Olivier Jarda, The Journal (Saint Mary’s University, Halifax), Feb. 28, 2007
Jared Taylor is coming back to Halifax, and this time he’ll be coming to Saint Mary’s. speaking on March 6th. The editor of American Renaissance had been scheduled to defend the cons of racial diversity with David Devine, the chair of Black Canadian Studies at Dalhousie University. After researching Taylor’s questionable past, Devine cancelled the debate.
Instead, Taylor held a lecture at the Lord Nelson Hotel. Protesters, some clad with bandanas to cover their faces, refused to let him speak and physically forced him out of the room.
This time, he will be debating with Dr. Peter March, the Saint Mary’s professor who defied the university by posting controversial cartoons on his door twice in 2006,
Taylor’s monthly magazine considers itself “America’s premiere publication of racial-realist thought. The magazine purports, “Of all the fault lines that divide society—language, religion, class, ideology—[race] is the most prominent and divisive.”
In a recent press release, Saint Mary’s stated, “[it] is NOT sponsoring the debate nor does it support or sanction Mr. Taylor’s presence or his views. All planning and arrangements are being made by [Dr. March].” Saint Mary’s has asked philosophy professor Dr. March to pay for expenses including insurance, security and clean-up, which are usually covered by the university at such events.
Taylor argues that multiculturalism should be avoided. Races shouldn’t mix, because that causes conflict and hostility. Although Taylor’s attack on multiculturalism has stirred controversy, the problem lies in how Taylor has argued against it. He’s simply failed to be objective on the topic.
I’ve pulled some arguments from an earlier editorial to shed light on Taylor’s views.
Taylor asked on an interview with CTV News if diversity raised per capita GNP. However, if a country can adequately integrate and educate different ethnic and religious groups, this can result in an increase in labour productivity and economic growth. Although multiculturalism does breed tension and conflict, Canada is a land of immigrants that’s embraced multiculturalism and has reaped many benefits. Taylor fails to mention multiculturalism also breeds tolerance.
Taylor has listed the bads of multiculturalism in a biased manner, failing to reveal the positive aspects. Canada’s experiment of diversity is a great example that shows the world a country built on multiculturalism and immigration can have a strong economy, low crime rates and one of the highest standards of living. It’s an important example to set in a world of increasing globalization and multicultural interaction.
On Taylor’s website are the notes he was to use in Halifax on his first visit. He had planned on telling the audience that the government of Canada and its institutions agreed with him on multiculturlaism, not with Professor Divine. Wrong. In 1971, Canada became the first country in the world to adopt multiculturalism as an official policy. The fact that multiculturalism is enshrined in our constitution must have eluded Taylor.
Taylor’s website has countless examples of this biased fact-dropping. Taylor’s American Renaissance website features skewed ‘academic’ essays on black history (the site’s telling of how Haiti gained its independence is laughable to someone who has properly researched the topic). Visitors who post racist comments on the site are left uncensored.
Taylor may appear to be a credible academic at first glance, but after reading his arguments, it’s evident that he uses half-truths and flawed comparisons to prove his ‘realist’ points.
Taylor cites George Orwell, a valiant opponent of propaganda, in order to validate his own. In the essay that would have been the basis of his first talk in Halifax, there is a picture of George Orwell with the caption, “Orwell was onto something.” Taylor borrows government slogans from Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, ‘war is peace’, ‘freedom is slavery’ and ‘ignorance is strength.’ “‘Diversity is strength’ fits right in, doesn’t it?” asks Taylor. To borrow from Orwell’s essay, “Politics and the English Language”, Taylor uses an academic writing style that “…is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
Taylor completed his BA at Yale, holds an MA in International Economics and is the author of three books. Here is a man that has been equipped with the tools needed to persuade people. It is unfortunate that he uses his skills to promote such a narrow-minded anti-diversity agenda.
Nevertheless, Taylor should have been allowed to speak last time. I understand why Prof. Divine refused to debate with Taylor. His arguments are often weak, unfounded, biased and have added little to the academic debate on race relations and multiculturalism. Taylor is simply not a credible academic. It would be like a young Mohammed Ali agreeing to get into the ring with Dr. Colin Dodds.
While Divine chose not to drop the gloves for Taylor, our notorious Peter March has jumped at the chance.
I look forward to the debate. It will give Halifax an opportunity to see the many gaping holes of Taylor’s arguments. I must admit, I would’ve rather seen Dr. Divine vs. Taylor, but this will do.