Category Archives: freedom of speech

The Cultural Revolution hits a Canadian university: grad student teacher bullied for promoting free discussion in her class

Wilfred Laurier University is a public university in Waterloo, Ontario, and has just become the target of international opprobrium after its persecution of a graduate teaching assistant became public this week. The teaching assistant, 22 year old Lindsay Shepherd, is now one of my heroes for standing up for the principles of free speech and […]

Woman fired for giving Trump’s motorcade the bird

This is a story about the conflict between freedom of speech and a company’s desire to maintain its image. The story has  been recounted widely, but most extensively in the HuffPo, so, sadly, I’ll link to their account. Juli Briskman is a 50-year old woman, a liberal, who was biking to work about week ago […]

Bard College President has a genius response to snowflake professors beefing about a right-wing speaker

Yes, the title is HuffPoe-ian clickbait, but I couldn’t resist. A big group of 56 Offended Academics, all of course in the humanities, wrote an open letter in the Chronicle of Higher Education, objecting to the appearance of a far-right-wing German politician at a conference on “Crises of Democracy” at Bard College in New York […]

Cato Institute releases survey on free speech and tolerance

The Cato Institute, as I mentioned yesterday, conducted a poll (along with YouGov) of 2300 Americans on their attitudes toward free speech and related issues. Their report, “The state of free speech and tolerance in America“, is now online, and it’s a gold mine of data, even if the sample size is a bit small. […]

More on the free speech survey: Microagressions

Earlier today I discussed the upcoming Cato Institute/YouGov survey of Americans’ views on free speech as reported in The Atlantic by Conor Friedersdorf—data that I didn’t find terribly heartening. It turns out that the same survey asked questions about statements considered by many colleges as “microaggressions”. In a related Atlantic piece, “Who is competent to […]

A new survey on Americans’ views of free speech gives mixed results

I’ve known about this survey on free speech for a while, but was told not to divulge the details until it was published. Well, it still hasn’t come out yet, but since Conor Friedersdorf published some of its results in The Atlantic (“American’s many divides over free speech“), these are now in the public domain. […]

More speech disruption, this time at Rutgers

As I’ve mentioned before Spiked is mounting a four-session “Unsafe Space” tour in the U.S. (see schedule here), featuring thoughtful people debating a variety of topics—all of which are “controversial.” The first discussion, “Title IX: Feminism, sex and censorship on campus”, was supposed to be at American University on September 28, but was canceled at the University […]

University of Chicago students whine after the University says that speech disruptions will be punished

In May of this year I reported on my University’s approval of the “Picker Report,” which modified previous school regulations to clarify that disruptive conduct—including “obstruction, impairment, or interference with University-sponsored or -authorized activities”—would be subject to punishment. (See the link for the possible punishments, which range from a simple warning through suspension, expulsion, and […]

Wellesley College editors try to clarify their support for “free speech”, but fail

Eleven days ago I wrote about an April 12 op-ed about free speech by the editors of the Wellesley College student newspaper, The Wellesley News. (Wellesley is a woman’s college in Massachusetts that, I think, accepts trans women but no men.) It was a poorly written piece but also deeply confused and confusing, for they not only stated that […]

The University of Chicago and its free-speech policy praised in the NYT

Greg Mayer called my attention to an opinion piece in today’s New York Times lauding the University of Chicago and our principled and outspoken president, Robert Zimmer. Click on the screenshot to see the article: It’s largely about the University’s enlightened free-speech policy, something I’ve written about before (e.g., here and here). Remember, too, that the […]