March 28, 2010

REX MURPHY: The Ann Coulter Show and What It Means.

Coulter’s visit, finally, did have one permanent utility. It was another vivid illustration of how elastic and feeble, at least in certain quarters, the Canadian understanding of free speech has become. The idea, evidently held by certain of the protesters, that merely to call something “hate speech” licenses an attempt to halt that speech is depressing because it has become so common.

The talk of the university as a “safe space,” meaning a place when people will neither hear nor confront speech or ideas with which they are not “comfortable,” is politically correct cant of the highest order. It is close to a contradiction of the idea of a university. If Coulter’s tempestuous visit teased a few of these considerations into the minds of those otherwise innocent of them, it was worth all the flurry and the fury.

Read the whole thing.

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