The Volokh Conspiracy

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Free Speech

Petition to "Impose Further Disciplinary Actions" on University Students for TikTok Singalong

The students are at Florida International University, "Miami's first and only public research university."


Robert Shibley (FIRE) writes at InstaPundit:

THIS WOULD LITERALLY BE ILLEGAL: A petition demands that (the public) Florida International University "impose further disciplinary actions for use of racial slurs" on "three non-black FIU softball players using the n-word." (They were singing along with a rap song [Lil Donald's "Do Better" -EV].)  More than 750 signatures as of now. Maybe every single signer doesn't know that this would be illegal. More likely, though, this is just cancel culture feeling its oats—who needs law when you have power? Plus a bonus implication that your rights are determined by your skin color.

For more, see this article (PantherNOW (Jordan Coll)); I think the school's assigning the students a "social justice" for their video is likewise unconstitutional. For a court case on this general subject (holding that a public university couldn't constitutionally punish a fraternity for putting on a blackface skit), see Iota Xi Chapter v. George Mason Univ. (4th Cir. 1993).

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17 responses to “Petition to "Impose Further Disciplinary Actions" on University Students for TikTok Singalong


    1. Violations of civil rights are the VC’s wheelhouse. Much like ad hominem attacks seem to be yours. Perhaps a conversation on the extended childhood via the assumption that college or university, then employer and government, will act as nurturing safety provideris more apropos? Thos issue is not partisan, but is generational.

  2. “I think the school’s assigning the students a “social justice” for their video is likewise unconstitutional.”

    Universities do unconstitutional things all the time. And yet the Conspirators almost never call out their colleagues, they spend their time raging about the Orange Man.

    1. First off, you’re flat wrong.

      Second, space and time are limited. They can’t report or comment on everything, even if they knew what you wanted and limited it to that.

    2. EV frequently calls out universities for violations of freedom of expression.

      1. He is typically the only Conspirator worth reading, I agree.

        1. As you might gather, I think highly of all my coconspirators. But it shouldn’t be surprising that I often write about speech restrictions at universities and others don’t (or do so more rarely) — my general academic specialty is free speech, and I both follow the cases and often have specific things to say about them (see, e.g., the analogy to the Iota Xi case in this post). Orin, for instance, is a criminal law, criminal procedure, and computer crime scholar; it’s unsurprising that he doesn’t blog much about university speech restrictions. Likewise, Ilya writes about various topics, but generally not free speech; it’s unsurprising that his blogging will track his scholarly interests, and mine will track mine.

          1. Yes, but Somin and Kerr never write about abuses at universities, because they want to remain popular with their peers and their bosses. It undercuts a person’s credibility, however, when he lives in cesspool of due process violations and other illegalities, and never even mentions them.

            1. No, they don’t write (much) about first amendment violations at universities because that’s not their areas of personal interest and expertise.

              Does it undercut your credibility that you routinely fail to report all the speeders around you during your daily commute? By your logic, the fact that you’re not a cop with a calibrated speed gun is irrelevant. You should be ranting about speeders because you live in a cesspool of traffic violators.

  3. Florida “International” University sounds redundant. Why not just Florida University?

    1. Maybe because it was built on an airport? 🙂

      There already is a “University of Florida” and a “Florida State University” so “Florida University” would be confusing — and I believe they do a lot with countries in the Caribbean.

    2. Think for a moment about the initials.

  4. Ooh … it’s about to get REAL!!!!!!!

    I pray that God may have mercy on Ginsburg’s soul.

  5. Defund higher education. Or at least make it start swimming on its own. Student loans deserve to be treated like any other unsecured debt and time to end higher ed welfare.

  6. “Plus a bonus implication that your rights are determined by your skin color.”

    Whatever the merits of the case, that statement is just so deeply ironic. In America your rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness have *always* been determined by your skin colour.

    1. Bullshite!

      The one thing this country has accomplished is to NOT do that.
      Or at least try….

  7. In addition to first amendment considerations, there is Bostock. The students are arguing that the school should prohibit students of certain races from engaging in behavior they regard as acceptable to other races, on the ground that acting like another race is immoral.

    This appears to be discrimination against transracial behavior. If Bostock prohibits discrimination against transsexual behavior because it is on the basis of sex, the same logic prohibits discriminating against transracial behavior because such discrimination is on the basis of race.