Vassar activists: Free Speech rights invalid “in our white supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist society”
It’s “not about one’s individual, legal right to free speech, but is instead about the collective well-being of all members of our society”
Healing to Action is the Vassar College student group which organized the incitement against me by making false claims that the campus was in danger by my lecture on “hate speech” and free speech.
The fabricated claims included that I was posting event information on multiple White Nationalist websites in order to bring people to campus to target minorities, LGBT and Jewish students. The details of those false claims are documented in these posts:
- Safe Spaces and Safety Teams at Vassar College for My Lecture on Free Speech
- Actual Malice at Vassar College
The result of the fabricated claims, spread to every student on campus by the Vassar Student Association, was that the campus was thrown into a frenzy.
I’ve tried to explain in numerous interviews what a dangerous situation was created by this manufactured hysteria. You can listen to my interviews with Mark Levin and Lars Larson how despite the hysteria the lecture went well, with almost 300 students listening to my 45 minute lecture and staying for a productive 120-minute Q&A.
I appeared yesterday on Cam & Co. on NRA TV, and explained another aspect of the problem on campus, which is “a hardcore segment [of the student population] that doesn’t bring the values of the Constitution to the table like you and I do.”
Here’s some proof of what I was talking about. Healing to Action posted a statement in Vassar’s student newspaper, The Miscellany News, in which it expressly rejects any individual rights under the First Amendment:
Demands for the protection of free speech under the First Amendment are based on the assertion that all voices are given equal weight in society and they all need protection from censorship. This is objectively false in our white supremacist, patriarchal, capitalist society. These demands fail to acknowledge systems of oppression that give power to privileged people (those who are white, cisgender, heterosexual, wealthy and/or able-bodied) at the expense of the “others” of society. The Constitution was created to justify genocide of indigenous peoples and institutionalize chattel slavery. It is inherently racist, and is currently used to justify modern day acts of racism. Hate speech is a violent tool used by oppressors to preserve white supremacy, the patriarchy, etc., and any rhetoric that serves to protect it is inherently linked to this violence. We wish to alter the framing of this issue altogether. The issue at hand is not about one’s individual, legal right to free speech, but is instead about the collective well-being of all members of our society. Healing to Action is premised on the idea that what affects one individual affects us all. Speech, whether it is legal or not, can be and is violent. We have a collective responsibility to stand up for those in our communities who are harmed or disenfranchised by speech, whether it is technically legally permissible or not.
I don’t know how you can reason with people who reject one of the most fundamental rights in society, the individual right of freedom of speech. To them, it’s all collectivist, and individual rights are subsumed in their political cause.
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