It’s long been clear that Europeans’ ability to express certain opinions that are not politically endorsed is stifled and often criminalized. It’s also long been clear in Europe that if politicians are going to bring in large numbers of immigrants that do not want to assimilate and integrate (or just cannot) into European culture, then these same politicians need legislative tools to stifle dissent. Accompanying a 30-year wave of dubious immigration policy [see here] have been laws which tend to criminalize free expression, speech and writing. So now if politicians don’t want their citizens exercising their cultural right to criticize these same politicians, and the effects of their policies, politicians just have to write laws to protect themselves!
This is just one example in Germany [see here] where it is a crime, a pretend crime but in court nonetheless, to dissent, to notice things, to point out facts, to express an opinion. ‘Incitement to hatred‘ is one of Europe’s most utilitarian catchall legal tools, effectually designed to criminalize anyone, but as selectively as needed. Therefore Person A might go before a court, but for a similar situation, Person B will not. In Canada and the United States there is a much more robust legal protection for free speech (the ‘Charter’ and ‘First Amendment’ respectively), but here we are wondering how long before an attempt is made to erode these constitutional freedoms and start enacting similar European ‘hate crime‘ laws.
All of this leaves us in North America wondering just what Europeans can say, and how this may affect our future political discourse (or lack thereof) here. It seems the most innocuous (but dissenting) comment can have the police at your door, you locked in a cell, the police ransacking your home, yourself in front of a judge, and like these two Germans, thence (almost) to jail.