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Time for another update on the sad state of freedom on American campuses. As always, I make sure the university name is listed so you know where you don’t want to send your kids, or your money.
The first story highlights how little college administrations respect, or even understand, the most basic legal rights of their students. Rather than follow the law, college administrators nationwide have been quite willing to set up kangaroo courts to punish students for sex crimes without the slightest due process. The result has been that many colleges find themselves being sued, and losing those suits. May many of them find themselves bankrupt for this abuse.
The last two stories are about the same event. Robert Spencer, a thoughtful and accurate scholar on Islam who is not afraid to talk about its violent traditions and history, was invited to give a speech at Stanford. The administration there did everything it could to squelch attendance. As he says, “It’s not a university anymore. It’s just an Antifa recruitment center.”
Not all the news is bad. At Macomb Community College in Michigan the college was forced to change its restrictive speech policy when it was sued by a conservative student organization.
In April, members of a campus chapter of Turning Point USA — a conservative organization whose website says it promotes “the principles of freedom, free markets and limited government” — wanted to tell students about the importance of fossil fuels. One member even donned a Tyrannosaurus rex costume for the occasion.
But while pointing out “the value of fossil fuels to human flourishing currently outweighs environmental concerns,” Turning Point was shut down by campus police “because at MCC public expressive activity is strictly prohibited without prior permission and a permit from the administration,” according to a federal lawsuit Turning Point filed against the school in August in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. “Public colleges, far from being immune to the obligations of the First Amendment, are supposed to be ‘the marketplace of ideas,’ where students can freely exchange ideas with one another, learning how to respectfully debate and dialogue with those whose views differ from their own,” the suit said.
On Wednesday, the college announced it would change its “expressive activity policy,” and the lawsuit would be dismissed.
Overall, the culture on today’s campuses remains oppressive, with the thuggish behavior coming from students, teachers, and administrators. What they are finding, however, is that this bad behavior is now being challenged, and since American culture and law is deeply hostile to such fascism, they are finding themselves increasingly on the losing side. To cite another example, the woman who stole a man’s “Make America Great Again” hat and whose ignorance and outright hate was highlighted by me in a previous report now faces serious criminal charges for her illegal actions.