...He pointed out the indisputable fact that as university students who had almost no experience working an eight hour day on the floor of a factory, every single person listening to his talk — regardless of gender, race or sexuality — was a member of a very privileged, exclusive and elite group. This caused many to shift uncomfortably in their seats and others to angrily confront Levant’s own self-proclaimed status as a “rich, white conservative pundit.”
While the rest of Levant’s speech wasn’t a huge difference from what the pundit usually talks about on his TV show The Source, the University of Alberta alumnus seemed to derive pleasure from the numerous, random outbursts vilifying him throughout his speech. The loud comments from the crowd included implications that he was homophobic, racist and misogynistic even after he explicitly stated that he thought women, African-Americans and gay people were equal to men, white people and heterosexuals, and referenced women’s suffrage, the civil rights movement and the fight for LGBTQ rights as reasons for the necessity of “offensive speech.”
While the shouting came from an extremely vocal minority, that small number of outraged delegates only served to undermine the professionalism that, up until that point, had been maintained and was extremely well displayed throughout the conference. If anything, it’s their opposition to Levant that looks ridiculous.
The difference in treatment between the other keynote speakers and Levant makes one wonder, for instance, what would’ve happened if an adamant and hardcore supporter of Ford Nation had angrily interrupted Wednesday night’s keynote speaker and Toronto Star reporter Robyn Doolittle...