free speech

University Removes Director for Mild Criticism of Affirmative Action, Violating Free Speech

The University of Pittsburgh has removed a program director at its medical center because he published a scholarly, peer-reviewed white paper discussing the pitfalls of affirmative action for black and Hispanic students. This violated the First Amendment, which protects even harsh criticism of affirmative action. The white paper was gentle in its criticism of racial preferences, merely […]

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The Power of Liberal Peer Condemnation on Conservatives

Now we know that the conquest of academia by political correctness is complete. A repressive system succeeds when the overlords of it no longer must exert any pressure. Instead, the group that is the target of the repression censors and harasses itself. This is the finding of a study by two professors at UNC-Chapel Hill. […]

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‘Woke’ Journalists Undermine America’s Newsrooms

Suppose you’re the editorial-page editor of a college newspaper, contemplating the big news on campus: protesters have silenced an invited speaker and gone on a violent rampage. Should you, as a journalist whose profession depends on the First Amendment, write an editorial reaffirming the right to free speech? If that seems like a no-brainer, you’re […]

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Double Standards on Free Speech

If you are a progressive professor, your university will let you keep teaching, even if you say things that reflect extreme hostility to members of a particular race and gender. You can say we should “kill and castrate all white men, and feed their corpses to pigs,” call for the death of Republican senators and engage in full-blown […]

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When the Battle Is Feelings Vs. Facts, Feelings Win on Campus

The mainstream press has not shown much interest in the struggle of college journalists to report accurately on free-speech and free-press issues on campus. On November 13, The New York Times weighed in with a long news article on student coverage of a speech at Northwestern University delivered by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Some […]

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At Some Colleges, It’s OK to Be White Again

Inside Higher Ed reports that “It’s OK to Be White” posters have appeared on more campuses: The posters, which also appeared a year ago at this time, are put up without permission [from college officials]. Posters have been seen this year at Christopher Newport University, East Tennessee State University, Oklahoma City University’s law school, Susquehanna University, and Western Connecticut State University. […]

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Free Speech Must Be Protected Inside and Outside the College Classroom

A 2019 report by the Knight Foundation on the state of collegiate student expression made the troubling conclusion that “students largely agree that the political and social climate on college campuses prevents some students from saying what they really believe because they’re afraid of offending their classmates.” The data revealed that 68% felt silenced because […]

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Court Allows Indirect Control of Campus Speech

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that the University of Michigan could be dampening free speech on campus by allowing a group that helps students who have experienced potentially prejudicial acts to operate at the institution. Speech First, a Washington, D.C.-based civil liberties watchdog, sued Michigan last year, asking for an injunction to halt the activities of the university’s […]

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Bloomberg Warns Colleges on Limiting Free Speech

Former New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, made headlines by arguing in a political column that political rage and increasingly polarized discourse are endangering the nation. He said Americans are too unwilling to engage with people whose ideas are different from their own. He added that Americans used to move forward productively after elections regardless […]

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The Assault on Free Thought

The academic left’s efforts to suppress opposing views is fierce, agile, and determined. It can summon an angry mob at a moment’s notice, get the undivided attention of a busy college president, or turn on the tears over the anguish a student feels when oppressed. Whether the goal is to bar a speaker, deface a […]

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Free speech censored

Why Don’t More College Leaders Back Free Speech?

You might think that higher education leaders, who have almost all been steeped in the academic traditions of the free exchange of ideas, would uniformly stand up for free speech. Learning about those traditions is, after all, a key part of what college should be about for students. Sadly, college officials often bow down to […]

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The Bullying and Silencing of Students

Progressive colleges are often the worst offenders in all the ideological bullying that stains our colleges these days. Take my own institution, Sarah Lawrence.  During the 2016 election cycle, a week did not go by on my campus, without a student or a small group of students coming to me and sharing stories where they […]

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Trump’s Flawed Plan to Promote Campus Free Speech

President Trump recently announced that he would issue an executive order permitting federal research money to be withheld from universities that violated free speech. This may appear as welcome news for fans of open campus debate, but I am not optimistic. The problems here are formidable under the best of conditions but, more important, the […]

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After the protests at the University of Missouri, enrollment dropped by 13 percent.

How to Stop the Censoring Mobs on Campus

Stanley Kurtz has laid out an interesting proposal for stopping once and for all the shutdowns and hecklers and mobs that have increasingly plagued higher education in recent years. It’s called the Intellectual Diversity Act, and it has a simple provision. The law, as passed by state legislatures, will direct public colleges and universities to […]

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How ‘Social Justice’ Warriors Kill Free Thought

Sixty years ago, higher education had an open culture where students and professors could explore many different social and political perspectives, views, values, and theories. Together, they would consider different approaches, argue about them, and draw what conclusions they could. But for the last half-century, universities have transitioned from an open to a closed culture, […]

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The Growing Threat of Repressive Social Justice

Most professors and students in the social sciences, humanities, education, social work, and law, and most university officials at Canadian and American universities today have adopted a political ideology labelled “social justice,” which requires redress for categories of people deemed “oppressed” for reasons of race, gender, sexual preference, ethnicity, and/or religion. For the many who […]

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DeVos Urges Campuses to Promote Free Speech

A few days ago, someone leaked a draft of the Education Department’s proposed new Title IX regulations. The document seeks to use federal authority to ensure that universities employ fairer procedures when adjudicating sexual misconduct claims. Today, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos—quite appropriately—took a different approach to the issue of free speech on campus. Rejecting the […]

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A Professor at Brown Uncovers a Transgender Inconvenient Truth

More than 4,000 people have signed a petition supporting a Brown University social scientist who is under fire from activists and her own university for research raising questions about whether social factors, rather than biological ones, could influence young adults’ transgender identities. Lisa Littman, an Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences, in a peer-reviewed […]

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Liberal Journos Fume at Decision to Protect Academic Freedom

Progressive journalists have a message for you: Free expression is for them, not for you — and not for conservative bloggers and academics. Left-leaning journalists like Margaret Carlson are angry that the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in favor of a conservative professor whose academic freedom rights were violated by Marquette University. It effectively fired him for a blog post that […]

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The Liberal-Conservative Dance on Campus Free Speech

Courtney Lawton became the central figure of an hour-long episode of This American Life by making a few derogatory comments on an activist from Turning Point USA, a campus conservative group. Last August, UNL undergraduate Kaitlyn Mullen set up a table with literature and fliers, in the middle of the University of Nebraska campus at […]

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A Tide Flowing Toward Free Speech on Campus

Freedom of expression is making a comeback. That might not be immediately obvious in the age of disinvitations, shout downs, trigger warnings, speech codes, “bias response teams,” and the other components of leftist suppression of ideas and speech on campus. Nor if we look beyond campus to the assaults on public officials, the doxing of […]

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Professor John McAdams ‘1’. . . Marquette University ‘0’

Marquette University has been trying to get rid of John McAdams, a conservative gadfly, for nearly four years. In October 2014, they came close to making that happen. When Cheryl Abbate, a grad student in philosophy, was teaching a course about John Rawls and asked students for examples of current events to which Rawlsian philosophy […]

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Free speech censored

A New Tactic to Undermine Free Speech?

“The anarchic left” may be adopting a new tactic to stifle free speech on campus: rather than direct shout-downs of speakers they oppose, thus risking arrest and punishment, they may be turning to persistent heckling, says Peter Wood, President of the National Association of Scholars. On April 18, the conservative activist group Turning Point USA […]

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A Conservative Argues Some ‘Free Speech’ Is Assault

It has become familiar among conservatives, on and off campus, to cast up the warnings about “moral relativism” as they gnash their teeth about the state of the culture. And yet we often find conservatives with a libertarian bent backing into a soft version of relativism. That tendency has been especially pronounced among conservatives who […]

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The Battle Over Pronouns Coming to a College Near You

Last year, Jordan Peterson, a professor at the University of Toronto, made news when he refused to use the invented pronouns of the transgender movement as prescribed by Canadian law (see chart). Pronouns these days are a new battleground, as recommendations admonish us all that the standard English pronouns, which traditionally distinguish she from he, […]

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Amy Wax - National Review

The Lack of Integrity at Penn

“The diversity imperative demands dissimulation and evasion,” Heather Mac Donald writes in City Journal about the public shaming by Penn Law School of Professor Amy Wax for pointing out hard truths about racial preferences. Many of us would put that assertion less politely and simply say that sustaining such preferences and cloaking their true costs […]

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No Free Speech on Four Canadian Campuses

Students at Canadian campuses have refused to allow three right-to-life clubs and one male-awareness group on the grounds that they don’t like what the clubs’ missions. The student union at the University of Toronto (Mississauga) refused to re-recognize the campus club “Students for Life” because of its “stance on abortion.” (It can’t be an anti-abortion club […]

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U. of Wisconsin Will Suspend or Expel Campus Disrupters

Following a spate of controversial protests on college campuses across the nation that sought to silence mostly conservative speakers, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents has adopted a policy that mandates punishment for students and other campus citizens who willfully seek to disrupt speakers. The policy, resulting from pressure by the state legislature, […]

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Disrupting Campus Speakers Is Not Just A Free-Speech Problem

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 […]

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Free Speech–Where Are the Adults in the Room?

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, […]

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