decision making.  It's not all that hard if you open your mind a little and try to analyze it in your usual thoughtful fashion.

First, this is from the 1966 U.N. Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:

Quote:
"Every human being has the inherent right to life. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be imprisoned merely on the ground of inability to fulfil a contractual obligation. Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status."

That's the international gold standard.

Now for your further information, here is a list of jurisdictions whose human rights legislation prohibits discrimination on the ground of political belief:

Quote:
Yukon, Newfoundland, British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Northwest Territories

That's correct - Canada and Ontario aren't on that list. But Québec is. So if Mike Ward's ruling isn't quashed, then a comedian making merciless fun of a neighbour who supports (say) Netanyahu's policies, would be liable.

Oh, and British Columbia is on that list too. I'm sure you don't require me to cite the pertinent provisions showing that political belief enjoys exactly the same protection against discrimination as disability in B.C.

6079_Smith_W

And in terms of interpreting that legislation "political belief" means any belief, not just membership in a political party. It is a catchall for values and principles which are not considered religious. That also came up in the Whatcott case. I believe it was at the appeals court stage, not the supreme court, but his anti-gay and anti-choice values were accepted as a political belief. In any case, that was not challenged, and it probably factored into why some of his pamphlets were considered legal.

But that also raises the question of why Ward's role as a comic was not accepted under the very broad defenses that are there in the legislation for the things that he said. Again, there should be an appeal.

Fact is, if someone tried to deny Whatcott a seat at a restaurant because of his beliefs I think it would be right that someone should bring a human rights complaint. But that is a physical act of discrimination. Just saying something, even saying something publicly, and especially saying something as art, is a lot more complex.

And RP,I agree that is an important issue. This freedom is also an important one, even if it seems like they are in conflict in this case.

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Wow, sorry I'm so naive that I didn't realize we could still bash disabled people all we want. I'm serious.

 

I'm shocked that race and sexual orientation are included, never mind religion (puke) and disability is not.

 

I'm very perturbed that some of you can't see why this is the same as Mike Ward making fun of an individual's race or sexual orientation and subjecting them to ridicule.

 

Colour me confused, I really thought this was the same.

 

Please mods, move this topic. Won't really matter anyway will it. The crippled and deformed are on their own.

 

Have at it U and WS. Now I see where your position comes from. Jeremy is not deserving of any protection.

 

Fucking pricks.

6079_Smith_W

RP, it is not illegal to make a racist or sexist or discriminatory comment. No one here is arguing in favour of them. But they aren't illegal. So while I sympathize more than you might believe, it is an irrelevant point here.

These laws are about harming someone's dignity and reputation, and inciting hatred.The question is, do you want a law which can be used to turn around and slap a penalty on someone for ridiculing an anti-choice activist, or a tea partier? Because things like that have happened,and that is what we are concerned about here.

 

Unionist

RevolutionPlease wrote:

Wow, sorry I'm so naive that I didn't realize we could still bash disabled people all we want. I'm serious.

We can "bash" any group we want, so long as it doesn't cross over into hate speech.

Quote:
I'm shocked that race and sexual orientation are included, never mind religion (puke) and disability is not.

You're seriously misreading this thread. There is no difference in human rights law between race, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. You can legally do, or be prohibiting from doing, all the same things in all these cases (and others). 

Quote:
I'm very perturbed that some of you can't see why this is the same as Mike Ward making fun of an individual's race or sexual orientation and subjecting them to ridicule.

RP, listen please. It's exactly the same. And it should not be banned by law - unless it's hate speech, or unless (and this didn't come up in the Mike Ward case) it's "defamation", either civil or criminal. But defamation can take just about any form, like me publishing articles saying you're a lousy pipefitter, when that's your trade and livelihood.

Quote:
Colour me confused, I really thought this was the same.

It's the same, and yes, something we said may have confused you. But let me be clear. If Mike Ward had made relentless fun about the hue and pigmentation of his young neighbour's skin, it would have been just as disgusting and repulsive. And if he had made relentless fun about his young neighbour's support for Israeli apartheid, some other people would have found it disgusting and repulsive. But once you ban one form of these jokes, the rest will not be far behind.

I'm sorry if you don't get this. You're entitled to disagree. But for you to suggest that anyone here doesn't care about a disabled minor - well, it's not true. And before making that accusation against comrades (which we all are), you should give your head a serious shake and say, "it must be me - I know these folks - this can't be what they're saying".

 

Unionist

I just noticed Smith's post before mine, and he said it better, briefer, and clearer than me.

Boze

RevolutionPlease wrote:

Wow, sorry I'm so naive that I didn't realize we could still bash disabled people all we want. I'm serious.

I'm shocked that race and sexual orientation are included, never mind religion (puke) and disability is not.

I'm very perturbed that some of you can't see why this is the same as Mike Ward making fun of an individual's race or sexual orientation and subjecting them to ridicule.

Colour me confused, I really thought this was the same.

Please mods, move this topic. Won't really matter anyway will it. The crippled and deformed are on their own.

Have at it U and WS. Now I see where your position comes from. Jeremy is not deserving of any protection.

Fucking pricks.

Just chiming in to say that I agree with Unionist and 6079_Smith_W. It has nothing to do with disability. It should not be illegal to make racist jokes at Barrack Obama's expense, for instance.

Mr. Magoo

I think part of the problem here is that we seem to be using the same criteria for insults, jokes and opinions that we use for the more classical material discrimination.

I'm sure we all agree that an employer cannot deny an employee a promotion because they saw them using a rosary, and a landlord cannot deny an individual a rental unit because they saw a "Green Party" bumper sticker on their car.

But we don't care to prohibit, or criminalize, criticism (which may include, but should not be limited to:  insulting, mocking, goading, parodying or eye-rolling) of religions or political beliefs.

voice of the damned

"...put down the malt liquor and chicken wings..."

http://tinyurl.com/zuf6jy4

I wonder what a human rights commission would have to say about that speech.

voice of the damned

Boze wrote:

RevolutionPlease wrote:

Wow, sorry I'm so naive that I didn't realize we could still bash disabled people all we want. I'm serious.

I'm shocked that race and sexual orientation are included, never mind religion (puke) and disability is not.

I'm very perturbed that some of you can't see why this is the same as Mike Ward making fun of an individual's race or sexual orientation and subjecting them to ridicule.

Colour me confused, I really thought this was the same.

Please mods, move this topic. Won't really matter anyway will it. The crippled and deformed are on their own.

Have at it U and WS. Now I see where your position comes from. Jeremy is not deserving of any protection.

Fucking pricks.

Just chiming in to say that I agree with Unionist and 6079_Smith_W. It has nothing to do with disability. It should not be illegal to make racist jokes at Barrack Obama's expense, for instance.

Especially if it's somewhat ambgiuous as to whether the target of the joke is Obama himself, or the people who like him.

In the case of the Quebec singer, I think you could make an argument that the real target of the joke was his fans, ie. they were just mindlessly cheering for the guy even though he wasn't facing a mortal illness, but rather just because his disease makes him look different from other people. That could be a legitimate critiique of flavour-of-the-month humanitarianism.

By the same token, I could imagine a comedian, even a progressive comedian, saying something like "You see all these white middle-class liberals? They'd cross the street to avoid a black guy, but they sure don't mind swooning over their their house-negro Barack Obama!" And then proceeding to do a riff on Obama as a typical minstrel character, with all the usual props and dialect.

Tasteless, perhaps, but I don't think it would be entirely out of bounds, and could basically just be embodying the same criticism that was made of Obama supporters in these parts, back when he was first elected("Americans buying racial reconciliation on the cheap", was how one poster put it). At the very least, I wouldn't trust a government bureaucrat to discern the difference between that and outright racism.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

My sincere apolgies for misreading things. Still disgusted at Ward not you my friends.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

And I'll still appreciate this being moved to the disability issues forum.

 

I'd feel even better if some of my allies agreed with me. I don't want to feel too sensitive, in fact, i'm proud of it regardless of the limitations it puts on me.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

voice of the damned wrote:
"...put down the malt liquor and chicken wings..."

 

http://tinyurl.com/zuf6jy4

 

I wonder what a human rights commission would have to say about that speech.

 

Still not remotely the same, Ward identified and targetted an individual. Enough to subject him to hate. I don't agree with the above either, but it's degrees of difference from generalizing to individualizing and personalizing, isn't it?

 

Morally, it's perhaps worse to denigrate a group of people but to ignite hate on a specific target? A child, with a disability? That is easily identifiable? Shame to anyone that defends that. I know your caveat, and concerns for precedent. However, I think you might (i hope) be able to agree that this is exactly the type of abuse that needs to be curtailed. This wouldn't be tolerated in the workplace, and why am I trying to reason here? You all know this shouldn't be tolerated.

 

I have my limits when I call abuse/bullying for what it is.

 

And so should you, fears notwithstanding. The only thing to fear is fear itself.

 

We can't allow this to happen, it's where our children learn to bully the weak.

 

Defend that if you want.

Misfit Misfit's picture

We already have discrimination based on political speach. How many NDP candidates were forced to resign during the last election for expressing support for Palestine?

Mr. Magoo

Also, religion.  A Catholic church is under no obligation to hire a Methodist priest.

6079_Smith_W

But both of those cases have to do with them doing the job they are hired, or contracted to do and having the right qualifications. No one has a human right to be in a party caucus.

 

voice of the damned

RevolutionPlease wrote:

voice of the damned wrote:
"...put down the malt liquor and chicken wings..."

 

http://tinyurl.com/zuf6jy4

 

I wonder what a human rights commission would have to say about that speech.

 

Still not remotely the same, Ward identified and targetted an individual. Enough to subject him to hate. I don't agree with the above either, but it's degrees of difference from generalizing to individualizing and personalizing, isn't it?

 

Morally, it's perhaps worse to denigrate a group of people but to ignite hate on a specific target? A child, with a disability? That is easily identifiable? Shame to anyone that defends that. I know your caveat, and concerns for precedent. However, I think you might (i hope) be able to agree that this is exactly the type of abuse that needs to be curtailed. This wouldn't be tolerated in the workplace, and why am I trying to reason here? You all know this shouldn't be tolerated.

So, if Warren Beatty had capped off his critique of African-American Democrats by saying that SOME PARTICULAR African-American politician needs to "put away the malt liquor and chicken wings", that should open him up to a human-rights complaint?

As for the argument that we wouldn't tolerate it in the workplace, therefore we shouldn't tolerate it as part of public debate, how far are you prepared to take that argument? Here's a picture(from another website) that someone posted a few months ago on babble(under the mistaken impression that it was real)...

http://tinyurl.com/zhszdf6

Now, assuming we all know it's a fake, if you were to make that photoshop with a picture of a woman at your office and send it to all your co-workers via e-mail, I'd certainly think that she should be able to sue you for sexual harassment or discrimination. Do you think Condi Rice, a public figure involved in numerous controversies, should be able to launch the same sort of legal action?

I realize that, for most people(myself included), the kid in Quebec is going to make a more sympathetic figure than a US Secretary Of State. Doesn't change the fact that, having sung for the Pope and at various sporting events etc, the kid HAS willingly become a public figure.

Unionist

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Also, religion.  A Catholic church is under no obligation to hire a Methodist priest.

If they need an office secretary, or a gardener, can they put "NO JEWS NEED APPLY" in their ad?

Your example is not well thought out.

 

Mr. Magoo

Oh, probably not, but I think I'm right about the Priest, though.

Anyway, the important thing is that I was being facetious, in response to the post right above mine.

voice of the damned

Unionist wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Also, religion.  A Catholic church is under no obligation to hire a Methodist priest.

If they need an office secretary, or a gardener, can they put "NO JEWS NEED APPLY" in their ad?

Your example is not well thought out.

 

Well, I'd imagine that religion is something like political-beliefs, in provinces where that is a protected class. If you want to run for leader of the NDP, the party can presumbaly require that you be a member. Not so if they put an ad in the paper asking for someone to clean their offices on the weekend.

And I seem to recall from high-school law class that discrimination laws only kick in where the job is publically adveritised. In other words, if Rabbi Waxman puts an ad in the paper saying "Secretary needed; Jews only", he's gonna be in trouble. But if he just approaches one of the woman attending his synagogue and asks her if she wants the job, he's in the clear, even though that pretty much guarantees a Jewish secretary.

Unionist

voice of the damned wrote:
Unionist wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Also, religion.  A Catholic church is under no obligation to hire a Methodist priest.

If they need an office secretary, or a gardener, can they put "NO JEWS NEED APPLY" in their ad?

Your example is not well thought out.

 

 

Well, I'd imagine that religion is something like political-beliefs, in provinces where that is a protected class. If you want to run for leader of the NDP, the party can presumbaly require that you be a member. Not so if they put an ad in the paper asking for someone to clean their offices on the weekend.

Nothing to do with religion or political beliefs as such. It's closer to what Magoo said (facetiously) above. Here's a typical exception, this one from the federal code, but all the provincial ones have similar exceptions:

Quote:

15 (1) It is not a discriminatory practice if

  • (a) any refusal, exclusion, expulsion, suspension, limitation, specification or preference in relation to any employment is established by an employer to be based on a bona fide occupational requirement;

Thus, depending on the job, an employer could lawfully argue for an exclusion of applicants of the "wrong" religion or political persuasion (as in your example, and Magoo's - although in your example, NDP leader is not defined as an employee, so it would be moot). Likewise, you can think up examples where an employer could lawfully exclude a particular gender (e.g. modelling men's clothes), or age group, or others. But there's a big onus on the employer to establish that the exclusion is a necessary part of the job, not concealing some other motive.

Quote:
And I seem to recall from high-school law class that discrimination laws only kick in where the job is publically adveritised.
 

That part is wrong. There's no distinction in law between a job that's advertised or not. Likewise with lodging. If a lesbian hears you're renting (without advertising), and you turn her down in preference to someone else, and if it can be shown that you did this for no "bona fide" reason, then you're in violation of the law.

ETA: Just as an example from the federal code again, here's the clause:

Quote:

6 It is a discriminatory practice in the provision of commercial premises or residential accommodation

  • (a) to deny occupancy of such premises or accommodation to any individual, or

  • (b) to differentiate adversely in relation to any individual,

on a prohibited ground of discrimination.

Note that it says "provision", not "advertising" or even "offering". 

Mr. Magoo

Just for amusement's sake, not to be used for thread-drift:  Atheist minister fighting United Church’s effort to fire her.

voice of the damned

Unionist:

Thanks for the clarification. But just to be clear, I think the bona-fide exemption would give a church the right not to hire a cleric from another faith, wouldn't it?

Since party-leader isn't considered an employer, suppose that the NDP adverises for a speech-writer, and Ezra Levant applies. I would assume the NDP has the right to say "Sorry, but you're an extreme right-winger, and hence your beliefs are incompatible with this job."

Unionist

voice of the damned wrote:
Unionist:

 

Thanks for the clarification. But just to be clear, I think the bona-fide exemption would give a church the right not to hire a cleric from another faith, wouldn't it?

Yes, of course. But not the gardener.

Quote:
Since party-leader isn't considered an employer, suppose that the NDP adverises for a speech-writer, and Ezra Levant applies. I would assume the NDP has the right to say "Sorry, but you're an extreme right-winger, and hence your beliefs are incompatible with this job."

Yes, again, that should be quite easy to justify as a BFOR (bona fide occupational requirement). But you can well imagine that as you drill down into less "ideological" positions, the "occupational requirement" might be more difficult to establish.

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Who gives a fuck about the minutia. Fuckface Ward is abusing a disabled person. For shame. We need to realize that our disabled friends need protection.

 

And I don't like the tone of the conversation.

 

Will you stand for the disabled? Or are they not worthy of us progressives defending them?

 

FUCK

Unionist

RevolutionPlease wrote:

Who gives a fuck about the minutia. Fuckface Ward is abusing a disabled person. For shame. We need to realize that our disabled friends need protection.

 

And I don't like the tone of the conversation.

 

Will you stand for the disabled? Or are they not worthy of us progressives defending them?

 

FUCK

People with disabilities are the victims of discrimination in every facet of society. Public funds are not spent to help them cope, or to provide needed health care. The education system spits them out, oh so nicely. Employers are constantly let off the hook when it comes to the legal duty to accommodate disability.

Some asshole making fun of one celebrity disabled kid? Yes, he should be stopped. People should organize demonstrations and boycotts. They should condemn shitheads like him at every turn.

Make him pay "damages" for telling disgusting jokes and hurting the kid's feelings? And his parents' feelings? Sorry, wrong way to go. Judgments like that will be used against the activists - including the activists who are organizing for the disabled.

There is much to be done. But this is the wrong way to go.

kropotkin1951

Unionist you are out to lunch on this issue.  You really think that since our austerity driven society provides no services to people with disabilities that is a reason that it should also be alright to harass them. 

Yes indeed political and religious rights are included as human rights but you have been willfully blind to the actual case law that says there is a public interest defence that is always applied in those cases. In this case the adjudicator found there was no public interest in harassing this individual. With cases involving religion or politics that defense wins the day. But in your world it is better to harass people with disabilities to the point that they might commit suicide, as was the case with Ward's "jokes" and the following online harassment by people who thought it was just fine to harass a vulnerable human, because maybe at some time in the future the case law might change.

So if Ward had incorporated Rehtaeh Parsons into his act, while she was still alive, that would be fine because you know people should not be ruled by their feelings and he should have the right to harass anyone he pleases.

 

 

Mr. Magoo

Quote:
So if Ward had incorporated Rehtaeh Parsons into his act, while she was still alive, that would be fine because you know people should not be ruled by their feelings and he should have the right to harass anyone he pleases.

Is there any light visible between "it's fine" and "he needs to come up with $35,000"?

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