Lipson: Three Steps to Open Campuses to Free Speech

Stop the Soft Despotism Stifling Campus Free Speech
by Charles Lipson
March 6, 2017

Last week at Vermont’s Middlebury College, left-wing students and off-campus activists shouted down a prominent conservative speaker, injured a professor as she was trying to escort him to safety, and terrorized the speaker and professor, who huddled in their car. The episode was truly frightening. Fortunately, violent mobs like this are still rare on college campuses. Unfortunately, speech suppression is still all too common. The issue is not what the speaker, Charles Murray, wanted to say, or why some thought he was wrong. The issue is that Murray had been invited to campus and had every right to speak without disturbance unless he posed an imminent physical threat to others (which he did not). READ MORE

AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE Reflections on the revolution in Middlebury [the backstory from Charles Murray]

AG note: I’m just wrapping up at the StandWithUs Anti-BDS Conference in Los Angeles. Many excellent presentations here including one by Alan Dershowitz who had a novel idea: In the service of free speech and academic freedom, colleges should institute policies stipulating students that shout down speakers be subject to expulsion. Perhaps that might change the conversation.

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