Hate crime at McMaster? I don’t believe so.

Sorry folks, but this is a non-story at this point


Hamilton Community Newspapers (a division of Metroland) ran a story last week entitled “Hate crime investigation up to attorney general” which follows up the so-called “free speech rally” at McMaster University in the winter.

The key passage in this article was the statement by the Hamilton Police Service that they do not believe a “hate crime” was committed. Sure, their report was referred to the Attorney General, but that’s standard practice in a divisive situation like this.

I was at the rally and yes it was disgusting. However, I don’t believe a hate crime was committed.

UPDATE 16 July 2008: I misread the passage from the Hamilton Police Service.

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Hate crime at McMaster? I don’t believe so.

  1. I found out this summary of Canada’s hate crime laws:

    The most relevant excerpts seem like these two:

    “The criminal act of “advocating genocide” is defined as supporting or arguing for the killing of members of an “identifiable group” — persons distinguished by their colour, race, religion or ethnic origin.”

    “The crime of “publicly inciting hatred” has four main elements. To contravene the Code, a person must:
    * communicate statements,
    * in a public place,
    * incite hatred against an identifiable group,
    * in such a way that there will likely be a breach of the peace.”

    If indeed people shouted something about killing a certain group, that could be grounds for hate crime under the first section quoted (318 of criminal code), although it would need to be proven to some extent.

    But the crime of “publicly inciting hatred” (2nd paragraph) is very specific. For one thing, it has to likely cause actual violence. It is clear that insulting someone’s religion or ethnicity, by itself, is not a hate crime. Said otherwise, hate is not illegal, using it for criminal means is.

  2. Hey Joey, where does it say in the story that the police do not think a hate crime was committed? All that was said is that an investigation was in the process by the Hamilton Police Hate Crimes Unit and that the case had been referred to the attorney general.

    Nowhere did it say that the police didn’t think a crime was committed. The closest thing to that statement is that the police didn’t think EVERYONE at the rally committed a hate crime:

    “Detective Kiriakopoulos does not believe everyone involved at the rally committed hate crimes”

  3. Thanks Carson, I misread.

  4. In my case, the grammar and language errors are the result of my learning disability.

    I do my best to overcome it, however, sometimes I’m unable to realize the errors which occur in the processing of written information.

  5. Apparently, Joey, you may be having more trouble in processing information than you realize. I took the time to consider how you could develop a reading program, but you seem to have deleted what I wrote, a deletion perhaps based on a misunderstanding of why I attempted to communicate with you. If you have not made the material disappear, then of course you are not to blame. If you have deleted my comment, then you should no longer be writing for the magazine. Please let me know one way or the other.

  6. I’m reposting the comment from Clayton Burns from earlier today which should be three comments above this one.

    New comment on your post #1389 “Hate crime at McMaster? I don’t believe so.”
    Author : Clayton Burns

    Joey, It seems that a few language misadventures are happening to you. At least, we have what “seems” to be a misreading here. What I would suggest is that you write a cover story for your magazine on how you learned English and where you think the learning may have failed you.

    It is almost as if high school penetrates the deepest recesses of the student mind so as to indoctrinate the hapless into misinterpretation of texts. Why can’t Ontario schools, grades 7 to 9, make the COBUILD Intermediate English Grammar official beginning this September? Students in grades 10-12 in Ontario should eventually be reviewing the Intermediate and working on the COBUILD English Grammar (2005). It is important to integrate these great teaching grammars with the powerful corpus dictionaries coming out, the Oxford and COBUILD advanced learner’s, the Longman Language Activator, and the Longman Advanced American Dictionary.

    The chronic misunderstanding on the part of those in schools and universities about how to triangulate, how to integrate texts such as The Turn of the Screw or No Country For Old Men with excellent new corpus grammars and dictionaries, is causing endless trouble for students.

    What the universities do instead is accept some test such as TOEFL, which is inherently worthless in a comparative sense since there is no curriculum, or they set up a proficiency test system, as at UBC or Waterloo, again not grounded in a sound curriculum, and then they compound matters with the handbook approach.

    Tinkering with a handbook might help you place a comma or two, but it will do just about nothing about fundamentals of comprehension and production. Rogers should declare products of the corpus revolution in Linguistics official for its operations. Joey should work through his linguistic issues so that he could become a model for Canadian students.

    Joey, you should take No Country For Old Men as your first novel to integrate with the two COBUILD grammars I have mentioned. I strongly recommend the film as prophetic: if the border gangsterism so vividly depicted in it moved to Vancouver, would we be able to cope?

    Joey should study Units 66 and 67, on conditional sentences, in the COBUILD Intermediate, very carefully. Then, in chapter 8 of the COBUILD English Grammar, he should work over conditions again. Then, he should practise explaining conditions (including reported conditions) in No Country For Old Men.

    Joey should also study chapter 9 in the COBUILD English Grammar, on cohesion, and be ready to discuss all aspects of cohesion in No Country For Old Men.

    We cannot do the work by attending Kaplan courses or writing proficiency tests. We have to learn to read and write by far better methods.

    By the way, Joey, you are in good company. Law professors in BC still have not produced the definitive account of the errors in the collection and presentation of evidence in the Air-India trial as revealed in the judgment, in media representations containing twisted interpretations, and in the ongoing inability of law schools to teach Evidence in a more compelling and coherent way. Not being able to read and interpret: just pervasive. Of course, this melancholy state has nothing to do with the parasite infestation of universities that some are just starting to notice.

  7. If this matter has been sorted out, as I understand it has, then a good solution should be respected by all.

  8. I am not sure at this point what occurred.

    I always welcome comments on my blog. I assume there was an honest mistake made somewhere.

    Clayton, your a regular commenter on my blog and I value comments. Many times, they are more worth reading than the posts.

    – Joey

  9. You’ll note that every comment has a little “report comment” link underneath it. If someone clicks that link, I believe it hides that comment until some editors can come around and review it and decide if it warrants being removed.

    No offense, Clayton, but your continued hype of this COBUILD thing almost had me thinking you’re some type of salesman/spammer for a product. Only through looking it up and realizing there’s nothing to be sold did I conclude otherwise. But I can certainly see someone else seeing the message and reporting it assuming that it’s spam.

  10. Joey, This is not something I really want to do because I feel sorry for you, but I have the conflicting e-mails from you that prove you do not respect the truth enough to do your work here. I am going to have to let some people know about your e-mails to me. The next time you get involved with the media, you should avoid telling lies.

    I said that I would forget all about the deletion, but you had to go on to say more that proves you do not value your position with the magazine. I would have accepted the deletion. It is your ongoing contempt for ideas that is too much.

    Sorry, Joey.

  11. I also don’t understand. And am understanding less and less.

    I originally, and others might, find this article to be quite enlightening: http://ubyssey.bc.ca/2007/04/12/eccentric-exiled-from-campus/ – particularly if one reads Clayton’s remarks in the comments section attached to the article.

    What really befuddles me is how someone with such an excellent grasp – no, mastery – of the English language as Clayton does can also seem so out of touch with both reality and reason. Perhaps he is right, and they -are- out to get him: it makes more sense than the alternative…

  12. Travis: If you don’t understand, why would you post your comments? Why exactly would you try to dismiss my kind advice to Joey that he should not have deleted my comment? He then sent me an apology for it, then implicitly denied on his blog that he had deleted the comment.

    If you had examined the tone of my comments carefully, you would not have detected any hostility to Joey at all. Nor am I worried about the once-deleted comment. I have plenty of places where I can comment, so one blog at Maclean’s is not essential. It is interesting that you would, in effect, republish libels about me in a Ubyssey article that has nothing to do with Joey’s behavior. Your wild assumption that I think the world is out to get me is unworthy of a university student, if you are one. Are you aware of how much of the material in the Ubyssey article about me has been withdrawn? With written documentation?

    You are having trouble reading, proving my point that Joey is in excellent company. Education does not teach students how to read, but how to misread.

    If you are confused, it is best to keep quiet. If you encourage people to read libels, you are guilty of communicating them to new readers. So do you have an undeclared interest in this story, Travis? And why have you not asked me a single question about any issue I have raised in my comments here?

    I have in my possession a certain unreasonable and threatening e-mail that I read this morning, from a Maclean’s associate, that it would be unwise of you to compound. If you issue an apology for your comments, I may well accept it. Then later on you can deny having made it.

    Clayton Burns PhD Vancouver.

  13. Hi Clayton

    If you are referring to the e-mail that I sent you, then what you have in your possession is an entirely reasonable and unthreatening e-mail. I sent this note privately rather than publicly because I find your style of public confrontation to be embarrassing and undignified. And as I clearly stated in the second sentence of said e-mail (please, let’s not get into yet another round of accusations regarding reading ability) you are welcome to post it publicly if you feel you must.

    Your half truths, deliberate obfuscations, passive aggressive attacks on everyone’s character and ability, and implications of plot and conspiracy are not welcome here. And I won’t have a note I sent in good faith alluded to in this manner.

    If you find it necessary to refer to this note again, I’ll ask that you post it in its entirety. If you find that inconvenient, I’ll simply do it myself. I won’t leave it to you as mystery fodder for your rhetoric.

    I say again sir, you seem to make a habit of finding disputes wherever you travel – whether in real or digital geography. It doesn’t reflect well on your credibility.

    You seem have problems with Joey’s professionalism. If he were less professional he’d have told you off long before now. You’ve certainly been asking for it. Fortunately, I have no such hang-ups about my professionalism.

    The views expressed here are my own.

  14. I’m closing comments on this post – we are now way off-topic and I am no longer comfortable with allowing this to continue.

    Have a great weekend everyone – please use the opportunity to cool off and let’s get back to discussing post-secondary education next week.

    Coleman on Campus will return Monday or Tuesday. Being the slow news season, I’m interested in knowing what people wish to discuss. You can send an email to joey@joeycoleman.ca with your topic ideas.