Students should give Coulter a chance

The College Republicans are bringing conservative political commentator, pundit and author Ann Coulter to speak at the College on Feb. 18.

In December, before her originally scheduled lecture, the campus Left was up in arms over the event. For weeks prior to the would-be event, students saw the chalkings that said, “Ann Coulter is not welcome here” and the Facebook event titled, “Protest Ann Coulter.” A number of organizations joined up to collectively protest her speaking at the College.

What I don’t understand is why there is an uproar over a conservative speaker being brought to campus, only the fourth in the last four years, but when the College brought a self-proclaimed Marxist Howard Zinn, or a Black Panther and communist Angela Davis, the College welcomed them with open arms.

While I disagree with the ideas espoused by speakers such as Zinn and Davis, I was glad to see that the College brought them to campus and students attended their lectures.

Hearing different viewpoints and alternative theories is healthy for an academic institution, and furthermore, allowing students to question these ideas and challenge these speakers fosters an environment of diversified learning.

The problem is, this ideal doesn’t seem to apply when conservative speakers are brought to campus, as they are shunned by academics and campus liberals.

As a proud conservative, let me just say I personally dislike Ann Coulter. I don’t read her books or her blog, and I don’t listen to her on the radio. If she comes on Fox News, I change the channel.

I feel that Coulter purposely says controversial and ignorant things in order to sell books and, in the process, makes conservatives everywhere look bad. I’m sure the campus Left will be reminding you of some of her controversial statements in the coming days, so there is no need to discuss them here. I think it goes without saying that Coulter is one of the most controversial people in politics.

You may dislike Coulter. You may disagree with everything that comes out of her mouth. You may even flat out hate her. But, at the end of the day, you have to admit, she is someone who challenges people to think.

She makes people question some things that they normally wouldn’t question. Who in their right mind would criticize the Sept. 11 widows or talk about racial profiling in airport security? Who would even suggest that women should lose the right to vote? Coulter would, and she’ll challenge you to disagree with her.

Of course, most of these examples are Coulter’s more sarcastic or tongue-in-cheek proposals, but let’s be honest, she is a shock jock. That’s what makes her entertaining to millions of Americans. She presents alternative ways of looking at important issues in an unfiltered, unrepentant and politcally incorrect way.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to defend Coulter. She’s had her fair share of ignorant remarks, but this is hardly a reason to dismiss her entirely. After all, six of her books have been New York Times bestsellers, so obviously someone is listening.

To you campus liberals out there, I challenge you to challenge Coulter. After you’re done with your protest, put your money where your mouth is and call her out on something. I did the same with Zinn and Davis. The least you can do is toughen up and say something to her face, rather than hide behind the crowds of liberals who agree with you.