Liberal student activists at the University of California at Berkeley recently disrupted a public event featuring Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, eventually storming the stage and assaulting a speaker, entrepreneur Marc Benioff. It was a depressing, despicable turn of events.
As I argue in a recent column for The Daily Beast, activists on both the right and the left seem increasingly prone to censorship, and even violence:
In an election season when U.S. political discourse has been profoundly damaged by an increasing contempt for free speech—both among the liberal hecklers who disrupt Donald Trump events, and among Trump's own supporters and campaign staffers, who respond with violence—it's more important than ever for universities to serve as bastions of tolerance and free expression. But if the episode at Berkeley is any evidence, universities have become breeding grounds for the illiberal values now permeating American society. …
Politically engaged people of all stripes are turning their back on the most important right in American society: the right to speak without fear of violent repression. It is a terrible tragedy that we evidently cannot trust our public universities to serve as moral compasses leading us back toward civility.
Read the full thing here.