Debunking Ford's doublespeak - 2019-03-17
In recent years, the issue of free speech on university campuses has become increasingly contentious. U of T became part of the national conversation on free speech when Professor Jordan Peterson made headlines in 2016, and since then, numerous other conflicts have unfolded on campuses across the country.
For example, consider white nationalist Faith Goldy's failed speaking event at Wilfrid Laurier University last year, which was supposed to be hosted by the Laurier Society for Open Inquiry. Or last week's case of the University of British Columbia's Free Speech Club invitation to anti-immigrant speakers Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern to speak, which was also cancelled.
The misapplication of free speech
Technically, free speech refers to the ability to speak freely without facing retribution from the state. But at universities, free speech groups misapply the concept as a test of campus tolerance for hateful views from controversial speakers they choose to invite, often under the guise of diversity of thought. However, when students or institutions refuse to tolerate their speech, it is not an action of the government — and therefore not a free speech issue.