Gavin Newsom’s latest initiative could be misused to curb free speech
Recently, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D.) launched a new hotline service allowing victims and witnesses of hate incidents and crimes to report their experiences. This is part of Newsom’s “CA vs. Hate” initiative, which is purportedly part of California’s response to the nationwide spate of anti-Asian violence.
The hotline’s genesis was a 2021 Democrat-sponsored bill mandating that the state create an online reporting system for “victims and witnesses to report a hate incident against any group in a safe, anonymous manner, particularly those who may face language or cultural barriers or are undocumented.”
The California vs. Hate website states that the police do not run the initiative and that the site will not share complaints with law enforcement unless the complainant consents. The Newsom administration claims that the state will only involve the police if specifically requested. According to its website, the hotline’s primary goals are finding “help” for people and communities and gathering data about hate incidents and crime.
The CA vs. Hate website states that “Reporting will stop the normalization of hate in our communities, and ensure impacted individuals get the help they need.” It defines hate vaguely as “a hostile expression or action that may be motivated by bias against another person’s actual or perceived identity.”
Image: Telephone call (edited) by kroshka_nastya.
The threat of “bias” against “perceived identity” is the portion that can and will be misused. Perhaps an innocuous mistake will be treated as a malicious and purposeful act of hate if the “perpetrator” is seen as someone who dissents from the Democrat groupthink. Perhaps saying “Welcome, sir” to a “non-binary” individual who appears to be of masculine gender, will be considered hateful.
The site also states that the “perpetrators” could be people “motivated by different discriminatory biases, including, but not limited to; bias based on race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender, including gender identity.” Examples of hate are cited as derogatory name-calling, bullying, hate mail, and refusing service.
So, let’s consider hypothetical situations.
If a person is forced out of a shop because of the color of his skin or race, that is an act of discrimination. You can be sure that will be treated as an act of hate. What if the individual was ejected from the establishment because he is foul-mouthed and was threatening the employees and other customers? Will it still be an act of hate?
Going by Democrats’ record, you can be certain that the complaint from an individual who identifies as a member of an “oppressed” group, whether it was due to a misunderstanding or preconceived bias, will be given the utmost priority. Perhaps if the “perpetrator” is a dissenter from Democrat orthodoxy, the CA vs. hate site will encourage the person complaining to allow the site to report the complaint to the police. Then, the process (i.e., the police investigation) will be the equivalent of the punishment.
However, if a Trump supporter is forced out of a bistro by a rude restauranter because of his MAGA hat, while that’s obviously an act of hateful discrimination, you can almost be certain that the attack will not be treated as an incident of hate. In fact, the restauranter may receive an award for confronting “hate.”
What’s unclear is the process after an incident is reported. Will the “perpetrator” be allowed to present his case, or will the individual be guilty until proven innocent?
Californians should also be concerned about what the authorities will do about the data. Will the government’s records regarding the “perpetrator” perpetually reflect that the person was accused of being “hateful”? If the record is permanent, it could be misused to discriminate against the individual. The fact that the powers of this body are not explicit makes it anti-democratic.
The website states that “callers will be connected with a professional trained in culturally competent communication and trauma-informed practices.” Those callers do not need to be citizens or legal migrants. “You do not need to disclose your immigration status when you report with California vs. Hate,” the website says. “Hotline services are provided for free, regardless of immigration status.”
This seems like a California cousin of the Biden administration’s Disinformation Governance Board, which Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas revealed while testifying last year before Congress. Mayorkas claimed the board would work
[T]o equip local communities to identify individuals who could very well be descending into violence by reason of ideologies, hate, false narratives, or other disinformation and misinformation propagated on social media and other platforms.
Given the broad mandate, in response to the inevitable outcry, the Biden administration claimed the board had been paused.
Like the California hotline, the powers of the “paused” Board were vague, and so were its definitions of disinformation. The stated purposes of the federal board and the California hotline may be different, but the goal seems identical—to police free speech and target political opponents.
Recently, we have seen that the Democrats never squander any opportunity to exploit a crisis to expand their power and encroach into the lives of citizens. They always claim a moral reason for their actions, such as “saving innocent lives,” etc., but the real reason is perfectly obvious: to torment and target political opponents.
They misused the pandemic to restrict the right to free movement and, therefore, the right to earn a living for those without the ability to work from home and forced them to take an inadequately tested vaccine. The misuse a deranged criminal’s illegal use of a gun as an excuse to encroach upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens of sound mind. There are numerous other instances of government overreach, and this California hotline is the latest.
In the end, it is the function of law enforcement to police communities and confront crimes and violations. There is no need for another agency to perform an almost identical function in parallel.
Having divided the nation, Democrats now purport to offer the solution to police hateful behavior. The problem isn’t the idea, but the group running the initiative. In Democrats’ minds, anything that violates the Democrat groupthink is hate.
You can be certain that the hotline will be used to intimidate dissenters into submission. This appears to be another step toward outlawing political opposition.