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Janet Napolitano Stands up for Free Speech on Campus

Janet Napolitano Stands up for Free Speech on Campus

It’s come to this.

You know the free speech situation on college campuses is bad when even former members of the Obama administration are talking about it.

Janet Napolitano has written a column on the subject for the Boston Globe:

It’s time to free speech on campus again

WHEN I WAS growing up, a favored comeback to perceived censorship was: “It’s a free country!” Whether this was spouted at a parent, a sibling, or an erstwhile friend, what it meant was people could speak their minds, that such freedom of speech was not only encouraged but guaranteed in the United States of America, so long as you didn’t yell, “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

Years later, the sanctity of free speech in our country is hardly guaranteed — at least not on our college campuses, where freedom of expression and the free flow of ideas should incubate discovery and learning. This is an irony that gives me pause even as I write this.

As president of the University of California system, I write to show how far we have moved from freedom of speech on campuses to freedom from speech. If it hurts, if it’s controversial, if it articulates an extreme point of view, then speech has become the new bête noire of the academy. Speakers are disinvited, faculty are vilified, and administrators like me are constantly asked to intervene.

In the 1960s, as exemplified by the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley, students on campuses demanded and received the ability to protest the Vietnam War. This was free speech, loud and angry and in your face. Today many of the loudest voices condemning speech and demanding protection are students on those same campuses.

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A few. A very few realize that the faculty and capital of these schools is coming to the end of a short rope if this goes much further. Many major universities are now governed by thugs of racial cliques and supremacists, ala Missouri, Scripps, Michigan, etc. Others are run by ideological socialists/communists/anarchists cliques, such as Bernard, Bard, UC Santa Barbara, Princeton etc. It will do the faculty well to remember what happened to the faculty in France, Cambodia, China etc.
Many of these “professors”, little more than grievance mongers and affecting political/economic theorists teaching classes that require the education of a 10th grader a mere 15 years ago, advocate violence, race hatred, and revolution.
The fires will spare no one.
Nor will the alumni donors.

What Napolitano sweeps under the rug is that it is the left that is blocking free speech. By harking back to the distant past, she implies that conservatives are the guilty party. Very clever.

Meanwhile, Napolitano has presided over a system where conservative and pro-Israel speech is met with disruptions and little to no punishment for the perps. On May 18, the Students for Justice in Palestine aided by “legal observers” from the National lawyers Guild attached to the UCI law school disrupted a pro-Israel event necessitating the calling in of campus police-after which the disruptors marched back to their usual staging area-the campus Cross Cultural Center from which they came. For that SJP got off with a warning letter! And now Napolitano heralds an upcoming book on freedom of speech by UCI law school dean Chemerinsky and chancellor Gillman??!!

Napolitano would have more credibility if she named the guilty parties and enforced and protected free speech and rules of civility on her campuses.