Progressive Intolerance In Action

January 2011

The University of Waterloo is inadequately and belatedly trying to make up for the shabby treatment afforded Christie Blatchford at the renowned institution. It has apologized for the hijacking of her talk by self-ordained (they always are) "anti-racism" activists -- five ignoramuses who took the stage before her, chanted "racist, racist, racist" at her, denied her right to speak and denied the audience who came to hear her their right to hear her. The apology at least recognizes the insult done to Blatchford, and to the people who came to hear her. A knot of intellectually vacant hooligans, whether united neck to neck with bike locks or not, should never be allotted the power to say who speaks and who does not speak at a university. (Or anywhere else for that matter.) Waterloo has also promised to reschedule the event.

However, the apology only became necessary because the university -- she was there at the invitation of its bookstore -- didn't toss the smug nuisances from the stage in the first place. Nor does the apology -- which wears the whiff of "damage control" -- quite measure up to a real acknowledgment of the ugliness Blatchford endured that evening. As the Post editorialized on Thursday, the shutting down or abridgement of free speech at universities -- especially by "progressive' protesters" -- is growing so commonplace that we fail to notice how aggressive and mean the actions and words of the protests leading to the shutdowns actually are.

The Waterloo clowns smeared Christie Blatchford horrendously: She is, by their description, a "hack" and a "bigot" who preaches "racism" and "hate." She's a "Fascist"; she has "no right to speak"; she "dishonours" Waterloo by being invited to speak there. If you listen to or read the words of Don Kellar, the putative leader of the vile and petty coup, Christie Blatchford is all of these things -- but wait Kellar has more. She's also a modern instance of one of the most despicable human beings in history -- Julius Streicher, the notorious Jew baiter and killer from Nazi days. Julius Streicher and Christie Blatchford! Now there's a yoking that only someone crawling slowly up the ladder to a PhD in Geography (which is Mr. Kellar's burden) could make.

In any decent world, anybody who slung accusations and characterizations like this around with such factless and vicious abandon would be seen as unfit to be present in a university environment. These descriptions are an attempt to slaughter Christie Blatchford's reputation, and the University of Waterloo should be embarrassed and ashamed that such vile, hateful words should come from the mouths of one or more of its students. But, as I've said, the normalization of thuggish protest, and the ever inflated ugliness of the language that the "progressive" sect allows itself, has numbed everyone to the sense of how feral and nasty some of these so-called activists have become.

Let me also make a somewhat incidental point. It is mainly through her writings that I know Christie Blatchford, but they alone allow me to say that she is, in the fundamental moral sense of the term, 10 times the anti-racist that Kellar is, 10 times more informed than he is and has 10 times his courage to boot. She would have been willing to do what he and his kitetail of smug pretenders didn't have the nerve to do: debate the matters in question.

It was also extremely interesting to note that in some of the online comments that appeared when the story was written up in the Waterloo Record, someone identifying himself as Dan Kellar dismissed the part of the audience that opposed the protesters as "old white men" and "old white ladies." So apparently it's the "anti-racists" who take skin colour into account when making their judgments, and "white" is obviously deemed second-class and unworthy. Activism works some strange transmutations. Anti-racism, meet racism: You are slopebrowed twins.

The University of Waterloo lost something on the night the anti-racists were allowed to pose, instead of Blatchford getting to speak -- something the university's apology only begins to repair. The preening self-righteousness and the hyper arrogance of the protesters put a blot on the university's reputation, dented the exercise of free speech in Canada and gave the rest of the country one more ugly example of "progressive" intolerance.

Finally, the most chilling and obnoxious statement of an evening rich in them came from one of the protesters: "Our goal was to not let her speak; we accomplished that." If we were looking for a sequence of words that would ornament the lips of a real fascist, "Our goal was to not let her speak ..." would be as perfect a set as under the visiting moon we are allowed to hope for.