24 April 2017 – Press Articles

Sorry, College Kids, There’s No Such Thing As Hate Speech, J D Davidson, Federalist

For the sake of campus protestors and their professors across the country, it’s time to make something clear: there’s no such thing as hate speech. That should go without saying, since freedom of speech and free inquiry is supposed to be what college is all about. But the recent spate of violent student protests, from the University of California at Berkeley to Middlebury College in Vermont, have been met with a collective shrug from an alarming number of college students, professors, and administrators who seem to be under the impression that violence is okay so long as its purpose is to silence “hate speech.”

What ‘Snowflakes’ Get Right About Free Speech, U Baer, NYT – Vice Provost, NYU

Lyotard shifted attention away from the content of free speech to the way certain topics restrict speech as a public good. Some things are unmentionable and undebatable, but not because they offend the sensibilities of the sheltered young. Some topics, such as claims that some human beings are by definition inferior to others, or illegal or unworthy of legal standing, are not open to debate because such people cannot debate them on the same terms.

Check out the comments to this article, e.g.

As a college professor, but not a university administrator, I fear very much that our universities are destroying not only free speech, but any trace of critical thought. And administrators like Baer are producing a dishonest discourse which facilitates this degeneration.

Harvard’s nondiscrimination hypocrisy, Harry Lewis, WaPo – Prof of Comp Science at Harvard U

I asked some female students what they thought. “Well, I am in a sorority,” one said. “You can guess what I think.” When I pressed her, she icily responded, “Give me a break. I’m a math major. I am the gender inclusivity in most of my classes. After being taught by men and surrounded by men all day, I don’t need a lecture from Harvard about hanging out with women at night.” There is, in fact, not a single tenured woman in the Harvard Mathematics Department.

In response to such resistance, Harvard last month delayed enforcing the policy against women’s groups, but not men’s. The “unwavering” institutional commitment to nondiscrimination will be implemented in a curiously and perhaps unlawfully discriminatory manner.

Don’t students have the right to associate with whomever they want off campus? President Drew Gilpin Faust thought not, darkly comparing freedom-of-association arguments with the tactics Southern racists used to preserve segregated schools.

Sanctions Could Be Subject to Change, Faust Says, Harvard Crimson

Moreover, Faust said, the “freedom of association” argument has historically been used to defend discriminatory organizations and policies.

“Freedom of association is a concept that was used widely in the white South to combat Brown v. Board, to combat the Civil Rights Act. It’s an argument that has been used to sustain and support discrimination,” she said. “It gives me chills to see it used in this instance as a defense of what I see as exclusionary policies on the part of organizations in the College.”

The earliest date at which the Lewis’s motion could go to vote is at the next Faculty meeting in December.

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