Tuesday, April 04, 2017
Professor Speaks On Free Speech And Political Correctness After Hecklers Try To Shut Down His Event
HAMILTON, ONTARIO -- Canada's McMaster University was the site of a clash between free speech advocates and trans-sexual rights demonstrators this week, at what was supposed to be a debate about a new law in that country criminalizing offensive speech on the basis of gender identity. The law, Bill C-16, mandates that individuals use the preferred pronouns of gender non-binary people or be faced with prosecution.
One of the speakers, University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson, has gained national attention in 2017 for his public stand against the idea that government can put regulations on individuals' speech and has produced a detailed series of academic lectures on YouTube explaining the philosophical and ethical backing for his position.
The subject of the event was: "Drawing the Line: an open discourse on political correctness and freedom of speech"
When he attempted to speak, Peterson faced continued shouting from hecklers in the audience, the blaring of air horns and cowbells, and chants such as: "Trans-phobic piece of shit" and "This is where we draw the line." At times, his suporters unsuccessfully chanted back: "Let him speak!"
After the attendees left the event, a group of students formed a wall around Professor Peterson outside and gave him a chance to speak.
PROFESSOR JORDAN PETERSON: So what I would recommend perhaps is that all of you who want to hear me talk, leave. Go outside and I'll come outside and talk to you.
[exits the building surrounded by students]
When you are faced with unreasonable opposition, it is best to let unreasonable opposition speak, because they manifest themselves as unreasonable. And then everyone can see it. So that is part of the reason you want free speech.
[interruptions begin again]
At least they're at the back of the crowd this time.
STUDENT: Let's insulate Dr. Peterson.
PETERSON: So, no, security can't help. No matter what they do, they are wrong. If they let this go on, they are wrong. If they intervene, they causing trouble for students, no matter who the students are or what they're doing, they are wrong then too. So, it is okay, listen. [The yelling man] is just about hoarse, he'll take care of himself.
So I can tell you a little bit about why I was opposed to Bill C-16, and there is a variety of reasons. I think the most important one is that it is the first piece of Canadian legislation that has ever been put forward that actually requires people to use a particular set of words.
There is other legislation that does govern to some degree what you can't say -- you can't incite a crime... but we've never had a piece of legislation ever that would require you to use a certain vocabulary -- no matter what that vocabulary is. And the fact that it happens to be about trans-gender terminology is beside the point.