Friday, March 26, 2010
Coulter on Canada
Since arriving in Canada I've been accused of thought crimes, threatened with criminal prosecution for speeches I hadn't yet given, and denounced on the floor of the Parliament (which was nice because that one was on my "bucket list").
Posters advertising my speech have been officially banned, while posters denouncing me are plastered all over the University of Ottawa campus. Elected officials have been prohibited from attending my speeches. Also, the local clothing stores are fresh out of brown shirts.
Welcome to Canada!
The provost of the University of Ottawa, average student IQ: 0, wrote to me -- widely disseminating his letter to at least a half-dozen intermediaries before it reached me -- in advance of my visit in order to recommend that I familiarize myself with Canada's criminal laws regarding hate speech.
This marks the first time I've ever gotten hate mail for something I might do in the future.
Apparently Canadian law forbids "promoting hatred against any identifiable group," which the provost, Francois A. Houle advised me, "would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges."
I was given no specific examples of what words and phrases I couldn't use, but I take it I'm not supposed to say, "F--- you, Francois."
While it was a relief to know that it is still permissible in Canada to promote hatred against unidentifiable groups, upon reading Francois' letter, I suddenly realized that I had just been the victim of a hate crime! And it was committed by Francois A. Houle (French for "Frank A. Hole").
What other speakers get a warning not to promote hatred? Did Francois A. Houle send a similarly worded letter to Israel-hater Omar Barghouti before he spoke last year at U of Ottawa? ("Ottawa": Indian for "Land of the Bed-Wetters.")
How about Angela Davis, Communist Party member and former Black Panther who spoke at the University of Zero just last month?
Or do only conservatives get letters admonishing them to be civil? Or -- my suspicion -- is it only conservative women who fuel Francois' rage?
How about sending a letter to all Muslim speakers advising them to please bathe once a week while in Canada? Would that constitute a hate crime?
I'm sure Canada's Human Rights Commission will get to the bottom of Francois' strange warning to me, inasmuch as I will be filing a complaint with that august body, so I expect they will be reviewing every letter the university has sent to other speakers prior to their speeches to see if any of them were threatened with criminal prosecution.
Both writer Mark Steyn and editor Ezra Levant have been investigated by the Human Rights Commission for promoting hatred toward Muslims.
Levant's alleged crime was to reprint the cartoons of Mohammed originally published in a Danish newspaper, leading practitioners of the Religion of Peace to engage in murderous violence across the globe. Steyn's alleged crime was to publish an excerpt of his book, "America Alone" in Maclean's magazine, in which he jauntily described Muslims as "hot for jihad."
Both of them also flew jet airliners full of passengers into skyscrapers in lower Manhattan, resulting in thousands of deaths. No, wait -- that was somebody else.
Curiously, however, there was no evidence that either the cartoons or the column did, in fact, incite hatred toward Muslims -- nor was there the remotest possibility that they would.
By contrast, conservative speakers are regularly subjected to violent attacks on college campuses. Bill Kristol, Pat Buchanan, David Horowitz and I have all been the targets of infamous campus attacks.
That's why the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute (a sponsor of my Canada speeches) and the Young America's Foundation (a sponsor of many of my college speeches) don't send conservatives to college campuses without a bodyguard.
You'd have to be a real A-Houle not to anticipate that accusing a conservative of "promoting hatred" prior to her arrival on a college campus would in actuality -- not in liberal fantasies of terrified Muslims cowering in terror of Mark Steyn readers -- incite real-world violence toward the conservative.
The university itself acknowledged that Francois' letter was likely to provoke violence against me by demanding -- long after my speech was scheduled, but immediately after Francois disseminated his letter -- that my sponsors pony up more than $1,200 for extra security.
Also following Francois' letter, the Ottawa University Student Federation met for 7 1/2 hours to hammer out a series of resolutions denouncing me. The resolutions included:
"Whereas Ann Coulter is a hateful woman;
"Whereas she has made hateful comments against GLBTQ, Muslims, Jews and women;
"Whereas she violates an unwritten code of 'positive-space';
"Be it resolved that the SFUO express its disapproval of having Ann Coulter speak at the University of Ottawa."
At least the students didn't waste 7 1/2 hours on something silly, like their studies.
At the risk of violating anyone's positive space, what happened to Canada? How did the country that gave us Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd and Catherine O'Hara suddenly become a bunch of whining crybabies?
After Tuesday night, the hatred incited by Francois' letter is no longer theoretical. The police called off my speech when the auditorium was surrounded by thousands of rioting liberals -- screaming, blocking the entrance, throwing tables, demanding that my books be burned, and finally setting off the fire alarm.
Sadly, I missed the book burning because I never made it to the building.
But, reportedly, a Canadian crowd hasn't been this excited since they opened a new Tim Hortons. Local reporters couldn't make out what the crowd was chanting, but it was something about "Molson" and a "sled dog."
I've given more than 100 college speeches, and not once has one of my speeches been shut down at any point. Even the pie-throwing incident at the University of Arizona didn't break up the event. I said "Get them!", the college Republicans got them, and then I continued with my rambling, hate-filled diatribe -- I mean, my speech.
So we've run this experiment more than 100 times.
Only one college speech was ever met with so much mob violence that the police were forced to cancel it: The one that was preceded by a letter from the university provost accusing me of hate speech.
(To add insult to injury, Francois didn't even plan to attend my speech because Tuesday is his bikini wax night.)
If a university official's letter accusing a speaker of having a proclivity to commit speech crimes before she's given the speech -- which then leads to Facebook postings demanding that Ann Coulter be hurt, a massive riot and a police-ordered cancellation of the speech -- is not hate speech, then there is no such thing as hate speech.
Either Francois goes to jail or the Human Rights Commission is a hoax and a fraud.