A few weeks ago I bought Mark Steyn’s America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It at Amazon.com and sent it to the Canadian Human Rights Commission at the address Glenn Reynolds and Kathryn Jean Lopez gave.
Much to my disappointment, today I received an email from Amazon.com that the book was undeliverable:

Greetings from Amazon.com.
A shipment from the above referenced order has been returned to our fulfillment center as undeliverable.
We have listed some common reasons for undeliverable packages here:
http://www.amazon.com/o/tg/browse/-/3608471#why
Since this package was undeliverable, we have returned the item(s) to inventory. If you have not already requested a replacement order, you will receive a refund for these item(s).
The following is the breakdown of your expected refund:
Item(s) Returned:
1 “America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It”
Reason: Unknown Reason
Item Details:
Price $18.45
Shipping $8.98
Total: $27.43
We’ll send you an e-mail confirmation once the refund has been completed.
For your reference, the shipping address we have on file for the returned order is:
Canadian Human Rights Commission
344 Slater Street
8th Floor
Ottawa
Ontario
K1A 1E1
CA
Please take a moment to verify that the correct shipping address is listed for each open order you may have. You may view your order status online by clicking the “Your Account” link at the top of our web site.
If you would still like to receive these items, we encourage you to return to our web site and place a new order. We are unable to reship packages which are returned as undeliverable.
Thank you for shopping at Amazon.com.

Thinking I must have screwed up the address, I checked and rechecked. No error at all. That can only mean one thing: the Canadian Human Rights Commission has refused delivery of a book which:

  • is at the center of a dispute they are hearing; and
  • was sent by a citizen of another country who is concerned about freedom, and who believes that human rights include the right to free speech.
  • Frankly, I feel discriminated against, both because of my national origin (I am a U.S. citizen), and because I believe the refusal to accept the book is evidence of viewpoint and content based discrimination — the very antithesis of the “diversity” that the Commission is supposed to uphold. Refusing this book is, I believe, intended to negate the existence of divergent viewpoints in support of Mark Steyn, and I can only wonder whether the Commission would refuse to accept mailings in opposition to Mr. Steyn.
    I noticed that the Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Jennifer Lynch, Q.C., also serves as a Board of Governors Member at the University of Ottawa, so I decided to send the book there in the hope that she will get it.
    Here’s the alternative address for Commissioner Lynch:
    Jennifer Lynch, Q.C.
    Board of Governors
    University of Ottawa
    550 Cumberland
    Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
    I know it’s a workaround, but I don’t like the feeling that the bureaucracy over which Commissioner Lynch presides may be thwarting the process they are in theory supposed to uphold, and I want her to receive the book. My hope is that a university might be more accepting of ideological and political diversity.
    We’ll see.
    While I don’t like to sound petulant, I have to say that my feelings are a little bit hurt, because I paid money for this book and intended it as a sort of educational gift as well as a way of expressing support for the much-maligned Mark Steyn. Is it too much to ask out of simple politeness that a gift — even an unwanted gift — not be summarily refused without so much as a comment? At Christmas? Yeah, I’m not religious, but do they know I’m not? Must they act so Grinch-like? I’m a big boy, and I’ll get over it, but I can easily see how this might damage a gift-giver’s self esteem.
    I realize life is not fair, and of course some people can be expected to be insensitive.
    But the Canadian Human Rights Commission?
    I thought sensitivity was what they’re all about.
    If a Human Rights Commission needs lessons in sensitivity training, what is the world coming to?
    UPDATE: My thanks to Mark Steyn for the link!
    Adds Steyn,

    If enough Americans have their copies returned by the CHRC, I suggest a class-action complaint to the CHRC about the CHRC’s Yankophobia.

    It certainly strikes me as discrimination based on national origin.