Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Free Speech for Whom?

I wuz gonna stay out of this one. But since Ken jumped in, I have to share my two cents.

Of all the opinions expressed so far, I'm mostly onside with Colby Cosh.

When Coulter comes to town, it says more about those wanting to hear her than who it is doing the speaking. Denying her her pulpit does not sway the choir she would be preaching to.

However as Dawg points out, this is not a clear-cut use of violence to shutdown a public event. What the shrieking right ignores, is that as much as people have the right to hear Coulter, people still have the right to protest her. Free speech cuts both ways (and this where Cosh and I part ways a bit). And oftentimes when the divisions are deep, that clash is very strong.

Using that clash to claim censorship is a dishonest portrayal of this disagreement. But given what Coulter is all about, that's not really a surprise now is it?

2 comments:

Ken Breadner said...

Freedom to speak, I get. Freedom to hear, I get. But where's the rebuttal? If you invite a polemicist on campus--from either side--I think it only fair that *somebody* get a chance to respond. Just my opinion, of course, borne of countless debates in high school. I agree with you, if protest is that strong, guess what? You're not welcome.
Too many people are forgetting that Coulter was supposed to be a *guest* of the U of O, -- and by extension the country. Guests should be courteous. Coulter doesn't know the meaning of the word.

Catelli said...

It seems that the law of physics "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" applies here as well.

Be an angry and strident speaker, expect angry and strident opposition.