In light of increasing student disruptions while invited expert speakers attempt to discuss pertinent issues, Jonathan Butcher, a Senior Fellow at the Goldwater Institute, addresses the issue of demonstrators intent on canceling events by shouting down an invited guest and how school administrators should deal with those who apply the “heckler’s veto.” He writes, “School leaders must explain that this behavior is unacceptable before the events take place. Incorporating discussions about the importance of free speech into freshman orientation and adding the school’s commitment to free inquiry to student handbooks.”
The fact that this lack of respect for the First Amendment rights to which Americans are constitutionally entitled takes place on university campuses should strike fear in the hearts of us all — regardless of our political bent.
Recent incidents where mob rule has taken place include the University of Pennsylvania, which shut down an event Wednesday on immigrant detention and deportation after student protesters demonstrated against retired ICE Director Tom Homan’s appearance on the panel.
Georgetown University law school — of all places — was recently the site of another such disruption. Butcher’s opinion piece, “Free speech jeopardized on college campuses,” printed this past week in The Detroit News is definitely worth reading.
This student derision for opinions other than their own has escalated. In December 2009, SRAZ posted, “How liberals at ASU honor the First Amendment and treat guests,” which includes a video of then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an invited guest, being heckled off the stage at a forum at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.
If budding journalists and law students, who should be more aware of our enshrined freedoms than most, hold the First Amendment in contempt, what hope is there for our nation’s future?
This abhorrent trend is the direct result of leftist educrats propagandizing on the hot button issues of man-caused (rather than cyclical) climate change, recycling, identity politics, pushing gender-neutral pronouns and transgenderism, while giving short shrift to imperative studies encompassing American History, the history Western Civilization and our enviable U.S. Constitution, that provides freedoms others can only dream of attaining.