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Descending to Their Level...

Much noise is being made on the CBC News, the Chronicle-Herald and the Daily News, and from as far away as Vancouver, about the mob scene involving American "Race Realist" Jared Taylor's forceful ejection from the room he rented to share his incredibly backward and xenophobic views on race relations here in Halifax. He rented the conference room at a local hotel (under an assumed name) in response to his de-invitation from a conference at Dalhousie University, at which he was scheduled to debate on racial diversity. Evidently not happy that he could spout his idiocy on someone else's nickel, he decided to pay for it himself.

The accounts indicate that the audience at the outset was made up entirely of protesters and journalists. Not exactly the audience he was hoping for, I'm sure. In the TV story that I saw, however, some of the white chaps in the audience didn't strike me as either journalists or protesters, quite frankly. In fact, a few were hiding their faces, but not necessarily out of a desire to protest anonymously, rather to participate and hide the associated shame. This is, of course, pure speculation.

Let me make this perfectly clear: Taylor is a racist, and the most disgusting type of racist at that: the type who try to cloak their medieval superstitions in 'scientific theory'.

Notwithstanding, I think that when the protesters decided it was ok to take hold of him and chuck him out of the room, they were wrong. And, yes, it is that black and white, if you'll pardon the expression.

Any time one group decides that another has no right to be heard is when we cross the line into fascism. I understand and sympathize with the motivations of the protesters, and I would have been denouncing this idiot right along with them - but silencing him is not the answer. With 'theories' like these, the best and most effective way to humiliate him is to let him speak. He can do a far better job in discrediting himself than we could ever do.

Which is why I think Dalhousie was also wrong to turf him from the debate. Debate - real, honest debate, not the name-calling that passes for intelligent discussion these days - is the best way to establish that this turd is a crackpot and a small, fearful animal. He now has the ability to manipulate the media to his own ends. The report I saw on ATV included his speculation that the Dal prof who was to debate him was "scared". I sincerely doubt it, and I can understand and sympathize with Dalhousie's motivation, but my concern is that now, that prof, and the university, have robbed themselves of any opportunity to rebut this fool.

The public has a short memory, and in a month, people will forget where they heard the 'scared' comment, but not that they heard it. Nor will they forget this man being attacked by a large group of masked assailants. All it takes if for that seed to be planted in some less rational people's minds to make it 'true' to someone who can't or won't think for themselves.

The real weapons we have against racism are our reason and our willingness to learn. When we deny ourselves the opportunity to learn from, or even just about, other human cultures, we are all the poorer for having lost the opportunity. Sober thought and intelligent rebuttal are the best weapons we have, and by turning violent for the TV cameras, the protesters have taken away that option. They have shown his supporters what they already 'know': their opponents are not worthy of respect.

Bottom line folks: in this case, he has the moral high ground.

That is something that never, never, never should happen with creeps like Taylor, but a small group of masked moral vigilantes have handed it to him on a silver platter.

So, to these 'freedom fighters', I say this: the next time someone is speaking about reducing poverty, undoing global warming or mitigating the harmful effects of globalization, and someone shouts them down and violently abridges their right to speak, don't think, "How dare they", think instead:

"I have no-one to blame but myself."

Good post Flash. I watched this on the news last night and came to pretty much the same conclusions. I also wondered how much of it was orchestrated by him. Did he call the press in maybe, or hire a couple of masked protestors? As you say most people around here will forget about him in a month but he now has video footage that he can use to his own ends. Dal should have let him debate and then ripped his arguement to shreds.

Apparently he's already claiming 'censorship of the truth' on his website. I'll agree, the way this was handled, by Dalhousie to begin with, and by the protestors at the event in question, was pretty stupid.

I had a short but heated argument this morning with my significant other who is a minority. I can definitely understand (and agree with) his passion about how much of a bigot Jared Taylor is. The guy is obviously a troublemaker with a skewed idea of "realism".

But I have to agree with you, Flash. When that group decided that it was OK to take hold of him and chuck him out of the room, it did cross the line into fascism.

This is exactly the kind of behaviour many minority groups have been protesting through the years as they have demanded fair treatment.

It was interesting to see that most of the protesters were not minorities. Perhaps many minorities stayed away in order to "take the high road".

In any event, if I were a minority, I'd be more upset with the behaviour of the protestors for using violence to get their point across. This is exactly the stereotype that minority groups have been fighting against for many years.

Maybe the protestors thought they were doing minorities a favour by standing up for them, but in my opinion, they did more harm than good.

I don't want to hear Taylor's spewage as much of the next guy, but the protestors not only gave him an audience, they gave him a story which will fuel his racist idiot buddies and give them fodder around the campfire.

You would have seen very little - if anything - about this in the media this morning if there hadn't been violence.

Very good post, Flash. The true test of one's principles is when one defends the rights of someone we find repugnant as vigourously as those of people we agree with.

Thanks, Alex - you said it better than I did.
Jennifer, I agree with you completely, and I would take it a step further in saying that if you arrive at the conclusion that you can speak more eloquently for any group, minority or otherwise, than they can themselves, then you're part of the problem, not the solution.
As I've said before, the best choice we can make is to ignore people like this - they thrive on the attention.
I'm a little suspicious that the media - lots of media - apparently decided in advance this was going to become a good story. It wasn't until the violence started, and even then it's just pandering to the LCD.

Good post, though I take issue with one point - saying that he gained the moral highground is a bit heavy-handed. He merely goaded his opponents effectively enough that they made a mistake. He made a strategic manouvre to score a news piece, a few more hits to his website, and to sell a few books to a few more gap-toothed jackasses, that is all.

Naturally, as long as he stays within the dictates of hate speech legislation he has the right to say whatever he wants, but by the same token the protestors were within their rights to out-shout him. Assaulting him is absolutely out of bounds, but that doesn't make their actions fascist, just illegal and stupid. A more constructive approach, and one that would have garnered more interesting press coverage, would have been to study up for his visit and then grill the shit out of him. It is unfortunate that no one got up to challenge him point-for-point on his views, because that is the only way to snuff out this foolishness, but that to me just shows that the protestors were amateurs and as cowardly as he is bigoted.

As far as I'm concerned is what the fuck Dal was doing inviting him for a debate without researching his views first? Well done, Dal, you've given him the opportunity to spout off about a Canadian university afraid to take him on, well done! I am ashamed of my alma mater. (Or was it really the weather? If you note, the press reports on why he wasn't allowed to speak differ on that point.)

Good Post Flash. I'll weigh on just one point: The wonderful thing about a free and democratic (ostensibly) society is that everyone gets the right to their opinion, and can have the opportunity to have their say. The problem with a free and democratic society is that this applies to everybody, even those who may be idiots, and even those whose views the rest of us may find repugnant. I don't know if I'd go as far as saying those protesters ceded the higher moral ground - but violence is the last resort of the truly ignorant (to paraphrase Isaac Asimov), and probably a style more suited to this guys habitual supporters.

I'll agree with Kev - I am ashamed of my Alma Mater. It was cowardly of Dalhousie to cancel a speaking engagement after a previous commitment to allow him his debate. Such is usually the case with "politically correct" responses by today's bureaucratic institutions. The only real way to combat real idiots is to expose them as such, in front of as many people as possible.

if I remember correctly, because the story ran about a month ago, the Dal Prof who had invited him cancelled it, stating he had no idea when he gave the invitation that Taylor was a racist (incidently, this does not say good things about the prof in question - Wikipedia has such a lovely entry on him)

Flash:

Really good post. I agree with you that freedom of speech is very important, but there are some instances where free speech must be limited. One of those is where the free speech promotes hate or incites violence. Now, I don't know nearly enough about Mr. Taylor to say whether his speeches do that but, if they do, Dalhousie was right to shut him down.

I think your point is valid, Devin - there are some types of speech that it would be irresponsible to allow unchecked, but I think the choice of violent action is the wrong one on the protester's part, and I think others' comments reflect the other embarrassing part of this - Dal, or at least the prof directly involved, should have done due diligence before inviting Taylor in the first place. It's my alma mater too, and they are responsible for setting this ball a'rolling in the first place.
Having said that, I'm always uncomfortable giving final and unequivocal opinions on something like this, given that some of the most noble causes in human history have begun as small groups who were denied the right to speak initially. Consider how 'wrong' and 'undesirable' Dr. M.L. King's speeches were to the established political structure in the American South.
Don't misunderstand - nothing about Taylor is the least bit noble, but if you take away one person's right to speak, how much easier does it become to limit others' speech that you disagree with? It's the kind of question that keeps me awake nights, because I know I'm not smart enough to have the answer. There are so many things that are clearly wrong, and therein lies the moral dilemma: Am I a hypocrite?

Oh, and to clarify, I don't mean this idiot has the moral high ground in any fashion outside this isolated context - the side of 'right' did wrong in this instance only, but their aims were the right ones. I disagree with their methods, not their intent in a broad sense. Their actions will only serve to reinforce the negative views of those who share his aberrant beliefs.

What are these people afraid of? What don't they want the world to hear???

BTW...NICE BLOG!

Devin said: "I agree with you that freedom of speech is very important, but there are some instances where free speech must be limited."

We don't have that problem here in the good ol' USA Devin!


Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/funddocs/billeng.htm

I don't think The Hudson Valley Freeman would be "allowed" in Canada? (below)

Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.

http://thehudsonvalleyfreeman.blogspot.com/

Ok. A real test, and so soon, too!
Y_J, even though, upon exploring your blog, I find I disagree vehemently and whole-heartedly with everything you apparently stand for, you have a right to your opinion. I'd prefer something more substantive, with a little less sarcasm, but, if that's your style, whatever. Feel free to come back if you feel like having an intelligent debate.
That's what free speech is all about.

It appears the KKK is alive and well in New York state.

Unfortunately for us, Yankee_James, you would still probably be "allowed" in Canada but I don't think you would feel all that welcome once you got here.

I looked at Jared Taylor's "American Renaissance" website last night. What is interesting is that he attempts to use statistics to back up his claims, but doesn't show a complete picture. For example, he'll say that X% of crimes are committed by blacks. But what % are committed by whites or other racial groups?

The same goes for you, Yankee_James. You have pictures of black people who have committed crimes on your blog. But you are excluding crimes committed by whites. I find it hard to believe that, in your neck of the woods, that whites are completely innocent and do not commit crimes.

It's interesting how racists like Yankee_James and Jared Taylor attempt to use statistics to justify their points of view. What are *you* trying to hide??

Suggested reading:
Huff, D. (1973)"How to Lie With Statistics" Pelican Books, Markham, ON. Canada.
Hard to find, but very worthwhile.

I agree. Even though I disagree with pedophiles and neo-nazis and radical muslims, they have a right to freedom of speech.

Jared Taylor was soundly beaten by anti-racist intellectual Tim Wise on a number of occasions, but he still has a right to say whatever he he has to say.

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