Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ann Coulter to Speak at U of C Tomorrow

Right-wing US pundit, Ann Coulter, will be speaking at the University of Calgary tomorrow. She was also scheduled to speak at the University of Ottawa on Tuesday, but her event was canceled after thousands protested, leaving Coulter feeling unsafe.

Coulter's visit to Canada has sparked lots of debate about free speech in this country. Many feel she shouldn't be welcome here because of the racist, sexist and hateful remarks she is famous for making. Others feel that everyone has the right to free speech - and those who disagree with it have the right to protest.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ann Coulter, here's a sample of some of her thoughts on women voting, single mothers and Muslims:
"If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democrat president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen."

Coulter referred to single motherhood as "a recipe to create criminals, strippers, rapists, murderers," echoing her statement in Guilty that "[s]ingle motherhood is like a farm team for future criminals and social outcasts."

"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war."
So... how do I feel about Ms. Coulter visiting Calgary? Well, I have to agree that free speech is of utmost importance in a democratic society, so I wouldn't necessarily want her to be banned from speaking here. However, I think it reflects poorly on the University of Calgary that they've invited her to speak at their institution. I dislike and disrespect her not because she's a right-wing conservative, but because she's sexist, racist, homophobic and downright nasty. Any person who displays these qualities should be shamed rather than promoted by our academic institutions.

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