In praise of dangerous universities

“A safe university isn’t a university free of theft, vandalism and violence. It’s not one where the ice is cleared quickly from the sidewalks. Rather, a safe university is a university at which no one will hear racist, sexist, or homophobic comments, or any discriminatory slights against a person’s religion, nationality, age or disability.

Canadians came to understand only just recently what it is for a university to be safe, as a result of Ann Coulter’s attempt to speak at the University of Ottawa. Ms Coulter, an American political commentator, cancelled her engagement on the advice of her security chief, who judged that those demanding safety (in the new sense) were threatening people’s safety (in the old sense).

It’s no little thing, that people off campus now know this new meaning of “safe.” If any good came of Ms Coulter’s trip to Ottawa, enlightenment on that point is certainly it.”

Whenever I hear the word “safe” I  reach for my lead painted Rubber Ducky from China.