Friday, October 19, 2007

Coulter Visit Update

In my previous post, I mused over the rumor that Ann Coulter was coming to Tulane to give a talk. Well, I can confirm without a doubt that the rumor is no longer rumor, but a fact.

I was over in the University Kinko's copying store, having some things copied, when I noticed the young, college-age woman in front of me having a large poster printed about the Ann Coulter visit. I figured I'd strike up a conversation with this young woman. So, I started off my conversation by wishing her good luck with the event. In a very pleasant way, she thanked me. Then I asked her a question about something that the poster said. The posted exhorted people to come hear Ann Coulter speak on "Why liberals are wrong about everything." That's exactly what the poster said. So I politely asked this young woman if she really believed that liberals are wrong about everything, and she said, "Of course not." I just smiled and left it at that, but I was thinking: Why would someone who didn't believe this statement to be accurate seek to promote a talk where someone was going to be making precisely this claim? But I figured this pleasant young woman probably had enough to worry about, so I didn't push it.

I did, though, ask her how she was managing the controversy surrounding the event. Then, she really opened up and told me that, since she was directly responsible for organizing the event and for getting Ann Coulter to come, she had recieved all kinds of nasty comments and threats, so much so that she felt compelled to take down her facebook and myspace pages. I told her that it was wrong for her to be treated this way; but she seemed to be willing and able to take the heat.

Then she asked if I was planning to attend the event. And so I replied to her honestly and said that I wasn't going to go because I wasn't a fan of Ann Coulter and found many of the things she said to be offensive and not part of civil dialogue. The young woman seemed to understand. As she was about to leave the Kinko's I wished her good luck with the event again and expressed my hope that the event would proceed without disruption and with civility. She thanked me again, and then left.

I don't have much more to say on this. It is clear that I think Ann Coulter does a disservice to conservative opinion and civil debate in our society, and that she trafficks in platitudes of hate and disrespect. I honestly even think Ann Coulter is a racist and a bigot. And it saddens me that decent and good people buy into her vitriol. It's one thing to be a committed conservative; but it's another thing altogether to embrace someone as a spokesperson for conservatism who thinks some of the things she does about liberals and other peoples of the world.

I hope that liberals who oppose Ann Coulter don't engage in any silliness or violence during her presentation; but I imagine that some folks will. It's a shame if that happens because it will only confirm the worst that conservatives would like to think about liberals. But Ann Coulter is part and parcel of this unfortunate kind of reaction because she brings the debate down to this level by her own reprehensive, direspectful, and offensive behavior. She taunts people like a schoolyard bully. And sometimes people just lose their cool and behave in unfortunate ways when faced with her taunts and bullying.

1 comment:

Don_cos said...

To bad you are not attending. It would be interesting to hear your views on it.