“So I was surprised to receive an email from Bret Stephens last night. The subject line read “From Bret Stephens, New York Times.” The provost of my university was cc’ed on the message. Stephens had found a tweet that I had written earlier that afternoon. Riffing on the headline “Breaking—there are bedbugs in the NYT newsroom,” which was drawing rounds of Twitter jokes, I had written “The bedbugs are a metaphor. The bedbugs are Bret Stephens.” The tweet had landed with a thud (nine likes, zero retweets), and I went about my day.”
Republican attempts to shut down free speech on campus because his feelings were hurt. None of the free speech concern trolls who stand up for Nazis could be reached for comment.
Richard Spencer, one of the leading figures in the white supremacist alt-right movement, told his podcast co-host that the alt-right didn’t actually believe in free speech and that the alt-right only claimed to advocate for it for “radically pragmatic” reasons.
Under SB1142, Arizona’s racketeering laws are expanding to include rioting. This gives the state government the right to criminally prosecute and seize the assets of everyone who planned a protest that turned violent and everyone who participated.
If the members of the Berkeley Republican Club believe that their invited speaker has ideas about politics and moral philosophy that are–even potentially–great, I really wish that they would explain why they think they are great. They have a duty to the university to do so. But perhaps they invited their speaker because they hoped he would make African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Muslim, and other minority members of the university feel small and unsafe. If so they need to examine their consciences and pray to their gods, and think hard about whether they understand the purpose of a university.
If you only care about free speech when it’s your freedom to insult people you dislike, then you don’t actually care about free speech. You care about insulting people.
Repeatedly remind readers (through both blatant and subtle appeals) that Free Speech = Good; Censorship = Bad. Be sure not to mention that the Person of Stature’s freedom of speech is not really at stake — like the rest of us, they are free to make any bigoted comments any time they want. Even more importantly, whatever you do, never acknowledge the fact that protests, petitions, and social media comments critiquing the Person of Stature also constitute acts of free speech. This is Pandora’s Box #1 — whatever you do, do not open it! Because if both the protesters and the Person of Stature are seen as having free speech, then this becomes a “marketplace of ideas” issue, and your readers will then feel entitled to make up their own minds as to who is in the right and who is in the wrong. And you can’t let this happen, because you have already decided this for them!
I keep asking for an example of “Political Correctness” that isn’t “Free Speech” and I just get dead air.
The same month that both the Mizzou protester stories went viral, a Missouri legislator tried to stop a University of Missouri grad student’s research into abortion, saying that the school was breaking the law by allowing her to continue. This happened at literally the exact same school as the protests, and it’s a way more cut-and-dry threat to free speech. The government is literally telling a grad student what they’re allowed to study, which is precisely what the first amendment is meant to prevent.
Student protests are literally free speech. When you complain about free speech, even idiotic free speech you are literally doing the opposite of defending free speech.
Nicholas and Erika Christakis have an undisputed right to free speech. No one has argued that they, as individuals, should not. But students have exercised their own free speech in speaking against the way Master and Associate Master Christakis have treated their office. This incident is not analogous to a professor offering an unpopular view, or a controversial speaker coming to campus.
As far as I can tell, the political correct student activists are attacking “free speech” by using “free speech” and the people fed up with political correctness would like to defend free speech by silencing the students. I’d love for some explanation why saying “I’m offended” is somehow less worthy “free speech” than saying “you’re to easily offended!”