Category Archives: freedom of speech

New survey shows American students’ disturbing ignorance of and attitudes towards free speech

There’s a new article in the Washington Post by Catherine Rampell reporting a survey of American college students’ views about free speech. The results aren’t pretty. Click on the screenshot below to go to the piece, and you can see other survey results on the Brookings Institution site here. The take-home message: students in college […]

UC Berkeley faculty and students call for campus boycott during “Free Speech Week”

Well, “Free Speech Week” (actually only four days: Sept. 24-27) is coming to the University of California at Berkeley, during which the campus will hear from a number of speakers whom the Regressive Left deems offensive and lacking any rights to speak or be heard. Here’s the schedule as given by the student paper, The […]

Who should decide what speech is acceptable? P. Z. Myers appoints himself.

Over many decades, the United States court system has come up with an interpretation of the Constitution’s First Amendment that protects people from harassment and physical attack without deep-sixing the important right to express your opinion without censorship. Here’s that amendment again, just for review: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, […]

Politico on the Southern Poverty Law Center: mission creep or overreach?

A recent comment by reader “Historian” on this site led me to an article in Politico, a centrist site, about the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), long derided by right-wing sites but only now coming onto the critical radar of the Left. Founded by Morris Dees in 1971 to defend civil rights, the SPLC did some wonderful […]

Anti-vaxer denied visa to Australia because his message is “dangerous”

One could, I suppose, make a case that an anti-vaxer speaking in public is more dangerous than a Nazi or white supremacist speaking in public. After all, it’s clear that anti-vaxers have been able to persuade even reasonably intelligent people to stop vaccinating their kids, whereas someone of that ilk hearing a Nazi wouldn’t become […]

ACLU legal director explains the need to defend free speech

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has decided, in the wake of the Charlottesville melee, that it will no longer defend protestors who carry weapons. I don’t have any argument with that one, for although open or concealed carry may be legal according to the courts, it’s not a First Amendment right and thus can […]

New UC Berkeley Chancellor and new Berkeley mayor clash over “Free Speech Week”

As I predicted, things are shaping up for a big confrontation at the University of California at Berkeley between three invited speakers on the one hand and on the other Antifa-inspired protestors who, I suspect, are going to create a melee when those speakers show up. As I mentioned recently, groups at the University have […]

Increasingly cowardly ACLU backs down over free speech tweet

Now what could possibly be wrong with this tw**t by the American Civil Liberties Union showing a kid with an American flag and a stuffed toy wearing an ACLU “free speech” shirt? This is the future that ACLU members want. pic.twitter.com/bAIwuheEco — ACLU National (@ACLU) August 23, 2017 Are you kidding me? You’ve been around here […]

Peter Singer decries the use of violence against racists

I’m still horrified that more than one commenter on my site has said (or implied) that “first-strike” violence is justifiable for odious people like white supremacists and Nazis. I simply can’t fathom the desire to hurt another person because of their speech, or think that such tactics could accomplish any worthwhile aims. Yes, white supremacists […]

Good message on free speech from UC Berkeley’s new Chancellor

Carol T. Christ, an academic (an English scholar specializing in Victorian literature), became the Chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley in March. Yesterday she issued a superb statement about free speech at Berkeley, a school that’s lately been embroiled in issues of no-platforming and even violence around proposed right-wing speakers like Ann Coulter […]