On Wednesday afternoon, a Canadian university, Ryerson, decided to immolate its educational principles. It cancelled a discussion between conservative journalist, Faith Goldy, and Professors Jordan Peterson and Gad Saad.
Let's be clear, the excuse the school offers is fake. What's really going on here is that Ryerson has decided to sacrifice intellectual curiosity at the altar of far-left fascism.
Declaring that it is "prioritizing public safety" over free speech, Ryerson is offering a false choice. For one, Ryerson is in Toronto, a city with more than 5,000 police officers and named the safest city in North America in 2015. Had Ryerson sought to preserve free speech, it could have requested and enacted a security envelope around the event.
A warped sense of political correctness is at blame here. The individual who led the effort to force Ryerson to cancel the event, Christeen Elizabeth, explained that "Transphobia is violence, Islamophobia is violence. Violence is contextual."
Regardless, to sabotage the discussion, Elizabeth told the National Post that she "inundated Ryerson with calls and emails protesting the panel. She said she also collaborated with the school's student union, who added to the pressure." The pressure campaign worked as Ryerson yielded to the threats and abuse.
Still, what's most troubling here is the degree to which this situation shows how far the far-left's "no speech" platform now extends. After all, the panelists who were no-platformed are hardly neo-Nazis.
For one, Faith Goldy bears nothing in common with Hitler. She works for an online conservative media outlet, The Rebel, which revels in being controversial and cheeky. But that website is not a malevolent entity. Indeed, this week, Goldy gave a compelling defense of her viewpoints. "I do not bathe in tears of white guilt, that doesn't make me a white supremacist. I oppose state multiculturalism and affirmative action, that doesn't make me a racist. I reject cultural marxism but that doesn't make me a fascist."
Similarly, Professor Jordan Peterson isn't Himmler, he's a Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto. His great crime against social justice? Making intellectual arguments against the subjective appropriation of gender pronouns. But search for any video of Peterson.
And Gad Saad? His topic is consumer choices.
In the end, there's only one takeaway from what's just occurred. Goldy, Peterson, and Saad, are far better people than Christeen Elizabeth, her fascists, and Ryerson's administrators. Professor Peterson proved as much when he offered a very measured response to the cancellation of his event. He told the National Post that "We're drifting into a scenario of increased polarization, and it's not an advisable time to contribute to that, wittingly or unwittingly."