We have been discussing the erosion of free speech on our campuses across the country. Much of that trend is the result of faculty members who have taught that free speech itself is a threat to students. The erosion of free speech has come in stages. First, schools began to declare speech to be hate speech while creating “safe zones” from the exercise of free speech. Second, schools began to enforce the ill-defined “microaggressions” to punish speech that is deemed as contributing to hostile environments or fostering stereotypes. Now, faculty and students are increasing declaring opposing views as simply outside of the definition of free speech. That extreme argument was advanced this week by the editors of The Wellesley News who published a column entitled “Free Speech Is Not Violated At Wellesley.” It is chilling message from the Editorial Board composed of Co-Editors in Chief Sharvari Johari and Michele Lee and opinion editors Maya Nandakumar, Genae Matthews, and Tabitha Wilson. Once the champions of free speech, students have become the new censors and have adopted the perfectly Orwellian notion that the protection of free speech requires the denial of free speech.
The editors heralded the Wellesley students who refuse to respect the free speech rights of those deemed to be hateful. Simply defining such people as unworthy of free speech protections then allows the editors to become actual advocates of mob action to silence them:
“Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech. The founding fathers put free speech in the Constitution as a way to protect the disenfranchised and to protect individual citizens from the power of the government.”
So speech deemed as “undermining the existence and rights of others” is all that is needed to relieve the conscience of these students and allow them to indulge in their desire to forcibly silence those with whom that disagree. There is no attempt of course to define what constitute speech that “undermines.” Rather the thrust is to legitimize the denial of free speech in the name of free speech.
Their bizarre understanding of free speech is laid out further in the statement that “The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed, not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging.” Again, there is no definition of what is deemed “hateful” or “damaging” but it clearly does not include things that the editors agree with or have been taught are the products of ignorance: “We have all said problematic claims, the origins of which were ingrained in us by our discriminatory and biased society. Luckily, most of us have been taught by our peers and mentors at Wellesley in a productive way.”
The editors identify unworthy speakers as people who “support racist politicians or pay for speakers that prop up speech that will head to the harm of others.” The editors are entirely comfortable with that subjective line in isolating those who “prop up speech” considered “harmful.”
In a wonderfully condescending note, the editors acknowledge that their “preference for education over beration regards students who may have not been given the chance to learn.” That is, learn that the views of the editors and other students are the correct views. However, the editors relieve themselves of any further responsibility for “those who have already had the incentive to learn and should have taken the opportunities to do so.” These are people in other words who refuse to be “mentored” and retain their beliefs.
Now that the editors have been properly educated that some views are unworthy of protection, they are ready to take the final step in calling for the silencing of those who “refuse to adapt their beliefs.” If those people still insist on being heard, the editors declared that “hostility may be warranted.” “Hostility”?
The war on free speech appears to have produced a perfect generation of petty tyrants “mentored” in the necessity — even the moral imperative — of silencing those with whom we disagree.
I suppose this is to be expected at a school with the motto: Non Ministrari sed Ministrare — Not to be ministered unto, but to minister.
80 thoughts on “Wellesley Students Editors Endorse Silencing Opposing Speakers And Declare “Hostility May Be Warranted””
When are we going to get into the Georgetown buildings recently renamed in honor of the slaves they owned? Who said guilt was a good thing.
Just to ratchet it up some, here is a catchy one…
This will be the first time in history that a billionaire moved into public housing, vacated by a black family.
Hate repeating this but I think it says it best….
The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.
Privacy is every Americans right. Freedom of speech and freedom of the internet,. When they passed net neutral, that was a way for the government to get there greedy hands on the internet. Stop the Government from spying on everybody. Use the search engine that does not change its results for political reasons and respects your privacy, just good old fashion results that are not tracked. Lookseek.com Have a great day
Free speech is important on more than just the campus and it recently came under vicious attack from CIA director Mike Pompeo. Of course it was met with dead silence on the part of the main stream media, because it wasn’t attacking them.
So now that Wikileaks has helped the Trump administration win the election by revealing just how corrupt the DNC was in its treatment of Sanders, it’s time to clamp down brutally on them lest they say anything about the Trump administration.
So a college campus is serious to you but the director of the CIA directly threatening whistle blowers makes you yawn. Typical Toads.
Oh my, a Snowden supporter who believes his overseas buddy is a patriotic whistleblower.
When we get him he’ll go down for treason and get an adjoining cell with Manning.
Manning…..let me back up a bit. Since President Obama commuted his sentence, President Trump should commute his entire sentence and then strip it of its citizenship and deport it. Maybe send the mutant to Chechnya.
Whistleblowers have a status before they blow and he had none.
The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 (WPA) is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from retaliatory action for voluntarily disclosing information about dishonest or illegal activities occurring at a government organization.
Then how does one explain ex-CIA “employee” John Kiriakou being in federal prison?
Let me check my 🎄 Christmas card list. That name doesn’t ring any bells.
Funny how you glossed over my rebuttal to the previous guys comment which having no basis in fact simply lost and hid.
Point Red Team!
If you have not seen Mona Lisa Smile it is the film version of everything that is so wrong with our higher education and particularly Wellesley. I am so grateful with my military prep school and military college roots but my brothers also turned out just as well, maybe better with their Peddle School (#11/50 top preps) and one to Wharton and the other W&M.
So get the popcorn, Greygoose or Gentleman Jack (says Squire Brown) and put your feet up, mouth in neutral and enjoy the show.
Three of these five women hail from non-occidental cultures and two others from an occidental subculture which saw a catastrophic decline in the quality of political discourse within it over the period running from 1955 to 1968, a decline that has never been reversed. It’s a reasonable wager that at least two of these characters are likely in a defensive crouch due to academic problems derived from having received mulligans in the admissions process. This crew were likely pretty easy meat for the latter-day purveyors of pureed Marcuse-and-Alinsky on Wellesley’s campus.
There seems to be an intellectual laziness to the Editorial Board. Inclusive discourse arguments would be better served around the issues of etiquette and decorum. You don’t have to value all speech in a consensus because it does not have the same merit. Larry Flint ( Hustler magazine) is not Thomas Paine.
It is remarkable that these institutions that supposedly are teaching young adults to use reason and logic as a tool to navigate society openly endorse a lack of reason and logic in support of equality and social justice.
“Here is Leo XIII’s attack on the very ideal of equality as a social ideal:
Therefore, let it be laid down in the first place that in civil society, the lowest cannot be made equal with the highest. Socialists, of course, agitate the contrary, but all struggling against nature is in vain. There are truly very great and very many natural differences among men. Neither the talents nor the skill nor the health nor the capacities of all are the same, and unequal fortune follows of itself upon necessary inequality in respect to these endowments.”
Well, the truth is racist. That is what things have come to. That is why when you state that Black poverty is caused by single black mothers, you get called racist.
This is just a negative reaction to reality, and a result of cognitive dissonance. If someone holds the belief that say, white privilege is what causes black poverty, and someone else counters with the argument that a 72% illegitimate birth rate is the more likely cause of the poverty, then one has the choice of either admitting they’re wrong and changing their belief, or denying it in some way. Sooo, here comes the “thatz racissst!” smear.
What the Wellesley student editors did was just the same thing, writ larger. Anything that says I am wrong is ‘hate speech.” Look for them to become prominent Democrats.
Hey Squeeker..not trying to be the GP ( grammar police) but Gerry called and said it’s FrommE.
It’s worse than you say. You could state in a completely post-racial way that elective single motherhood in white communities is a poverty sentence visited on the children, as Charles Murray does in “Coming Apart”.
Someone will hear something completely different, and be quick with an accusation of racism. In reality, they are threatened by the topic raised, and are reflexively looking for a way to block the info and shut down the discussion. It is the intellectual defensiveness that is destroying progress on the issue of poverty. There will be no social justice until liberals put down the brass knuckles, and begin listening for accuracy.
But they can’t put down the brass knuckles because to have to actually argue for their position means that they will lose the argument. And that would mean that they are wrong. And they can’t be wrong. That is why force, smear tactics, and intimidation have to be used. To protect their own egos.
This is the essence of cognitive dissonance. They are sooo personally invested in the liberal belief system, that they will try to change Reality itself rather than just admit they are wrong and change their opinions. Look at Trayvon Martin as an example. His death should have been a relatively morbidly funny story, about how a thug mugging somebody ended up picking on the wrong guy— a guy with a gun.
But the idea of black person bringing a bad result on himself, by his own actions, ran counter to the whole Liberal Narrative, where white people are responsible for bad outcomes in the black community. So the story was twisted to fit into that narrative and you had the hilarious result of supposedly intelligent people arguing that the very idea of “self defense”, and “stand your ground” was inherently racist. Because that stupid idea was easier for them to swallow than to just admit the little thug had it coming.
That is why Liberals have to use the “brass knuckles” – – – because they are trying to make us all believe stupid things and we won’t do it without intimidation.
A long time ago I read something Nat Hentoff wrote in which he quoted someone who said something like this: The desire to censor is the strongest human impulse by far. The desire for sex is a weak second.
A timeless truth.
It started much earlier….. by Aleister Friday, November 11, 2016 at 3:30pm
“Racially offensive and gender demeaning”
Two students from Babson College have been expelled from their fraternity for driving a truck with a Trump flag in the back through the campus of Wellesley College. Babson and Wellesley College are both located in Wellesley, MA. Hillary Clinton is also a Wellesley graduate.
The Boston Globe reported:
Frat ousts two Babson students who drove through Wellesley campus waving Trump flag
The two men who drove through Wellesley College in a pickup truck Wednesday while waving a Donald Trump flag are students at nearby Babson College, and some witnesses felt their words and actions were “racially offensive and gender demeaning,” Babson officials said Thursday.
Officials at the two colleges, both located in Wellesley, did not offer specifics about what the men said or did when they entered the elite all-women campus.
Lawrence P. Ward, vice president of student affairs at Babson, said in a letter to students that the men drove by Wellesley College’s Harambee House, which serves as the focal point for African-American students.
“It is important to understand that our students’ behavior was experienced by many students of color and perceived by many others … as racially offensive and gender demeaning,’’ Ward wrote.
Are we supposed to believe that the students of Wellesley wouldn’t celebrate and maybe even enjoy a little gloating if Hillary had won?
The Swellesley Report has more:
Babson College boys taunt Wellesley College women with Trump flag
We posted earlier this week about a couple of obnoxious Babson students who reportedly drove a pick-up truck around the Wellesley College campus the day after the election, waving a Trump flag, and were asked to leave the campus. A public Facebook post about the incident has been shared more than 5,000 times, and The Boston Globe has picked up the story as well.
Since the incident the students have been kicked out of their fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon. Sig Ep national says it considers the incident a blow to its aspirations for diversity and inclusion. The organization has, in fact, taken serious steps in the past when its membership has exhibited behavior that suggests an essential corruptness among the brotherhood. In 2014 the fraternity closed its Ole Miss chapter after someone placed a noose around a bronze statue of a black civil rights icon and left behind a flag with the symbol of the Confederacy (what is it with Sig Ep and flags?).
So waving a Trump flag is the equivalent of placing a noose on the statue of a civil rights leader?
Hat tip to John Podhoretz:
When I went to Babson (who?) in ’67 it was Babson Institute, all male and now Co-ed and Babson College. Roger Babson predicted the 1929 stock market crash in ’28 a full year before. Then we worried more about wearing ROTC uniforms in public. The Four Tops played at Northeastern’s winter carnival. We’d go to the Unicorn on Boylston and sit in dim lit old pews and listen to no name bands with great music only to go home for 🎄 Christmas to find Country Joe and the Fish have a #1″album. Better yet, was watching Janis Ian sing Society’s Child and taking my date back stage to meet her. My conclusion is there is a water issue. Something in the water there. Love how two great institutions are so basically flawed. I was opposed to the marriage act ruled on by the court. But much like when Senator Obama became president, I didn’t vote for him but you know what….he is now my president and the law….I lost and it’s the law. The problem then was, the rift and division in our country. A president who then bathes the White House in 🌈 rainbow colors, like a school yard bully prodding his stick in our face and eyes. Yet two students celebrating with a victory lap through the camps of the opposition waving their teams colors is so off limits. Beware….Banning capture the flag maybe next.
Secretary Clinton was a die in the wool republican when she went to Wellesley. So what happened? It must be the water.
No, Hillary Clinton is just an opportunistic chameleon, exactly like her scumbag husband and daughter!
“Much of that trend is the result of faculty members who have taught that free speech itself is a threat to students.”
A disproportionate amount of faculty and staff at universities are extremist Leftists who, by definition, believe in strong government control of individuals, and the erosion of individual rights for the good of the collective. And “good” was to be defined by the State. It is inherent in their belief that they must silence opposition. There is a reason why fascists and progressives had such merry exchanges prior to WWII. They believed in the benign dictatorship of the State rather than robust individual liberty.
Ergo, they teach students that the restriction of free speech is a good, brave, and just thing. They believe that there can only be one State approved message, opinion, and rhetoric. The public education system and the university system have become modern day Youth Camps.
This has also had the effect of overstimulating the limbic system of our youngest generation. Merely giving voice to an opposing opinion can generate a fight or flight response, and the student believes they are in real and present danger. They demand a safe space, retribution, protection, punishment for the unbeliever.
We are going to pay dearly for this in about 20 years when they have taken the positions that keep our country running.
Meanwhile, I have crisis fatigue. I cannot imagine the energy required to keep panicking and experiencing maximum emotional crisis at every stimuli.
You have not justified your second paragraph. More just Making Stuff Up.
The money phrase is “A disproportionate amount of faculty and staff at universities are extremist Leftists who, by definition, ” There is oodles of survey research on faculty (saliently the work of Stanley Rothman) which demonstrates that the distribution of opinion among faculty bears no resemblance to the general public. Jonathan Haidt has of late been transmitting research demonstrating matters have grown dramatically worse in the last twenty years in the Northeast in this respect. “Extremist leftists’ is not proper terminology for academic research, but Karen’s offering an opinion in a blog post, so it’s not surprising she’s sloppy.
Her gloss on this survey research and her understanding of the faculty type is off, to be sure. Had she gotten it right, the faculty would not look any better, just gruesome in a different way.
How about some actual hostility? Don’s going to shoot down a N. Korean missile to show we aren’t’ weak! That’s about as weak as a nation can get, but hey, it’s not a micro aggression and war gives high paying jobs to the Wellesley class of people, so it’s all good!
Sharvari Johari writes: “As a minority in the United States, I vote for the candidate who supports my needs.”
And therein lies the problem, doesn’t it. A nation not only divided, but splintered, with hundreds of different minorities vying to serve themselves. Each is unconcerned with the needs of other minorities or with the needs of the majority. We are, today, concerned with self and unconcerned with the well being of the nation.
No one votes for the candidate who advocates for the needs of the nation as a whole, because no candidate ever does so. Candidates pander to whichever minority predominates in the audience of the day, changing promises and principles as the ethnic/religious/social makeup of the daily audience changes.
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