Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Carleton University Admits to Censoring Minority Opinion

This will be an interesting court case. Carleton University had practically pleaded guilty to violating its own policy of academic freedom and the Charter-guaranteed right to free speech via its official spokesman. Oh and they also admit lying to mislead the public. Heckuva job there Jason!

From the Lifeline website comes a press release which includes the following:

Carleton’s director of communications Jason MacDonald told media Monday, in comments published by major media such as the National Post, that the group was denied the space because “student groups are not normally permitted use of the Quad for displays.” He stated that, “in addition,” there were concerns about the content of the group’s display.

Today, however, the student group issued a press release saying that Carleton was “misleading the public” by suggesting that the pro-life students were asking for special treatment in the use of the public area.

In the release, club president Ruth Lobo said she found it appalling the university would “mislead the public by making the arrest look like we violated university policy instead of what it really was: that Carleton censors opinions on campus thereby violating their own policy of academic freedom.”

When LifeSiteNews questioned MacDonald on his previous remarks, he admitted, “The real issue was the nature of the content.”

“Our goal was to balance the desire to allow the Carleton Lifeline group to exercise its right to free speech by offering them a room to set the GAP up in and a table in the galleria to make students aware of the exhibit and direct them to it should they desire to see it,” he added.

Club vice president James Shaw responded to MacDonald’s admission, saying that the group is “astonished that the university admitted to censorship.
Shaw is not the only person astonished by this turn of events. Count me astonished too. In case you don't trust the student prolife group to quote the university official accurately, here is a quote from a story by reporter Doug Hemstead in a secular media outlet. Hemstead concludes his story by noting:

But university spokesman Jason MacDonald said Carleton was simply trying to find a balance between those who are and those who aren't offended by such graphic displays.

"Those types of displays aren't permitted in the quad," said MacDonald. "This particular display has been found by courts and human rights tribunals in other jurisdictions to be offensive."

"We have to balance their rights to free speech with the rights of the community," he said.

Where do these people get the idea that they can censor whatever they want in an effort to moderate extreme opinions? How can they not understand that this totally destroys the point of a free and open society? How can they think that Human Rights Commissions' prejudices have to act as ballast on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Do we only have freedom of speech for what the majority doesn't find "offensive?" Do I have the right to have the owners of billboards with pornographic pictures advertising things arrested because I find them offensive? Or do I just need a big enough mob which agrees with me?

1 comment:

Gordon Hackman said...

The part that makes me blink and do a double-take is the part where the university spokesman says that "human rights tribunals" have found such displays offensive. So, showing abortion related pictures that some find offensive is considered a violation of their human rights by the same people who have nothing at all to say about the killing of unborn human beings before birth. Talk about irony!