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Minnesota Wants to List You in a “Bias Database” – Check Free Speech at the Border

Minnesota Wants to List You in a  “Bias Database” – Check Free Speech at the Border

Minnesota lawmakers are considering a bill that would require the logging of alleged bias incidents, even if they do not qualify as a crime. The proposed legislation, House File 181, would allow people to report perceived bias-related incidents, including alleged slurs and verbal attacks that fall outside the hate crimes compiled annually by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

This move towards an “official truth” in America is not new, as Democrats previously attempted to do this at a national level. Last year the Biden Administration has announced the formation of a Disinformation Governance Board, which would have been responsible for determining what is true or false, and then enforcing that truth on the American public.

This effort was abandoned after public outcry and attacks by Republican lawmakers. Nina Jankowicz, a self-proclaimed expert in disinformation, would have lead this group. However, she has a history of spreading false information, such as the Russian Collusion conspiracy, and denying the validity of Hunter Biden’s laptop.

This move towards government control of information is more sinister and permanent than anything seen before. It is reminiscent of George Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth,” an organization that decided for citizens what was true and what was not. The danger of such an organization is that the “truth” will be whatever the current administration wants it to be.

During a debate on the bill, Minnesota state Rep. Harry Niska, R., asked whether praising “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling or arguing that COVID originated in China would qualify as biased speech that would put citizens on a government database. The response from Rep. Samantha Vang, D., was that this sort of rhetoric is “bias-motivated” and therefore could be considered a bias incident.

While some may argue that this proposed legislation is well-intentioned, it raises serious concerns about free speech and the right to express one’s opinions without fear of government reprisal. The Constitution guarantees these rights, and any attempt to suppress them is a breach of these fundamental protections.

Additionally, the very notion of creating a government database to log perceived bias incidents is reminiscent of tactics employed by authoritarian regimes to suppress dissent and oppress their citizens. It is alarming to see this type of approach being considered in the United States, a country founded on principles of individual liberty and freedom of expression.

The potential for abuse is also concerning. The bill would allow anyone to report an incident, regardless of whether it is factually accurate or based on malicious intent. This could lead to innocent people being unfairly targeted and subjected to government scrutiny.

Furthermore, the exchange between Niska and Vang highlights how this legislation could be used to target individuals for expressing opinions that some may find controversial or disagreeable. As seen with J.K. Rowling’s views on transgender individuals and biological sex, there are many topics where opinions are divided. The ability to express these opinions without fear of being added to a government database is essential for a healthy democracy.

This move towards government control of information is sinister and potentially permanent. It is reminiscent of George Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth,” an organization that decided for citizens what was true and what was not. The danger of such an organization is that the “truth” will be whatever the current administration wants it to be.

In summary, while the intention behind House File 181 may be to combat bias and hate speech, the potential consequences for free speech and individual liberty cannot be ignored. The government must not be in the business of policing speech, and any attempt to do so must be strongly opposed as a violation of our constitutional rights.

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14 Comments

  1. frank stetson

    Welcome to PPB Daniel. Nice bio. We’ll go ez on your virginal journey…..

    Your story starts by SCREAMING “MINNESOTA WANTS TO LIST YOU IN A “BIAS DATABASE” – CHECK FREE SPEECH AT THE BORDER” with the lead “Minnesota lawmakers are considering a bill that would require the logging of alleged bias incidents, even if they do not qualify as a crime” seems that you are indicting that, in Mn only, CITIZENS can be databased for non-criminal speech, which you classify a clear issue with the first amendment of our Bill of Rights.

    Sounds like really bad ju ju.

    Within your tome of truth, you note: “official truth.” Disinformation Governance Board, Russian Collusion conspiracy, and denying the validity of Hunter Biden’s laptop. George Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth.

    Really, really bad ju ju.

    And what the heck is “official truth?” I lost my secret decoder ring to decipher this stuff…..

    Not only do you claim it’s against the first amendment to create a database of free speech, but you claim that the United States is a country founded on principles of individual liberty and freedom of expression. Oh the horror of people saying things and someone writing them down…. but wait, there’s more.

    The American republic was founded on the idea that all people are created equal, whether European, Native American, or African American, and that these people have fundamental rights, such as liberty, free speech, freedom of religion, due process of law, and freedom of assembly. There is no mention of individual liberty or freedom of expression. There is freedom of speech, if that’s what you mean, but to be specific to the founding documents and original text:

    Declaration of independence:
    Individual liberty mentions – 0 (does mention liberty for all men)
    Freedom of expression mentions (we will count speech) – 0

    Constitution/Bill of Rights:
    Individual liberty callouts – 0 (three liberty callouts, but for all)
    Freedom of expression mentions (we will count speech) – 1 and it’s a biggun.

    You continue: “The potential for abuse is also concerning. The bill would allow anyone to report an incident, regardless of whether it is factually accurate or based on malicious intent. This could lead to innocent people being unfairly targeted and subjected to government scrutiny.”

    “ The government must not be in the business of policing speech, and any attempt to do so must be strongly opposed as a violation of our constitutional rights.”

    Daniel, one thing I suggest to other PBP posters is that you search beyond Fox or other blogosphere pundits to strive for the truth.
    And I do agree that both free speech and privacy could be threatened by this. But Orwell — not yet. Not this bill. Not without a lot of effort and a lot of process break-down.

    For some truth about the bill, I have attached an NPR interview with the bill’s author.
    https://www.mprnews.org/episode/2023/03/14/-hate-crimes-incidents-underreported

    Love to hear how this changes your vantage point, Daniel. From the piece:

    “So the first thing is to allow community organizations to be able to report these hate and bias incidents happening within their own communities and to work with the Department of Human Rights to compile that data. And I’ve been working with the Department, the Commissioner Lucero, to see how that process will work, and they will be the ones to implement and work on how to implement that data collection process.”

    “Yeah, so what this bill will talk about regarding data practices is that it will provide a summary data, and summary data means it’s statistical records and reports derived from data on individuals, but in which individuals are not identified, and from which neither the identities nor any of other characteristic could uniquely identify individuals.

    So it’ll be disaggregated data on the types of offenses and nature of the victims but not on data that will identify who those individuals are.”

    Be afraid Daniel, be very afraid.

    I do agree it’s a bad bill, but mostly since it’s a waste of time, and there’s a scintilla of a potential, albeit a long way around the barn, to transgress on people’s rights as Daniel has noted. But no reason to get excited, mostly it’s a waste of time, they will never get it to be actionable anyway, waste of time and money, IMO.

    • Joe Gilbertson

      So you honestly don’t believe that the Constitution covers individual liberty or freedom of expression? You must have read difference document than I did, because basically that is the only thing that is does.

      And ANYTIME the government starts making a list of people who have ANY political views, you have a threat to individual liberty.

      • frank stetson

        Joe,
        I meant what I said: “The American republic was founded on the idea that all people are created equal, whether European, Native American, or African American, and that these people have fundamental rights, such as liberty, free speech, freedom of religion, due process of law, and freedom of assembly. There is no mention of individual liberty or freedom of expression. There is freedom of speech, if that’s what you mean,” and then I listed the lack of those SPECFIC words in our founding documents for the Republic. It’s a specified set of liberties for ALL, not a specification of individual liberty —- that’s the result.

        Basically we protect a number of liberties for all, for individuals, but we did not specify “individual liberty,” albeit an minor and meaningless nuance. IOW — our Constitution protects liberties for ALL OF US, which is individual liberties, but we do not specifically protect “individual liberty” specifically in our documents.

        Freedom of Expression is unknow in our founding documents, it does not exist. We protect freedom of speech , a point which you overlooked.

        Likewise, you overlooked the link, or the bill’s author who noted: THERE IS NO LIST OF CITIZEN NAMES.

        I noted that I would not support said bill, for a number of reasons, but the most pertinent is that it is not actionable. No matter what results from this database, WTH would they ever do with it?

        Hope that clarifies your confusion.

        One question: IF individual liberty is protected, then why can abortion be banned? I think about 1 million women per year might disagree that they have individual liberty in THAT regard……

        • Joe Gilbertson

          Just so I understand, you are distinguishing “free expression” and “free speech”

          • frank stetson

            Not really if I catch your meaning, if I get your drift. Even though your sentence does not make the best sense “distinguishing free expression AND free speech” being awkward at best, if not inaccurate, I think I know what you mean, like “distinguishing free expression FROM free speech.”

            Sorry, thought I was clear on that when I said: “There is no mention of individual liberty or freedom of expression. There is freedom of speech, if that’s what you mean, but to be specific to the founding documents and original text:”…… not sure what I can to do clarify that more?

            However, from WIKI: “Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. The right to freedom of expression has been recognized as a human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights law by the United Nations.”

            Now that’s just WIKI, but I am pretty sure there’s a nuance of difference at least. No matter, I treated as freedom of speech or free speech.

          • Joe Gilbertson

            Yes, Wiki is full of Constitutional scholars.

            My only conclusion is that you have been drinking again, and have lost your command of the english language, and of course have no conception of the U.S. Constitution.

          • Frank stetson

            All you got in personal attacks, the low brow tool of those who can’t make a decent debate.

            Yes, WIKI does have constitutional scholars, not sure if they weighed in on that one as I noted and you pounced on.

            Loved your lament on my command of the language in the same sentence you use the wrong word; I believe you meant concept, not “conception.” That’s Larry’s post 😁

            And yes, Constitutional scholars differentiate tween expression and speech with expression encompassing speech as well as more elements. You could have looked it up.

            Who cares: my point and it’s 100% accurate, the word expression is not in the Constitution no matter what you think.

    • Doug Corrigan Jr.

      Another not-see-fied leftnik practicing one of very few communications skills he has mastered: Nattering endlessly in the hope that readers will forget the subject.

      Only a leftnik would claim to be t he arbiter of language, exercising the authority to make words mean whatever suits his lame knothead.

    • Americafirst

      Wow are you biased. Now we all can turn in the Minnesota government people, thank God!

  2. Wes Kussmaul

    “This move towards an “official truth” in America is not new, as Democrats previously attempted to do this at a national level.”

    True, and I might add

    “This move towards an “official truth” in America is not new, as Republicans previously attempted to do this at a national level.”

    This practice of accusing the other side of what you yourself are doing is straight out of the Goebbels playbook.

    Please stop.

    • Joe Gilbertson

      Did you even read the article? it cites the attempt made by the Democrats last year, the actual formation of a body for explicitly that purpose.

    • Doug Corrigan Jr.

      The practice of making an empty claim and proffering zero substantiation or explanatioln for the claim constitutes total admission of lying.

      But lying is all that goobers like this have.

  3. Wes

    Is that where Omar really cares about things? I was trying to count how many times the Biden administration blamed things on Trump, MAGA, or someone else. Then, how many times he was accountable for the things he actually caused. The answer to the second question is zero. No President in history has never made a mistake. Looking at Biden and his administration. That is like not only 1 in a “Zillion. Someone would have a better chance of going through the eye of a needle. Then, blaming Trump, MAGA, or someone else. How many times have they done that. The answer is everything bad has been blamed on Trump, MAGA, or someone else. That is another Outlandish number. So, Biden is completely perfect, because anything he has done wrong, is actually not his fault, but someone else’s. The chances of that actually happening is 2 in a “Zillion. These numbers are absolutely incredible. These people are geniuses. I guess he has graduated from Harvard. He is smarter than scholars or the smartest Scientist. Could that be Dr. Fauci? Of course.

    • Frank stetson

      Nice vent Wes.

      Has absolutely nothing to do with the story. Nothing to do with the comments. It’s the State legislature. Omar is Congress. And fairly unintelligible, but I got it.

      We blame you.
      You blame us.
      Presidents claim perfection.

      But you left out Trump loss of reality aspects…..

      Nice rant though. .

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