Rebuttal to UToronto Student Newspaper’s Defense of Suppressing Free Speech

Less than a month after anarchists, communists, and a bevy of other perpetually useless members of society shut down a speech at the University of Toronto, the school’s student newspaper, The Varsity, published a column titled “Bigotry bears no right to a platform”.

The author, Adina Heisler, a second-year gender studies major, writes,

Speakers at the event included [Jordan] Peterson, Psychology Professor who has been called transphobic by some students on campus following his Professor against political correctness YouTube lecture series…

Remember. The first rule of writing an editorial that justifies – better yet encourages – forcefully shutting down public speakers with whom you disagree politically, is to avoid fairly characterizing your opponent at all costs. Don’t bother watching Jordan Peterson’s videos, providing their links, and highlighting the exact quotes which suggest he’s a bigot, unworthy of speaking at the university that employs him. Just go ahead and write it. Be sure to back up this already-robust accusation with “has been called”.

Heisler continues:

According to protester and community activist Qaiser Ali, the protesters objected to “the fact that the university has both allowed and sanctioned an alt-right, neo-fascist hate conference starring Ezra Levant.”

Qaiser Ali – as reported by The Varsitywas one of the protesters who helped shut the event down, screaming “F-Trump, and F-white supremacy”. The only person Heisler’s interviewed in her entire editorial on why it’s ok to forcefully shut down a speech at a public university is one of the people who actually shut down a speech at a public university.

Heisler claims that she contacted Ezra Levant for comment on the article to no avail. However, I spoke to Ezra myself. He told me that nobody by the name Adina Heisler from The Varsity reached out to him.

Going forward, the author paints a truly Orwellian portrait, writing,

The protesters are correct in saying that the speakers should not have been permitted to have this platform in the first place…

…whether or not a speaker should be allowed to have space on campus cannot necessarily be boiled down to a left-versus-right issue. There are a number of reasons why we might object to having certain types of events on campus.

For example, it was completely unacceptable when Ken O’Keefe, a conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier, was given a space to speak on campus in June 2016, because he was propagating blatantly false anti-Semitic views.

That last part is actually correct. Ken O’Keefe is a Marxist Holocaust denier who was invited to speak at the university. His speech, however, was somehow not interrupted by the same people who felt Ezra Levant was about to pull out a sword and sacrifice a transgender Syrian refugee he had locked up in a cage somewhere.