Whatever you want to say about Ann Coulter, I like her -- partly because she's funny but mostly because I've always sensed that she's more "one of us" than just about any other mainstream political commentator out there besides Pat Buchanan. I guess I agree with her campus detractors in that way.
Well, Ann was invited by some students at the University of Ottawa to speak on their campus and, as reported by Canada.com, before she embarked on her journey to the Great North, she received an email from the University vice-president and provost, Francois Houle, "warning her that freedom of speech is defined differently in Canada than in the U.S. and that she should take care not to step over the line." When she arrived, Leftist protestors made sure she never got the opportunity to violate any speech codes by protesting wildly and getting her appearance cancelled by the campus police.
Valeriano, a 19-year-old sociology and women's studies student, said later that she was happy Coulter was unable to speak the "hatred" she had planned to.
"On campus, we promise our students a safe and positive space," she said. "And that's not what (Coulter) brings."Outside the hall, Sameena Topan, 26, a conflict studies and human rights major at the U of O, spoke to the Citizen on behalf of a group of protesters."
We have a large group of students that can very clearly outline the difference between discourse and discrimination," Topan said of the protest.
"We wanted to mobilize and make sure that's clear on campus, that there's a line between controversy and discrimination, and Ann Coulter has crossed it. Numerous times."
"We had concerns about (the event) at the beginning, but especially after we saw what happened at the University of Western Ontario, when she called out a Muslim girl there and was saying she needs to take a camel because Muslim people shouldn't fly.
That kind of stuff just reaffirmed everything that we were afraid of and that's when ... we really got worried."
Topan was pleased to hear the students behind her shout, "Hate speech cancelled!" in unison." I think that's great. I think we accomplished what we were here to do, to ensure that we don't have her discriminatory rhetoric on our campus," she said.