Father Of Conservative French Leader Ordered To Pay €5,000 For Offensive Speech

jeanmarielepen-profile-harounaaron_cropped_2We have previously discussed the shocking rollback of free speech in France in the name of combating hate and intolerant speech.  The latest fine was imposed on Jean-Marie Le Pen, the father of French conservative presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. His crime was calling Roma “smelly.”  It was an offensive and prejudiced comment but the criminal prosecution of such insults demonstrates the slippery slope that France is now on — a slope that inevitably leaves to greater and greater speech control.  This is the ninth time that Le Pen has been prosecuted for the crime of insulting other people or groups.

Le Pen, 88, was ordered to pay  5,000 euros for a  inciting hate and making racist statements at a press conference in Nice in 2013.  On July 4, 2013, Le Pen stated “It appears you have a problem with several hundred Roma who have an irritating and, let’s say, smelly presence in this city [Nice].”

We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in France (here and here and here and here and here and here) and England ( here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). Much of this trend is tied to the expansion of hate speech and non-discrimination laws. We have even seen comedians targeted with such court orders under this expanding and worrisome trend. (here and here). Now a recent complaint filed by a professor against Home Secretary Amber Rudd illustrates vividly how hate speech has become for some people an extension of political disagreements. The complaint by Prof Joshua Silver, an astrophysicist, will not result in any serious investigation but it was recorded as a hate crime allegation under the existing standards. We previously discussed the criminal charges brought against a conservative Dutch politician.

The French are now prosecuting insulting name-calling as criminal matters.  Once on that slippery slope, what constitutes insulting language becomes a fluid concept based on changing sensibilities and majoritarian values.  The result is a chilling effect on all speech. The solution to bad speech is more speech.  Many rightfully denounced Le Pen for his comments.  That is the guarantee of free speech — not that people will be silenced but rather refuted in their espousing bigotry.

69 thoughts on “Father Of Conservative French Leader Ordered To Pay €5,000 For Offensive Speech

  1. Mitt Romney is Roma. The name game went like this: Roma (Romania) to Romanivich (Germany), to Romney (England). Mitt is a Gypsy for sure. No one talked about it in the election. You would not want him to do your driveway.

    But getting back to censorship in France. That territory was a participant in the Holocaust. Romas were targeted and sent to concentration camps and killed along with Jews. France needs to have laws prohibiting race, religious and ethnic targeting. The Frogs will do it again if they get their chance and so will the Krauts.

  2. The progressive Dems and PC would bring that type of life to America. Used to love visiting Europe with all its history and culture but it has become a place to avoid.

  3. As far as I am concerned, once you are 88 years old you can say whatever you like. If anybody doesn’t like it, just say oh FFS, look how old he is.

  4. Badge of Honor to LePen, Wilders and others. You can hardly call yourself a leader if you haven’t had one of these Fines. Let getting arrested at a sit in during the sixties.

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