Free speech on campus (such as it is)

Rex Murphy unloads upon “anti-racist” activists at the University of Waterloo, whose antics forced the cancellation of a speech by Christie Blatchford:

The University of Waterloo is inadequately and belatedly trying to make up for the shabby treatment afforded Christie Blatchford at the renowned institution. It has apologized for the hijacking of her talk by self-ordained (they always are) “anti-racism” activists — five ignoramuses who took the stage before her, chanted “racist, racist, racist” at her, denied her right to speak and denied the audience who came to hear her their right to hear her.
The apology at least recognizes the insult done to Blatchford, and to the people who came to hear her. A knot of intellectually vacant hooligans, whether united neck to neck with bike locks or not, should never be alloted the power to say who speaks and who does not speak at a university. (Or anywhere else for that matter.) Waterloo has also promised to reschedule the event.
However, the apology only became necessary because the university — she was there at the invitation of its bookstore — didn’t toss the smug nuisances from the stage in the first place. Nor does the apology — which wears the whiff of “damage control” — quite measure up to a real acknowledgment of the ugliness Blatchford endured that evening. As the Post editorialized Thursday, the shutting down or abridgement of free speech at universities — especially by “progressive’ protesters” — is growing so commonplace that we fail to notice how aggressive and mean the actions and words of the protests leading to the shutdowns actually are.
The Waterloo clowns smeared Christie Blatchford horrendously: She is, by their description, a “hack” and a “bigot” who preaches “racism” and “hate.” She’s a “fascist”; she has “no right to speak”; she “dishonours” Waterloo by being invited to speak there. If you listen to or read the words of Don Kellar, the putative leader of the vile and petty coup, Christie Blatchford is all of these things — but wait Kellar has more. She’s also a modern instance of one of the most despicable human beings in history — Julius Streicher, the notorious Jew baiter and killer from Nazi days. Julius Streicher and Christie Blatchford! Now there’s a yoking that only someone crawling slowly up the ladder to a PhD in Geography (which is Mr. Kellar’s burden) could make.
the most chilling and obnoxious statement of an evening rich in them came from one of the protesters: “Our goal was to not let her speak; we accomplished that.” If we were looking for a sequence of words that would ornament the lips of a real fascist, “Our goal was to not let her speak …” would be as perfect a set as under the visiting moon we are allowed to hope for.

I hope I never do anything to tick off Rex Murphy. Blatchford herself gets the last word on this sorry affair:

I think I’ll bring my own bike lock when I’m back at Waterloo, with a suggestion where Mr. Kellar might put it.

Meanwhile, the student union at Carleton University – the same student union which once cancelled a cystic fibrosis fundraiser, because that disease supposedly affects only white males – has banned the school’s anti-abortion club, but says it may be reinstated if it, um, stops opposing abortion.
(Carleton, incidentally, also banned a provocative poster for “Israel Apartheid Week” in 2009, and B’nai Brith would like to see the entire event banned by Canadian universities. I suspect Mr. Kellar would magically become a militant free-speech activist if that ever happened, while many of those outraged by the ban on Carleton Lifeline would make excuses for it.)

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