IN case you’re looking for reason #5,290 to be thankful that you’re in ‘Merica, check out this story from our overly polite neighbors to the north in Canuckistan.
Yeah. $35,000 for making fun of a disabled kid. Yes, it’s mean, it shouldn’t be rewarded, but it also shouldn’t be punished by the government. Here’s more about what happened:
The Quebec Human Rights Tribunal fined Ward $42,000 in 2016 for telling a joke about Jeremy Gabriel, 22, who suffers a condition that results in facial deformities and affects his hearing. The tribunal ordered Ward to pay $35,000 in damages to Gabriel and another $7,000 to Gabriel’s mother.
Ward had joked critically about Gabriel’s singing. Ward’s material included several factual errors that Ward included for exaggeration.
Yup, that’s kinda how jokes work. The Canuckistan government explained their order:
“Humor, especially the kind of humor that Mr. Ward practices, can appeal to sarcasm, mockery, and even insult. The border between a limitation to freedom of expression in the name of dignity and censorship is thin,” the Quebec court ruled. “Comedians must realize, however, that artistic freedom is not absolute and that they, like all citizens, are responsible for the consequences of their words when they cross certain limits.”
Yes, that is correct. But the consequences of bad speech that isn’t inciting violence should be meted out by society in the private sphere, not the public sphere. This is why free speech rights are so important, it prevents this kind of extremism from the government. And it’s definitely a slippery slope – a government that can tell you what jokes you can tell is one that will easily stomp down speech that is critical of the government too….
That’s it for Saturday. We hope you’re having a great Thanksgiving weekend.
Enjoy an open thread.
Here’s some comment fodder:
OK, so this is bizarre. I was looking up this guy’s videos for the thumbnail photo of this post and I happened upon this comedy segment where he ALSO makes fun of a poor disabled child. WOW. I dunno, it’s funny, I wouldn’t fine him for it.