More self-righteous whining from someone who has made his living off
the First Amendment. But high-quality whining.
You’ve got to see the photograph from the Badger Herald, one of the campus newspapers at the UW-Madison. It summarizes the Left’s war on free speech.
A phalanx of menacing students stand between an invited speaker and his university lecture hall audience this past November. Uniformed police stand immobile. One individual in particular dominates the protestors, a man wearing a skirt, his face contorted in anger. What are they protesting? Free speech. In the 1960s, Mario Savio led the battle against McCarthy-era repression of speech. Now we’ve come full circle.
Ironically, the subject of the speech disrupted on the Madison campus: “Dismantling safe spaces.”
Today’s protestors are opposed to free speech. Claiming injury from the spoken word, they will permit only that speech with which they agree.
It is a scene played out at college campuses throughout the country — speakers silenced and in some cases, pummeled. Charles Murray at Middlebury College, the riots attending Milo Yiannopoulos at Berkeley, Ben Shapiro at UW-Madison that bad November day, and Ann Coulter at Berkeley most recently.
Where are our liberal-progressive-socialist acquaintances? Embarrassed silence. When Wisconsin Republicans proposed legislative guarantees to permit all voices to be heard at the state university system, the Democrat(ic) party’s designated attack dog, One Wisconsin Now, caviled that the law “would create mandatory safe spaces where conservatives, Republicans, racists and sexists can be exempt from criticism.”
Clever that, no? The lumping together of conservatives and Republicans with sexists and racists. Just be glad, One Scot Ross, that you are free to speak such nonsense.
No, not exempt from criticism. Just allowed to speak.
There is hope when a Trump-hating liberal like Leonard Pitts can write:
“A bunch of thugs just established you can bully a public institution in a relatively small town into disinvite a controversial speaker, which of our other freedoms will they come after next?”
It is disheartening when my State Rep, Terese Berceau, can call the nationwide war on free speech “an artificial, political controversy.” (Quoted here.)
Disheartening that neither The Capital Times nor the State Journal — which make their living off the First Amendment — has taken an official editorial position to defend the free exchange of ideas on a campus that celebrates “sifting and winnowing.”
Instead, their operatives celebrate the pre-dawn, secret speech police raids on the homes of conservative speakers. (Chris Rickert, I’m looking at you. “Self-righteous whining,” indeed!) Or they advocate gelding the First Amendment, as has John Nichols. (No, corporations are not people, Comrade Nichols. But they are made up of people. Like The Capital Times Inc.!)
But at least the State Journal had the courage to run a syndicated column. (Blame Leonard Pitts, not us!)
Today’s assigned reading: “A vigilant defense of free speech” in the Wall Street Journal.