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Growing Threat to Free Speech on College Campuses

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  • Growing Threat to Free Speech on College Campuses

    But even as universities are beginning to defuse the threat to free speech from leftist radicals on campus, they are facing new ones from right-wing lawmakers off campus.

    Conservatives warn day and night about liberal political correctness but give scarcely a thought to how their own brand of patriotic correctness stifles free expression. If they did, they wouldn't be instigating anti-flag-burning amendments on a regular basis. And they certainly wouldn't have stood squarely behind this president when he berated 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and demanded that the NFL fire him.

    Nor are conservative lawmakers shy about launching their own jihad on academic freedom to squelch professors or viewpoints they dislike.

    There is a rising trend that goes something like this, as per New York University's Jonathan Haidt: A left-wing professor says something provocative on social media or elsewhere and the right-wing media goes into overdrive, covering the story ad nauseum to gin up viewer outrage. Republican politicos jump in and demand action. University administrators, terrified of the PR damage but unworried about academic freedom, put the professor on leave and begin the "process of termination," especially if the professor isn't tenured. (Haidt, incidentally, is no liberal pleader. He is a celebrity in conservative circles because he founded the highly respected Heterodox Academy, whose purpose is to address the lack of intellectual diversity on liberal-dominated campuses.)

    In just the last six months, Acadia University's Sachs has documented several incidents in Iowa, California, and Connecticut that fit exactly this pattern.

    In another incident just last month, the University of Alabama fired Jamie R. Riley, its black assistant vice president and dean of students, after Breitbart exposed past tweets in which Riley criticized the American flag and made a connection between police and racism. Meanwhile, the chief of staff of Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R–Neb.) personally called and threatened University of Nebraska Professor Ari Kohen for "liking" a Facebook post depicting a defaced campaign sign of the congressman showing googly eyes and calling him Fartenberry. The staffer accused Kohen of encouraging "vandalism," arguably an attempt at chilling speech.

    It isn't just professors that Republicans are going after. In January, FIRE had to send a cease-and-desist letter to the University of Georgia after it invited an investigation by the state's Republican attorney general into a philosophy graduate student who called white people "crappy" at a meeting.

    Meanwhile, bills are proliferating across Republican-controlled states such as Wisconsin requiring universities to expel students engaging in "disruptive" protests, which could potentially include anything from loud clapping to walkouts, according to the ACLU. Also in Wisconsin, a Republican lawmaker threatened to cut the University of Wisconsin's budget over an "obscene" reading assignment aimed at exploring how sexual preferences can lead to racial segregation in the gay community.

    In another disturbing incident, Rep. Ted Budd (R–N.C.), successfully petitioned the Department of Education secretary to investigate Duke University and the University of North Carolina to ensure that the $235,000 grant that the universities' Middle East consortium received isn't being used to promote "anti-Israel bias."

    Conservatives pose as the guardians of free speech against the excesses of political correctness. Yet they have few qualms about deploying the purse and power of the state to police the boundaries of acceptable speech and speakers. It is too bad that conservatives' threat of censorship is heating up just when campus snowflakes are showing signs of melting away.
    https://reason.com/2019/09/19/the-gr...s-free-speech/
    "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
    - Benjamin Franklin

    The new right wing: hate Muslims, preaches tolerance for Nazis.

  • #2
    Nice red herring argument there. It opens with by begging the question. That is it starts with a conclusion that it then strives to prove using what amounts to a series of Tu Quoque (you too) examples. It amounts to starting with a premise / conclusion that free speech is threatened not by the Left so much as by the Right. What follows are cherry picked examples that show how the Right is supposedly the danger.
    It, of course, ignores statistics and focuses on specific examples to build what amounts to a red herring argument in the end.

    Are there examples of the Right trying to quell free speech? Of course. And, there are plenty of examples of the Left doing the same. This article adds nothing to the debate of free speech on campuses.

    Comment


    • #3
      Free speech only protects you from the government. Universities can typically do whatever they want.

      Comment


      • #4
        What is your point?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          It amounts to starting with a premise / conclusion that free speech is threatened not by the Left so much as by the Right.
          It, of course, ignores statistics and focuses on specific examples to build what amounts to a red herring argument in the end.
          I suggest reading the whole article instead of what I truncated from it. It does not lead with that premise.

          What follows are cherry picked examples that show how the Right is supposedly the danger.
          They are. They are also a danger*

          Are there examples of the Right trying to quell free speech? Of course. And, there are plenty of examples of the Left doing the same.
          The article does not deny this.

          This article adds nothing to the debate of free speech on campuses.
          It absolutely does. It just doesn't add to the partisan debate you want to hear.
          "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
          - Benjamin Franklin

          The new right wing: hate Muslims, preaches tolerance for Nazis.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by inevtiab1e View Post
            Free speech only protects you from the government. Universities can typically do whatever they want.
            No one actually reads anymore I guess. As the article points out, it is the government, by way of Republican politicians, who are trying to squash free speech on college campuses. So far their efforts have been very effective.
            "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
            - Benjamin Franklin

            The new right wing: hate Muslims, preaches tolerance for Nazis.

            Comment


            • #7
              If you're interested in defending free speech for both liberals and conservatives then this article adds a lot to the debate. If you're only interested in promoting ideas and speech you agree with, while censoring liberals, then no. This won't do anything for you.
              "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
              - Benjamin Franklin

              The new right wing: hate Muslims, preaches tolerance for Nazis.

              Comment


              • #8
                "Free speech on college campuses" is now a total oxymoron. Might as well claim to have a photo of a unicorn.
                Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TactiKill J. View Post

                  No one actually reads anymore I guess. As the article points out, it is the government, by way of Republican politicians, who are trying to squash free speech on college campuses. So far their efforts have been very effective.
                  Utter, complete nonsense, as usual. The anti-constitutionalists are the Democratic Party in all their unwholesomeness, as you are very well aware.
                  Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TactiKill J. View Post

                    I suggest reading the whole article instead of what I truncated from it. It does not lead with that premise.
                    I did read the entire article. My position was based on that.

                    They are. They are also a danger*
                    But to what degree? Are they a small danger compared to the Left on campuses? Are they an equally large threat? The article does nothing to make that clear which to me says they're obscuring that detail because it demolishes their narrative.

                    The article does not deny this.
                    But, it uses the Tu Quoque fallacy to do it.

                    It absolutely does. It just doesn't add to the partisan debate you want to hear.
                    A mishmash of logical fallacies doesn't add to the debate.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

                      Utter, complete nonsense, as usual. The anti-constitutionalists are the Democratic Party in all their unwholesomeness, as you are very well aware.
                      Republicans are trying to ban protests on campuses. In addition to having professors who they don't agree with fired. If that's not limiting free speech to you, then what is.

                      "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
                      - Benjamin Franklin

                      The new right wing: hate Muslims, preaches tolerance for Nazis.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        When was the last time any of you old VFW lurkers even saw a college?

                        Smart people stay away from anyone that is political, no lie.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I remember when the UCal-Berkeley had a male Hispanic Student roaming the campus and classrooms naked. California colleges are a bit whacky. Makes me wonder if the guy's employers put up with it.

                          Pruitt
                          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                            I remember when the UCal-Berkeley had a male Hispanic Student roaming the campus and classrooms naked. California colleges are a bit whacky. Makes me wonder if the guy's employers put up with it.

                            Pruitt
                            Bezerkeley has been off the rails since the mid-1960s. That being said, the university of California system is an excellent one. And it was they who constructed the Vietnam Archive which is full of primary source material from the period and is not kind to the anti-war movement of the 1960s and 1970s. I've looked up material in that archive and found it rich in accurate material, not the inaccurate nonsense that is usually found blaming the United States for all the ills of the world.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A big issue with me is the schools that protest the most are highly intolerant of people who are Not Leftist.

                              Pruitt
                              Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                              Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                              by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                              Comment

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