Posted by: Jennifer | March 6, 2007

opposing through silence

When did society become so afraid to examine a controversial view?

A debate between a Saint Mary’s University professor and a self-described “race realist” is too risky to hold on campus, administrators say.

University officials said Monday they decided to cancel Tuesday’s debate between Peter March, a philosophy professor, and U.S. author Jared Taylor because of a threat on a website.

According to the posting, somebody would be stabbed if the event went ahead, said Chuck Bridges, a Saint Mary’s spokesman.

“The feedback and the information that our security people received caused them to say that this is a very high-risk situation,” he told CBC News.

Taylor, the editor of American Renaissance magazine, says immigration leads to violence and conflict, and claims intelligence, sexual promiscuity and criminality are linked to race.

Protesters in masks disrupted his speech at the Lord Nelson hotel in Halifax in January.

Personally, I think that Taylor is full of shit. But to silence his views is not the way to challenge him. The same protections that allow me to say that I think he’s an ass allow him to express his opinion. So let the man have his say, crush him in a mature and literate manner (that does not involve physically removing him from the building) and feel better for doing your part towards striking a blow to racist pigs.

This seems to be a trend, or at least something that I blog about a lot. Not just this particular instance, but the idea that we as a society spend more time silencing those that we do not agree with then we spend allowing them to have their say. I understand the desire to block out those who are saying horrible things, but to deny one the freedom to speak means risking denying everyone that same right. I’m sure that there were a lot of people who had no desire to hear what Martin Luther King had to say, but he was allowed to be heard and the world changed as a result. Now, I’m not comparing Taylor to King by any stretch of the imagination (and he probably wouldn’t appreciate it if I did) but the sentiment is the same. If we start shutting everyone up, then we might miss something that makes sense because we were too busy not listening to listen.

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Responses

  1. I was actually looking forward to this debate. I to disagree with Jared Taylors views and was hoping to see him humiliate himself. It looks like the only way we will get to see this debate is if it takes place in some secret location and they broadcast it over a cloased circuit.


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