Ann Coulter has once again aroused the protestations of those denouncing hate speech.
Ann Coulter does not need my defense. She is perhaps one of the best prepared debaters on the right side of the political spectrum, keeping her opponents off balance in juxtaposed faces of mirth and rage. Her quick wit and unshrouded barbs are a signature of her public personality, and her written words are filled with "in your face" pointedness. She is, we could easily say (because she would,) not afraid to say what she believes, in personal as well as professional jabs.
So, what occurred at UConn on Wednesday night is no real surprise. Hecklers in the audience forced her to cut short a speech after only 15 minutes. She finished the appearance with a half-hour question and answer session.
I have seen Ann Coulter on television many times. I have read many of her columns. She is not an apologist because she believes in foundational ideas--she doesn't mix and match her arguments like she would a wardrobe for the weather. I'm not certain what it is about this up-front style that upsets the left so much. If she sees someone on the left side say something disingenuous, she calls them a liar. Why is that any different than people on the left accusing those on the right of lying? It isn't like we haven't heard those types of attacks recently.
"Bush lied and people died," is an oft used mantra of the left. I have never read anything by Coulter, or heard her say anything that is any more pointed or abrasive than that old chestnut. But, Ann Coulter is the one forced to cut short a talk, because of her "hate speech."
Hate speech, which is itself the slipperiest of slopes, should only be prosecuted or protested when it is used as an incitement to violence or other crimes, otherwise it is simply just another subjective measurement. How far behind can hate thought be? The only violence or crimes that Coulter's speeches have incited are the actions of custard pie laden protesters on the left who assaulted Coulter last year in Arizona.
Eric Knudsen, a 19-year-old sophomore journalism and social welfare major at UConn, didn't attend the speech.I wonder why, Eric. Have you been baking?
"We encourage diverse opinion at UConn, but this is blatant hate speech," said Knudsen, head of Students Against Hate.