There is a new sheriff in town. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Sometimes people simply decide that they are the sheriff and that the rest of us are Cowboys and Indians. They pin a shiny new badge onto their shirt and then round up a self-righteous posse so that they can start lynching as many people as they can.

I am talking of course about Matt Nippert and his University of Canterbury posse, who have joined forces. From the little that we know so far, it sounds like a media and academic doxing group that they have given the oxymoronic name projectlovenz.

In their minds they think that they are the good guys, and the fact that they are pretty much a vigilante group with no legal authority to spy on their fellow citizens or to dox them seems to have escaped them.

I strongly suspect that their focus will not be illegal speech, but instead “hate speech” and racism. As there is no legal definition of what hate speech is or what racism is, they can cheerfully target people with impunity, destroying their lives, jobs and businesses in the process.

This is not the first time that this kind of thing has happened.

In the case of projectlovenz, this vigilante like group has a whisper-thin veneer of respectability, as it is connected to Canterbury University, but what they are intending to do is no different to the woman in the story above, who got her kicks hunting people down and destroying their lives for what they said on the internet.

Is this group legally allowed to act as vigilantes? Who gave them the moral authority to hunt people for sport? Are they being funded to target people, and if so, who is paying them?

New Zealand this past week has shown itself to be full of loving compassionate people in so many ways. Instead of accepting that hate and racism are not part of our accepting Kiwi culture, this projectlovenz is wanting to keep the lie alive that we are a terrible, racist and hateful nation.

We are not. This divisive vigilante campaign and witch hunt can only hurt and divide new Zealand.

Now don’t get me wrong. Illegal speech should definitely be punished, but that is not what projectlovenz will be looking for. They have an agenda, and I believe that the agenda is to create the illusion that there is hate speech everywhere so that hate speech laws can be rushed through parliament without any consultation, just like the other changes that have popped up over the past week without due democratic process.

It is the grey term hate speech that is the problem. There is no legal definition. Without a clear legal definition, a person can accuse me of racism simply because of how they feel about something I said or wrote.

For example, if I say, “I don’t like your shoes”, a person could choose to be offended and call me a racist because the shoes were made in Africa. They could decide that “I don’t like your shoes” is hate speech. Currently “hate speech” is whatever divisive politicians like Golriz Ghahraman and Marama Davidson say it is. Of course they have no problem hating on white men, but racism is always okay when the Left do it.

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