Category Archives: freedom of expression

Nick Cohen on the flaws of the “cultural appropriation” warriors

I keep saying that Nick Cohen is an Anglophonic treasure. In terms of his straightforwardness and adherence to classical rather than Regressive Leftism, he’s the closest thing we have to the late Christopher Hitchens. And everyone should read his two books You Can’t Read this Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom and What’s Left?: How Liberals […]

Jordanian writer indicted and then assassinated for sharing cartoon depicting Allah

Several sources, including The Independent and Al Jazeera, report the death of Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar, shot to death outside a courtroom in Amman. Hattar had put the following cartoon on his Facebook page; he didn’t draw it or create it, but merely shared it. (Cartoon and translation from Elder of Ziyon; neither the Independent […]

Jesus gets de-platformed

Inspired by the article about Lionel Shriver I posted a while back, reader Pliny the in Between has created a new cartoon called “The De-Platforming on the Mount“. Click to enlarge.

Offended Guardian writer walks out of talk on “cultural appropriation” of fiction

Since it’s important to the article I’m going to mention, I note that its author, Yasmin Abdel-Magied, is a black Australian Muslim woman. Her piece in yesterday’s Guardian, “As Lionel Shriver made light of identity, I had no choice but to walk out on her,” is a long whine about how authors of one gender or […]

In defense of the University of Chicago and its letter to first-year students

On August 21, I publicized the following letter that the Dean of Students at the University of Chicago sent to all incoming first-year students. I was delighted by it, but since then there’s been considerable discussion on the Internet of the letter (see here, here, and here for criticism and here, here, and here for support). All […]

Syracuse decides to allow screening of film on Israeli settlers

The other day I noted that M. Gail Hammer, a professor of religion at Syracuse, canceled the screening of a film on Israeli settlers because of her fear that it would incite the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) students on campus. The director of the film “The Settlers“, Simon Dotan, had been invited by a professor […]

Film screening cancelled at Syracuse merely because professor feared pushback from BDS supporters

We’ve all seen plenty of examples of speeches at universities disrupted by offended students, speech invitations withdrawn because of student protests, and honorary degrees rescinded because of political offense (viz., Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Brandeis). But this is the first case I know of where a presentation was cancelled out of fear that it might offend students. And […]

Hooray! My university sends letter to incoming students decrying safe spaces and trigger warnings, promoting free speech, and refusing to cancel controversial speakers

I’m not much of a jingoist: I don’t root for America in the Olympics, I don’t favor my home-town sports teams, and, although I like the University of Chicago, which has treated me very well, I don’t go around touting it as The Best School in the World. But today I’m feeling quite proud to […]

College Follies of the Day. Part 2. Florida professor forbids students from describing the U.S. as a “melting pot”

About a year ago the Daily Beast wrote a piece called “The University of Californa’s Insane Speech Police,” which described UC President Janet Napolitano’s “invitation” for deans and department heads in the UC system to attend a seminar on suppressing free speech “fostering inclusive excellence”. These seminars were held at 9 of the 10 University of […]

Australian territory passes anti-blasphemy law

You may not know that in many parts of Australia, blasphemy—the criticism of religion—remains a criminal offense, though it’s almost never enforced. Wikipedia describes the complicated situation: All common law offences were abolished and replaced by a criminal code without replacing the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel with criminal code offences in […]