The C in Conservative stands for Cancel

Conservative speakers are being cancelled left right and centre. In New Zealand, Ayaan?Hirsi?Ali was cancelled at the last minute due to threats to her safety. I had tickets for myself and my Mum and was really looking forward to listening to her. In ?America, conservative speakers have had their?speeches closed down due to safety concerns because of violence and threats of violence. Three recent examples are Ann Coulter?,David Horowitz , and ?Republican Sen. John Cornyn.?

The latest speaker to be cancelled is a well-respected scientist and Atheist Richard Dawkins. In his case he was cancelled not because of violence or threats of violence but because the “Progressive” Radio Station KPFA that sponsored him found out that some people were offended by some of his tweets and comments about the ideology of Islam.

His speech had nothing to do with religion. His speech was all about his new book about Science but he was censored and cancelled by the radio station because some people had hurtie feelings about his opinions.


…It?s a terrible blow for free speech, and likely a big disappointment for those who hoped to see Richard. I?m sure that some of the Perpetually Offended, with perhaps Muslims among them, complained to the radio station, and KPFA caved.

I asked Richard about what happened, and what KPFA was. He emailed his response, which I reproduce with permission:

KPFA is a liberal radio station in Berkeley. When I lived there, they were the good guys and I listened to their station almost every day. They were scrupulous in their fact-checking in those days ? how sad that they have come to this: if they had done any fact-checking at all, they couldn?t possibly have come to the conclusion that I used ?abusive speech? against Islam. The only only one of my tweets I can find this year, which could possibly be called abusive, is nothing to do with Islam. As follows:
?Ashamed to be American?? Don?t be. The majority of you voted against this narcissistic, xenophobic, vainglorious, ignorant 2-year-old.?[JAC: This was of course about Trump.]
Not only did KPFA fail to fact-check. ?They didn?t even tell me before cancelling the event and refunding tickets.

KPFA, like so many, is guilty of confusing free speech with ?abusive speech?, banning a talk, and thus depriving people of the chance to hear Richard?and probably ask him questions or even criticize him. Here?s the station?s inevitable ?but?:

While KPFA emphatically supports serious free speech, we do not support abusive speech.

Give me a break! Criticism of ideas is not criticism of people, nor is it ?abuse.?

…his ?abusive speech? is simply criticism of religion in general, including Islam. I guess believers can?t bear to hear that criticism, and they didn?t have to go to that talk. But what right do they have to prevent others from hearing it?

Berkeley was, you?ll recall, the home of the?Free Speech Movement.?How low the city has fallen!