It starts with a mentor Canadian Who hates the severity of Quebec on Twitter. Despite his diploma, we are told that he is only an obscene demon. Pure provocative. We tell ourselves it won’t go too far.
But day by day, it swells. It’s bloated. And it goes to the National Assembly.
On Wednesday, elected officials of Salon Blue unanimously passed a resolution condemning the hate attacks on Quebec and “Canadian organizations that refused to intervene to end these attacks against Quebec.”
Allow me to give a false note to this concert which was unanimously condemned.
Allow me to come to the defense of Amir Attaran.
Not the inflammatory words of a law professor at the University of Ottawa I want to defend.
His outrageous generalizations, his contempt, his biases, his willingness to stand at the end of the hair of any self-respecting frog.
North Alabama, apparently. Medical lynching. White supremacists మాటలు The teacher’s words are very crude, caricature, and he wonders if he did not do a little on purpose.
This is what I want to protect. Professor Attaran is not himself. It is bigger than him – much bigger: freedom of speech.
This freedom of expression that everyone loudly advocated a few weeks ago.
In February, Franయిois Legalt said on Facebook: “Freedom of expression is one of the pillars of our democracy. If we start compromising on this, we will see the same censorship coming into our media, into our political discussions. We do not wish to say anything more. ”
The same Franois Legalt, now rector of the University of Ottawa, said he was “disappointed” to see that Jacques Fremont did not refute his professor’s words.
Paul Saint-Pierre Plamondon, who appealed in October to establish policies to protect freedom of expression and freedom of education, criticized Amir Attaran for not granting the rector now …
Am I the only one who sees the contradiction?
Rector Frommont distanced himself from Professor Attaron’s remarks. He lamented his “highly polarized and unqualified” statements. But he also stressed that “freedom of expression is not a buffet, where speech is acceptable and chooses where it is not.”
And, on top of that, he was right.
Voltaire said: “I do not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death because you have the right to say it.”
(Actually, Walter never said that. This is an apocryphal quote: although it sums up his idea perfectly, it was mistakenly attributed to him. But hey, anyway: you understand the concept.)
If we are to protect freedom of expression, we must protect it to the end, even when it is disturbed. You can’t change your mind as soon as a teacher starts talking nonsense on Twitter.
Because we often change our minds …
But above all, it is a principle that must be justified at all costs, beyond individuals. Think about whether universities give their teachers ’words in the media, socially or to the police. Censorship – or the risks of self-censorship.
University professors are one of the rare resources to be able to speak freely with journalists. They take the negotiations forward, challenge preconceived notions and challenge the authorities without fear of retaliation.
In short, they play a role in democracy. And they can do it because they have a lot of freedom of speech.
Do we really want that to change?
In this case, the game of contradictions is clearly played in two ways. It is not difficult to follow only those who advocated freedom of expression yesterday and those who now seek sanctions.
Jagmeet Singh, in his lecture at the University of Ottawa, in October, on Verushka Lieutenant-Dowell’s “word beginning with N”: “It is very clear that a professor should not use a loaded word that is full of historical racism, which hurts the people. Everyone agrees: this is not entirely acceptable. , She did. ”
The same Jagmeet Singh has now called for the ordering of one of his aides, Matthew Green, who deserves to congratulate Professor Attaron on his beautiful anti-Quebec program on Twitter.
You explained that an NDP leader who is a “racist MP” like Matthew Green “has experience in his life and has the right to speak out, to fight against systemic racism, it is important”.
Verushka Lieutenant-Duval, who uttered a forbidden word to describe a concept in his speech: Not acceptable.
Matthew Green praised the teachers ’hate speech on Twitter: He said it was important to speak up.
Two weights, two dimensions.
In this story, the conflicts of the University of Ottawa shock Verushka Lieutenant-Duval.
She notices the gap between the treatment she received in October – she, the part-time teacher sitting in the ejection seat – and what her colleague received these days – he, the permanent teacher, is almost irreversible.
Amir Attaron stays away with his hateful remarks, which were repeated when the University of Ottawa sided with the Quebecs when she left. “This UO position is cool in the back! She wrote on Facebook.
There is a difference between what a teacher writes on Twitter and what someone else in his class says, Rector Formont argues. The University “must ensure that it has a conducive environment for learning”.
However, I think it would be a mistake to condemn Verushka Lieutenant-Duval for uttering a forbidden word in class. She deserves an apology.
Aamir Attaran, on the other hand, deserves one or two lessons in courtesy. He is certainly condemned for making offensive remarks towards Quebeckers. Franయిois Legalt, on the other hand, is a “hegemonic” and Paul Saint-Pierre Plamondon’s “dried brain” is probably the reason for his disgrace.
But – and although it is very satisfactory – Amir Attaron is not eligible for admission from the University of Ottawa. Not if you really believe in freedom of expression and more broadly freedom of education. And Verushka should not take back the mistake he made on Lieutenant-Duval. You cannot correct one injustice by creating another.