If there’s a more intolerant bunch than elitists on college campuses, it’s difficult to think who it might be. The anti-First Amendment, pro-censorship crowd is getting exposed thanks to Greg Lukianoff’s book and George Will’s column about Mr. Lukianoff’s book. Here’s something from Lukianoff’s book that Will highlighted in his column:
In recent years, a University of Oklahoma vice president has declared that no university resources, including e-mail, could be used for “the forwarding of political humor/commentary.” The College at Brockport in New York banned using the Internet to “annoy or otherwise inconvenience” anyone. Rhode Island College prohibited, among many other things, certain “attitudes.” Texas Southern University ‘s comprehensive proscriptions included “verbal harm” from damaging “assumptions” or “implications.” Texas A&M promised “freedom from indignity of any type.” Davidson banned “patronizing remarks.” Drexel University forbade “inappropriately directed laughter.” Western Michigan University banned “sexism,” including “the perception” of a person “not as an individual, but as a member of a category based on sex.” Banning “perceptions” must provide full employment for the burgeoning ranks of academic administrators.
There’s no more passionate defender of the First Amendment than George Will, though it’s apparent that Mr. Lukianoff isn’t a slouch in that respect either.
The censorship police’s intrusion into campuses must stop ASAP. They simply don’t have the right to limit speech. That’s what makes this next part especially appalling:
Many campuses congratulate themselves on their broad-mindedness when they establish small “free-speech zones” where political advocacy can be scheduled. At one point Texas Tech’s 28,000 students had a “free-speech gazebo” that was 20 feet wide. And you thought the First Amendment made America a free-speech zone.
It’s apparent that progressives don’t like the First Amendment. Their tactics are geared to shut down discussions. In the past 4 years, we’ve heard progressives talk about how the First Amendment should be restricted. That’s what McCain-Feingold, aka BCRA, sought to do. Thankfully, the Supreme Court got it right with its Citizens United ruling. Thankfully, BCRA is now gutted. Thankfully, a portion of the First Amendment was restored.
Now it’s time to start picking fights on college campuses about the progressives’ censorship campaign. It’s time to start stripping the censorship police’s authority. It’d be great if the censorship police can be stripped of their authority in a quick ruling.
Most likely, though, it’ll be a lengthy, hard-fought fight. The thought/censorship police accumulated their power over time. They won’t willingly let go of that authority.
However long it takes, the fight must start today. It isn’t overstatement to say that the left has been waging war against the First Amendment for a generation. It’s time for First Amendment advocates, whether they’re constitutional conservatives like Mr. Will or free speech liberals like Mr. Lukianoff, to mount a full frontal assault against the censorship police. More accurately, it’s probably best that We The People join Mssrs. Will and Lukianoff in their fight for the Constitution and the First Amendment.