Tag: Free Speech

University and Free Speech – Hope for the Future?

 

Lately, I’ve seen a few encouraging stories about a shifting perspective about free speech on university campuses. Some of the shifts are unhelpful, but others suggest that the leadership of universities is finally recognizing the significant role their institutions can play in supporting and perpetuating free speech.

At first glance, some stories are not positive. A few universities are trying to charge a “security fee” to groups who are inviting what the university defines as “controversial speakers.” Needless to say, the administrators are the very ones who decide that a given speaker is controversial, immediately suggesting that trouble will be brewing before and during a presentation. The University of Alabama imposed a fee of $7,000 on the College Republicans chapter that was hosting Milo Yiannopoulos in 2016. Just before the event, the university revoked the fee with the statement, “the University of Alabama supports free speech and welcomes diverse speakers to our campus. As with all speakers, the views of Mr. Yiannopoulos do not necessarily reflect the views of the University.” It was a wise choice since the chapter could not afford the fee and would have had to cancel the event.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

“Truth Conquers All,” or Does It?

 

Lindsay Shepherd is a teaching assistant for a communications course at Wilfrid Laurier, a Canadian university whose motto translates to “Truth conquers all.” She showed her class a debate that involved Jordan Peterson and others regarding gendered pronouns that had previously aired on Canadian television. She presented the video without comment, although she later revealed that she disagrees with Prof. Peterson’s position on the issue. However, a “gendered violence” complaint from her class was lodged, triggering a review, and Ms. Shepherd was reprimanded.

Her transgression? According to her supervising professor, Prof. Rambukkana, Ms. Shepherd failed to take sides prior to showing the videotape, and that “created a toxic climate for some of the students.” Rambukkana also stated, “This is like neutrally playing a speech by Hitler,” representing just one of several references to Nazi Germany made by himself and other authority figures at the meeting.

More

Freshmen, Not Faculty Taking Back Reed College from SJWs

 

Reed College in Portland, OR is yet another liberal-arts school being victimized by illiberal progressives. Their Humanities 110 class, required for incoming freshmen, has been targeted by angry social justice warriors calling themselves Reedies Against Racism (RAR).

The group insisted the silly Steve Martin song, “King Tut,” be banned from the classroom since it is, of course, racist. RAR claimed “the gold face of the saxophone dancer leaving its tomb is an exhibition of blackface” so it was verboten to discuss.

More
Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

It’s All Unraveling (And Why That’s a Good Thing)

 

Michael RamirezAmerica, tired of being lied to by its coastal betters, chose a President to tear it all down to the studs, from where a more hopeful and stronger country could rise again. Much of the anger that brought Donald Trump into office was certainly directed toward Washington DC’s elites, but also our cultural pillars. With a $20 trillion national debt, politicians had been Weinsteining their constituents for decades and people of both parties have had enough of the D.C./entertainment/sports/media complex.

The only results from the Progressives’ identity politics prescribed by Leftist septuagenarians was to balkanize a once civil union. Meanwhile, the overpaid, yet feckless consultant class on the right finagles their benefactor’s largesse but yield few results. Jabba the Hutt politicians along with their K-Street enablers tied the American voter to his chain, while they focused on reelection. It’s only about their power. From their mahogany walled watering holes in DC, they laugh at us idealistic rubes while ensuring their marble streets remain shiny in National Harbor. Americans weren’t just voting against DC. They were voting against the cultural rot that started decades ago.

More

John Hinderaker: Vegas Politicized, NRA, and Anti-Trust for Google?

 

On this episode of Whiskey Politics, John Hinderaker joins us to discuss the horrific massacre in Las Vegas, the instant politicization by the Left, the NRA, and assault weapons, and we also tackle how Google, Facebook, and other large internet companies may fall under the anti-trust legislation as they appear to limit free speech.

More

National Review’s John O’Sullivan

 

John O'SullivanJohn O’Sullivan joins Whiskey Politics and generously covers many issues, starting with O’Sullivan’s Law: “All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.” We discuss Trump’s UN speech, North Korea (#Dotard!), William F. Buckley, today’s National Review and those opposing Trump, Europe in the age of Trump, why the conservative Australian model for immigration works, the worldwide attacks on free speech, and should Google and Facebook be nationalized?

John is a former editor at National Review and since been editor-at-large at National Review and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. He is also president of the Danube Institute, a think tank devoted to promoting conservative and classical liberal ideas in Budapest, from where we had a fascinating discussion earlier this year with the Deputy Director and John’s better half, Melissa O’Sullivan. John also serves as director of 21st Century Initiatives in Washington DC. For decades John has been read, seen, and heard across the media and served as Editor or Editor-in-Chief at many publications including The Times (London), Daily Telegraph, New York Post editorial, and others.

More

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer a court decision that upholds Wisconsin’s right to work law and rejects the argument of organized labor that it has a right to part of workers’ paychecks. They also shudder as a new study shows students of all political stripes evenly divided on whether “hate speech” should be protected speech, whether it’s OK to shout down speakers they don’t like, or even whether uncomfortable views should be allowed on campus. And they have fun with a political ad that is a horrible parody of a famous scene from “Top Gun.”

More

Please Support Our Sponsor!

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are happy to see Ben Shapiro was able to give his speech at Berkeley without incident in the auditorium and minimal unrest outside, which this year counts as very good news. They also unload on Harvard for offering convicted spy Bradley Manning, who now identifies as Chelsea Manning, a position as a visiting fellow, and only rescinding the offer after the intelligence community denounces the move. And they groan as a terrorist attack on the London tube injures 22 people and suggests terrorists there might be changing their tactics.

More

Please Support Our Sponsor!

Colonel Jessup Was Right

 

Popping up amidst tales of destruction, loss of lives, and heroic rescues in Houston was a contemptible crack that appeared in a Twitter feed about how red state Trump supporters deserved what they got. In addition to this was another smear that sneaked into the news while Houston was plunged into the agonies of enduring Hurricane Harvey.

It seems a newsletter entitled “Social Justice Collective Weekly” posted its concerns about those who have served in the military, suggesting that veterans should not be allowed to attend college. Naturally, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where the posting took place, reacted with enough politically correct shibboleths to paper over any inconveniently provocative comments, and denounced discrimination on the basis of every standard imaginable, including race, ethnicity, gender, “gender expression,” gender identity,” “sexual orientation,” and so forth, along with a few political things here and there.

More

Alexandra DeSanctis of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are all for a robust federal response to assist in the recovery and the rebuilding of the Texas coast, but they also don’t want to see the legislation turn into a spending spree for a bunch of unrelated projects for other parts of the country and they applaud political and policy figures for setting that priority now. They also unload on the mayor of Berkeley, California, for calling for speakers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter not to speak on campus because it might set off the Antifa rioters. And Alexandra explains the litany of double standards as the media and social media savage First Lady Melania Trump for wearing high heels to board Air Force One on her way to survey the devastating floods in Texas.

More

Free Speech in the Crosshairs

 

In his weekend interview in the Wall Street Journal, my friend and editor Tunku Varadarajan wrote an elegant and gracious account of my views on freedom of speech in the wake of the recent, tragic events in Charlottesville. In this essay, I will elaborate on some of the themes developed there.

When it comes to free speech, the Constitution speaks in broad generalities that start the conversation off in the right direction, but which, standing alone, do not fill in all the missing pieces in a complex puzzle. The relevant text announces that Congress may pass “no law abridging the freedom of speech or the press.” That seemingly strict command is essential to guard against government suppression or censorship of political protests. But the incompleteness of the text raises two difficult questions. First, just what kinds of activities enjoy this constitutional protection? And what justifies limits on that constitutional freedom? Both of these gray areas came into play in Charlottesville, and both will prove more intractable as political strife in the United States deepens. In this dire climate, it is best to return to first principles.

More

In this AEI Events Podcast, a panel of academics, hosted by AEI’s Ryan Streeter and Samuel J. Abrams, discusses the experience of conservative professors on campus and the role faculty play in addressing the campus political climate. The panelists touch on a variety of topics, including the prevalence of confirmation bias and the necessity of including all ideas to avoid decline in the quality of research and education, as well as risks of overstating the current campus climate, and they disagree about whether the campus climate will lead to tangible societal change.

The panel features Samuel J. Abrams (AEI), Gerard Alexander (University of Virginia), Eliot Cohen (Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies), James Gimpel (University of Maryland), and Samuel Goldman (The George Washington University). It is moderated by Pete Peterson (Pepperdine School of Public Policy).

More