Thursday, February 01, 2007

Free Expression Under Threat on Campus

The Winter 2007 issue of City Journal has a brilliant essay by John Leo on the campus left's struggle against free speech:

Remember when the Right had a near-monopoly on censorship? If so, you must be in your sixties, or older. Now the champions of censorship are mostly on the left. And they are thickest on the ground in our colleges and universities. Since the late 1980s, what should be the most open, debate-driven, and tolerant sector of society has been in thrall to the diversity and political correctness that now form the aggressive secular religion of America’s elites.

The censors have only grown in power, elevating antidiscrimination rules above “absolutist” free-speech principles, silencing dissent with antiharassment policies, and looking away when students bar or disrupt conservative speakers or steal conservative newspapers. Operating under the tacit principle that “error has no rights,” an ancient Catholic theological rule, the new censors aren’t interested in debates or open forums. They want to shut up dissenters.

Leo provides a great overview of the issue, even noting how similar campus speech codes are to the European "hate speech" laws that have paved the way for Islamists to censor their critics on that continent. Please give it a read:

Free Inquiry? Not on Campus


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