Category Archives: freedom of expression

U of C President opposes Trump’s proposed executive order requiring universities to support free speech

Among Trump’s ways to obviate Congress is his spate of “executive orders” that may well be unconstitutional. The most ridiculous is his “national emergency” order to fund the Big Wall. Now, as many venues report (e.g., here and here), Trump is proposing to sign an executive order directed at colleges and universities. This one, he […]

What are America’s worst colleges for free speech?

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has awarded 10 American colleges its anti-kudos for being the worst colleges for free speech in the last year. You can read about them at the link below (click on screenshot); I’ll just give the list and say a few words about why each college was chosen.  […]

British police threatened atheist for posting a nonbeliever sign in his yard

This story is from 2012, but the law still applies in the UK. The Public Order Act of 1986 remains in force, and it specifies this: (1) A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he: (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly […]

Canada secures conviction under hate speech law

Reader Patrick called my attention to two articles in the Globe and Mail and VICE, reporting that Canada’s infrequently-used “hate speech” laws have not only been used to charge two people, but to convict them. Click on the screenshots below: Globe and Mail: VICE: The two men convicted, James Sears and LeRoy St. Germaine, were respectively […]

William College gives charge to committee about adopting the Chicago Principles

Several dozen American universities have adopted the “Chicago Principles,” our university’s “Statement on Principles of Free Expression“, which is the most liberal speech “code” in the U.S. It’s basically the First Amendment applied to the campus of a private university, and in my view it’s an unalloyed good. But of course there’s a movement against […]

The University of Illinois Police stifle free speech by participating in “bias response”

Many universities, including public ones, have created “bias response teams,” in which speech considered hateful or offensive is reported to University authorities and dealt with promptly. The number of these teams is growing. While universities are perfectly free to recommend standards of civil discourse, public schools must adhere to the First Amendment and thus have […]

Woke and inclusive, U-Mass Amherst considers Nazis an oppressed minority

Here’s a corker, but what would you expect in a soupy climate of Intersectionality? It was inevitable that someone would eventually see Nazis as a marginalized and oppressed group, and rush to their defense. And so, as this BuzzFeed story reports, a residence counselor at the Very Woke School of the University of Massachusetts at […]

The coercive power of truth: An attack on and a defense of the Chicago Principles of free speech

Ten days ago Segal Ben-Porath, a professor in the Literacy, Culture, and International Education Division of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, published a critique in Inside Higher Education (IHE) of the University of Chicago’s “Statement on Principles of Free Expression,” a set of free-speech guidelines now adopted by over 60 American universities. Click on […]

Seattle police acting as enablers of Antifa

I guess I’m supposed to issue a disclaimer when I use material from  right-wing sites, but not from left-wing ones. However, we should judge material on its credibility, not its source. So here’s a report from the right-wing site RedState that happens to comport with stuff I’ve heard from other sites and other people (click on screenshot). […]

A new FIRE survey on freedom of speech in American colleges: mostly good news

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has a new report on speech codes on American campuses, highlighting the changes over the last few years (click on screenshot below to see it). The arc of free speech is bending in the right direction! In this year’s survey, FIRE looked at the speech policies of […]