Their Violence Is Free Speech, but Our Speech Is Violence

A ludicrous inversion has taken place. The speech of Charles Murray, Heather Mac Donald, and other conservatives whose ideas cross the race taboos of the left are claimed to be violent. It is now one of the truisms of identity politics that words can hurt. As Toni Morrison said in her 1993 Nobel Prize speech, “Oppressive language … Continue reading Their Violence Is Free Speech, but Our Speech Is Violence

DePaul—The Worst University for Free Speech?

In February, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) named DePaul University as one of the worst 10 universities for the protection of free speech. It was not the first time that DePaul has been on FIRE’s radar.  Most recently DePaul University was in the news for actions which have blocked conservative speakers and … Continue reading DePaul—The Worst University for Free Speech?

A UCLA Law Professor Spills the Beans on Free Speech

Our friends at Reason.com and Reason Magazine share many of  MTC’s concerns, not the least of which is the threat to free speech, sanctioned by America’s colleges and universities. They invited Eugene Volokh, a professor of free speech law at UCLA to speak at Reason Weekend, the annual even held by Reason Foundation. Reason says, “Volokh believes freeContinue reading A UCLA Law Professor Spills the Beans on Free Speech

The Real Defense of Charles Murray: Truth Not Free Speech

The Middlebury College incident in which Charles Murray was forcefully prevented from speaking about Coming Apart has generated a mini-industry of brilliant responses on behalf of academic freedom. Unfortunately, at least from my perspective, these high-sounding admonitions are misdirected and paradoxically give comfort to disruptors. Murray’s champions uniformly embrace the classic let- a-thousand-flowers-bloom, anti-censorship argument … Continue reading The Real Defense of Charles Murray: Truth Not Free Speech

The Campus Left Discovers Free Speech

The data are beginning to bear out the popular theory that free speech on campus is in steady decline. A study commissioned by the William F. Buckley Center at Yale found that 51% of college students favor speech codes to regulate speech for both faculty and students. Relatedly, a Pew poll found that a full … Continue reading The Campus Left Discovers Free Speech

Free Speech at Berkeley Once Again

Judith Butler and a dozen other Berkeley professors urgently wanted Milo Yiannoppoulos and his “Dangerous Faggot” tour banned from the campus, but University of California Chancellor Nicholas Dirks delivered a strong free-speech explanation of why he won’t cancel the speech and can’t.’’ In an open letter, he said, “From a legal perspective, the U.S. Constitution … Continue reading Free Speech at Berkeley Once Again

U of Oregon Violates Free Speech in Halloween Costume Punishment

The University of Oregon suspended a tenured professor for wearing blackface at an off-campus Halloween party, and now is considering additional punishment. The university admits the professor had no ill intent (reports suggest that she wore it in a strange attempt to honor a black physician, by dressing up as the title character in a … Continue reading U of Oregon Violates Free Speech in Halloween Costume Punishment

Does Free Speech Matter at UVa?

An adjunct lecturer at the University of Virginia was forced to take a leave of absence because his criticism of Black Lives Matter in a Facebook post was “inappropriate” and “inconsistent with the University of Virginia’s values.” The lecturer, Douglas Muir, had been teaching at the university’s Darden School of Business and the School of Engineering … Continue reading Does Free Speech Matter at UVa?

Brown’s President Says She Values Free Speech, but…

Christina Paxson, president of Brown University, published a ringing endorsement of free speech on campus yesterday in The Washington Post. The op-ed said, “Freedom of expression is an essential component of academic freedom, which protects the ability of universities to fulfill their core mission of advancing knowledge.” That’s nice. What the article didn’t say is … Continue reading Brown’s President Says She Values Free Speech, but…

De Paul Fails Free Speech Again

Black protesters and their allies shut down a speech by a conservative gay activist at DePaul University in Chicago last night. That’s not news, of course– it’s just what the campus left does. The news is that the security guards hired for $1000 to protect the speaker, Milo Yiannopoulos (after, he says, they threatened to … Continue reading De Paul Fails Free Speech Again

Let’s Reject This Endorsement of Free Speech on Campus

Today in the Wall Street Journal, an op-ed by Michael Bloomberg and Charles Koch explains “Why Free Speech Matters on Campus.” Many conservatives might jump to endorse this article as a welcome indictment of liberal censorship and bias by two powerful campus donors. But that would be a mistake.  Look more closely at what Bloomberg … Continue reading Let’s Reject This Endorsement of Free Speech on Campus

A Champion of Free Speech Takes on the Muzzled Campus

Harvey Silverglate delivered these remarks upon receiving the Manhattan Institute’s Alexander Hamilton award Monday, May 9th at a dinner in New York City. Silverglate is a Cambridge attorney, a veteran defender of civil rights and civil liberties, and co-founder, along with University of Pennsylvania professor Alan Charles Kors, of the Foundation for Individual Rights in … Continue reading A Champion of Free Speech Takes on the Muzzled Campus

Title IX Tramples Free Speech and Fairness, So Now What?

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has just dipped its oar in the dank water of Title IX.  The AAUP’s draft of its new document, The History, Uses, and Abuses of Title IX, leaves much to be desired.  But welcome to the fight, AAUP.  We’ve been wondering when you would show up. From 1972 … Continue reading Title IX Tramples Free Speech and Fairness, So Now What?

DIVESTERS: NO FREE SPEECH FOR OPPONENTS

Student activists pressing universities to divest from fossil fuels are of two minds about free speech. They want it for themselves, but don’t seem keen on allowing it for opponents. The divestment movement didn’t invent free-speech hypocrisy, but divestment activists offer a range of old and new reasons as to why opposing views should not … Continue reading DIVESTERS: NO FREE SPEECH FOR OPPONENTS

Princeton Takes a Stand on Free Speech

“Our university campuses are now islands of oppression in a sea of freedom.”—Abigail Thernstrom, 1990 So say many critics of our colleges, and, alas, in many cases correctly.  Here are the hallmarks of today’s college campus: The implementation of hate speech codes The stultifying strictures of political correctness The greatly expanded notions of verbal harassment … Continue reading Princeton Takes a Stand on Free Speech

Free Speech Even for Racists

Eugene Volokh of UCLA Law School spoke up quickly on the expelling of  University of Oklahoma students for  their racist chants—it was an impermissible violation of free speech rights. On his blog, The Volokh Conspiracy, he wrote: “[R]acist speech is constitutionally protected, just as is expression of other contemptible ideas; and universities may not discipline … Continue reading Free Speech Even for Racists

Is Yale Using Title IX to Trump Free Speech?

Yale runs one of the strangest systems of handling sexual assault (“economic abuse” has been counted as a sexual attack, and proceedings can start without the alleged victim’s consent) so its semiannual  reports on  the subject are well worth studying. I’ve analyzed each of the previous six, all done as part of a settlement with … Continue reading Is Yale Using Title IX to Trump Free Speech?

Free Speech Too Scary for Student Paper

The University of Chicago, on January 6, released a strong report on free expression “articulating the University’s overarching commitment to free, robust, and uninhibited debate and deliberation among all members of the University’s community.”  Good.  But what did The Maroon, the student newspaper, think of a call for robust free speech? You guessed it—not much. … Continue reading Free Speech Too Scary for Student Paper

What Universities Can Do for Free Speech in 2015

The new year offers an opportunity for campuses  across the country to improve their free-speech record. In 2014, the University of Iowa censored a professor’s art display because it caused controversy and offense by commenting on racism, then justified its decision with a self-congratulatory message to the campus community that will surely chill even more … Continue reading What Universities Can Do for Free Speech in 2015

Attacking Free Speech: From PC here to Guns in Paris

The Fiscal Times Sometimes, the world feels as though it would be better off if everyone went back to kindergarten. At least when I attended that grade, the teachers made us learn a mantra that has stuck with me ever since — Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. … Continue reading Attacking Free Speech: From PC here to Guns in Paris

UChicago Defends Free Speech

Today (Jan. 7) the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) endorsed the free speech policy statement produced by the Committee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago. Yesterday, the Committee, chaired by esteemed law professor Geoffrey R. Stone, released this powerful new report on the importance of freedom of expression on campus. … Continue reading UChicago Defends Free Speech

No Free Speech at Marquette

Marquette University, the Jesuit school in Milwaukee, has shot itself in the foot again. Weeks ago in a “Theory of Ethics” class, philosophy instructor Cheryl Abbate listed several possible topics of discussion, but said one of them –gay marriage—could not be addressed because any opposition argument would offend homosexual students, and besides society has already … Continue reading No Free Speech at Marquette

Three Reasons to Affirm Free Speech

This is the the keynote address delivered by Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker on October 23rd in New York at the fifteenth anniversary dinner of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).  *** A few years ago I wrote a chapter on taboo language which began, “It’s no coincidence that freedom of speech is enshrined … Continue reading Three Reasons to Affirm Free Speech

Free Speech Is in Big Trouble on Campuses

These remarks by the noted First Amendment expert were delivered in New York last night (Oct. 23) at the 15th anniversary dinner of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the foremost protector of free speech in higher education. *** This is an extraordinarily perilous moment with respect to free speech on campuses around … Continue reading Free Speech Is in Big Trouble on Campuses