Sunday, August 10, 2008

The wrath of Ezra: Who is Naomi Lakritz?

When the AHRCC, threw out the Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities "human rights" complaint against Ezra Levant, Naomi Lakritz penned this column for the Calgary Herald defending the HRC kangaroo court system.

Naturally, Ezra was outraged and did a vigorous fisking of her column:

... what else can you say about a newspaper columnist who actually supports government censorship of the media? I'm referring to the pitiful Naomi Lakritz, who beclowned herself in yesterday's Calgary Herald. Here is her grotesque column.


ending with:

Naomi Lakritz and Haroon Siddiqui of the Toronto Star: the two lonely
journalists in Canada who support human rights commissions acting as media
censors. What a pair: an atheist Jewish feminist dhimmi, and an apologist for
radical Islam. Meet your new leftist coalition.
Ms. Lakritz is probably wondering what hit her.

So, given Ezra’s level of wrath, it’s fair to wonder: Who is Naomi Lakritz? Why would she defend a rogue government agency bent on censoring her industry? Her brief bio at the Herald reads:

Naomi has a B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin. She started out as a staff writer for the supermarket tabloid National Examiner.

She was then a reporter and later a columnist at the Winnipeg Sun, where she spent 15 years. She came to the Herald in 1998 and is the letters editor, a columnist and an editorial writer.

That seems innocuous enough, although the "B.A. in journalism" is a sign of trouble. J-schools nowadays are hotbeds of radical, lame-brain, po-mo ‘thinking’. Nevertheless, some of her columns would seem to peg her more as a conservative: one criticized green fanaticism; another defended private schools and another took aboriginals to task for their dereliction as parents.

Therefore, given her general track record, I’m willing, for now, to chalk up her defence of her potential tormentors in the HRCs as a misguided knee-jerk defence of what she mistakenly thinks is a "human right" - the right to not be offended. She can’t have given sufficient, if any, thought to the principles of free speech or press freedom. For if she had she’d have noticed that "Human Rights" Commissions are not about protecting human rights but suppressing a fundamental human right.

Update: Mark Milke at the Calgary Herald. [via BCF]. And some stuff I missed at Blazing Cat Fur.


Anonymous said...

N.L. is a former colleague of mine whom I generally respect and admire, and who normally has her head screwed on straight. While she might skew left some of the time, she puts a lot of common sense and realism into her work, and I was a little surprised to read her cheerleading for the HRC process.

JR said...

Thanks for the input. The columns I read certainly seemed reasonable enough.

roblaw said...

As with so many things that quietly and softly encroach upon democratic freedoms in the current politically correct world, her comments have the "veneer" of reasonableness, and including quotes from Dean of the bastion of legal scholarship in Canada, the University of Calgary (heavy sarcasm) suggests that this is a necessary and "working" system.

Yes. You engage in your fundamental democratic right to express your opinion regarding a political issue - and then, you get to hire lawyers and engage in litigation for a year or so - with no real threat of costs of sanction against the complainant for a frivolous or baseless complaint.

This is not a working system. If Ezra Levant had been granted costs of $50,000.00 against the complainants personally, that might be a working system - but that's not how the Human Rights Commissions in Canada work. They are, effectively, a punishment unto themselves - regardless of the hearings' result. Even when you win you lose.

That is a "working system"?

Brian said...

" N.L. is a former colleague of mine whom I generally respect and admire, ... read her cheerleading for the HRC process. "

Well whatever , she sure "lost her compass" on that article . What HRC planet has she been living on for the last 2 years ?

rabbit said...

As a long-time reader of the Calgary Herald, I realized many years ago that Laktriz wasn't worth reading.

And I'll read almost any columnist of any political stripe. Heck, I'll read Buzz Hargrove just for the adrenaline rush.

Just being honest said...

I wrote Ms Lakritz yesterday asking her what remedial action she would take if I told her I found her opinion piece on Mr Levant and the HRCs offensive. Would she retract, apologize, throw some money at me . . . I'm still waiting for an answer.

JR said...

jbh, Would appreciate knowing if/how she responds.

Wally Keeler said...

She defends private schools?

Actually she promotes government subsidization of private schools. Read the article. How is that any different from government subsidization of the arts or human rights commissions?

If so-called private schools receive any of my dime via govt, then I should have the right to examine and influence the curriculum and other aspects of private schools. Can't have it both ways.

Let the users of private schools pay for it entirely. Her arguement that parents who use private schools pay taxes which fund the public school system should have some of that tax base go towards subsidizing private schools, then it should be my right, since I also pay into the same tax base, to have my son attend a private school for a week, or day, or class, proportional to my subsidy to the private school.