A sampling of some behaviour that could warrant attention from university-appointed student facilitators, tasked with policing students’ offensive language at Queen’s:
If a student uses the phrase “That’s so gay” in conversation.
If a student calls someone or something “retarded.“
If a student writes a homophobic, racist or other derogatory remark in a public space, such as on a residence poster or classmate’s door.
If a student avoids a classmate’s birthday party for faith-based reasons.
You know what I’m pretty proud of as an American? The fact that the Ku Klux Klan is allowed to hold marches and protests here.Not because I’m a Klan member or even agree with the Klan on much of anything (claims from those of you who send me hate mail to the contrary), but because I think free speech means free speech.Now, I don’t think that free speech rights are necessarily absolute.I don’t think that free speech extends to disrupting the rights of others to speak freely or peacefully assemble.I don’t think that free speech means you can use a bull horn on a residential street at four in the morning.But I do think it means that we have to let those we disagree with have their time to speak and demonstrate freely no matter how offensive their message may be.Because I think the worst thing you can do to extremists is turn them into free speech martyrs by not letting them speak, and the best thing you can do is actually let them speak so that they can be dismissed as loons and roundly criticized by the public at large.Clearly, in Canada, they don’t value free speech (and free religion) at the same level we do here in America.