Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Truest statement of the week II

As many on this blog are aware, I tend to be predictable on free speech issues.  My natural default is to protect speech, particularly when exercised off campus or on social media. These are difficult cases when statements reflect prejudice and sexism as in the case of Professor Younger.  However, there is a fear of a slippery slope once universities begin to punish those with unacceptable views expressed in their private capacity.  We have been discussing efforts to fire professors who voice dissenting views of the basis or demands of recent protests including an effort to oust a leading economist from the University of Chicago as well as a leading linguistics professor at Harvard and a literature professor at Penn. The silence of many faculty in the face of crackdowns on free speech has been chilling in the last few years.

There is a palpable sense of fear among many conservative and libertarian faculty and students that they cannot express themselves on campus or in classes without be ostracized or even subjected to retaliatory measures, including attacks by the student government. While faculty member like Professor Younger might not show the same tolerance for opposing views, we have a greater responsibility to regain the trust of our communities in the tolerance for opposing views and expression on our campuses. She is the cost of free speech.

 --  Jonathan Turley, "'Republicans Need To Suffer': Drake Professor Triggers Free Speech Debate With Hateful Tweets Against Men and Conservatives" (JONATHANTURLEY.ORG).

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