The Washington Post, located in the nation’s capital, published a curious piece in their newspaper earlier this week. Professor Jennifer Delton’s article, called “When Free Speech Becomes a Political Weapon” actually argued against the First Amendment. In it, according to Newsbusters, the professor “attacked the right, and ‘alt right,’ for ‘using’ free speech as a ‘weapon’ to advance their unwelcome ideologies, which she says ‘subvert our democracy.’”
Here’s a portion of her piece, in which she says that conservatives are putting colleges in a bind since they are trying to undermine democracy. Ahem.
Here’s the dilemma college presidents face in the fall: Either uphold free speech on campus and risk violent counterprotests, or ban conservative provocateurs and confirm the “freedom of speech” crisis on campuses. Either way their institution’s legitimacy is undermined. This impossible dilemma is no accident. It has been part of a strategy, deployed first by conservatives and perfected by the alt-right…..
The second thing we know about the alt-right is that its provocateurs seek to bait liberal institutions by weaponizing the concept of free speech, which is an issue that divides the liberal left. It is true that higher education has brought much of this on itself through the extreme policing of speech and tolerance of student protesters who shut down speakers with whom they disagree. But that doesn’t diminish the extent to which the alt-right and conservatives are using “free speech” to attack and destroy colleges and universities, which have long promoted different variations of the internationalist, secular, cosmopolitan, multicultural liberalism that marks the thinking of educated elites of both parties.
According to Newsbusters, “Delton then claimed that college presidents need to ‘figure out’ whether the First Amendment protects ‘conservatives’ right’ to free speech because it ‘creates political spectacle and instigates violence.'”“Until university presidents offer real leadership in reconciling the liberal critique of “identity politics” with a new generation of diverse students, faculty and staff for whom such politics represent progress, they will be unable to protect their institutions from conservative attacks,” she wrote.
Pause for a moment and consider that this diatribe is not coming from a college student, high on pot. Rather, it’s coming from a college professor, a professional academic who is supposed to mold the minds of young Americans. Delton’s byline on her WaPo piece explains that she is, “the Douglas Family Chair in American culture, history, and literary and interdisciplinary studies at Skidmore College.” Professors are supposed to be the “liberals.” You know… the free speech 60’s radicals? What happened?
As Kristine Marsh wrote, “The courts have always ruled that hate speech is protected speech. It seems the left’s impeachment hysteria has moved on to attacking constitutional rights of anyone they disagree with.”
This is just the latest example of the rise of the New Fascist Democratic Party. And censorship is not just happening on college campuses, it’s happening all across America.
Image Credit: Adam Fagen on Flickr