Category: Free Speech

Impeachment Moves Into High Gear . . . At The University Of Florida

Those of us covering or listening to the Trump impeachment hearing yesterday may have missed the “other” impeachment story this week. At Gainsville, Florida, students are seeking to impeach student president Michael C. Murphy due to the invitation to Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend (and Trump campaign adviser) Kimberly Guilfoyle to campus for speeches on Oct. 10. The couple was paid $50,000 for the speeches. There are even allegations of “collusion.” Student senator Ben Lima declared that “Public records show that Michael Murphy colluded with a member of the Donald Trump campaign” on the event. However, a student newspaper is also reporting that Murphy also sought to have Bernie Sanders appear on campus.

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Stanford Students Attempt To Silence Another Conservative Speaker In Latest Attack On Free Speech

The fight over free speech on campuses has again erupted in California where a speech by conservative author Ben Shapiro triggered demands that he be barred from campus. The doublespeak used to justify the denial of free speech is particularly chilling. The students insisted that allowing people to hear Shapiro put them at risk: “WE are tired of Stanford Administration’s complicity in putting Black, Brown, Trans, Queer, and Muslim students at risk by allowing SCR to bring Ben Shapiro to campus” On the other side, editors have called his flier anti-Semitic. While these students are intolerant and anti-free speech, but I do not believe that they intended any anti-Semitic message from using this image.

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“I’m Fixing To Get Rowdy”: Baby Trump Knifed In Alabama

In another example of our age of rage, Hoyt Hutchinson, 32, took a knife to the famous “Baby Trump” protest balloon that has followed President Donald Trump from England to the United States. Hutchinson reportedly stated on a video that “I’m going down here to make a scene, so y’all watch the news. This is pathetic. I’m fixing to get rowdy.” In a sign of our times, people have donated money to support him in this property destruction. Many now believe that they have a privilege to stop others from speaking. Conservatives have rightfully objected to such disruptive acts on campus, but this is a conservative who is being heralded for his own anti-free speech act. A similar act of destruction was committed by a woman in London who was upset with the protest balloon’s appearance.

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No, The U.S. Does Not Need European-Style Hate Speech Laws

Below is my column in USA Today on the latest calls for limiting free speech and imposing censorship on political speech. Last week, we discussed the refusal of students to allow former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to speak at Northwestern University and a New Yorker writer calling for the curtailment of free speech. These attacks are coming largely from the left where speech criminalization and censorship has become an article of faith for activists and some Democratic members.

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New Yorker Writer Joins Growing List Of Liberals Calling For Censorship

My column in the USA Today concerns the growing movement among Democrats in seeking to limit free speech and embrace censorship. This trend was vividly on display this week when University of California-Berkeley sought to feature a speaker on free speech. The choice was a reporter who seeks to limit free speech and opposes those of us who advocate for the right as “absolutists.” New Yorker staff writer Andrew Marantz is actively seeking to convincing free citizens to give up this core freedom in the name of controlling extremism. Of course, all of the examples of extremism cited by Marantz seem to be found on the right.

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No Free Speech For “Overtly Racist Old White Dudes”: Northwestern Protesters Force The Cancelation of Jeff Sessions Event

I have previously written about the curtailment of free speech and the refusal of both faculty and students to allow opposing views to be heard on campuses. Northwestern University (one of my alma maters) has been particularly complicit in this trend against free speech. Now, protesters have blocked students and faculty from hearing remarks (and have a dialogue with) former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The incident at Northwestern follows a growing list of such conservative speakers barred from being heard by protesters.

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Zuckerberg “Should Pay A Price”: Clinton Denounces Facebook For Refusing To Censor Political Ads

I recently published a column on the effort by Democrats to get Facebook and other companies to implement a system of censorship of political ads, which would be entirely unconstitutional if carried out by the government. Now, Hillary Clinton has declared that Mark Zuckerberg “should pay a price” for the damage that he is doing to democracy. It is a curious argument since, according to Clinton, Zuckerberg is apparently harming democracy by not curtailing free speech by censoring political speech. I have previously criticized President Donald Trump for his own anti-free speech and anti-free press rhetoric.

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“It’s Okay To Be White”: Oklahoma Law School At The Center Of New Hate Crime Controversy

The Oklahoma City University School of Law is the focus of the latest controversy over campus speech deemed hateful. Fliers were put up around school that read “it is okay to be white.” The police were called to investigate the potential hate crime and Law school Dean Jim Roth declared that such hatred and exclusion “will not be tolerated.” The controversy however reignites concerns in the free speech community over the use of hate crime laws as a surrogate for hate speech laws. Hate speech remains protected under the First Amendment despite recent calls for the adoption of European-style hate speech laws by various Democratic leaders and figures. Indeed, that is the subject of my most recent USA Today column this week.

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“I Don’t Have A Problem With It”: Professor Declares Support For Violent Attacks On Journalists and Others Holding Opposing Views

For years, I have written about the violent, anti-free speech agenda of Antifa and its academic enablers. For that reason, a recent interview in the Seattle Times Pacific Lutheran University Professor of Nordic Studies Troy Storfjell caught my attention. While there are a rising number of faculty supporting the curtailment of free speech on campuses, most avoid openly participating in physical violence or supporting such violence. Not the case with Storjell who declaring that he is entirely comfortable with the use of violence to silence those who hold opposing views.

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Halloween Triggers Renewed Calls For Punishing Offensive Or Culturally Appropriating Costumes

The crackdown on offensive and culturally appropriating Halloween costumes continues across the country. Some of us have objected over the free speech concerns raised by these actions. However, those concerns appear lost on most students. According to a recent poll by The College Pulse, most students reject the free speech concerns over costumes and support punishment for students who wear “highly offensive” Halloween costumes.

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Toronto Public Library Under Fire For Defending Free Speech

A Canadian library has become the latest flash point over free speech as hundreds of protesters tried to prevent others from hearing the views of a feminist writer who has been critical of transsexual laws guaranteeing equal access to bathrooms and other spaces. To its credit, Toronto Public Library held firm in favor of free speech and refused to be bullied into cancelling the event. Nevertheless, police had to escort the audience out the back to avoid threats from protesters who objected to event featuring Meghan Murphy. It is a disheartening scene in a city with a seal professing “Diversity our strength.” Apparently, diversity of ideas is not one of those strengthens according to the Mayor and city council.

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From Blacklisting To Red Baiting, McCarthyism Is Back In Vogue

Below is a slightly expanded version of my column in the Washington Post on increasingly McCarthyite conduct evident in this election. I am particularly interested in the new trend toward boycotting other states that do not share your “values” in a given area.

Here is the column:

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The New Censors: The Call For Banning Political Lies Threatens Free Speech

Below is my column on the call by Democratic members for censorship of political ads by Facebook. The overwhelming support for the call by members like Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez shows the erosion in our values of free speech. Democrats and the media were once the defenders of free speech and critics of censorship. They are now demanding that corporations police political ads and remove ads viewed as false or misleading. It is a standard that many of these members would quickly denounce if applied to some of their own past comments.

Here is the column:

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Emory Embroiled In Debate Over Law Professor’s Use Of Racial Slurs

Emory University University is now the focus of the national debate over the conflict between academic freedom and university rules against the use of racial slurs, even as part of academic work. Professor Paul Zwier is currently on suspension over he was accused of using the “n-word” in the course of a class and later in a meeting about the controversy. He first used the word to discuss who the word “negro” was likely used in a case as a sanitized version of the slur. Students complained and charges were brought, including an allegation that Zwier used the word again in an office discussion with a student on the incident. This month, a report from the Office of Equity and Inclusion that recommended Zwier be suspended for up to two more years due to his usage of the racial slur.

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Dhvani Runs Ads Showing Model Assaulting Trump

YouTube Screenshot

There has been legitimate criticism (including on this blog) of President Donald Trump retweeting images of his killing or beating media figures. However, there is often less coverage of such violent images from the left. One shocking example appeared this week in advertisements in New York for the athletic apparel company Dhvani showing a model assaulting Trump. The company did not back down from its violent display, though Planned Parenthood denounced the ads after Dhvani named it as a collaborating partner in the campaign design. The campaign titled #StandForSomething seems to mean stand for something tasteless and brutal.

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