What’s the problem with shout-downs, shut-downs, disruptions and silencing of speech.
We frequently cover issues related to free speech on campus, including shut-downs, shout-downs, disruptions, threats and violence.
There is a long history to this problem, and it first showed itself in attacks on Israeli, pro-Israel and Jewish speakers, as I documented in With campus shout downs, first they came for the Jews and Israel.
In recent years the targets expanded to conservatives, Republicans, and anyone deemed to offend “social justice” and progressive sensitivities. In the age of Trump, the focus on shutting down campus speakers and speech is through the anti-fascist “Antifa” movement and sympathizers.
The neo-Nazi/Klan torchlight rally at U. Virginia in Charlottesville, and the subsequent riots and murder in the town later that weekend, have crystallized the issue of whose speech should be banned on campus.
Vassar, October 25, 7 p.m.
As long-time readers may recall, I have a history at Vassar, having spoken there in May 2014 on the issue of the anti-Israel boycott at Vassar and academic freedom. My appearance in May 2014 generated some controversy, but ended up going quite well.
I’m going to address the issue of free speech on campus at Vassar College on October 25, at 7 p.m. Here’s the description:
Should “hate speech” be banned at Vassar, particularly after Charlottesville? Who decides what “hate speech” is, and what does the law say about the right of people to express views others find offensive? Cornell Law School Clinical Professor of Law William A. Jacobson, Esq., will argue in favor of free speech on campuses, with legal and historical perspective on the role the First Amendment has played. There will be time for Q&A.
The event is co-sponsored by the Vassar Conservative Libertarian Union, Students for Liberty, and the Leadership institute. The Vassar Student Association also provided support for the event.
The event is open to the public. So if you’re in the neighborhood, drop by. I love that.
NOTE: The speech title was changed from “Hate Speech” is still Free Speech, even after Charlottesville because VCLU originally got the event approved as An Examination of Hate Speech And Free Speech on College Campuses.
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