Campus Free Speech

University Presidents and Campus Speech Controversies

University presidents have a responsibility to stand up for academic freedom

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It is now a familiar pattern. A professor says something controversial, most likely in public on social media. Someone notices and tries to attract attention by attacking the professor—perhaps in good faith disagreement, perhaps not. Petitions are started. Social media posts start trending. Calls are made to university officials demanding that something be done and asking plaintively that won't someone think of the children. The professor in question is likely to receive a spate of hate mail, both electronic and the old fashioned kind. Maybe things get serious and someone important like a donor, trustee, or politician declares that the professor should be terminated for the safety of the campus.

University presidents have a responsibility in such a situation. It should go without saying, but unfortunately it does not, that they have a responsibility to actually live up to their constitutional and contractual responsibilities and refrain from sanctioning the faculty member for saying something that someone finds controversial. They should insist that harassment and threats directed against members of the faculty will not be tolerated. Professors should at least be confident that when the mobs arrive, pitchforks in hand, that university leaders will not flinch and give in to the demands of the mob.

University presidents have a greater responsibility than just that, however, and they even more often fail to meet that greater responsibility. They have a responsibility to push back against the mob. They have a responsibility to clearly defend the core mission of the university, which is to make space for members of the campus community to explore ideas and, yes, say controversial things. Rather than standing up for freedom of thought and speech, university presidents are often tempted to avoid and deflect. They prefer to keep silent and hope the controversy goes away. They prefer to join the mob and issue their own denunciations of the thoughtcrime and assure everyone that they themselves would never express unconventional thoughts.

University presidents have a responsibility to educate the campus community and the broader public about what it is that universities do and what it means to value freedom of thought and to tolerate dissent. When controversies over faculty speech arise, university presidents should take the opportunity to reassure the campus that academic values will be respected and to propagate a better understanding of what members of the broader public should expect from a university.

As I pointed out in a recent article on "Free Speech and the Diverse University," university presidents should plan ahead and know what they will say when the time comes and emotions run high.

The message university leaders should send when controversy erupts is more basic. The university is the home of many students and scholars who speak and act as individuals and who hold myriad and conflicting beliefs, opinions and ideas. The university is committed only to the inviolability of freedom of thought and freedom of inquiry. It does not endorse the ideas and opinions of any individual on campus, nor does any individual on campus represent the university. Members of the faculty think for themselves and can formulate and defend their own ideas. They recognize that their ideas can be scrutinized and criticized, sometimes embraced by others and sometimes rejected. The university holds members of the faculty responsible to their disciplinary norms when they teach and research within their area of expertise, but the university does not sanction members of the campus community for expressing unpopular or controversial ideas.

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  1. Good point. People on campus have rights, too — even when expressing Republican racism, conservative misogyny, right-wing xenophobia, and superstitious gah-bashing.

    Well, not so much on the hundreds of campuses controlled by conservatives. But the Volokh Conspiracy isn’t much interested in acknowledging that context.

    1. Artie, you need to be replaced by a diverse.

      The IRS Non-Profit Office has to be mandamused to pull the tax exemption from any non-profit that does not adhere to the standard of education. In education, one is exposed to all sides of a subject. Exposure to one side is indoctrination. That violates the purpose of the exemption.

      One case of losing the exemption, and the reaction will be immediate among university presidents. I suggest Harvard and Yale be first in line to lose the tax exemption.

      1. “A diverse” what? Diverse is an adjective, not a noun.

        1. David, you are not a diverse. You need to be replaced. Diversity is the strength of our country.

    2. No. Just no. No whataboutism. This article is 100% correct. I even find it too limited. The idea that campuses have “free speech zones” and people can be disciplined for saying “objectionable” things should offend everyone. “Safe spaces” are private spaces. Do you want to control speech so you don’t hear things you don’t want to? Stay in a space you have legal control over. The minute you step into a shared space, your rights not to hear things you don’t like becomes irrelevant in the face of the First Amendment.

      And to head off the “you want to allow intimidation and threats”, that is not the case. The normal limits on the First Amendment apply. And yes the college can create additional limits. But on types of speech, equally applied, taking into account the context.

      Using the n-word or the N-word (you know, the one with Hitler) as a verbal attack on another member of the community? Yes, protect your students from harassment and unfounded accusations. Using the N-word or the n-word in classes when discussing texts and history? No. Just no.

      In the short time I’ve been here I believe it has become obvious that I oppose anti-abortionists because they want to force everyone to accept their definition of life without establishing it as a consensus (or even factual). I feel just as passionately about free speech. If you can’t establish that a reasonable person would consider the speech problematic, you don’t get to substitute your extremist opinion for a consensus. Nor can you restrict a word in all contexts because you don’t like the word.

      Finally, I would exclude most “profanity”. I am certain that a number of people here think I’m a fucking baby-killing asshole. Only the baby-killing part should be a problem.

      1. Whataboutism?

        I endorsed free expression, then observed that this White, male blog is selective and partisan (not to mention hypocritical) with respect to freedom of expression.

        1. Artie, you need to be replaced by a diverse.

        2. Crap, sorry. I read your post as sarcasm. I was wrong.

          Please change the beginning of my rant to “Yes! I totally agree with you!”. The rest remains the same.

        3. What Artie means is he’s still butthurt by the prof calling him out specially for his bigoted posts.

      2. Artie just goes on with his usual crapolla about the small Christian colleges that no one has heard of and which have only a timy percentage of students

        1. I have identified dozens of those conservative-controlled institutions.

          I would expect to find hundreds of them. I try to avoid performing basic research for clingers because . . . how else might they learn anything?

          The conservative-controlled schools have shabby reputations, nondescript students, mediocre-at-best faculties, unaccomplished alumni, sketchy accreditation, and scant contribution to offer society — which means most Americans pay little attention to them — but they provide crappy educations to many students on many campuses.

          Which second-class, turd-rate, fourth-tier conservative school did you attend, Don Nico?

          1. Artie, I’ve met lots of Ivy alums. They stink, worse than anything. They are all bookworms who know shit about shit unless it was on a test.

            1. Take Volokh. He is an expert on cases of crosses in city flags. Yet, when you point out the plagiarism of the catechism by the common law, he can’t see it, even after providing the citations. Not only is he an Ivy indoctrinated dumbass, they turned him into a denier.

          2. Are you angry their speech cannot be legally broken to the saddle of the state?

            That seems bizarre on a blog defending freedom of speech.

            1. I am saying enforce the IRS tax code, lending the exemption foe education, not for indoctrination. Then watch all university Presidents solve their problems immediately.

            2. ” That seems bizarre on a blog defending freedom of speech. ”

              Why would anyone — other than a partisan, hypocritical, right-wing culture war casualty — contend the Volokh Conspiracy defends freedom of speech?

  2. University presidents have a responsibility to bring in as much federal grants and research funding as possible without pissing off to many rich alumni. What the hell has free speech got to do with that?

    1. Come on, that’s not fair. At non-flagship universities their responsibility is to maximize enrollment numbers without pissing off the federal agencies that control access to the grants and loans that drive that enrollment.

  3. Curious. . . what triggered this blog?

    It doesn’t mention any latest incident and the “recent” article you linked is from 2019.

    1. That’s because there were no incidents of campus mobs since 2019. Whittington is just making all this up.

      /sarc

    2. PSU succeeded in driving out one of the scholars who exposed the grievance studies industry. Maybe that’s why.

    3. Maybe it was the removal from prominent public display of that Robert E. Lee statue. Traumatic, bad day for conservatives. Reducing public veneration of losers, traitors, and bigots would be a huge trigger.

      1. Artie, aren’t you white, male, and old? You need to be replaced by a diverse. Diversity is the strength of our country.

        1. What?! Replacement theory on Reason.com… say it isn’t so!

          /S

          1. Diversity is the strength of our nation. Replace Artie at his job with a black lesbian, quadriplegic who is blind and deaf too. For so long marginalized groups have endured discrimination and marginalization. I want to see Artie pay her reparations.

            1. We could hire one of the illegales Ilya is forced to sleep in his bedroom, to transport her to Artie’s office. We could hire another one to learn Morse Code, so we can figure out whatever the fuck she is trying to say with her eye blinking. Diversity is the strength of our nation.

  4. In theory Dr. Mengle had a responsibility to stand up for medical ethics, too.

    1. Godwin alert. You lose.

      1. The original version of Godwin’s law was just an observation about probabilities, not a debate rule.

        The point here is that the university presidents may just have a contrary understanding of their duties with regards to free speech.

        1. If that were your only point, you could have found a far less inflammatory example than Dr. Mengele with which to make it. That you actually think Mengele is on point says far more about you than it does about university presidents.

          1. My point was that they might have a different, and much, much worse point of view on free speech.

            1. And if I made a point by comparing the pope to Charles Manson, I’m sure it would occur to you to wonder why I picked Manson, regardless of how valid my point might otherwise be.

              1. Yeah, yeah, analogies are offensive, I get it

                Sadly, your typical left-wing university president does NOT see preserving free speech as their job. They’re not standing up to the baying mob, they’re leading it from behind.

                1. Sadly, your typical left-wing university president does NOT see preserving free speech as their job.

                  What is the sample on which you base this claim about a “typical typical left-wing university president.”

  5. There’s something quaint about this sentiment. The president of my alma mater has publicly endorsed the Kendi and DiAngelo books. Is it even possible to do so and still believe in the general principle that “ideas can be scrutinized and criticized, sometimes embraced by others and sometimes rejected.” Don’t think so.

    I suspect there may be a handful of university leaders across the country who are genuinely willing to bear the risk of standing up for unpopular speakers, but they must be a tiny fraction of the whole. Whatever the pathway back from this illiberal and narrow-minded status quo on university campuses may be, it seems unlikely to involve the exercise of courage by administrators.

    1. I don’t think it’s a matter of courage, more a matter of divided stakeholders.

      One “responsibility” Prof. Whittington omitted was the responsibility university presidents have to alumni and donors who may be against certain view points and don’t want them published on campus.

      I agree univ. pres’s must side with protection of speech – just saying it may not be that easy and they have to walk a tight line.

      1. It’s easy. You either protect free speech or you resign. How much simpler can it be?

        If you are unwilling to stand for your principles, you have no business being in a position where you might have to actually defend them.

        1. This is the worst kind of reductionist BS. It isn’t simple, especially since there are people out there with an absolutist definition of “free speech” that a reasonable person would reject.

          1. No it’s not. If the university states anywhere that “we value free expression”, then it , and its officers, are bound to uphold that value. Even more so if it is a public University, because it is a state actor. Last I heard, state actors were supposed to defend the rights of the people.

            If someone goes into a position of authority, and they cannot abide by that value, they should resign.

            The current dodge is “safety”. Which is utter nonsense. The only limit to objectionable speech is more speech.

            1. Are you prepared to identify your position on the Volokh Conspiracy’s repeated, partisan imposition of viewpoint-driven censorship at this blog, Darth Chocolate?

              Thank you in advance for (1) responding or (2) demonstrating anew the limp position of this blog’s contributors and commenters with respect to freedom of expression.

          2. Nelson,
            If the university president is not willing or is to timid to stand up for free speech and academic freedom for all on campus then the battle is effectively lost as the Trustees will just shove the interests of the most generous donors done the throat of the campus.

            1. If you prefer free speech, Don Nico, you should be focusing on conservative-controlled (censorship-shackled, dogma-enforcing, science-disdaining) campuses.

              Your paltry partisanship is showing, clinger.

              1. Rev, that’s not right. There isn’t a threshold to advocate for free speech. Do conservatives repress free speech and free expression on campuses they control? Absolutely. And that’s a bad thing.

                Does that mean that other conservatives can’t advocate for free speech on campuses? No. Just because you share a loosely-defined set of values with someone doesn’t mean that you are responsible for or constrained by their behavior.

                1. “Rev, that’s not right. There isn’t a threshold to advocate for free speech.”

                  From upthread:

                  “It’s easy. You either protect free speech or you resign. How much simpler can it be?”

                  1. Watching these right-wingers flail is entertaining. Stomping their preferences in the culture war is important and enjoyable. Sometimes I think we should extend the culture war — while there are enough clingers remaining, that is — just for the laughs.

                    Carry on, clingers. Your betters will let you know how far and how long.

                  2. IPlawyer, look below 2 posts. That is my concern about absolute, binary statements about complex topics.

                    1. Crap. I mean one post.

            2. Is it an absolutist vision of “free speech”? When someone claims something is only one thing or the other, I am skeptical that they have a generally accepted definition of the issue. It sounds like hyperbole because it usually is.

            3. It’s not whether they’re willing or timid, as mentioned above it can be a walk on a tightrope.

              You’re certainly not blatantly going to tell a potential $1M donor to shove off if they don’t like the university’s policies.

              Diplomacy is a thing.

              1. If a donor is asking a university to compromise its stated mission as a condition of the donation, it’s not really a donation anymore.

                This is really just a question of selling out one’s principles. We don’t want university presidents to be sellouts.

                1. Donations are often ego-driven legacy projects for the terminally wealthy. $10M and their name on a building is a common example. A wealthy, Confederate-excusing wealthy dude might threaten to withhold future funds should a university hire an outspoken person of color made famous by an award winning publication on racism, for another example.

                  If it isn’t a “True Scotsman” of a donation, should presidents be turning down $10M of infrastructure-improving funding on principle? And should they be doing that before or after they quit in a brief, forgettable flash of free-speech principle?

        2. OK, suppose you are university president and of course you’ll either protect free speech or you resign. Tell us which choice you’d make on the following scenarios, both of which are based on real events:

          1. A professor is assigned to do student recruitment. He travels from place to place telling students the university is a fraudulent, racist, communist, Nazi diploma mill. He also pre-emptively tells everyone that if he’s reassigned that will be retaliation for his free speech. Back him up, or resign?

          2. An incompetent history professor says that Atlanta didn’t exist at the time of the Civil War and that the whole story of the city burning was made up in the 20th century by white supremacists. He also says that in the gold-silver controversy, the 16:1 ratio meant that a pound of gold was worth 16 pounds of silver. Suppose he says these are matters of opinion and therefore free speech. Back him up, or resign?

          PS: If either of your answers are “that’s not what free speech means” then you’ve used *precisely* the same excuse all the other university presidents use.

          1. Come on, even a very incompetent history professor would know that Gary Gygax established the correct 10:1 ratio of silver to gold in the original D&D rulebooks.

  6. You do realize that the idea that colleges cancel conservatives any more often than they cancel liberals is a falsehood put forward by conservatives for propaganda purposes, right?

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/8/3/17644180/political-correctness-free-speech-liberal-data-georgetown

    1. Agreed. That doesn’t justify it. Both are wrong.

    2. At this point there are scarcely enough conservatives on college faculties for them to be the primary target anymore; The revolution has moved on to the autophagy stage.

      ““One among many untested concepts,” he writes, “is whether the survey results would be different if conservative student groups, instead of repeatedly inviting campus visitors who have built a brand of disruption, were to sponsor serious intellectual dialogue with thinkers on the right.””

      IOW, would conservative student groups be censored if they stopped inviting speakers the left wants to censor? No, probably not. You can always end a war by surrendering.

      1. ” At this point there are scarcely enough conservatives on college faculties for them to be the primary target anymore; ”

        I won’t call you ignorant or stupid, Brett Bellmore, because I recognize this is probably the autism and/or mindless, disaffected partisanship talking.

        1. “I won’t call you ignorant or stupid, Brett Bellmore, because I recognize this is probably the autism…”

          I love how leftists are always exposing how serious they are about the tolerance stuff.

          1. It’s not intolerant to point out that someone else just said something stupid (though I continue to wish Arthur wouldn’t do it). Intolerance would be to say that he shouldn’t be allowed to post at all.

            1. I wouldn’t say the Rev is totally wrong here; I’m an Aspie, and they’ve (stupidly) redefined things so that Asperger’s is now considered to be a version of autism. So a psychiatrist wouldn’t say he was wrong, even if ‘the engineer’s curse’ actually gives you advantages in some careers.

              Of course, diagnosis is not refutation, and the Rev didn’t actually refute anything I said.

              1. How many conservative-controlled campuses should someone list before you would recognize — and acknowledge — that your statement about an ostensible lack of clinger-friendly professors was ignorant and wrong?

                There aren’t as many right-wing professors at strong, mainstream schools as the Conspirators would prefer — and they are relatively rare at good schools for good reason. But clingers dominate plenty of downscale, right-wing faculties. Those professors don’t come to mind much because they are nondescript, turd-rate instructors at fourth-tier schools.

          2. Imagine thinking that any “leftist” posting *here* could give a crap about that.

            Other beliefs you might want to disavow yourself of:

            -“leftists” posting here are conjoined with the media, working in lockstep to create and perpetuate anti-conservative narratives

            -that there are any merits to the libertarian pleas emanating from the authors on this blog

            1. “Imagine thinking that any “leftist” posting *here* could give a crap about that…”

              I know, right?

    3. You can throw that one back Krychek_2. When you look at the politics of Vox, you can see that they are just running interference for the Liberal Socialists.

      1. Ad hominem won’t get you where you want to go. What specific issues do you have with the article?

        1. Well, the article implies that the incidents studied by the Free Speech Project is an exhaustive list of incidents of speech suppression, and it doesn’t make any attempt to calculate the rate of suppression incidents with respect to liberal/conservative speech.

          1. The cool thing about stats is that a representative sample is as good as a full catalogue.

            Did you detect any systematic bias?

            The sourcing the right is giving appears to consist entirely of pounding on the table.

            1. “The cool thing about stats is that a representative sample is as good as a full catalogue.”

              To support the following claim?!?

              ” According to the Department of Education, there are 4,583 colleges and universities in the United States (including two- and four-year institutions). The fact that there were roughly only 60 incidents in the past two years suggests that free speech crises are extremely rare events…”

              I would have suspected more statistical literacy from you, Sarcastro. And you’re wrong anyway, that’s why you use n-1. Don’t you have to take stats 101 or something for Physics? Maybe you had one of those critical literacy mathematics classes?

              “Did you detect any systematic bias?”

              No, but from the study: ” A preliminary analysis of more than 90 incidents — admittedly not necessarily a representative sample.”

              1. What about when they used FIRE’s data?

                If you don’t trust the rate measurement, how would you propose we get any good data? Or are you content to just pound the table?

                1. “What about when they used FIRE’s data?”

                  What about it? Are you pointing out that I didn’t mention another instance of the same error? Good catch, but I also didn’t claim my list of criticisms was exhaustive.

                  “If you don’t trust the rate measurement, how would you propose we get any good data? Or are you content to just pound the table?”

                  Huh? If you don’t have good data, you don’t have good data.

                  I suppose that you were taught in your stats class that this sort of inference is permissible if the results are equitable, but that’s not real statistics.

            2. The cool thing about stats is that a representative sample is as good as a full catalogue.

              From the article, which I take you didn’t bother reading: “Ungar [the project’s director] notes that his data is preliminary and not necessarily a full or representative sample. So we can’t put too much weight on the Georgetown findings.”

            3. The cool thing about stats is that a representative sample is as good as a full catalogue.

              Except that the thing the Vox article refers and links to expressly says that it is not a representative sample.

      2. “When you look at the politics of Vox, you can see that they are just running interference for the Liberal Socialists.”

        Vox runs interference for the Liberal Socialists.

        The Volokh Conspiracy runs interference for the bigoted clingers (with some ankle-biting aimed at the mainstream mixed in to lather the disaffected Republicans).

        Everyone has a role.

    4. The more useful question is where the push to cancel comes from vis a vis the speaker. Cancellation or attempted cancellation of centrists or center-left speakers by far left heckler’s veto mobs (e.g., Steven Pinker) is a bigger problem than cancellation of conservative speakers. This is so because conservative speakers expect a hostile reaction on campus and are less apt to be silenced. There are also fewer of them.

      But when untenured center-left scholars see the price of expressing unpopular but intellectually honest opinions, they are more apt to avoid expressing such opinions themselves. This has the potential to distort scholarship on a much broader scale than intimidating or harassing the 2% of academics that identify as conservative.

      Also note that the Vox piece now includes a correction disclaiming your point. The underlying research did not find that a progressive speaker is more apt to be cancelled than a conservative one. Rather, the finding was that there are more cancellations of progressive speakers in terms of raw numbers, which is no surprise because there are vastly more progressive than conservative scholars and speakers.

      The bottom line is that the problem isn’t hostility to conservative ideas. The problem is hostility to open debate, free exchange of ideas, and reason.

      1. Comment Monkey (and Brett), does it occur to you that part of the problem may simply be that in the free market of ideas, conservatives don’t have good ideas? The Harvard biology department is not going to hire young earth creationists; they just won’t, and it’s not because they are hostile to the free exchange of ideas. It’s because basic competence in the field precludes young earth creationists from being considered for biology positions.

        That’s an extreme example, but when people who study a certain field for a living consistently and uniformly reject a certain set of ideas, maybe the problem is with the ideas rather than with the experts who reject them. I don’t expect a serious economics department to give supply side and trickle down the time of day because those ideas are manifestly absurd. (If they worked, we’d have had a roaring economy at the time George W. Bush left office.) For the same reason I wouldn’t expect a serious medical school to have a homeopathy chair.

        1. “young earth creationists”

          A fringe view. You are just using it as guilt by association.

          Fringe left views are not excluded at Harvard,

          1. How about the more common superstitious affliction that doubts or rejects evolution because of childish fairy tales?

          2. Really? Harvard serves institutions of power, not radical leftist politics. Stop living your life like every headline is true while you demand the same from everyone else.

            1. “Harvard serves institutions of power, not radical leftist politics. ”

              They do both.

        2. “Comment Monkey (and Brett), does it occur to you that part of the problem may simply be that in the free market of ideas, conservatives don’t have good ideas?”

          Comment Monkey and Brett were referring to heckler’s veto mobs and censorship. What do those have to do with the free market of ideas. If anything, it indicates a fear that conservative ideas would succeed if allowed to compete in the free market of ideas.

          1. There is zero fear that someone spouting racial slurs in a black neighborhood would persuade anyone, but I’ll bet there would be a pretty strong heckler’s veto.

            1. Except that has nothing to do with the topic at hand you dishonest cunt.

        3. That has got to be one of the stupidest comments in this thread. It displays an astonishing ignorance of the beliefs of the people who disagree with you. More, it suggests an utter indifference to correcting that ignorance.

          And given some of the other comments here, that’s saying a lot.

        4. In some areas, maybe. In all areas? This seems unlikely.

          When I look at somebody trying to speak on campus, and they’re shouted down, and then hustled out by campus police ‘for their own protection’, this doesn’t look to me like a consequence of having inferior ideas, because no part of that hinges on the ideas being inferior.

          The truth doesn’t NEED a heckler’s veto to prevail.

          1. Come on Brett, you know it’s a rhetorical fallacy to invoke the fact that a heckler’s veto occurred with any actual judgment of the merits of either side’s statements or beliefs. Yet, you argue this kind of stuff all the time.

            1. I was responding to Krychek’s suggestion that the heckler’s veto actually was a negative judgement of the merits.

        5. K_2,
          Here I have to agree with you have made up a fringe view example in an attempt to prove a point.
          Cancellation seldom happens with respect to hard science speakers UNLESS the speaker is cancelled for his/her (hir) political views or behavior.

        6. The Harvard biology department is not going to hire young earth creationists; they just won’t, and it’s not because they are hostile to the free exchange of ideas.

          They are also not going to hire someone who thinks that only women can get pregnant, and it is because they are hostile to the free exchange of ideas.

    5. Problem is, that article uses absolute numbers. Since there are far, far more liberal than conservative professors and guest speakers to begin with, of course more of them are going to be silenced.

      Also, when was the last time you ever saw violent protests against a left-leaning speaker on campus? Has that ever happened in the last 50 years?

    6. Vox and a left* funded program at a left college. Not very compelling.

      *I know Koch Foundation also funds but libertarian orgs are less reliable than even lib orgs.

    7. the idea that colleges cancel conservatives any more often than they cancel liberals

      Among the raft of statistical malpractice committed by your article (drawing conclusions based on a hand-curated data set over a 3-year sample period where the entire supposed “disparity” occurred in just one of those years, really?), one of the most amusing examples is comparing absolute numbers of incidents (e.g., of faculty terminations) without accounting for the fact that the subject population overwhelmingly leans liberal.

    8. Assuming vox is right, the question remains: What are the university’s standards, and do they resist any mob attempt to get a university to deviate from its standards?

    9. “You do realize that the idea that colleges cancel conservatives any more often than they cancel liberals is a falsehood put forward by conservatives for propaganda purposes, right?”

      Most speech on campus is liberal, so a comparison using absolute numbers is only useful for propaganda purposes.

      1. Most speech on strong, mainstream, liberal-libertarian campuses is liberal (science-based, for example).

        There are plenty of conservative-controlled campuses, however, that traffic in — insist on, in many cases — superstition-laced and often bigoted conservative expression. Those censorship-shackled, right-wing, backwater campuses are low-quality schools of little renown or worth with sketchy accreditation, but there are dozens if not hundreds of them.

        1. “Most speech on strong, mainstream, liberal-libertarian campuses is liberal…”

          The rest is violence, right Arthur?

          1. Try and make a “science based” argument on campus concerning (say) sex.

            1. Make an argument that white men shouldn’t be able to expose themselves to unwilling black women and Arthur’s buddies will beat you down.

            2. You mean, for example, like sex is a natural biological urge in post-pubescent humans and isn’t reserved for married people? Or that heterosexual and homosexual intercourse are both normal and are the result of biological urges? Or that plan B and other emergency contraceptives are, in fact, contraceptives and not abortificants? You mean like that?

              1. At least you’ll never get cancelled. You’re good and PC.

              2. “Or that heterosexual and homosexual intercourse are both normal and are the result of biological urges?”

                Are you suggesting that there’s a normal, biological urge for heterosexual people to have intercourse with members of the opposite sex? And for gays to have sex with people of the opposite sex? That might get you canceled. Or expelled for epistemological violence.

                1. I think there’s a normal, biological urge to have sex, and who you prefer to have sex with (and how you prefer to do it) is largely a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer red sauce for their pasta and others prefer white sauce, and nobody has any issues with the notion that some things really are nothing more than differences in taste. Or that the fact that I had red sauce today doesn’t preclude me from having white sauce tomorrow. And neither the fact that someone else considers red sauce to be icky, nor the fact that a vegan thinks white sauce should be avoided out of concern for animal welfare, are factors that I need consider in making my own choices.

                  I’m sure Aktenberg will be around any minute to disagree with me.

                  1. “I’m sure Aktenberg will be around any minute to disagree with me.”

                    I wouldn’t know, he was among the first I muted.

                    But is there any limiting principle here at all? If you have a definition of marriage, should sex be within marriage as you define it (and if you have a really broad definition the “justification” for extramarital sex seems to diminish)? Should sex be confined to couples, or could multiple people sign consent forms for a properly-consensual orgy?

                    Is it OK to use racial epithets while having sex?

                    Is there any limitation as to species?

                    1. Cal, the initial question to which I was responding had to do with urges. Urges, in and of themselves, are neither moral nor immoral; they just are. All of us desire to do things that we know better than to actually do.

                      If we move from desires to conduct, then my question would be what interest does society have in controlling it? Children who are sexually abused are often scarred for life, which in turn results in them engaging in anti-social behavior that hurts others, so I think society has an interest in suppressing pedophilia. On the other hand, I’ve never heard a good explanation for why anything consenting adults might choose to do hurts anyone else. If they’re being irresponsible and, i.e., producing unwanted children or spreading disease, that’s a function of them being irresponsible rather than of them having sex. We all know how to have sex without making babies or spreading disease.

                      It’s really not that different than returning to my food analogy: If someone dies at 40 of a heart attack because they weighed 300 pounds from living off too many Big Macs and ice cream, the issue isn’t that they’re eating or even what they’re eating; it’s that they’re eating irresponsibly.

                    2. “Urges, in and of themselves, are neither moral nor immoral”

                      OK, but my response went to a different point.

                      “We all know how to have sex without making babies or spreading disease.”

                      Disease can probably be classified under the “always undesirable” category.

                      As for babies – I would think we need to come up with some system to give them optimal care in the majority of situations. A baby generally comes to be when (and I want to use neutral terminology here) an inseminating person gets together with a birthing person.

                      We need to put our best minds to work thinking up some way to have some kind of long-term commitment between the inseminating person and the birthing person, preferably before the baby is conceived.

                      Once we’ve figured this out, we really ought to give social protection to the parties to such bonds.

                      One idea I’ll just throw out there – and this is simply one of many – is to allow businesses to cater to these bonds between birthing persons and inseminating persons, without facing damages or fines if they limit themselves to recognizing those sorts of relationships.

                    3. Marriage is a legal contract between two people with a specific set of privileges and responsibilities. It has a much larger meaning for most, with themes of lifelong love, monogamy, and loyalty, but at the end of the day it’s a contract. The limiting factor is the law.

                      As far as I know, nowhere in America allows plural marriages, but if that ever changes it will still be a contract. And as long as the law is equally applied (you know, the rule of law?), it will be just as valid as the old stick-in-the-muds who only want one spouse.

                      If it doesn’t hurt anyone else, why do you care?

                      Regarding sex, it is awesome. Before you’re married, after you’re married, with someone you never want to marry, with someone you’ve been monogamous with for two decades (and neither of you want to get married), with someone whose name you don’t know … you get the idea. For procreation or not, sex is fantastic. I highly recommend it. Five stars.

                      If both of you are consenting adults and it turns your crank, go ahead and spit racial epithets all you want.

                      I believe that beastiality is illegal in America, so unless you can challenge the law and win you’ll have to leave the other species alone.

                      As long as it isn’t hurting anyone, you should be free to live your life without interference. Your lifestyle and moral code isn’t subject to anyone else’s approval.

                    4. “Your lifestyle and moral code isn’t subject to anyone else’s approval.”

                      I suppose this includes selling wedding-related goods and services exclusively to people having normal marriages – oops, I mean cisnormative heterosexual marriages.

                    5. “We need to put our best minds to work thinking up some way to have some kind of long-term commitment between the inseminating person and the birthing person, preferably before the baby is conceived.”

                      Why? If you want to do it that way, awesome. If you don’t, also awesome.

                      Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it seems like you believe that children should only be born to married, heterosexual couples. Which is fine, as long as you don’t try to prevent anyone not like that to also have babies. Women (single, lesbian, ones with infertile partners, etc.) using sperm donors, men (single, gay, ones with infertile partners, etc.) using egg donors, IVF, IVI, surrogates, adoption, and any other means by which a new living, breathing human joins a family. And by family I mean anything from one to a bazillion people.

                      Do you believe that heterosexual, married parents should be treated differently than others in the eyes of the law?

                    6. “I suppose this includes selling wedding-related goods and services exclusively to people having normal marriages – oops, I mean cisnormative heterosexual marriages”

                      No, but the concept of the rule of law is that there is equal treatment under the law. It applies to all citizens equally, with none above or beyond the law. It is the cornerstone of a free and fair society.

                      The First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. So religious exemptions to generally applicable laws are a violation of the Establishment Clause.

                      “But wait!” you cry. “I am being prevented from ‘the free exercise thereof’!”

                      No, you are being required to follow the law. If you don’t want to be be subject to the same laws as everyone else, don’t enter a public realm where it is required.

                      Religious people love to say, “look at the second phrase”, but want us to ignore the first.

                      If the State allows a specific type of Christian to ignore a law that everyone else (including other Christians who don’t share the same interpretation of the same Bible) has to follow, that is a “law respecting an establishment of religion”.

                      Unless you think that one law for evangelical Christians and one for everyone else is consistent with the First Amendment.

                    7. “Do you believe that heterosexual, married parents should be treated differently than others in the eyes of the law?”

                      You mean should the law recognize the difference? Absolutely.

                      Should cohabiting couples on campus be able to get married-student housing if they’re not married? (that at least *used* to be a thing). Yes!

                      Widow’s/widower’s benefits for married partners only (using the true-until-two-minutes-ago definition of marriage)? Yes!

                      Permitting *private* parties to “discriminate” in favor of married couples (as marriage was understood before 11:59 yesterday)? Absolutely!

                      Stripping paternal rights from unmarried fathers, while still keeping them on the hook for child support? Bring it on!

                      Is that “fascist” enough for you?

                    8. Wait, marital housing on campus for married couples only.

                    9. “If the State allows a specific type of Christian to ignore a law that everyone else (including other Christians who don’t share the same interpretation of the same Bible) has to follow”

                      *Nobody* should be forced to recognize a moral equivalence between regular marriage and fake marriage. They can be atheists, Sun-worshippers, Rastafarians, what have you, if they have a business providing wedding goods/services, they should be totally free to service regular man/woman weddings only.

                      In this instance, I’m not calling for religious exemptions. I’m calling for a repeal of the law altogether, so everyone would, indeed be treated the same – allowing their freedom.

                    10. No, but the concept of the rule of law is that there is equal treatment under the law. It applies to all citizens equally, with none above or beyond the law. It is the cornerstone of a free and fair society.

                      What private businesses do has nothing to do with the issue of equal treatment under the law. That concept applies to the government.

                      The First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. So religious exemptions to generally applicable laws are a violation of the Establishment Clause.

                      That may be your personal view of what the Establishment Clause means, but it is not an accurate statement of how it is currently interpreted.

                      “But wait!” you cry. “I am being prevented from ‘the free exercise thereof’!”

                      No, you are being required to follow the law.

                      A law which prevents you from freely exercising your religion. Giving something a label doesn’t change what it is. If you want to argue that the law is constitutional, or good policy, fine. But don’t say that it doesn’t prevent you from freely exercising your religion when it does.

                      If you don’t want to be be subject to the same laws as everyone else, don’t enter a public realm where it is required.

                      This is not a valid form of argument; it proves too much. The issue is whether the law can legitimately require X, so saying “the law requires X” just restates the premise. You could’ve just as easily told the Barnettes, “If you don’t want to be forced to say the pledge of allegiance, don’t go to public school where it is required.”

                      If the State allows a specific type of Christian to ignore a law that everyone else (including other Christians who don’t share the same interpretation of the same Bible) has to follow, that is a “law respecting an establishment of religion”.

                      Unless you think that one law for evangelical Christians and one for everyone else is consistent with the First Amendment.

                      A law that expressly singled out evangelical Christians for an exemption would not be. A law that allowed anyone with a religious objection to have an exemption would be.

                    11. “Is that “fascist” enough for you?”

                      Fascist? No. The antithesis of equal treatment under the law? Yes. Relegating advantageous legal and financial benefits to the “worthy”, as defined by a portion of religious adherents? Yes.

                      While most of your sarcastic points surrounded marriage, the last one is kinda weird. Paternal rights aren’t generally stripped without a damned good reason. Custody is different, but both parents have a financial obligation to a child. So not having custody but paying child support makes sense and is completely consistent with the concepts of responsibility and accountibility.

                    12. “What private businesses do has nothing to do with the issue of equal treatment under the law. That concept applies to the government.”

                      I’ll preface everything that I’m about to say by noting that it is definitely NOT the mainstream libertarian position. Also, I will only be speaking philosophically, since I am not a lawyer and this area of law seems really, really dense.

                      The problem is that there is a blurry line between public and private space regarding retail businesses when it comes to nondiscrimination laws. To define the problem, imagine this scenario: there is only one supermarket, one gas station, and one restaurant serving a town. All three of them belong to adherents of a faith whose tenets say that lefthanded people are unacceptable. All three refuse some level of service to a lefthanded citizen of the town, but the most fundamentalist owner refuses to let him into his store or sell him anything, one will sell him some things that he feels don’t conflict with his faith, and one will allow him to buy anything, because his lefthandedness is an issue between him and God, but not speak to any employees.

                      Here are my rhetorical questions, not asked to elicit an answer post but for you to consider:
                      1) Are the store owners who refuse some or all service justified, knowing that there are no other providers?
                      2) Would it make a difference which store had which policy?
                      3) Would it make a difference if there was another town with the exact same services and no restrictions four hours away? Two hours away? The next town over?
                      4) Given there isn’t a Constitutional right to own a business, does the owners’ sincerely held religious beliefs overpower the citizen’s, since he does not believe in their religion?
                      5) Does the fact that three people in the same faith and the same congregation view their religious obligations differently matter? Should there a plausibility standard for specific claims of religious beliefs?
                      6) How tenuous a connection to the proscribed person is reasonable? Can the owners refuse to sell to people who are buying for the lefthander?

                      I could keep going because I am fascinated by these sorts of things.

                      Hey! Philosophy and history geeks are people, too!

                    13. “A law that expressly singled out evangelical Christians for an exemption would not be. A law that allowed anyone with a religious objection to have an exemption would be.”

                      The hidden premise here is that the choice to enter a realm governed by non-discrimination laws is irrelevant. If someone is walking on a sidewalk and gets run down by a car, that’s one thing. If they throw themselves in front of a moving car, knowing it’s there, that’s a totally different thing.

                      If you don’t want to serve specific people as a business owner, don’t open a business that is subject to nondiscrimination laws.

                      If you don’t want to sell a specific product to specific people, don’t offer that product to the general public.

                  2. “who you prefer to have sex with (and how you prefer to do it) is largely a matter of personal preference.”

                    If you were at a university or a a Fortune 500 company, you would likely lose your job if you made that statement publicly.

                    1. Yup. After ACB referred to “sexual preference” at her confirmation hearings, the left changed the dictionary to refer to the phrase as offensive.

                    2. OK, I’ll bite. Why is that offensive?

                    3. “The term sexual preference as used to refer to sexual orientation is widely considered offensive in its implied suggestion that a person can choose who they are sexually or romantically attracted to.”

                      https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sexual%20preference

                      It’s in the official Merriam-Wokester dictionary, one of our established liberal-libertarian mainstream dictionaries. Are you some kind of clinger?

                    4. Now, some right-wing propagandists like Snopes.com would seriously have you believed that Merriam-Webster had a different, more neutral definition of sexual preference before the ACB hearings. This is pure clinger nonsense.

                      https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/merriam-webster-barrett-sexual/

                    5. “OK, I’ll bite. Why is that offensive?”

                      It’s not, but here’s Sen. Hirono trying to explain why it is.

                      If you google “sexual preference” you’ll get plenty of explanations.

                  3. I think there’s a normal, biological urge to have sex, and who you prefer to have sex with (and how you prefer to do it) is largely a matter of personal preference.

                    Thirty years ago when I was in college, that was indeed the dominant liberal view. But using the term “preference” now in relation to the topic will get you in serious trouble. It’s now sexual orientation, not sexual preference; it’s a matter of identity, not taste.

                    1. I hope we’ve alerted Krychek_2 to the minefield he’s strolling through!

                      I mean, we’re all friends *here* – well, not really, but now and then on speaking terms – but in some contexts calling sexual behavior a matter of preference is a high crime, and it would probably be well to be warned.

                    2. OK, for the benefit of the three people here who hadn’t already figured it out, I’m gay, and I find that argument totally ridiculous.

                      In the first place, who cares if it’s a choice? The whole point of America is that people get to make choices that other people find repulsive. People can choose to own guns, have abortions, read Ben Shapiro, eat raw oysters, raise their children to be racists — living in a free society means that people will make choices that other people are disgusted by. So on the whole issue of whether sexual preference is a choice, the answer is a great big “who cares”?

                      In the second place, humans are a pretty diverse group, so what is a choice for one person may not be for another. I don’t think one can categorically state a rule that applies to everyone. I also think that for some people, sexuality may be fluid over time, and there are people who experiment before finding something that works for them.

                      So I understand the argument, but it’s a pretty silly argument. I’m going to continue to say sexual preference, just as I have for the past thirty years.

                    3. “OK, for the benefit of the three people here who hadn’t already figured it out, I’m gay, and I find that argument totally ridiculous.”

                      Of course it’s ridiculous, and your points about natural biological urges and personal preferences are dead-on.

                      The point is that in many contexts such a construction can get you fired or sanctioned for non-inclusive language, epistemological violence, etc.

      2. That’s a pretty gross overgeneralization. Most speech (and people) on campus falls comfortably into the center-right/center/center-left zone. One of the many disingenuous things about cultural conservatives is they paint anything that isn’t conservative as “liberal” and pretend that there is no middle ground.

    10. They tend to undermine their own point regarding campus disruptions.

      “When students react by protesting or disrupting the event, the conservatives use it as proof that there’s real intolerance for conservative ideas.”

      Um…yes? There’s an own goal for vox.

      “In Wisconsin, the strictest of these states, rules drafted by the state university’s board of regents allow students to be expelled if they are found to have disrupted the speech of other students three times.

      “Protecting free speech on campus by expelling students for their political activism: just what the First Amendment’s drafters intended.”

      Yes – infringe on free speech three times and get kicked out. How strict! And all because the disrupting students have engaged in “activism.”

      1. Incidentally, if they’re wringing their hands at the plight of students who get caught disrupting speech *three times* (and in one state university system!) that in itself goes against the narrative that disruption of speech is rare.

        1. Said another way: free speech doesn’t have to be polite, quiet, or respectful. Shout all you want.

      2. Disruption (like, say interrupting) is equivalent to suppressing free speech? Interesting thesis.

        1. I think they’re referring to this

          “A formal investigation and disciplinary hearing is required the second time a formal complaint alleges a student has engaged in violent or other disorderly misconduct that materially and substantially disrupted the free expression of others. Any student who has twice been found responsible for misconduct that materially and substantially disrupted the free expression of others at any time during the student’s enrollment shall be suspended for a minimum of one semester. Any student who has thrice been found responsible for misconduct that materially and substantially disrupted the free expression of others at any time during the student’s enrollment shall be expelled.”

          (language about effective date omitted)

          https://www.wisconsin.edu/regents/policies/commitment-to-academic-freedom-and-freedom-of-expression/

          1. Ah. My mistake.

            When words become violence, you rapidly go from right to very wrong.

            If someone is using violence to prevent free expression, why do they get three chances. Hell, why do they get one? If someone goes all Proud Boys/Antifa on someone else, screw them.

    11. Well, of course. They are servants of the Chinese Commie Party and traitors. Zero tolerance for traitors. All should be fired and cancelled.

    12. I doubt that. The supporting statistics just are not there even in the hard science faculties of major research universities

    13. This is about as fair as pointing out that more whites get arrested than blacks, in absolute numbers.

      In case you miss the point, if universities fired equal absolute numbers of liberals and conservatives, then conservatives would be five to ten times more likely to get fired.

  7. Yes, only when university presidents/administrators stop considering a range of values in promoting academic communities and instead adhere to a fundamentalism placing abstract speech rights as inviolable over any other responsibilities or values will universities return to the ivory tower ideal of promoting intelligent, useful thought, commentary, science and research. I mean, that approach totally works with, say, the internet in general or this comment board in particular, dominated by Behars, Dr. Eds, Rev. Arties, etc…

    1. Can you admit that an educational institution, which has as one of its core values examining ideas, applying critical thinking, and the free exchange of ideas, has a primary obligation to those ideals?

      1. Weird how you point to “applying critical thinking” while simultaneously arguing that universities have some sort of duty to promote ideas that, when critical thinking is applied to them, are shown to be hogwash.

        1. I said nothing about promoting ideas. And never would. It is a conservative conceit that by presenting an idea it somehow equates to promoting it. Talk about something is not equivalent to supporting it.

  8. Obsolete view of free speech. The left has abandoned it.

  9. “They have a responsibility to push back against the mob.”

    True, they should not put up with mobs.

    “They have a responsibility to clearly defend the core mission of the university, which is to make space for members of the campus community to explore ideas and, yes, say controversial things.”

    As William F. Buckley explained – and it remains true no matter how many of Buckley’s putative successors say otherwise – “academic freedom” is a superstition. It is a superstition by now encoded in many university policies and judicial decisions, but it’s based on a misconception.

    The “core mission of the university” ought to be spelled out by the trustees (answerable to any superiors *they* have, whether state legislators or bishops), not the President, who ought to be the humble servant of the trustees. To the extent we’ve deviated from this and allowed others like Congress, the DoE, courts and mobs to make themselves stakeholders in how universities are run, then the result…is what you see. Plenty of good work and teaching being done, but also plenty of administrative bloat, “studies” studies, debt peonage, bread and circuses (“parking for the faculty, sports for the alumni, and sex for the students”) and other things unconnected to a university’s traditional function.

    If the Trustees specify that the university’s core mission is to prepare young men and women for true liberty (you might call it “liberal” education), then that means making decisions like what’s worthy of being taught and what isn’t, what’s true and what’s false, what conduct is good and what’s bad (enforced by rules when campus conduct is concerned), and “how to think” – if by that you mean more than proceduralism and actually mean having something good and beautiful to think *about.*

    It’s possible that getting back to actual liberal education may mean cutting back on some positions and programs, which is a helpful coincidence since the residential model is becoming relevant for a smaller group of students than before.

    1. How do dogma-enforcing, low-grade, conservative-controlled schools fit into your analysis, Cal Cetin? You have not mentioned their loyalty oaths, statements of faith, censorship codes, old-timey conduct codes, and the like. That’s a blind spot capable of wrecking an argument’s persuasiveness in the mainstream marketplace of ideas.

      1. Kind of. He’s talking about the dangers of education institutions becoming dogmatic and intolerant. Which is absolutely the danger in a school that doesn’t consider the general, foundational purpose of an academic/educational institution. So he’s right about that.

        But he is only railing against conservative schools, so his point loses a lot of credibility.

    2. I’ve put him on mute, but I’m guessing he’s talking about Biola and Liberty University again.

      1. Yeah, pretty much.

        1. I literally endorse liberal education, and the Rev. still isn’t satisfied. Is it because I forgot to say “liberal/libertarian”? Probably not, because his interest in libertarianism isn’t really noticeable.

          Maybe he has some vision of education that *isn’t* a liberal vision, despite his rhetoric.

  10. So three points-

    1. I think that a lot of the hue and cry over college free speech by conservatives is performative. It’s just another wedge issue for many of them; after all, a lot of the people kvetching on this board haven’t attended college since the 60s or 70s. Simply amplifying the occasional issues (many, but not all of which, are performative) obscures the day-to-day life at most campuses.

    2. That said, there is a lot less commitment to free speech among younger liberals than there used to be. I don’t say this to absolve conservatives- many of whom also have a VERY ends-oriented understanding of free speech (as in, they pull it out of their posterior to justify whatever feels good that day). Instead, I am only saying that ideas like “punching up, not down,” and “words can hurt people too!” seem to have a much larger currency with liberals than when I was younger.

    3. Finally, I do happen to agree that University and College Presidents should do more of a job standing up for the right to free speech. We have drifted a long way toward the idea that universities are just there to “serve the consumers” (students) or to be incubators for companies or whatever; but thriving free societies require that the institutions of higher learning continue to be places where those ideas that provoke, offend, and shock continue to be debated. Most will be discarded, but only through examination will we find those unpopular and controversial ideas that eventually become tomorrow’s truth.

    And it is incumbent upon the President of these Universities to continue to defend that core institutional mission; without that, they are nothing more than a glorified fund-raiser.

    1. You realize that your preliminary denunciations of conservatives aren’t going to save you?

      By invoking traditional left-wing (and now, I suppose, right-wing) pieties you’ve exposed yourself as precisely the sort of person the woke crowd find intolerable.

      I mean, look at this:

      “there is a lot less commitment to free speech among younger liberals than there used to be.”

      No, there’s a lot more commitment to racial justice and inclusion!

      “places where those ideas that provoke, offend, and shock continue to be debated”

      Well, I actually disagree about the university as a place for *endless* debate, so I hope you’re looking to a resolution of the debate in the vicinity of the truth. But from the woke point of view, even limited as I’ve said, the term “debate” is offensive because it means we might need some discussion to get to the answer when the answers are already clear to anyone who isn’t a racist oppressor.

      1. Cal,
        what you cal “commitment to racial justice and inclusion” is pretty much synonymous with shouting down any ideas that are in any way contrary to popular versions of those values.

      2. “when the answers are already clear to anyone who isn’t a racist oppressor.”
        Ah yes, the old time version of revealed truth according to Prophet Cal

        1. Sigh, I guess I should have included the good old “/sarc” tag.

    2. I think it’s almost entirely overblown and the result of the histrionic amplification of things on the Internet. I went to and graduated from a law school in NYC a few years ago. We invited Blackman to come and debate with other con law folks. He came and he did. The only thing that happened is that he ate pizza and typed on his laptop while everyone else on the panel spoke. No drama, no veto. Yet all he mentions is his one visit to CUNY Law (probably the most progressively-minded law school out there, it’s known for its placement into public-service roles as opposed to judicial clerkships) where a bunch of kids protested him. He’ll make it seem like it’s a problem everywhere. But he’ll neglect to mention that every other school in NYC that he visited went without any issue. The very same famed breeding-grounds for radical leftism such as Columbia and NYU that he’ll complain about in his posts.

    3. Amen, on all three points

    4. Yeah, loki’s got it.

      Yes, there is a problem.
      No, it is in no way exclusive to the left, even on campuses.
      But yes, the left’s momentum lately has been pretty bad in this area.

      And continuing to agree with loki, the increasingly profit-based orientation of universities is reaping all sorts of bad behavior, of which kowtowing to student demands, be they partisan or no, is but one.

  11. From what I can tell, the arguments against university presidents doing more to protect speech on campus fall into two categories:

    1. Speech on campus is already free. For example, the linked Vox article above tries to make the claim (through egregious misuse of data) that there are relatively few disruptions of speech.

    2. Protecting unpopular speech on campus is too expensive. For example, UC Berkely spent over a million dollars on security for a speech by Ben Shapiro and Free Speech Week in 2017. Dianne Feinstein defended Janet Napolitano’s cancelation of a speech by Ann Coulter on the grounds that the University didn’t have the resources to secure the event.

    1. “the linked Vox article above tries to make the claim”

      …and provides evidence which undermines its own thesis.

    2. Oh it’s quite clear the left in this country is willing to commit violence to shut up anyone who disagrees with them. They’ve gone full authoritarian and don’t plan to ease up.

      We are at the point where only some libertarians and the right are interested in free speech anymore.

      1. Drat!

        That’s right. The LEFT is coming to get all your free speech, and probably your ice cream too. And the LEFT would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for buckleup and those meddling kids.

        Of course, what’s buckleup going to do now? Publicize it on facebook? On twitter? Muahahahahhahaha *cough cough*. Doesn’t he know that the LEFT will deplatform him? And the kids!

        The ocean’s dying. Plankton’s dying. It’s the LEFT. Free speech is being killed by … the LEFT. With all of their LEFTIE LEFTISMS, and AUTHORITARIAN VIOLENCE. Next thing, the LEFT will be breeding us good conservatives and libertarians like cattle for food. You’ve gotta tell the rest of the world. You’ve gotta tell them even though we are being deplatformed!!!!! We gotta stop them! Somehow!

  12. Wow! 111 responses and counting. I had no idea stopping government officials from censoring was so controversial.

    1. If “liberals” have their druthers, college administrators will be required to censor “hate” (i.e., conservative) speech.

  13. Our strongest schools are operated by, for, and in the liberal-libertarian mainstream.

    Our conservative-controlled schools are reliably low-quality, science-suppressing, superstition-laced, censorship-hobbled, dogma-enforcing yahoo factories.

    Why would our strongest schools wish to emulate crappy, conservative-run schools by hiring more conservatives for faculty positions? Why would the American mainstream take tips on freedom of expression from clingers who turn every school they get their hands on into a safe space for bigotry, backwardness, superstition, dogma, censorship, and ignorance?

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