Campus Dissent

Trump threatens universities with "campus free speech" executive order

whitesupremacist.jpg

Vowing to withhold billions of Federal dollars if they don't comply:

President Trump vowed Saturday to "soon" issue an executive order that would deny federal research funds to colleges and universities that do not support free speech. "If they want our dollars and we give them by the billions, they’ve got to allow people to speak," said Trump in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

During his speech, President Trump brought on stage and praised Hayden Williams, who was punched last week when he was at the University of California, Berkeley, seeking support for the president and conservative causes and criticizing Jussie Smollett, the actor who is facing charges of false reporting to the police in a hate crime he claimed to have experienced.

First of all, I don't condone physically assaulting somebody because of what they say, for several reasons. And one of those reasons is because (often) that is exactly what the speaker wants, just like this Berkeley dude. He's a field organizer for the Leadership Institute, the same incubator that produced the white supremacist group Youth for Western Civilization that plagued the UNC campus ten years ago:

Fascism Watch: Campus protest goes out with a whimper

When a handful of written words becomes a vocal gag:

The constituent institution shall implement a range of disciplinary sanctions for anyone under the jurisdiction of a constituent institution who substantially disrupts the functioning of the constituent institution or substantially interferes with the protected free expression rights of others, including protests and demonstrations that infringe upon the rights of others to engage in and listen to expressive activity when the expressive activity has been scheduled pursuant to this policy or is located in a nonpublic forum.

The 1st Amendment has always been a confusing and controversial concept, because for every opinion, there is an opposing one. It was true in 1789 when the Bill of Rights was demanded by the separate states before they would ratify the Constitution, and it's true today. But for all the lofty arguments and debate about who infringes on whom, or yelling "Fire!" in a theater, the overriding message of the 1st Amendment is that government should not be in the business of dictating who gets to speak and who doesn't. And delegating that decision-making to some Orwellian committee doesn't negate the General Assembly's huge Constitutional blunder with this bill:

Subscribe to RSS - Campus Dissent