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Free Speech For Me, But Not For Thee

With respect to the advice given by the Author—to suspect the Man, who shall recommend moderate measures and longer forbearance—I spurn it—as every Man, who regards that liberty, & reveres that Justice for which we contend, undoubtedly must—for if Men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind; reason is of no use to us—the freedom of Speech may be taken away—and, dumb & silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.

George Washington, March 15, 1783

 

 

 

The Red Fascists who run The Wellesley News at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, do not think much of freedom of speech.  Here is an editorial they wrote last week in which they attacked speech they disagree with:

 

Many members of our community, including students, alumnae and faculty, have criticized the Wellesley community for becoming an environment where free speech is not allowed or is a violated right. Many outside sources have painted us as a bunch of hot house flowers who cannot exist in the real world. However, we fundamentally disagree with that characterization, and we disagree with the idea that free speech is infringed upon at Wellesley. Rather, our Wellesley community will not stand for hate speech, and will call it out when possible.

Wellesley students are generally correct in their attempts to differentiate what is viable discourse from what is just hate speech. Wellesley is certainly not a place for racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia or any other type of discriminatory speech. Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech. The founding fathers put free speech in the Constitution as a way to protect the disenfranchised and to protect individual citizens from the power of the government. The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed, not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging.

Go here to read the rest.  Two things stand out to me about this editorial:  1.  How wretchedly written it is, and 2. How it gets the entire history of the First Amendment freedom of speech guarantee completely wrong.  Speech the majority agrees with needs no protection.  It is precisely speech that is considered “hate speech” by the powers that be that requires protection.  The editorial champions college as a place where students are indoctrinated in correct thought, and woe to those who reject the attempt at indoctrination.  This stands both free speech and the purpose of higher education on their heads.  The Red Fascists would understand this if they had any empathy and could place themselves mentally in the shoes of those silenced.  That they are unable to do this demonstrates how far from being truly educated they are and how their sentiments, and similar sentiments on campuses around the nation, bode ill for the future of our Republic.

 

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

11 Comments

  1. Without a doubt, that’s fully in accord with the attitudes of the student affairs apparat at Wellesley as well as an important section of the faculty. None of the rest of the faculty or the administration are willing to do much about it due to status considerations. The trustees could repair this problem, but they do nothing because they are generally hollow men.

  2. I don’t need to read the whole article to see just how lacking in logic and clear thinking its writers are. The poor writing reveals the lack of logic, just in the excerpt quoted. I will quote ONE sentence which proves their inability to think clearly:

    ‘Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech’

    Anyone with any understanding of logic would see that the pronoun ‘it’ in the second clause refers, grammatically and logically to the subject of the first clause: ‘Shutting down speech.’ The only rational reading of that sentence is that ‘Shutting down rhetoric is hate speech.’

    Perhaps they are aware that their political stance is hate.

  3. “The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed, not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful or damaging.”

    What a load of excrement.
    Ask Milo Yiannopoulus about free speech on campus’, Berkeley for instance. Outing undocumented immigrants who are students there? That was the chatter the brown shirts​ came up with to pardon the violence they created. The fact is the brown shirts won’t tolerate anyone who doesn’t think like them. Seems​ Wellesley is drinking the same kool-aid as Berkeley.

    Poor snowflakes.

  4. The notion of “Repressive tolerance” is not new. It goes back at least to Herbert Marcuse’s 1965 essay of that name and similar ideas were expressed by Felix Dzerzhinsky at the time of the Russian Revolution.

    Marcuse argues that tolerance which enlarges the range of freedom is an end in itself but it has always been partisan and intolerant toward the protagonists of the repressive status quo. For him, the issue is only the degree and extent of this intolerance.

    Hence, “Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left. As to the scope of this tolerance and intolerance: … it would extend to the stage of action as well as of discussion and propaganda, of deed as well as of word.”

    Marcuse justifies this privileging and protection of radicalism on the Left on historical grounds: left leaning revolutionary movements are driven “from below’” by the masses in a fight against injustice while radical right movements are drive from above by the ruling classes and only result in further repression and control.

    This is what Alain Badiou, the Grand Old Man of the French Left means, with his ridicule of those who want a “decaffeinated revolution – 1789 without 1793” and his insistence that “if you say A – equality, human rights and freedoms – you should not shirk from its consequences and gather the courage to say B – the terror needed to really defend and assert the A.” Hence, his insistence that “”Materialist dialectics assumes, without particular joy, that, until now, no political subject was able to arrive at the eternity of the truth it was deploying without moments of terror. Since, as Saint-Just asked: “What do those who want neither Virtue nor Terror want?” His answer is well known: they want corruption -another name for the subject’s defeat.”

  5. Without exaggeration, that editorial is – on its own definition – hate speech. So many times in so many places in so many ages, the Reign Of Terror follows the revolt.So often now saying “what you say offends me” is hate speech. Saying “you must provide me a safe space” is hate speech. Guy McClung San Antonio, Texas ps: No doubt in many of these totalitarian dystopias it would also be hate speech to say “Remember The Alamo!”

  6. That last paragraph is a doozy.
    Right now we can’t define what constitutes “free” or what is “racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia or any other type of discriminatory speech”
    What about “shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others”?

    There can be no discourse, no rhetorical discussion, no persuasion about a viewpoint when the audience already knows it all. Knowing it all hampers education.

    Our assumptions or traditional ideas about how teaching and learning take place are usually didactic. Facts are facts-teacher is right, students are spoon fed
    . Not really the best way. It seems that our teacher education programs have not produced vibrancy and challenge in education. I hate to blame the students and call them snowflakes- they just don’t know what they don’t know. The system seems to make teachers want safety in their career more than they want excitement about learning and figuring things out.
    Jesus used rhetoric – parables, questions– to teach his followers and also to teach them to think.

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