We have been discussing the erosion of free speech on campuses with rising speech codes and ambiguous rules barring “microaggressions.” A small percentage of students and faculty often push for such speech codes and regulation. However, it is often difficult for students and faculty to object at the risk of being called intolerant or microaggressors. Now there is a Gallup poll confirming that most students feel that they are no longer able to speak freely at college due to this minority of speech intolerant students and faculty. Ninety percent of Pomona students said that they did not feel free to speak openly or freely. It is an indictment of not just Pomona but many of our colleges. Continue reading
Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on how liberals in New York are supplying the Supreme Court ample reason to rule for a Colorado cake shop owner in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. As the Court decides whether a baker can refuse to bake a cake deemed offensive, many liberals are asserting the right to refuse to serve conservatives based on their political views or associations.
Here is the column: Continue reading
We have been discussing the rapid erosion of free speech on our campuses and the increasing confrontations with students who bar speech with which they disagree. (Here and here and here and here) The most disturbing aspect of this trend has been the active support of academics and administrators, including defining the prevention of free speech as an exercise of free speech. The result is that schools are caving into academic demands made by students. The latest example is the action taken by the State University of New York at Oswego administrator, who reprimanded a student for making other students feel “uncomfortable” by raising liberal intolerance of free speech at an “Open Mic” event last month. Nicole Miller was called out under an “unofficial policy” — thereby confirming the very point of her remarks.
Utah senior Keziah Daum, 18, thought that she was sharing a pictures from a wonderful prom from Woods Cross High School. The pictures show Daum in a beautiful Chinese Choengsam (also known as a qipao) dress, a creative and striking choice for this important event. The posting however unleashed a torrent of criticism of Daum for “cultural appropriation” because she is not Chinese. I have been a long critic of the “cultural appropriation” protests on campuses, but this case is particularly maddening and absurd. Continue reading
I will have the pleasure today of serving as a keynote speaker at the Connect: ID 2018 conference in Washington. Connect:ID is an international conference on identity technologies including biometrics, mobile applications and secure credentials. I will be speaking on identity, privacy, and anonymity. The speech will be at 8:30 am at the Washington Convention Center.
We have been discussing the increasing practice of students interrupting classes or speeches to prevent others from hearing opposing views. This has included protests where students have been prevented from studying as other students accuse them of privilege or racism. Administrators at schools like Dartmouth have allowed such abusive conduct to occur without disciplinary action, even apologizing to the protesters. Now, twenty students were allowed to storm the Columbia University library Wednesday to protest the fact that College Republicans were allowed to exercise their free speech in bringing conservative speakers to campus. It was a demonstration that not only sought to deny other students free speech but did so in a way to deny students their right to study. Columbia has been silent on any effort to discipline the students. The Liberation Coalition occupied the library staircase while holding signs proclaiming “Decolonize Columbia” and “Divest from White Supremacy Now.”
Below is my column in The Hill on the speech by French President Emmanuel Macron and his calling for the United States to join France in a crackdown on “fake news.” Our members were either clueless or complicit in this thinly veiled call for speech regulation on the Internet. However, there is growing pressure from Europe for the United States to abandon its long commitment to free speech — a call that is being heard by a rising number of academics and politicians. I love the oak (which has disappeared) but the advice in far more invasive for this country.