Count Dankula convicted for Nazi pug antics

In Canada, the prosecution would likely fail the “promoting hatred” test under the criminal code, but that could go either way. It would have been easier under the Canadian Human Rights Act, but that allowed too many butthurt prosecutions and has been mostly neutered.

On the other hand, it does work against out-right holocaust deniers and hate-mongers.

It’s a tricky balance between a law that is too open to being used as a weapon by the merely offended, and being toothless against monsters.

7 Likes

It was pretty clear that the target of Monty Python’s jokes was Hitler himself. They never presented the mass extermination of Jews as comedic fodder.

26 Likes

Yeah, context is a huge difference… Chaplin’s “The Dictator” was making fun of Nazis, not rallying them.

Also there is a difference between making fun of someone and using them as a subject of the joke. Really good comedians can actually break this down for you and it separates the masters who can make dark subject matter funny, from the trash.

17 Likes

Actually it was 40 to 50 years ago most likely though they probably still did some sketches like that (or the members from Monty Python) during the 80s. Also, that was 30 years after London was bombed when it was still a pretty visceral memory for a lot of living people. Times have changed too, in 1970’s England given the type of sketch it was, there was a very clear sentiment of “fuck the guy who tried to kill us all” going on. Now, not so much. People haven’t become more fractured or weaker, they are living in a different world because that’s how time works.

6 Likes

For example, there are people who bring their Bible stories into political discussions about the Mideast and then get very offended if you point out that it is not actual history.

3 Likes

That’s not very good logic.

Because it’s one step from silencing the violently intolerant to a facist dictatorship?

it’s just not good logic. You should mind the slippery slopes, as you might fall off the horse.

8 Likes

Well, they were funny and were at the expense of the nazis. This is just incredible dull rehashing of sieg hieling for the LULZ. He might not have meant to, but he leans far more closely to emulation or admiration than the Pythons ever did. “It’s just a joke” isn’t much of a defense.

And @Brainspore beat me to it!

15 Likes

Aside from the pug vids being trite and not funny, there’s also this aspect; dude claims that he did it “mostly to annoy his girlfriend…” yet he posted it online, for all the world to see.

Bullshit excuses are complete bullshit.

13 Likes

IMNSHO, Ideas cease being “unpleasant” and start being hate speech at the barest minimum, when they advocate for genocide. At least, they do pretty much in every country other than the USA.

20 Likes

1 Like

Formally speaking the United Kingdom, which Scotland is a part of, incorporated the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union into their Human Rights Act in 1999. That charter lists fundamental freedoms including freedom of expression. But a right to freedom of speech and freedom of expression was recognized in UK common law before that.

Governments of every country that recognizes freedom of speech (including the USA) have passed laws making some things you can say criminal. Hate speech laws in Scotland aren’t a different kind of thing than laws against incitement or threats in the USA. It’s just that different countries have different laws.

I think some people believe that US courts are the one true authority on what constitutes protection of free speech.

Yeah, based on the description given I don’t think this would pass the threshold for hate speech in Canada. In Canada the law prevents you from promoting genocide and inciting hatred but doesn’t specifically talk about the holocaust or nazi symbolism. I know that in some European countries they single out nazi stuff as illegal. To me the video (again, as described, I’m not going to watch it) doesn’t sound like it would pass a threshold where you could reasonably say it “promotes” or “incites” anything, so I imagine it ran afoul of some specific anti-nazi provisions.

Though I could be wrong, I’m pretty good at guessing which way Canadian courts will rule on things, but I’m not going to pretend I know anything about Scottish judges. Plus, maybe I’m being too mentally charitable when I imagine the videos.

16 Likes

Agreed.

It’s bewildering to me that people who claim to be logical, rational, and ‘good people’ are often willing to legitimize hate speech, as long as it’s not an explicit, immediate threat of violence, ie; “I’m going to beat you to death and burn your body on a tree right now!”

I cannot emphasize enough that the original nazis didn’t begin their regime with gas ovens and mass graves; they began with malicious whispers in the ears of angry, disenfranchised people.

They began with rallies, and speeches, and marches. They began by assuming positions of power and by changing the laws to specifically benefit themselves and to hinder the ‘undesirables.’

15 Likes

He wasn’t found guilty of hate speech.

1 Like

bullshit. there is no argument to be made that allowing a culture of hate speech to fester will cause actual antisemetic violence to also increase? people talk about how the second amendment should have restrictions—well, the first one fucking does too.

4 Likes

21 Likes

Absolutist claims like “Jokes about hate speech are dark humour therefore by censoring them you are censoring all dark humour” or equivalent will be eaten with prejudice.

There are… other… places on the internet you are welcome to visit if you wish to share in-jokes that make light of genocide, racism, or general bigotry, or attempts to defend those actions as appropriate, even in the context of humour. Our community guidelines are clear on those points.

EDIT: More here.

19 Likes

In the current climate of normalisation of anti-Semitism and downplaying the costs of the fascist era in Europe, an argument can be made that this stunt could be categorised as “menacing”. As someone who values liberal democracy, I think that’s a good thing.

It’s very difficult to argue that this video was taking the piss out of the Nazis, or indeed that the idiot who made it knows anything about history. I love dark humour, but it ceases to be funny when it starts punching down.

8 Likes

What @Humbabella and I were considering was if he could have been convicted under Canadian law. (Just like how Americans here are considering his First Amendment rights.)

I watched one of his videos, gaaah, and it certainly was stupid and grossly offensive–which is a crime in Scotland–but probably wouldn’t be in Canada.

A similar grade offense in Canada that eventually failed after a few court fights:

Judge Wilfred Tucker of the Saskatchewan Provincial Court said Ahenakew’s remarks were “revolting, disgusting, and untrue,” but they did not constitute “promoting hatred.”

6 Likes

I was misled by every article (including the one linked in the tweet you provide) saying “hate crime” in the title. But based on the text of that article, it does appear to be about that “grossly offensive” provision in the Communications Act rather than hate crime laws. That’s a frustrating bit of bad reporting.

2 Likes