“Not an inch of space”

Never mind that Europe is supposed to be all metric all the time, here’s a quote relating to yesterday’s tragedy:

"That the perpetrator apparently comes from the far-right scene shows once again how dangerous racist and anti-foreigner ideologies are," Germany’s opposition Greens said in a statement. "We must not allow them an inch of space in our societies."

I’m really not clear on whether the Greens here are advocating full-on censorship here. It sure seems like they’re on side with pushing hate groups underground.

We walk a fine line with hate speech laws in Canada. Some (very vocally) argue they’re a farce, while others see the value in them. I think we’ve generally done a decent job of balancing free speech rights with the right not to be persecuted.

But we always have to be careful not to overstep that line, suppressing ideas that make us uncomfortable. Democracy thrives on free inquiry and debate. Multiculturalism is a touchy subject, and one we’re likely going to have to discuss more in our own future. It’s hard to find the right answer when some aren’t heard.

We cannot censor dissent.

But at the same time, violence is also unacceptable. We also have to take precautions not to prevent dissent  from fermenting into hate crimes.

It’s a fine line.