A Lady's Ruminations

"Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Non-Free Speech Zones

AP: Hecklers Cause Coulter to Cut UConn Speech---

STORRS, Conn. - Conservative columnist Ann Coulter gave up trying to finish a speech at the University of Connecticut on Wednesday night when boos and jeers from the audience became overwhelming. Coulter cut off the talk after 15 minutes and instead held a half-hour question-and-answer session.

"I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am," Coulter told the 2,600 people at Jorgensen Auditorium.

Coulter's appearance prompted protests from several groups, including Students Against Hate and the Puerto Rican/Latin American Cultural Center. They criticized her for spreading a message of hate and intolerance.

Nearly 100 students gathered inside the Student Union for a rally against Coulter. About a half-dozen people held protest signs outside the auditorium.

After a book signing following her appearance, Coulter called the audience's reaction "typical."

Coulter, originally from New Canaan, Conn., has a history of bashing Democrats in best-selling books, frequent television appearances and speeches. Harding University in Arkansas dropped her from its lecture series in September, citing her abrasive image.

Last April, the president of the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota denounced a speech on the campus by Coulter, calling it hateful. In October 2004, University of Arizona police arrested two men who ran on stage and threw custard pies at Coulter; one of the pies glanced off her shoulder.

In her speech at UConn, Coulter called Bill Clinton an "executive buffoon" who won the presidency only because Ross Perot took 19 percent of the vote. She called California Sen. Barbara Boxer a good candidate for the Democrats because "she is a woman and she's learning disabled."

During the question-and-answer session, someone asked Coulter if she really was against a woman's right to vote.

"Not having women vote is a joke," she said, reversing comments she has previously made.

Eric Knudsen, a 19-year-old sophomore journalism and social welfare major at UConn, didn't attend the speech.

"We encourage diverse opinion at UConn, but this is blatant hate speech," said Knudsen, head of Students Against Hate.

Kareem Mohni, a 20-year-old junior and a member of a campus Republicans group, said he was disgusted with the Jorgensen crowd.

"It really appalled me that we're not able to come together as a group and listen to a different view in a respectful environment," he said.
I thought Liberals were all for allowing academic freedom to everyone? Oh . . . wait . . . only for everyone who has their point of view.

The Political Teen has video of Ann's appearance on Hannity and Colmes tonight.