Conservative Speech Warriors™ are sensitive about the claim (one that I have never made) that they are effectively neo-Nazis in disguise. For those who are simply principled libertarian defenders of free speech, I can well understand their concern. But there are others in their own ranks who should be causing them concern as well.
I have, from time to time, posted articles and links that indicate a certain mush-headedness among conservatives about the company they keep. In fact, I'll go further: in the European context, there have been a number of open linkages between neo-Nazi parties like Vlaams Belang and conservatives whose main hobby-horse is Islamism.
When Charles Johnson, previously unassailable as a vocal, right-wing opponent of Islamism through his blog Little Green Footballs, twigged to this, he became alarmed and started to document it. For his pains he has been roundly excoriated by former admirers. (You know who you are: I shan't embarrass you further.)
But let's bring this home. Rehabilitation is the new tactic: if you don't want to be tarred with the neo-Nazi brush by association, why not adopt the "Nazi-schmazi" shtick? Hence someone like Paul Fromm (who himself has no apparent difficulty with the label) has now been reborn as a "free speech activist."
And then we have Marc Lemire.
His chief defenders these days are Mark and Connie Fournier of Free Dominion. That assiduous pair of midwives has been assisting for some time in Lemire's difficult rebirth as a mere defender of free speech set upon by the rabid Canadian Human Rights Commission. Why, he's no neo-Nazi, never has been--or so they claim.
Needless to say, Lemire too denies the charge with unconvincing indignation:
Of course the answer is no, but the best response I can ever give is that after being under the microscope of the CHRC (and even the police thanks to Richard Warman) for at least 6 years, they have YET TO FIND A SINGLE WORD I HAVE WRITTEN THAT IS “HATE”. All they can claim is me posting articles from newspapers, House of Commons Hansard and even the human rights act itself as “Prima Facie” evidence that I somehow promote hate.
This stuff is duly parroted by the Fourniers. And yet, here's Lemire in the bad old days of Usenet:
NOW OVER 50 MEGS OF REVISIONIST PICTURES AND TEXT FILES!!! including picture files of ERNST ZUNDEL'S house which was lit on fire by the Jewish Armed Resistance.
I hold the Jewish press in Canada partly to blame because they have truned Mr. Zundel into the devil. They have defamed his character forquite along time. Which after time brings these type of actions.
Lest your mind automatically reject the words of Hitler out of some political reflexive habit, remember that he witnessed the decline and fall of another multi-cultural state, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, so he knows what he's taking about...
Hmmm. Has a thing about Jews, and he sure knows how to cite a good source to back up his concerns about multiculturalism.
What about Holocaust-denial? Well, like some folks I know on the other side of the aisle, he's cautious about expressing such extreme views directly. He has preferred to cite, at seemingly endless length, the words, links and coordinates of other Holocaust-deniers and neo-Nazis (with some of his text helpfully translated into German), rather than venture his own opinions on the matter--much like a ventriloquist with a rather large collection of dummies. But now and then he lets the mask slip a little:
[In WWII] 50 million + people lost their lives. A large majority of them White. Who could ever say that the second world war was a good thing? I believe that there is quite alot of lies and falsehoods surrounding the Holocaust.
Take Dachau for example.The lies and hog-wash surrounding that camp sickens me.
A little moral equivalency here:
There were atrocities committed [in Dachau], but even after the Americans liberated it there were thousands of people dying. The Americans committed atrocities when the "liberated" the camp. They butchered EVERY GUARD. That is also an atrocity.
Lemire goes on and on and on at this extensive link about the killing of Nazi guard dogs. The inmates themselves don't merit nearly so much of his time.
He tells us he's no historical revisionist, but:
I do not think that Six million Jews were killed. I do know that alot of Jews were but I must serously question the six million number.
And he's critical of the Nazis having concentration camps--because they made them look bad:
I also wish that the nazi's did NOT have such camps. In the end it only worked against them. And it a huge source for Anti-German Propaganda today.
Now, here's a little dialogue on Usenet, with the final part being Lemire's contribution:
>>White supremists should be locked away in jail.
>>I thot there were hate laws to stop these people?
>Why would you want to stop them? They are uniformly inept at
>expressing themselves, uniformly bereft of language skills, and
>consistent at exposing themselves as bigoted, lying idiots. They
>are, in fact, their own worst enemies.
>The internet has provided the world, finally, with a clear view of
>what these people are, and what they stand for - no longer can they
>hide their lies and deceptions under their sheets.
Under our sheets???
What the hell are you talking about kenny-boy? [Ken McVay, creator of the Nizkor Holocaust website--ed.]
The Internet has provided us with a huge place where we get more and more support by the day. [emphasis added]
Who's "us," exactly? Whoops!
Holocaust denier? Who, moi?
Revisionist such as Ernst Zundel, Mark Weber, Robert Faurison and others have brought some very good evidence to the fore. And they should not be swept under the table.
And then we have these gems:
Like a wise man said once.
DEFEAT NEVER.... VICTORY FOREVER.
You can check the etiology of that slogan on Google.
What, racist? Moi?
[Lemire's BBS back in 1995 --ed.] NOW WITH OVER 600 USERS!
AND DAILY NEWS FEED FROM THE ARYAN NEWS SERVICE
I represent a growing underclass of White Canadians sick of what the government is doing to them.
But even back in the mid-nineties, he had turned disingenuousness into something of an art-form:
Nowadays Neo-Nazi means racist, hatemonger, anti-semite, white supremisist all wraped up into one.
Since I an none of the above I therefore cannot be a Nazi or a Neo-Nazi.
So Lemire has lots of duck friends, broadcasts their quacks for them, expresses ducky beliefs of his own--but he's no duck. No sirree.
There's lots more here, if you have the stomach to wade through it.
Now, Anti-Racism Canada has been doing a magnificent takedown of the "nazi-shmazi" claim at their place, and rather than my repeating their work here, just go there and read the last few posts.(More are on the way.) Suffice it for me to suggest that this attempted rehabilitation is surely doing the Speech Warrior™ cause more harm than good.
One last thing: I have taken Connie Fournier's threat against me, guarded as it was, far more seriously than I might have indicated at the time. Just a word to the wise, as they say, and I'd be grateful if she passed it on.
[Big tip o' the hat to Nizkor]
UPDATE: Harry Abrams, a B'nai Brith activist who has posted here, has just been banned from Free Dominion by Mark Fournier. He has been accused of falsifying a document, namely an article singing the praises of the now-defunct Heritage Front, by attributing it to Marc Lemire.
I can see why Harry did what he did: the article was posted, without comment, by Marc Lemire at Stormfront. That doesn't prove he wrote it. But I would observe that folks don't normally reprint articles without comment in such venues unless they happen to be in general agreement with the contents. It's just another example, I think, of Lemire's well-worn "ventriloquist" tactic.