National Post | 18Feb2008 | Jonathan Kay

Richard Warman and Canada's phony-racism industry

"When the censors start churning out the hate speech themselves -- that makes them as much a farce as a menace?"

CANADIANS now know the precise moment when radical anti-racism became a more powerful sociological toxin than racism itself: 7:55pm EST on Sept. 5, 2003.

That is the date-stamp on a particularly vile posting, left by an anonymous user on the message board of the right-wing web site, attacking Canada's first black senator. It read as follows:

"Not only is Canadian Senator Anne Cools is a Negro, she is also an immigrant! And she is also one helluva preachy c*nt. She does NOT belong in my Canada. My Anglo-Germanic people were here before there was a Canada and her kind have jumped in, polluted our race, and forced their bullshit down our throats. Time to go back to when the women *** imports knew their place ? And that place was NOT in public!"

Horrible, shocking stuff. But even more shocking is the identity of the fellow whose electronic fingerprints were all over the message: famed Canadian human-rights lawyer Richard Warman.

[W.Z. On 07Nov2003, Len Rudner of the Canadian Jewish Congress filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) against Dr. Lubomyr Prytulak and his website (the web name has since been seized by his enemies). In a letter to Mary Gusella (Chief Commissioner of the CHRC) dated 20Dec2003, Dr. Prytulak expressed his concern that Richard Warman was the lead counsel on Internet prosecutions.]

Warman is a legend in anti-racism circles. A former member of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, he's launched countless complaints against right-wing extremists, and won almost all of them. But during proceedings surrounding one of Warman's 2003-era complaints against freedomsite, the respondents turned the tables. A computer expert named Bernard Klatt did some digging under freedomsite's back office, and determined that the Cools posting had been made from a computer bearing the IP address, the very same address from which Warman had admitted to visiting freedomsite using a different alias.

Other technical details -- such as the operating system and Web browser being used -- also provided an exact match to Warman. Based on this evidence, Klatt concluded in a recently publicized affidavit, "Richard Warman was the poster of the message headed 'Cools don't belong in our Senate.' "

Does this mean Warman is a closet bigot? I doubt it. What seems more likely is that -- like other anti-racism activists -- Warman simply found himself running out of Aryan Nation types to chase around the Internet. And so, under this theory, he decided to just start typing the stuff up on his own computer -- and then added these self-authored "racist" postings to his blunderbuss brief against freedomsite. (As Klatt notes, Warman has been accused of perpetrating the same sort of stunts on other right-wing Web sites.) When you've got profitable hate-speech cases to prosecute, why wait for some unemployed conspiracy theorist to start raving against immigrants when you can just manufacture the evidence yourself?

Bizarre as this episode may be, it is of a piece with a larger trend -- symbolized, south of the border, by the shamefully trumped up case against the Duke University lacrosse team. The anti-racism industry, running out of legitimate hatemongers to go after, has gone rogue in its search for attention and relevance.

It also raises the question: How many other faux-racist frauds are out there? Thanks to Warman, it's a question I now think about every time a Canadian hate-speech activist or blogger publicizes an email he gets from some [email protected] or other. These poisonous messages are held up as dramatic proof that there are still plenty of Nazi types out there -- and that without hate-speech laws to shut them up, the country's gays, Jews, Black and Arabs will remain at risk of verbal assault, or worse. But if the picking are so slim that anti-racists have slid into second careers as fiction writers, what does that say about the scale of the problem? How many of the other examples of "hate" that you see out there are similarly bogus?

[W.Z. From about the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, Grant Bristow was an agent-provocateur for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). As such, he was one of the founders of the Heritage Front and used his influence to incite its members to hatred and violence. A recent update on this issue is provided at

On January 28, 1991, Carney Nerland shot Leo LaChance (an Aboriginal trapper from Northern Saskatchewan) in the back (through the door) as he was leaving Nerland's Prince Albert store. Mr. Nerland was a paid RCMP informant and had previously been the Saskatchewan leader of the Church of Jesus Christ Christian Aryan Nation, a white supremacist organization.

Similar to Mr. Warman, Sgt. Steven Camp, head of Edmonton's Hate Crimes Unit, is reported to have posted hate messages on controversial websites. He, also, is accused of being an agent-provocateur.]

The anti-racism industry has become an industry like any other: As the actual need for what it's peddling has diminished in this extraordinarily tolerant nation, the industry's various profiteers and carnival barkers have created myths and exaggerated fears to prop themselves up.

As I've written before, this would not be so much a problem if their various speech codes were used merely to prosecute men such as David Ahenakew, Ernst Z, Jim Keegstra and the like. But in the post-9/11 era, radical anti-racists are also agitating to shut up sensible people saying sensible things about the war against militant Islam, the defining global struggle of our era. They're also giving comfort to Islamists who seek to carve out sectarian taboos from our hallowed tradition of free speech.

[W.Z. After his diatribe against provocatorial speech, it is ironic that Jonathan Kay (presumably of Jewish origin) sees nothing wrong with demonizing David Ahenakew, Ernst Zundel, Jim Keegstra -- he forgot Malcolm Ross -- and to condone the suppression of their right to free speech!]

All of this would be destructive enough on its own. When the censors start churning out the hate speech themselves -- that makes them as much a farce as a menace.