Are colleges cracking down on free expression?

Are colleges cracking down on free expression?

August 23, 2019 84 By Stanley Isaacs


HERE’S HOPING. ROBERT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.>>THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.>>Tucker: JASON NICHOLS IS RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS DEBATE, AN ACTUAL PROFESSOR, TEACHES AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND PEER THANK YOU FOR COMING ON.>>THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.>>Tucker: IT SEEMS LIKE A BASELINE FOR UNIVERSITY TO HAVE PRETTY MUCH ABSOLUTE FREEDOM OF SPEECH, A PREREQUISITE FOR FREEDOM OF THOUGHT. WHAT IS THE POINT OF HAVING COLLEGES IF YOU CAN’T SAY WHATEVER YOU THINK?>>I THINK NUMBER ONE, AND SOCIETY, WE DON’T HAVE COMPLETE FREEDOM OF SPEECH.>>Tucker: TRUE.>>THERE IS LIBEL, THERE IS DEFAMATION, THERE ARE THREATS OF VIOLENCE, AND INCITING VIOLENCE. THOSE ARE LIMITS ON FREE SPEECH. I THINK WE HAVE THIS IDEA THAT FREEDOM OF SPEECH MEANS YOU CAN SAY ANYTHING AT ANY TIME.>>Tucker: NO, WE KNOW WHAT IT IS, BECAUSE OF BRANDON VERSUS OHIO IN 1967, THE FAMOUS SUPREME COURT CASE, VERY SPECIFICALLY OUTLINED THE BOUNDARIES OF FREE SPEECH. LIBEL IS NOT ALLOWED, OF COURSE, IMMINENT THREATS OF VIOLENCE ARE NOT ALLOWED. EVERYTHING ELSE IS ALLOWED. APPLE, AMAZON, OF SOME BIG COMPANY — COLLEGES EXIST TO BE AN OASIS IN THE MIDDLE OF COMMERCIAL SOCIETY FOR FREE THINKING. SO WHY WOULD THEY BE THE PLACES WHERE FREETHINKING IS PUNISHED MOST AGGRESSIVELY?>>I AGREE THAT THERE ARE MANY CASES — YOU AND I ACTUALLY DISCUSSED A CASE A LITTLE WHILE AGO WHERE THERE WAS A COLLEGE PROFESSOR WHO SAID SOMETHING HE SHOULDN’T HAVE SAID, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN, PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT HE NEEDS TO BE FIRED, THIS IS WHY WE ACTUALLY HAVE TENURE, TO PROTECT PEOPLE SO THEY CAN SAY WHAT IT IS THEY WANT. THERE HAVE BEEN ALL OF THESE ATTACKS, PEOPLE TRYING TO PUT LIMITS ON WHAT IT IS YOU SAY, AND I THINK THAT IS PROBLEMATIC. BUT, OVERALL, COLLEGES DO PROTECT FREEDOM OF SPEECH.>>Tucker: WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU WENT INTO YOUR CLASS — I LIKE THAT DONALD TRUMP, AND WHAT I LIKE ABOUT HIM? I LIKE FAMILY SEPARATION, I LIKE THE WALL, HE IS RIGHT THAT MEXICO DOESN’T SEND US HIS BEST. IF YOU READ PORTIONS OF A TRUMP SPEECH. HOW WOULD THAT WORK OUT?>>I THINK STUDENTS WOULD DISAGREE, AND THEY HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO DISAGREE.>>Tucker: OF COURSE THEY WOULD COME I WOULD NEVER CONTEST THEIR RIGHT.>>EVEN IF THEY PROTESTED ME, THAT IS PART OF THEIR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT.>>Tucker: YOU ARE GETTING NO DEBATE FOR ME ON THAT. I BELIEVE IN THE FREE EXCHANGE OF IDEAS, AND DESPITE EFFORTS TO SHUT US DOWN AND SHUT US UP, WE’RE STILL DOING IT. BUT IF YOU SAID THAT IN A FACULTY MEETING, NO ONE WOULD ENGAGE YOU. PEOPLE WOULD JUST SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT, I KNOW YOU ARE AFRICAN-AMERICAN, BUT OBVIOUSLY SOME KIND OF FREAKY BIGOT. THEY WOULD TREAT YOU LIKE THEY TREATED KANYE WEST. NO ONE WOULD ENGAGE YOU AND SAY TALK THROUGH THOSE IDEAS. YOU REALLY THINK FAMILY SEPARATION IS A GOOD IDEA? NOW, THEY WOULD SHOUT AT YOU.>>I THINK PEOPLE WOULD DISAGREE, AND THEY WOULD HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO DISAGREE.>>Tucker: OF COURSE, THE WHOLE IDEA COLLEGE AS YOU SAY ONE THING, I SAY ANOTHER, THEN WE TALK ABOUT THEM. ISN’T THAT THE GOAL?>>THE CONVERSATION DOESN’T ALWAYS HAVE TO BE COMFORTABLE.>>Tucker: OF COURSE NOT.>>WE CAN YELL AT EACH OTHER, WE CAN SIT THERE AND TRY TO SHUT ONE ANOTHER DOWN, THAT IS PART OF FREE SPEECH.>>Tucker: OF COURSE, I GUESS THE MACRO QUESTION IS HAVE YOU EVER MET A GROUP OF PEOPLE WITH SMALLER MIND THAN THOSE WHO TEACH AND AMERICA’S COLLEGES? LESS OPEN TO NEW IDEAS, TO CHALLENGING, TRULY CHALLENGING CONCEPTS?>>THAT IS LITERALLY WHAT WE DO ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES, CHALLENGE CONCEPTS AND POPULAR IDEAS.>>Tucker: WHEN YOU GO TO YOUR NEXT FACULTY MEETING, JUST SAY, FOR THE RECORD, ABORTION IS MURDER. AT [LAUGHS] I WANT TO SEE HOW THAT WORKS.>>EVERY SEMESTER, WE HAVE ABORTION ACTIVISTS WHO COME OUT AND LITTER THE CAMPUS WITH PICTURES OF ABORTED FETUSES, PREGNANT WOMEN WALKING ACROSS CAMPUS CRYING AND ALL OF THESE KIND OF THINGS. IT IS STILL THERE FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT.>>Tucker: OF COURSE IT IS. PEOPLE COMPLAIN, BUT WHAT WOULD YOUR COLLEAGUES SAY IF YOU SAID THAT?>>I’M SURE THEY WOULD BE DISGUSTED AND UPSET WITH ME, SOMEWHAT. THEY DON’T HAVE TO BE OPEN –>>Tucker: BUT THEY SHOULD BE. THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE SMALL MINDED, THEIRS WAS TO BE BROAD-MINDED.>>THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO ARE PROBABLY STUDIED THE ISSUE –>>Tucker: NO THEY HAVEN’T!>>PEOPLE STUDY FOR A LIVING.>>Tucker: THAT IS THE IRONY