Joan Scott, professor emerita in the School of Social Science at Princeton, has been arguing that the great threat on academic freedom comes not from the smothering blanket of political correctness or the violence-laced actions of left-wing protesters, but from the anti-intellectual right. Scott’s interview in the Chronicle of Higher Education, “How the Right Weaponized … Continue reading Did the Right ‘Weaponize’ Free Speech?
From kneeling football players to campus shout-downs to professors and a president Tweeting out malignancies, America now has a new problem. Taken out of its Christian context, to witness is to make an emphatic assertion to someone else who doesn’t share your view that your view is right. That assertion, moreover, doesn’t aim to persuade … Continue reading Disrupting Campus Speakers Is Not Just A Free-Speech Problem
Almost two years have passed since the Halloween imbroglio at Yale in 2015, which launched the current era of student mobilizations against speech that some students don’t want to hear. Whatever their ideological stance, these protests aim to intimidate controversial speakers and those who would invite them to campus, to prevent others from hearing them, … Continue reading Free Speech–Where Are the Adults in the Room?
In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley writes: “There isn’t any need for a civilized man to bear anything that’s seriously unpleasant.” In his sanitized future, general happiness and social stability are achieved not via threats of legal action but rather through perfect genetic and behavioral engineering, endless indoctrination, anodyne feel-good phrases and drugs, and organized … Continue reading How Colleges Promote Censorship and Undermine Free Speech
Middlebury’s response to the disruption of Charles Murray’s invited campus address—followed by the protesters assaulting and injuring Professor Alison Stanger, moderator for the talk—offered little ground for optimism. A statement from the college implied that evidence (albeit ambiguous evidence) existed suggesting that some professors violated the Faculty Handbook in the pre-disruption period. The disruptors themselves … Continue reading Middlebury Student Government Says No to Free Speech
Free speech on campuses has come on hard times. By now, we are all too familiar with the litany: invited speakers disinvited, talks by honored guests disrupted by shouting protesters, vandalism and riots forcing the cancellation of events, campus security announcing it cannot guarantee public safety. The disruptions and attacks come almost entirely from an … Continue reading Universities, Free Speech and the Rise of the Spit-Viper Left
As Middlebury initiated what appears to be token punishments (single-term probation) for the students who disrupted the Charles Murray talk, the college’s student government (which has yet to condemn the disruptors in any way) passed a resolution demanding that Middlebury cease all punishment of students under the current college disciplinary code, lest they “contribute to … Continue reading Do Free Speech Students Outnumber the Snowflakes?
Many leftist academics have denounced the recent spate of riots and shouting down of non-progressive speakers on college campuses – and good for them – but you knew that there were others who were glad to see students fighting back against such supposedly dangerous people as Charles Murray. One of them has put his thoughts … Continue reading NYU Professor Sides with “Snowflakes” Against Free Speech
This is a generation that faces new challenges. You are not millennials, not Gen Xers, you are quite literally in a class by yourselves—the class of 2017. All around us we see changes we never expected, changes that demand acceptance—or “resistance.” There are economic and political alterations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East. They are … Continue reading Need a Commencement Speech? Try This One—It’s Free!
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
At Middlebury, where Charles Murray was prevented from speaking about the disintegrating white working class, college president Laurie Patton made some appropriate comments on the need for free speech. But her remarks seemed slightly out of focus, as if the crisis revolved around discord between two groups of students, not basic freedom of expression, and … Continue reading Colleges Still Lack Integrity on Canceled Speeches
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?
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 free … Continue reading A UCLA Law Professor Spills the Beans on 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 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
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
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
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?
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…
“Hate speech is excluded from protection,” CNN anchor Chris Cuomo tweeted last year, echoing a dangerously common misconception. “Hate speech isn’t free speech,” people say, assuming they have a right not to hear whatever they consider hateful language and ideas. Government officials sometimes share this view: The Mayor of West Hollywood confirmed to Eugene Volokh … Continue reading Progressive Policing of Speech Moves Off Campus
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
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
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
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?
Last Wednesday, 72 left-wing groups, including the Feminist Majority Foundation, American Association of University Women, and Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, asked federal civil-rights officials to crack down on anonymous politically-incorrect speech on campus, which they claim violates federal civil-rights laws such as Title IX. They claim they are concerned about “harassment” on anonymous … Continue reading Yik Yak—Latest Target of the Anti-Free-Speech Left