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Sunday, April 30, 2017

The lies we were told about who would silence free speech

art credit: National Coalition Against Censorship

John Kass at The Chicago Tribune comments on the liberal reaction to conservative speech, which is, essentially: “Shut Up.”
The lie we were told as kids was this: The end of American liberty would come at the hands of the political right.
Conservatives would take away our right to speak our minds, and use the power of government to silence dissent. The right would intimidate our teachers and professors, and coerce the young.
And then, with the universities in thrall, with control of the apparatus of the state (and the education bureaucracy), the right would have dominion over a once-free people.
. . .
But the lie is obvious now, isn't it?
Because it is not conservatives who coerced today's young people or made them afraid of ideas that challenge them. Conservatives did not shame people into silence, or send thugs out on college campuses to beat down those who wanted to speak.
The left did all that.
It's there in front of you, the thuggish mobs of the left killing free speech at American universities. The thugs call themselves antifas, for anti-fascists.
They beat people up and break things and set fires and intimidate. These are not anti-fascists. These are fascists. This is what fascists do.
. . .
What is the cost for all this?
Free speech, without which there is no republic.
American universities were once thought to be the last great refuge of ideas, where ideas could flourish and be challenged and debated. But today, the university is the place where liberty and ideas go to die.
. . .
Right-wing provocateur Ann Coulter has been silenced at Berkeley, where the free speech movement was born. And other intellectuals, including Charles Murray and Heather Mac Donald, have been silenced at other colleges, attacked by mobs.
If the left agrees with your views, you may speak. If the left doesn't agree, they will shut you down. This is America now.
. . .
University administrators have made a show of wringing their hands. But they're hypocrites. They're part of this. They are of the same cloth. They allowed this seed to bloom. They watered it, by giving in to the young who demanded a safe space from intellectual challenge.
Safe spaces are not about learning or critical thinking. Safe spaces belong to education camps, where future bureaucrats are trained in the Orwellian shaping of language and the culling of threatening ideas.
. . .
All speech challenging the status quo is offensive — to the establishment. And free speech is what American liberty is about.
Unless, of course, you're of the hard left, and can hunt free speech at American universities and crush it.
That's not fiction. That's not fantasy. And it is not a lie. It's happening now, in the United States.
Read the rest here.

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