American conservative, so-called “right-wing”, political commentator Ann Coulter is on a speaking tour of Canadian universities this week. Known for her controversial, sound bite type comments, she didn’t fail to live up to her billing when asked by a Muslim student about her previous statements that Muslims who feel unfairly profiled in regards to air travel, can take “flying carpets” instead. The student asked that since she doesn’t own a flying carpet, what mode of transportation would Coulter recommend… and she answered: “take a camel” (OUCH! now that’s some inappropriate… but funny sh*t!). Coulter’s event last night at Ottawa University, in our nation’s capital, was subsequently cancelled amid fears of violence from protesters (come on.. this is Canada), who pulled a fire alarm and caused the venue to be evacuated as it was about to begin (which is a perfect example of how violent Canadians get lol!). Read story here and watch her interview on Power Play.
As I followed the story, a David Bowie song came to mind: “This is not America“.
Canadians pride themselves on being a “tolerant” society. However, there is an underlying current of dislike for Americans in general and a fervent hate for conservative Americans in particular. Our Conservative Party here is not a carbon copy of the Republican Party in the USA. They are more like the centrist conservative “Blue Dog” Democrats.
As a society, in comparison to the USA, free speech is more controlled and curtailed here, especially via the media. It is more censored, officially (through legislation) and unoffically. The state media vehicle, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), is very influential in how information… “news”… is packaged to shape public opinion. We would never have a canadian version of a “FoxNews” here. Too opinionated and controversial. It would do what Canadians fear most, enflame passions! Plus we already have “Hockey Night in Canada” (on CBC)… and Don Cherry… for that!
This is the reason why the administration of the University of Ottawa felt it was necessary to send Coulter a warning that the content of the speech could lead to criminal charges if it is seen as promoting hatred:
“I hereby encourage you to educate yourself, if need be, as to what is acceptable in Canada and to do so before your planned visit here,” University of Ottawa academic vice-president François Houle wrote. “Promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges.”
I find this interesting as I wondered if so-called “left-wing” pundits would be given the same warnings. I doubt it. Last month there were speakers at “Israeli Apartheid Week” events, hosted and sponsored by universities throughout Canada, who questioned not only the legitimacy of the Jewish state, but in not so many words, advocated it’s destruction. I didn’t hear of any warnings or reprecussions regarding the speakers. Canadian universities are bastions of the so-called “left-wing” intelligensia. The illusion that they are the centers of free exchange, discussion and debate of varying ideas or points of view is just that, an illusion, as Ann Coulter found out. Good or bad, they are indeed a reflection of Canadian society, where certain ideas are accepted while others are tolerated to exist… but muzzled.
“A little piece of you
The little peace in me
Will die (This is not a miracle)
For this is not America”