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Freedom Can’t Coexist With Campus Political Correctness, Time to Free Speech

It is time to free speech.  It’s impossible for people and society to govern themselves if their rights are subject to other people’s feelings.

When Chinese President Xi Jinping talked about strengthening “democracy” in a speech to Australian parliament in 2014, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was so floored he praised Xi extensively.

Of course, when 2015 came along China kept shutting down protests and arresting activists, including five feminists in one high-profile case who were imprisoned for a month for trying to pass out information about sexual harassment. This is the language in an authoritarian regime that continues to insist it is advancing down the path of communism by implementing market reforms.

Thus it was at a “safe place” on the University of Missouri campus that a journalist was assaulted while trying to photograph a public protest. Universities are becoming more threatening for students, professors, public intellectuals, and free thinkers, but it is the politically correct social-justice fascists who are the most to blame.

That ‘Dimwit White Person’

At universities from coast to coast, speakers have been silenced, films have been banned, and student journalists have been cowed or fired. Just Google “Bill Maher” or “Ayaan Hirsi Ali.” One liberal professor even wrote at Vox (under a pseudonym) that he was “scared of his liberal students.” And he has good reason to be. After the administrators at Mizzou were forced out, professor Dale Brigham resigned for planning to hold exams as usual despite a racist shooting threat posted to a social network. The poster has since been arrested.

One activist (who referred to Brigham as a “dimwit white peon”) was quite clear about intents to start a social media mob: “I have over 185,000+ followers on the social network Vine, and I will be posting your email … If you continue to express opposition you WILL BE EXTORTED OF YOUR FUCKING CAREER.” (Where’s the United Nations to talk about online intimidation now?)

This controversy over exams reflects that after Officer Darren Wilson was not indicted in the shooting death of Michael Brown (a decision that a review by the Obama Justice Department found to be the right one), students at Oberlin, Georgetown, and Cornell Law School tried to get exams canceled or delayed. Indeed, according to a timeline created by Slate, the Missouri protests started after the shooting. Protesting at a university over an unrelated shooting that ended up being non-criminal (though many still cling to the unsubstantiated “hands up” narrative) makes little sense, but neither does calling for the university president’s dismissal because of individual student actions.

There Is No ‘Discourse’ on Campus

When two Mizzou students spread cotton balls in front of the black student center in 2010, they were arrested and suspended. The university took action. Contrast that with the University of Michigan’s lack of major response to the vandalism of the apartment of a columnist who mocked PC culture, done by the same left-wing activist who called for banning the showing of “American Sniper.”

If student journalists don’t feel free to express their thoughts on complex issues, where will the next generation of journalists come from? Will those whose views are at odds with the party line be cowed into silence or decide not to pursue it? How will student newspapers be able to cover issues fairly knowing that the student government might cut their funding, as happened to the Wesleyan University student paper?

The PC paramilitary police aren’t just after student journalists. They do the same to professional pundits. Sam Harris says discussions about Islam are being stifled.

The effects of trigger warnings and the limiting of teaching materials aren’t just being felt in academia—where, according to The Atlantic, law school professors are apprehensive about teaching rape law lest a student thinks it will trigger someone—it could also cause mental health problems for the students themselves, who are conditioned to feel distressed for every “microaggression.”

Feelings Versus Free Speech

 Free speech, free press, respect for opposing opinions, stringent academic standards, straightforward language, and primacy of the truth are all necessary ingredients for a strong democracy.

The very reason students can protest their administration is that they enjoy free speech rights—rights that should apply to their opponents as well as to them. When someone else’s feelings are given primacy over another’s freedom of speech, you deny that person’s rights.

When feelings are given primacy over facts, there’s no way to evaluate the truth, which is necessary for making sound policy. How can one say Donald Trump is wrong that Mexico is “sending” the United States illegal immigrants if the truth doesn’t matter now? And didn’t he “feel” offended when Rich Lowry said Carly Fiorina emasculated him? Why not call for Lowry’s firing or a Federal Communications Commission fine?

When “safe spaces” are places where pushing and verbal abuse take place, when reality is based on the race, gender, or sexuality of a speaker, when words like “rich,” “poor,” “senior,” and “American” are considered “problematic,” reality ceases to exist and words have no meanings.

The biggest problem with PC culture is it destroys the basis for a functioning democracy.

Source:  The Federalist

Restore Free Speech To Mizzou, It’s Time To Stop Living In A Word Slave Plantation

As of Tuesday night, the campus of this taxpayer-funded university has become a First Amendment-free zone.  Free Speech is not allowed if hateful or hurtful.  Word slaves are creating policies on words that insight an emotional response.

For the better part of a week now, the University of Missouri has seemed a world apart. But recent events have confirmed the university is a lot like the rest of Missouri in this respect: it is catastrophically misgoverned.

Following days of turmoil on campus, during which national news outlets captured video of university administrators and faculty physically threatening students who attempted to report on the unfolding events, the university police department Tuesday night issued a bulletin asking students and faculty to report “hateful and/or hurtful speech” to the police. Yes, the police. As of Tuesday night, the campus of this taxpayer-funded university has become a First Amendment-free zone.

Which prompts this question: Who exactly is in charge at the University of Missouri? And what are they doing with our tax dollars?

Mizzou Employees Cannot Attack Free Speech, Have Employees Become Part of the Word Slave Movement?

I have been privileged to teach constitutional law at Mizzou. I cherish our rights as Americans to petition government for the redress of grievances. As an attorney, I have made a career out of defending those denied their rights by the heavy hand of government. I am proud that we live in a nation where citizens can assemble to express their political views, of whatever sort, without fear of reprisal.

But let’s get one or two things straight. The First Amendment protects not only the right to assemble, but also the right to speak. It prohibits government officials from punishing speech the government deems “hurtful” or offensive. What’s more, the University of Missouri is a taxpayer-funded institution. That means university law enforcement personnel are government officials. University administrators are too. For them to deploy—or even threaten—the police power against “offensive” speech is shocking, and probably unconstitutional.  Employees are living on word slave plantations where a word like “bully” or “honky” cannot be voiced.  It is time to remove the use of words from governments, institutions, policies to deflect heated responses that come with their use.

That such a policy of “offensive” speech could be issued at all is a sign of just how badly the university is governed, and how thoroughly it has come to share the dysfunction of our state government. For months, top administrators have warred among themselves, each attempting to curry favor with state politicians at the other’s expense. The chancellor went so far as to hire a personal lobbyist to press his interests with the Jefferson City political establishment. Not surprisingly, state politicos have treated the university like a political plaything.

Meanwhile, the University Board of Curators has said nary a word about the anti-speech incidents on campus perpetrated by its own administrators or the university’s anti-speech policing.

Protect Free Speech Again

Enough. The time has come for accountability. The curators should immediately rescind the anti-speech police policy—but not before they ascertain who, precisely, authorized it in the first place. Administrators and faculty who threatened students for exercising their First Amendment rights should be disciplined.

Solving the problems at Mizzou may seem complicated, but parts of it are easy. Much of this has been, at its best, a call for basic human rights. That’s a good touchstone as we move forward. And the single best enunciation of human rights is the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution. Let’s not let emotion or political correctness or cronyism carry us away from those basic truths in the First Amendment. Equality is rooted in equal freedom. And we cannot take freedom from one to secure it for another.

Source:  The Federalist