Posted on January 22, 2007

Dismantle Taylor’s Case, Not Him

Peter Duffy, Herald Chronicle (Halifax, Nova Scotia), Jan. 21, 2007

HERE IT IS, days later, and Jared Taylor is still stunned at what happened to him in Halifax.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life!” he says in a telephone interview Thursday from his office in Virginia.

Taylor is the inflammatory Ameri can author who was run out of town Tuesday night for his opposition to Canadian and American policies that promote racial diversity.

The Yale-educated speaker held a free public lecture at a downtown hotel, only to be verbally and physically assaulted by an audience of mostly young people, many of whom hid their faces with hoods and bandanas.

“Given how angry those people were,” I remark, “you’re probably lucky someone didn’t stick a knife in you.”

He tells me he’s just grateful it was only a roughing-up, nothing worse.

“I kept telling myself, ‘There are many cameras here, many witnesses; surely no one is going to do me serious damage.’”

Ironically, it seems it may have been Taylor himself who invited these ruffians to his meeting.

He tells me he se nt a prepaid announcement to The Chronicle Herald, the Daily News and the radio station News 95.7. He says all three declined it.

(It’s true. Staff with both newspapers told me the advertisements were turned down because they were deemed unacceptable. As for News 95.7, the sales manager was out of town and unavailable. Curious, I checked copies of Taylor’s ads and, frankly, they didn’t seem incendiary. More likely, they were rejected because of the man’s controversial views.)

The long and short of it is, faced with these rejections, Taylor visited the campus at Dalhousie University to hand out leaflets announcing his meeting.

He chose Dalhousie because he had initially been invited to debate the issue of racial diversity with David Devine, the universi ty’s chair of Black Canadian studies.

Devine later cancelled, deciding instead to deliver his own lecture Monday evening. It too got cancelled, due to weather.

Jared Taylor’s views are controversial, to say the least.

He speaks out against the official promotion of racial diversity. He’s critical of any kind of legislation that enshrines multiculturalism and opposed to those agencies set up to promote it.

It’s his conviction that official sanction of diversity, far from making a country stronger and r acially integrated, will only lead to discord and unhappiness on all sides and, ultimately, increase racism.

Diversity won’t make a nation stronger, Taylor argues, pointing to European countries like the Netherlands, the U.K. and France, which are strugg ling to adjust to the realities of large, non-traditional populations living in their midst.

“We have to recognize that all people, not just whites, all people prefer the company of (people) like themselves.”

If we were all left to our own devices, he says, those who wanted to mix would mix; those who didn’t, wouldn’t.

Taylor supports his assertions with numerous international examples of people at odds.

At first glance, some of his evidence seems persuasive. On reflection, however, it’s wide open to rebuttal.

He claims, for example, that the former Soviet Union fell apart because of race and ethnicity and that the African country of Zimbabwe expelled white farmers because they were white.

Reading the material, it occurs to me that instead of breaki ng up his meeting, those masked hoodlums would’ve performed a better service by debating him and dismantling his case.

They could’ve pointed out that the Soviet Union’s collapse had more to do with economic bankruptcy and an overpowering desire of people behind the Iron Curtain to be free, than anything racial.

And in Zimbabwe’s case, white farmers lost their land because of an economic struggle between themselves and the politicians. Yes, the government there is black, but the name of the game was powe r, not race.

Those who assaulted Taylor lost the opportunity to present examples of how richly Canada has benefited from racial diversity. They let slip the chance to talk proudly of our vibrant, ethnically diverse cities and present statistics that woul d show that troublemakers are but tiny fractions of the non-white communities. And they also surrendered the opportunity to boast about our governor general and, indeed, Nova Scotia’s lieutenant-governor, both minority members.

What happened to Jared Tay lor in Halifax was repugnant and shameful. It reflects badly on all of us.

In the name of free speech, he should’ve had the chance to be heard and challenged, and not just Tuesday night. That professor at Dalhousie University should have kept that origin al appointment and allowed us the debate.

Because that’s what we still don’t have in Nova Scotia — frank and open discussion about racism, an abhorrent reality that persists here — one rarely discussed openly but left instead to fester in the dark.

Here’s one more opportunity lost, painful as it would’ve been.

We are all the poorer.

IT WAS a memorable scene that few people witnessed: a smooth-talking white separatist in a suit being shouted down by a posse of politically correct storm troopers. It was, quite literally, a race war in which almost everyone was white.

Last week, American “paleoconservative” Jared Taylor jetted in to Halifax to give a speech nobody wanted to hear on a very touchy subject: racial diversity. As Michael Lightstone reported in The Chronicle Herald, Taylor never gave his anti-diversity speech because he was hooted down and assaulted by a gang of masked thugs. Their right to stifle apparently was more important than his right to speak.

Taylor is an American academic and writer who advocates racial separation. He’s effective at spreading his spiteful message because he comes across so smoothly. Educated at Yale and the French Institut d’Etudes Politiques, he is multilingual, impeccably dressed and seems the soul of reasonable argument. But what an argument.

Taylor believes races and cultures should be kept s eparate, that no good can come of their mixture. He opposes immigration because it brings the world to places like the U.S. and Canada which, in the mythology of racial separatism, were founded and ennobled only by the whites.

The deepest fear in the hea rt of the separatist is that the races will physically blend. In the Old South days of made-in-the-U.S.A. apartheid, they called it miscegenation. People got lynched for it.

Now, Taylor and his racially pristine followers have trained their guns on public policy which encourages immigration and racial diversity. They call it a dangerous diversion dreamed up by liberal elites and condemn it with white spite.

“Just how, exactly, is racial diversity a strength?” he wrote in the speech he would have given. “Does it raise per capita GNP? Does it improve crop yields? Does it reduce greenhouse gases? Does it lower taxes?”

And gosh, now that I think of it, diversity actually doesn’t do those things. But who’s to say that an all-white society would suddenly be more productive, grow more food, cut toxic emissions or wrestle taxes to the ground?

Taylor also claims that wherever there is diversity, there is discord. I’d suggest wherever there are people, there is discord. For centuries, ethnically pure Europeans cut each other’s heads off with abandon, as did tribes around the world. Ethnic hatred is a human condition.

So it wasn’t surprising that people would oppose Taylor’s views. What was disgusting was how the political correctness police stifled Taylor’s sp eech before he could utter a sentence. Hiding behind masks and bandanas, these heroic opponents of free speech matched Taylor’s intolerance with their own.

This whole fiasco would be no more than a farce except for this: Jared Taylor was originally invit ed here by Dalhousie professor David Devine, who apparently thought he was going to engage in a learned debate on racial diversity.

When Dalhousie found out what Jared Taylor really stands for, the debate was cancelled and a lecture by Prof. Devine subst ituted. It took our reporters no more than 60 seconds to find out who Jared Taylor really is, so it’s astonishing that Dalhousie exposed itself in that way without taking the simple precaution of Googling “Jared Taylor.”

What Dalhousie ended up doing was giving substance to Taylor’s claim that political correctness has run amok, that free speech only exists for those who adhere to mainstream views on culture and ethnicity. Dalhousie ended up looking unprepared and amateurish.

But Dalhousie is just the l atest Nova Scotia university to trip over the lines which too often separate the notion of academic freedom from simple common sense. Last year, Saint Mary’s Professor Peter March brought ridicule on his school by flaunting anti-Muslim cartoons and insult ing his Muslim students. March then tried to hide his bad judgment and vaulting egotism behind the cover of free speech and academic independence.

Then last fall, Prof. Shiraz Dossa of St. Francis Xavier flew halfway around the world to take part in a co nference in Tehran that featured some of the world’s leading Holocaust deniers. He had every right to go and hobnob with the anti-Semites, but it made the university look stunned.

Jared Taylor got what he wanted from Halifax because his opponents were simple bullies and he, at least, had the courage to show his face. His masked tormentors should be charged with assault and reminded that Canadians still make room for dissenting views, no matter how unpalatable.