Ryerson University Cancels Free Speech Panel As A Threat To Public Safety

JONATHAN TURLEY

Ryerson_University_CrestI have previously written about how cities and universities are now cancelling conservative speakers in order to protect public safety. I recently discussed this rising rationale for barring speakers, a way for officials to claim that they are still being content neutral while achieving the same result of censoring speakers. The latest such example occurred in Canada at Ryerson University where the school canceled a free speech panel after some groups criticized the appearance of conservative speakers.   The school gave them what they demanded in the name of protecting public safety.

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2 thoughts on “Ryerson University Cancels Free Speech Panel As A Threat To Public Safety

  1. This issue, as well as many first ammendment quandaries, are so hard to logic out. There is no correct answer and, whatever you pick, you’re probably pissing off a fair segment of the population. This may have happened earlier than I’m mentioning, but my first experience with the recent attempted visit of Milo Yiannapolous to Berkeley. In my opinion, that guy was there to start shit, anyway. There’s no reason you bring White Nationalist (even just the abusive language of “snowflakes,” “libtards,” and the flippant references to “safe spaces” are intended to be antagonistic, not to spark debate) to a place so historically and flamingly liberal as Berkeley.

    It was intentionally shitty.

    However, the whole denying first amendment rights to anyone is a slippery slope. Sure, the vast majority of us (or maybe not these days) would like to silence the racist right (White Nationalists [what a super-duper euphemism], Neo-Nazis, the KKK, etc.), but who gets to decide and how many other groups get silenced. When our own POTUS refers to BLM and Antifa as domestic terrorists (there are no laws on the books to punish domestic terrorism, by the by), maybe legitimate, peaceful protesters are the ones silenced when, to my mind, they are the ones that particular amendment was intended to protect.

    Furthermore, when you’re potentially liable for injuries and legal issues, such as a university that is hosting these chats, how could you justify bringing an event to campus that is 90% (I made that up) likely that it will incite violence on your property?

    It’s a quandary, alright, but at least most of us can agree that racists suck and the first amendment, flawed as it may be, needs to stick around.

    I love your short pieces. Thanks for the post!

    Like

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