Rule Five Free Speech Friday

Heather Mac Donald thinks it’s time to stand up to campus bullies trying to squash freedom of speech on our nation’s campuses.  She’s right.  Excerpt:

Where are the faculty? American college students are increasingly resorting to brute force, and sometimes criminal violence, to shut down ideas they don’t like. Yet when such travesties occur, the faculty are, with few exceptions, missing in action, though they have themselves been given the extraordinary privilege of tenure to protect their own liberty of thought and speech. It is time for them to take their heads out of the sand.

I was the target of such silencing tactics two days in a row last week, the more serious incident at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, and a less virulent one at UCLA.

The Rose Institute for State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna had invited me to meet with students and to give a talk about my book, The War on Cops, on April 6. Several calls went out on Facebook to “shut down” this “notorious white supremacist fascist Heather Mac Donald.” A Facebook post from “we, students of color at the Claremont Colleges” announced grandiosely that “as a community, we CANNOT and WILL NOT allow fascism to have a platform. We stand against all forms of oppression and we refuse to have Mac Donald speak.” A Facebook event titled “Shut Down Anti-Black Fascist Heather Mac Donald” and hosted by “Shut Down Anti-Black Fascists” encouraged students to protest the event because Mac Donald “condemns [the] Black Lives Matter movement,” “supports racist police officers,” and “supports increasing fascist ‘law and order.’” (My supposed fascism consists in trying to give voice to the thousands of law-abiding minority residents of high-crime areas who support the police and are desperate for more law-enforcement protection.)

Whether one agrees with Heather Mac Donald or not isn’t at issue here.  Whether one understands the importance of free expression in a free society is; indeed, a society can’t stay free without freedom of expression.

And the fact that this is taking place on college campuses (campii?) just makes this all the more intolerable.  The higher education system is supposed to be a bastion of free expression and free thought; instead, too many of our institutions of higher learning are bastions of “safe spaces,” “free speech zones” and totalitarian (yes, really) uprisings of intolerant shitbags trying to silence anyone who makes them “uncomfortable.”

But there may be some hope for all this.  Heather Mac Donald concludes:

…the students currently stewing in delusional resentments and self-pity will eventually graduate, and some will seize levers of power more far-reaching than those they currently wield over toadying campus bureaucrats and spineless faculty. Unless the campus zest for censorship is combatted now, what we have always regarded as a precious inheritance could be eroded beyond recognition, and a soft totalitarianism could become the new American norm.

Eh, probably not.

The students most likely to be taking part in these totalitarian uprisings are also most likely to be working on bullshit Underwater Ethnic Dog Polishing degree programs.  They aren’t going to be at the levers of anything except a Starbucks espresso machine.