I sincerely believe that if Warren Kinsella had written Web of Hate today, a significant percentage of Canadians would have pointed their fingers at him and said, 'no, you're the nazi.'
Almost each and every white supremacist profiled in the book is careful to point out that they don't hate anybody, they just want a nation for themselves like people who aren't like them seem (to them) to be allowed to do and everyone else, for whatever reason--usually that they're brainwashed by whichever conspiracy--either doesn't have all the facts they have, or is wilfully refusing to look at them. They all have subtly different ideas of who 'their people' are, but the narrative is the same, often to an almost eerie degree--their people are really the victims here. Just as today we have people stumbling upon far right ideology and not quite realizing what it is (to find you're espousing white replacement or railing against cultural bolshevism can, I imagine, be shocking to somebody who doesn't realize what kind of history those ideas have), it's almost like each one of these people was somehow blind to the fact that they were just a small, unwitting part of a long, broad continuum of hateful historical revisionism that has piled misinformation on misinformation for generations, building a semi-mythical alternate history that's as fictional as David Icke's weird brand of panspermia, or Joseph Smith's epic con job.
To be told you're wrong, that you don't have any idea what you're talking about, that the history is different, more complex, older, stranger, can be frustrating. It can feel like you're being silenced. It can be mortifying, if you've invested a lot in your paradigm and you've become proud of your apprehension. It can feel like the globalists, or whoever, have a grip on the person telling you that. It can be easier or more comfortable to denounce everyone as having been brainwashed by whichever jigsaw piece you've slotted into the omnipotent global conspiracy position.
The fact is, nobody is actually being silenced, least of all the people getting loud about it. Dr. Peterson has made a big deal about free speech recently, but he's still got all his soapboxes, and he's making more money than any of his predecessors ever did by a long shot, including the ones who literally robbed banks and Brinks trucks. He's not explicitly a racist, you see, and neither is Gavin McInnes. Gavin McInnes and Rebel Media erased 10 Things I Hate About Jews, you see (the optics were not good) and Mr. McInnes would never be so gauche as to call for genocide. In public.
George Burdi was usually like this, for example. He wouldn't publically, in Canada, say anything stupid. He was usually careful to keep the narrative clean. This was over 20 years ago. Nowadays I doubt he'd even say 'white people.' He'd probably say 'old stock Canadians':
"This society is ripe for a change. White people are very discouraged in Canadian society. They're very disillusioned with mainstream politics. They're looking for answers following the race riots in Toronto and what happened last summer in Los Angeles. Things like that are only necessary illustrations of what we've been trying to say all along. There is an unprecedented wave of violence against whites by non-whites. Non-whites are more prone to violence, they bring drugs wherever they go. When you talk about modern day problems, when you talk about the rise in crime, when you talk about problems in the economy, so much of that is connected to the tremendous percentage of non-whites."
Like the President, he doesn't say 'n****r' or 'k**e. Why not? He explains, in an interview with Kinsella:
"When questioned about the marked difference between what he says when he is in the States and what he says when in his home town of Toronto, Burdi shrugs, as if the answer is obvious. 'The main difference is that we are a US-based group and therefore the US constitution protects us and lets us say what we want,' he says, perhaps unwittingly demonstrating why Canada's hate laws are a good idea. 'We can write our version of the truth in the United States. This has enabled racial ideologies in the States to be a lot more radical than they are in Canada. You would see a lot more radical ideologies coming out of Canada if it weren't for the hate laws that prevent it.'"
It makes perfect sense why today's leaders of the right avoid falling afoul of those laws. You can call for the defence of the West and its values against the encroaching hordes if you don't name the hordes, if you try to talk in vague terms of postmodernists and warn of anti-western forces in the universities, if your bogeyman is nebulous culture and marxism, and not anything more specific than that. You can tell your critics that they're suppressing you unfairly if you talk about percentages and accuse them of being emotional rather than reasonable instead of doing what your ideological forbears did and burn a cross and pull out the N word.
But the fact remains that they aren't being suppressed. They'd enjoy that too much. In the nineties Jim Keegstra and Wolfgang Droege and Terry Long kept getting called on the carpet because they kept calling for genocide and talking about engaging in an actual war to prevent white replacement (what the more extreme on the right today go right out and call white genocide, as if that distinguished it from the other, more correct kinds of genocide). They were often actually arrested and deported across borders and thrown in prisons for little more than what they said or the flags they flew. They had to seek legal counsel and were called to hearings. They were tried, and testified at each other's trials. That is the suppression Mr. Peterson is talking about. That's the censorship he's referring to, and it's notably absent in his case. His arguments are remarkably similar, though substantially more careful, and he remains unjailed and seems to have little trouble finding platforms. He even uses the courts to harass his own critics, almost like he were a participant in an ongoing real-world civic dialogue and not actually the victim of an unreasonable marxist witch hunt.
A friend of mine recently told me he was sick and tired of being called a racist by people who called everyone brave enough to speak the truth a nazi. I asked him what the truth was--what were the facts, exactly--and he demurred. "Exactly," he said, "what are the facts? I'm not hearing any from the left." Statistics, he said, didn't care what you thought. Statistics were reality, not racism.
He didn't tell me what those statistics were, though I asked. I suspect, which is all I can do, that his interpretations of those statistics he's referring to are pretty damning for him and that his interpretation of the facts would make him sound a lot more like Burdi or Long than he'd be comfortable with, and that since I evidently deny the facts and rely on emotion rather than reason, I'd be pointless to argue with. I look back on my long history of being fascinated by extremist movements and their leaders and ideologues and ideologies, and I recall that this is usually the moment when they realize they're on the edge of having to face it.
Terry Long spent a long time ruminating before he went public, and he got a lot of admiration from a lot of racists after he finally went to the press with his ideas. He made a lot of Canadians very upset, and he basically guaranteed he'd be ostracized, but you've got to admire that he had the courage of his convictions at least. He realized that what he considered to be 'the facts' (and it's notable to me, at least, that he formulated this idea that everyone else was refusing to examine reality in precisely the same way) were highly controversial, and that he was going to have to commit to the course of internalizing them, and accept the consequences of doing that. That didn't stop him from claiming that he was the victim of a witch hunt--he was certainly the focus of a lot of attention from the state--but at least he went through the process of coming to terms with the consequences of the ideas he was expressing.
My friends who say they aren't racists when they express patently racist ideas lack that conviction. They probably lack it because they understand, somewhere inside, that the next necessary step after openly espousing racist views is to start coming up with policies and ways those policies should be implemented, and that historically, the policies racists suggest are actually illegal in this country, and that their friends probably wouldn't like what they had to say and what they suggested society ought to do, and that they'd probably find those circles of friends contracting.
Perhaps it's easier to simply claim you're being censored when you're not, and then never actually say what you're being censored about? Criticism of your ideas is not censorship. The government getting an injunction to shut down your hate line or force you to stop associating with your friends, or deporting you, or throwing you in jail, as happened with almost all the people in Kinsella's book, is. The fact remains that in Canada there's a limit to what we consider acceptable for you to say. There are certain jobs you can't have if you say certain things. There are loans you can't get. There are guns you can't own.
If I were an angry racist and a confused one, I'd probably be reticent to say those things in public too. I'd probably feel I was being discriminated against. I'd be wrong, but I'm pretty sure I'd feel that way. I imagine I'd feel like everybody else was a bunch of bullies who were under the influence of my favourite bad guys. I'd probably need to take a time out and relax somewhere and really, deeply think about whether the crisis I was upset about was actually real. I might need to ask some questions. I might need to take a long, hard look at my heroes and decide whether they were worth emulating. I might read a bit and have a look at where people who took the path I was on before me ended up. I'd probably have to check my convictions and decide if I had the courage to follow them through to where they led.
If you look around and all you see are assholes who are out to get you, you need to consider the possibility that the problem might be you, and that your friends might be trying to help.