Category Archives: freedom of expression

More Snowflakes at American universities: MIT students claim that celebration of Israeli independence makes them feel “unsafe”

This seems to be becoming a regular feature here: students playing the “safe spaces” card to try to get events or talks cancelled that offend them. This time it’s at a redoubt of academic excellence—the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)—and this time the university didn’t give in to the students with hurt feelings. And once […]

Offended PEN members refuse to participate in annual gala because Charlie Hebdo got an award

Jebus! Here’s the Roll of Shame: six writers who took a misguided stand against Charlie Hebdo, apparently not understanding what the magazine was all about: Peter Carey Michael Ondaatje Francine Prose Teju Cole Rachel Kushner Taiye Selasi What did they do? According to an article in yesterday’s New York Times, these writers “[withdrew] as literary hosts at the group’s […]

Cowardly University of Maryland cancels showing of “American Sniper” after Muslim complaints

My first job was at the University of Maryland, where I taught for over 4 years. I was quite happy there, and so I’m extra distressed to hear that, after Muslim students complained, the University postponed a showing of the Clint Eastwood-directed film, “American Sniper.” FOX News reports (but the Washington Post corroborates): The University […]

More college madness: White people (and men) banned from an “anti-racist” event at University of London

As the Brits would say, “Sir, this is too damn much!” (Well, I don’t know if they’d say that, but it sounds like something they’d say.) And it shows, as reader Pyers said when he sent me the link, “You just cannot, I repeat cannot, make this up….” Indeed. According to Laura Predergast at today’s […]

Another cowardly university bites the dust: Queen’s Uni in Belfast cancels Charlie Hebdo symposium

Queen’s University in Belfast was scheduled to hold a conference on June 4 and 5 on the Charlie Hebdo affair. Its title, “Understanding Charlie: New perspectives on contemporary citizenship after Charlie Hebdo Symposium,” shows clearly that it was an academic symposium, but journalists and novelists were also invited to speak; and I gather its aim was to discuss issues about […]

Brown University student op-ed claims that censorship is “free speech”

If you were to ask me which American universities have the most odious instantiations of repressive “political correctness,” I’d say Stanford, Columbia, UCLA, Brandeis, and Brown (this is just an impressionistic view). And it’s sad, because those universities are good ones, and are supposed to provide a liberal education. But the student left often converges with fascism […]

Two writers criticize Garry Trudeau’s view of the Charlie Hebdo affair

I’ve already outlined my disagreements with cartoonist Garry Trudeau’s unfortunate remarks about Charlie Hebdo when Trudeau received his Polk Journalism Award—the first for a strip cartoonist (see my posts here and here). Trudeau was not only wrong about the meaning of the supposedly anti-Islamic cartoons in the French satirical magazine (they were almost always satirizing the […]

Garry Trudeau’s full (and clueless) remarks on “hate speech” published in The Atlantic

At least one person questioned, when I reported yesterday that Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau criticized Charlie Hebdo for engaging in “hate speech,” whether Trudeau’s remarks might be inaccurate, perhaps distorted through other peoples’ Twi**er reports. Sadly, that’s not the case. The Atlantic has published Trudeau’s full remarks that he made on receiving a Polk Award for […]

Garry Trudeau criticizes Charlie Hebdo for hate speech. WHAT?

According to PuffHo and numerous other venues, Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau has come out attacking Charlie Hebdo for “hate speech.” It’s unfortunate that in the article, whose text I copied yesterday (below), they misspell the cartoonist’s first name: Famed Doonesbury cartoonist Gary [sic] Trudeau slammed his counterparts at Charlie Hebdo — the French satirical newspaper that […]

University of Michigan cancels showing of “American Sniper” after accusations of Islamophobia and triggering, substitutes showing of “Paddington Bear”

Today we have more identity politics, with the emphasis on “identity” rather than “politics.” This involves another college campus, the prestigious University of Michigan, which cancelled a showing of “American Sniper” after Muslim students—and probably many non-Muslim students—complained that the movie made them feel unsafe, was “triggering”, and perpetuated anti-Muslim stereotypes. As The College Fix reports (and […]

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