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Canadians are whipped up into a frenzy over this Ann Coulter lady, who I hear sometimes says controversial stuff. Ann was supposed to speak at the University of Ottawa, but the event has been cancelled over “public safety” fears.
The “public safety” concerns probably had something to do with the several hundred people who showed up to protest, and performed a little Microcosm US Political Theater:
“No more racists on our campus,’’ shouted the anti-Coulter crowd.
“No more commies on our campus,” shouted the pro-Coulter group.
And there you have it.
I have no idea if Ann is a racist. I know she says some ugly, racist things, but that could be because she’s a businesswoman who knows she sells more books after saying negative things about liberals, or black people.
Regardless, Ann was allowed access to Canada and the University of Ottawa in the spirit of free speech. However, Canada hasn’t always been this generous with other speakers.
For example, the anti-war British MP George Galloway was banned from Canada on national security grounds. It seems Galloway was saying negative things about the Afghanistan war, including the participation of Canadian troops, while donating supplies to Gaza and money to Hamas, all of which really cheesed off the Canadian government.
Galloway insists he is not a supporter of the democratically elected Hamas government, but rather, a “supporter of democracy.”
Alykhan Velshi, a spokesman for Canada’s immigration minister, said
We’re going to uphold the law, not give special treatment to this infandous street-corner Cromwell who actually brags about giving ‘financial support’ to Hamas, a terrorist organisation banned in Canada,” he said. “I’m sure Galloway has a large Rolodex of friends in regimes elsewhere in the world willing to roll out the red carpet for him. Canada, however, won’t be one of them.
Snap! Canada does NOT support terrorism. Got that, Galloway? Take your donations to a democratically elected government, and keep walking, mister.
Maple Syrup country has slightly higher standards for visitors, m’kay?
Meanwhile, the Canadian government welcomed — with open arms — this guywho oversaw the invasion of countries that never threatened his homeland, torture, wiretapping, and the general undermining of the US Constitution. But apparently visiting war criminals don’t pose a national security threat.
Also, as long as state-supported terrorism is wrapped in an American flag, it’s all gravy. Or maple syrup. Whatever.
Then there was the harassment of Democracy Now correspondent Amy Goodman at Canada’s border.
U.S. journalist Amy Goodman said she was stopped at a Canadian border crossing south of Vancouver on Wednesday and questioned for 90 minutes by authorities concerned she was coming to Canada to speak against the Olympics.
Goodman says Canadian Border Services Agency officials ultimately allowed her to enter Canada but returned her passport with a document demanding she leave the country within 48 hours.
Just in case you’re planning a trip to Canada (and you’re keeping score,) this means you’ll be allowed to enter the territory of our friendly neighbors to the north if you:
* Invade autonomous countries
* Wiretap the citizenry’s phones
* Let poor black people drown
* Torture people
But you will not be allowed into Canada if you criticize
* Illegal wars, or
* the Olympics
Those are some messed up priorities, Canada.
I do think Ann should be allowed to speak, just as the student protesters should be allowed to counter her hate speech. If the campus decides to shut down the event due to safety concerns, that’s their call.
What doesn’t make sense, and what isn’t intellectually consistent, is the double standard of free spech. Ann can’t be allowed to speak, while Galloway and Goodman are banned and/or harassed. Either all speech is welcome, or not, but Canada can’t claim to protect “free speech” with such two-tier standards in place.
Side-note: These standards apply to every country masquerading as a “free and open” society. Ditto everything stated above for the US, but Canada is in the news this week, so I’m picking on them.
Link to this article: http://www.breakthruradio.com/index.php?b=article.php?id=1366
– Allison Kilkenny