Tag: Greg Lukianoff

FIRE Launches New Free Speech Podcast

 

So To SpeakI’m proud to announce that FIRE has launched So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast. New episodes will be posted every other Thursday morning. The first of our bi-weekly episodes features interviews with me and with Brookings Institution Senior Fellow and Kindly Inquisitors author (as well as a personal hero of mine) Jonathan Rauch. As FIRE says over at The Torch:

In 1993, a young Rauch published Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought. It was his response to what he saw as the West’s lackluster and apologetic defense of the novelist Salman Rushdie’s free speech rights. In this inaugural episode, Rauch talks about his book and its impassioned moral (not legal!) defense of liberal inquiry and criticism. You’ll also hear the inside scoop from Greg on his and Rauch’s first meeting. (Hint: It involved comic book superheroes.)

You can listen to the episode here, and read more about the podcast over at The Torch.

Department of Justice to Universities: Title IX Requires You to Violate First Amendment

 

shutterstock_3359855The feds are once again pushing an unconstitutional definition of harassment on universities. The latest push, coming in the form of a “findings letter” issued to the University of New Mexico, is all the more concerning because it’s coming directly from the Department of Justice. Universities are forced to choose between adopting a wildly unconstitutional definition of harassment or face the possibility of losing their federal funding and the wrath of the DOJ.

As FIRE writes in our new press release:

The shockingly broad conception of sexual harassment mandated by DOJ all but guarantees that colleges and universities nationwide will subject students and faculty to months-long investigations—or worse—for protected speech. In recent years, unjust “sexual harassment” investigations into protected student and faculty speech have generated national headlines and widespread concern. Examples include:

Celebrate “Freedom Day” with a Free Speech Documentary!

 

Can-We-Take-a-JokeI am pleased to announce that the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia will be holding an advance screening of the FIRE-supported documentary Can We Take a Joke? to celebrate “Freedom Day” on April 13! Can We Take a Joke? is a documentary about the threats outrage culture poses to comedy and free speech, and features interviews with famous comedians including Adam Carolla, Gilbert Gottfried, Lisa Lampanelli, Heather McDonald, Penn Jillette, and more.

If you are from the Philadelphia area (or plan on being in Philadelphia on April 13) and would like to attend the screening, please email Haley Hudler at haley@thefire.org. To learn more about Can We Take a Joke?, visit the film’s Facebook page, follow its Twitter account, and sign up for email updates at its website. You can also check out an exclusive outtake of Penn Jillette’s interview from the film below.

And if you’re a college student, there’s still time for you to apply for free exclusive screening rights to show the documentary on your campus between April 13 and April 20! The deadline is fast approaching, however, so make sure to apply ASAP.

Support Free Speech on Campus by Endorsing the University of Chicago Statement

 

shutterstock_248056876Today, FIRE is launching a national campaign asking colleges and universities to adopt the free expression statement authored by the Committee on Freedom of Expression at the University of Chicago earlier this year. FIRE endorsed the statement back in January and has written hundreds of faculty members, students, and student journalists at institutions nationwide encouraging them to do the same.

This announcement comes after the Sunday Washington Post published an op-ed by FIRE’s Will Creeley and Geoffrey Stone, the current Dean of the University of Chicago Law School and one of the authors of the statement, urging universities to protect academic freedom and free speech:

Backed by a strong commitment to freedom of expression and academic freedom, faculty could challenge one another, their students and the public to consider new possibilities, without fear of reprisal. Students would no longer face punishment for exercising their right to speak out freely about the issues most important to them. Instead of learning that voicing one’s opinions invites silencing, students would be taught that spirited debate is a vital necessity for the advancement of knowledge. And they would be taught that the proper response to ideas they oppose is not censorship, but argument on the merits. That, after all, is what a university is for.

How Campus Censorship Culture Could Be Causing Students Psychological Harm

 

pic_giant_040615_SM_Safe-Space-DTI’m excited to announce that The Atlantic just published my feature article, The Coddling of the American Mind, which I co-wrote with best-selling author and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt. Haidt and I examine some of the behaviors we’ve observed on the modern college campus and the way they illustrate a new campus movement that goes beyond the PC movement of the 1980s and ‘90s. We write:

The current movement is largely about emotional well-being. More than the last, it presumes an extraordinary fragility of the collegiate psyche, and therefore elevates the goal of protecting students from psychological harm. The ultimate aim, it seems, is to turn campuses into “safe spaces” where young adults are shielded from words and ideas that make some uncomfortable. And more than the last, this movement seeks to punish anyone who interferes with that aim, even accidentally. You might call this impulse vindictive protectiveness. It is creating a culture in which everyone must think twice before speaking up, lest they face charges of insensitivity, aggression, or worse.

Examining vindictive protectiveness through a psychological lens, Haidt and I ask whether this new movement, created to help students, is actually hurting them:

FIRE Files Four Free Speech Lawsuits in One Morning, Launches New Litigation Project

 

Today, my organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), has a big announcement about a major step in the decades-long war against unconstitutional speech codes at America’s public colleges and universities. Below is my statement from FIRE’s press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.:

Twenty-five years ago we had reason to think that the “temporary insanity” of campus speech codes had come to an end.

FIRE Study: ‘Disinvitation Season’ Is Getting Worse

 

shutterstock_150667244It’s not just a question of perception; the push for speakers (commencement and otherwise) to be disinvited from campus has gotten worse.

As I wrote in a long piece today in the Huffington Post:

So far, FIRE has discovered 192 incidents in which students or faculty have pushed for speakers invited to campus (both for commencement and other speaking engagements) to be disinvited since 2000. Eighty-two of those incidents were “successful” in that ultimately the speaker did not speak. Of those 82 successful disinvitations, 53 occurred via the revocation of the speaker’s invitation to campus, 17 were from speakers withdrawing in the face of protest, and 12 were “heckler’s vetoes” in which speakers were shouted down, chased off stage, or otherwise prevented from speaking.

Ricochet’s Greg Lukianoff on the State of Free Speech in America

 

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), helmed by Ricochet’s own Greg Lukianoff, recently hosted a panel discussion at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia about “The State of Free Speech in America.” 

Greg was joined for the discussion by Stanley Fish of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, University of Chicago Law School Professor Eric Posner, and Jonathan Rauch of the Brookings Institution. National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen moderated the debate.