"Music that seemed to come from somewhere in the raucous audience that packed the Jorgensen Center at the University of Connecticut Wednesday night brought Ann Coulter's speech to an abrupt end about 15 minutes after she started.
After waiting with her bodyguard on stage for several minutes for the music to stop while a section of the audience chanted 'You suck, you suck,' an irritated Coulter said she would not finish her speech."
Deaniac types love to brand everyone to the right of Ted Kennedy a fascist. If you are critical of blank-slatism, oppose open borders, affirmative action, welfare payments, same-sex marriage, or on-demand abortion, you've likely been hit with the label. Here's the pertinent part of the definition:
"Suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship... oppressive, dictatorial control."
Who's the fascist? A more effective way to disparage speakers (and retain an element of probity) was demonstrated by those outside the auditorium holding signs and pictures. Disagree vehemently, but don't try to mute those with whom you disagree.
Coulter was invited by the University of Conneticut to give a speech followed by a Q&A two days after far left activist Cindy Sheehan (who was not shouted down or interrupted) did the same. Coulter is a contentious and caustic conservative commentator who has no love lost for her political antagonists. But she obviously should be given the chance to speak without Orwellian attempts at silencing by her opposition.
This is not an isolated event. When Ann Coulter visited KU earlier this year, the same fascist tactics were used to keep her from giving her point of view:
"'All I did was say they shouldn't stop her from speaking,' Conner said of confronting some audience members in the back of the auditorium.
Later, when heckling broke out again, a couple of uniformed KU Public Safety Department officers appeared and escorted about six people out of the auditorium."
Others on the right face the same thing (see commenters yucking it up over assaults on various right-of-center figures). Even moderates are not exempt. Arnold was subject to the a shout down at a graduation ceremony last June:
"Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's return to his alma mater turned into an exercise in perseverance when virtually his every word was accompanied by catcalls, howls and piercing whistles from the crowd...
Inside the stadium, the drone from hundreds of rowdy protesters threatened to drown out the governor's voice at times."
So much for the putative tolerance. Some might expect this sort of behavior from militant-right groups, but it is overwhelmingly the work of the left. Be weary of those who conspicously wear the 'tolerance' veneer. Liberal democracies are built on socratic discussions with a rolling back-and-forth that continues indefinitely. It's cliche but crucial. Those who incessantly claim to be open and understanding should eagerly embrace the words of a Coulter or a Buchanan, not blackball news organizations that give their thoughts a forum.
As a self-described racial realist (second definition), this sort of thing hits me on an almost regular basis in some form or another. It never ceases to amaze me how people so critical of what they see as uncritical dogmatism (read religion) hold many things so sacred that they cannot be discussed, regardless of their veracity or utility (how many in the popular press foresaw the unsurprising fact that a mostly black urban area would turn to rioting when police restraint broke down?)
The next time someone says "Shut up--stop being so intolerant," be sure to point out the hypocrisy in their request.