Enough With the Outrage Police: Free Speech Matters

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    Jun 28, 2015 8:34 PM GMT
    It is, of course, amusing to see one of the world’s most famous comedians [Seinfeld] getting amateur advice about what will “work as humor.” But the underlying message—say the right thing in the right way or get lost—is no laughing matter. If we’ve gotten to the point where we’re more afraid of offending people than we are about losing our freedom to speak up, our so-called “progressive society” is actually regressing.


    http://dailysignal.com/2015/06/27/enough-with-the-outrage-police-free-speech-matters/
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    Jun 28, 2015 9:10 PM GMT
    desertmuscl saidIt is, of course, amusing to see one of the world’s most famous comedians [Seinfeld] getting amateur advice about what will “work as humor.” But the underlying message—say the right thing in the right way or get lost—is no laughing matter. If we’ve gotten to the point where we’re more afraid of offending people than we are about losing our freedom to speak up, our so-called “progressive society” is actually regressing.


    http://dailysignal.com/2015/06/27/enough-with-the-outrage-police-free-speech-matters/


    Total misrepresentation of Seinfeld's comment, by the Heritage Foundation, a right wing 'think tank' an oxymoron if there ever was one!

    Here's the real quote:
    Cowherd commented how comedians like Chris Rock and Larry the Cable Guy won't perform at college campuses for this very reason.

    "I hear that all the time," Seinfeld said. "I don't play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, 'Don't go near colleges. They're so PC.' I'll give you an example: My daughter's 14. My wife says to her, 'Well, you know, in the next couple years, I think maybe you’re going to want to be hanging around the city more on the weekends, so you can see boys.' You know what my daughter says? She says, ‘That’s sexist.’ They just want to use these words: 'That’s racist'; 'That’s sexist'; 'That’s prejudice.' They don’t know what they’re talking about.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/08/jerry-seinfeld-college-politically-correct-racism-sexism_n_7534978.html

    He doesn't play colleges. He already doesn't play colleges. It isn't so much as being against being PC but the misuse of terms like racism, sexism, et al because they are too young to know what they mean in a real world context.

    Sort of a rebuttal to the above:

    Chris Rock summed it up well in December when he announced he would no longer play colleges because the students are too PC. Rock said that because of the way kids are raised today, you can’t even mention race: “You can’t say ‘The black kid over there.’ No, it’s ‘The guy with the red shoes.’ ”

    http://www.reviewjournal.com/entertainment/the-reel/jerry-seinfeld-doesn-t-get-pc-nonsense-millennials-video


    I think both comments above were funny and spot on btw.

    It could be argued that "Kramer" Michael Richards wasn't PC or funny.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 29, 2015 5:47 AM GMT
    My mom used to tell me "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

    Now I tell her "if you don't have anything nice to say, you need to adopt a happier lifestyle."
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    Jun 29, 2015 5:59 AM GMT
    The joke that Seinfeld was supposedly talking about wasn't all that funny, so he decided to jump down people's throats with a PC argument because they didn't find it funny. There are plenty of comedians out there who make racial or gay jokes and are actually funny, because they know how to do it.

    What the whole "The whole world is too PC crowd" fails to get is that no one is obligated to laugh at you or agree with you, that is not how the world works. If you are so right in your opinion, you won't care what other people think and you won't mind an opposing opinion. Free speech is not one sided, it is a two way street and that has to be acknowledged. The real problem is the "shut up, you can't have an opposing view" police.

    People not liking what you say doesn't prevent you from saying it, you just have to have enough guts to voice your opinion without expecting praise and agreement.
  • Svnw688

    Posts: 3350

    Jun 29, 2015 6:17 AM GMT
    OMG, OP's initial post is so trollish. Lets clear this up real quickly with a little application of controlling law.

    (1). A student in pursuit of academic freedom (at a state university) can write or say just about anything--even morally repugnant things. That is a First Amendment right. Preventing such speech would be First Amendment retaliation or prior restraint on speech (depending on the precise circumstances), and is illegal as violative of the Federal Constitution.

    (2). A student at a PRIVATE university has no First Amendment protection because there is no "state action." This means that if Pepperdine University wants to prohibit everyone from saying the words "purple," "sex," and "witticism" then they may. A state institution could never do that. The first is not a 'state actor' and therefore can do whatever it wants. This means that Pepperdine, theoretically, could have Seinfeld, the late Richard Pryor, or a KKK rally. Nothing illegal about that. They're private. Don't like it? Leave.

    (3). A odd interplay is that to get federal funding, even private institutions (all of which accept federal dollars), have to comply with certain race and gender protections (Title IX, Title VI, etc.). This means that those private institutions, because they're taking federal governemnt money and are intermingling themselves to such an extent, they're the alter egos of state institutions. Now, while you don't have the same protections as you do at state institutions, private institutions who accept federal dollars (they ALL do) must comply with certain minimums of not creating a racist and sexist environment. This means that even private institutions have to watch what they do and don't have as entertainment. As such, college campus, to comply with federal legislation (and often state legislation in places like New Jersey, New York, etc.) air on the side of caution when it comes to "colorful" humour--lest they violate federal (and/or state) law.

    In short, you can still be as racist and sexist as you'd like at your country club, or wherever you frequent. But don't act like your First Amendment rights are being taken away because universities have to have an open, inclusive, and non sexist and non racist atmosphere.
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    Jun 29, 2015 3:03 PM GMT
    Svnw688 said....
    In short, you can still be as racist and sexist as you'd like at your country club, or wherever you frequent. But don't act like your First Amendment rights are being taken away because universities have to have an open, inclusive, and non sexist and non racist atmosphere.


    The problem with having that sanitized air of "open, inclusive, and non sexist and non racist atmosphere" is that you quash all debate. All the easily offended have to do is scream sexist! racist! homophobe! mysogynist! and all debate and discussion is shutdown before it can begin. People today are lazy and don't want to be challenged, don't want to think, don't want to debate, don't want to pursuade. To think that universities are fostering that type of atmosphere is horrifying.
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Jun 29, 2015 3:22 PM GMT
    UndercoverMan said
    Svnw688 said....
    In short, you can still be as racist and sexist as you'd like at your country club, or wherever you frequent. But don't act like your First Amendment rights are being taken away because universities have to have an open, inclusive, and non sexist and non racist atmosphere.


    The problem with having that sanitized air of "open, inclusive, and non sexist and non racist atmosphere" is that you quash all debate. All the easily offended have to do is scream sexist! racist! homophobe! mysogynist! and all debate and discussion is shutdown before it can begin. People today are lazy and don't want to be challenged, don't want to think, don't want to debate, don't want to pursuade. To think that universities are fostering that type of atmosphere is horrifying.


    And this is where the rubber meets the road, right? Because when universities "HAVE TO HAVE an open, inclusive, and non sexist and non racist atmosphere..." that can only mean that it's already been "decided" what the parameters of that "atmosphere" are? Fine. So by definition, that means there's "no debate". We "know" that's "sexist", "racist", and that "isn't allowed."

    On the other hand:

    "People today are lazy and don't want to be challenged, don't want to think, don't want to debate, don't want to pursuade."

    OK? So, can we still "debate" why, say, "Nazis might have been right about Jews?" Can we "debate" "The earth really might be flat, after all?" Can we "debate" "Whites might really be superior to blacks?" Or.. "Ontogeny Might Recapitulate Phylogeny Macrocosmically But Not Microbiologically?"

    The legal proscriptions surrounding free speech are clearly expressed by my learnéd colleague. But setting those aside, "Who" decides what is "debatable" or not?



  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jun 29, 2015 3:31 PM GMT
    I've had to learn the hard way that sharing my honest views can have profound consequences on my career and social/family life. RJ is the only place where I share my views on religion, mainly because the 90% who believe in hooha can't stand that in my opinion they are suffering from a mass delusion which I consider to be the equivalent of toxic pollution.
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Jun 29, 2015 3:38 PM GMT
    HottJoe saidI've had to learn the hard way that sharing my honest views can have profound consequences on my career and social/family life. RJ is the only place where I share my views on religion, mainly because the 90% who believe in hooha can't stand that in my opinion they are suffering from a mass delusion which I consider to be the equivalent of toxic pollution.


    Yes. But surely the point is this: If some OP started a thread on, as I say, "My opinion is that the earth really is flat", or "My opinion is that Nazis were right to exterminate Jews", I'd do one of two things: I'd laugh, or I'd completely ignore him. Because, for me, those "debates" are "closed".

    But if someone (like you, say, on religion) is entering into "debate" with a religionist, you're almost pretty much signifying that YOU think there IS some "debate" there, right? Or why are you entering into... debate with him, if (for you) the debate is so "clearly closed"?

    To privilege someone with "debate" is to at least entertain that they "might" have a point, albeit opposed to mine. Because in my house, I simply do not allow "debate" about whether Nazis were right about Jews; and I don't enter into that debate on the street, or in a bar,... or on RJ, for the same reason: There is no "debate" for me.

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    Jun 29, 2015 4:16 PM GMT
    Yes, Wrestlerboy I believe nothing is closed for debate. Universities are not static institutions. Each year a new crop of students show up from all walks of life. Some come with different view points and yes some may show up with the idea that Hitler and the Nazis were right about the Jews. So yes, we need to be able to discuss or debate or whatever you want to call it in order to educate that student.

    Just because you got the memo that the world is round doesn't necessarily mean everyone has.

    No topic should ever be considered closed and not open for discussion. Granted my "debate" with someone who believes that the Nazis were justified in killing Jews, Christians, homosexuals, or anyone who opposed them would be a short one.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    Jun 29, 2015 4:40 PM GMT
    I have in-laws who are priests, and I just pretend that their gobbledegook is acceptable out of a sense of self preservation, but in truth I think they're charlatans for spreading lies. I think preaching and believing in religion is tragic folly at best but actually virulent in most cases. But if I tell them that they will literally think I'm abusing them, or insulting their magic deity, and therefore deserving of eternal condemnation, and the vast majority of humans would agree with them. For someone like me, religious people are best equated to Nazis, or ISIS. If there was no religion, there wouldn't be periodic episodes of persecution of gays and Jews. The targets the Nazis chose to murder have been the targets of Christians for the past 2,000 years. They harnessed the hate attributable to religious excrement and used it as their most subversive weapon. Their deluded lies, persecution of "souls," and capacity to feel justified in spiritual blackmail and cruel and unusual punishments is endless and boundless. I just want to avoid people with twisted ideologies, but they are unavoidable, and nearly unbearable to people who know shit when they smell it being shoved in their faces.
  • Apparition

    Posts: 3516

    Jun 29, 2015 5:49 PM GMT
    I think of it as not "debate" but rather "explaining why you are wrong". I always set ground rules before debating for real.

    eg. will a logical argument change your mind?
    2. I am a strict literalist in your holy books, the second you tell me that plain english means the opposite, you have given up and you dont get to keep talking, you lose. If your argument is that another part of the book contradicts another part, you lose, if you tell me that the book hasn't been translated correctly, yet you use it a reference after 2000 years of being able to correct it, you lose. If you are a pick and chose religious person, you lose.

    I pretty much never have to say anything. They just lose. I start with Matthew 6:5-6. NO praying except alone in the closet, and definitely not in church. Watch them stutter.
    I dont make the book, I just know what it says.
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    Jun 29, 2015 6:03 PM GMT
    "Know what it says" is more than what the words mean to your modern mind. You have to know the context in which they were said. You have to know the original language that was used to express them. You have to know the culture in which the speaker spoke them. With that in mind I seriously doubt the modern layman "knows" hardly anything that's in that book.
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    Jun 29, 2015 6:49 PM GMT
    Liberals: One of your own wrote a book explaining what's wrong with you.

    Kirsten Powers discusses her book "The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech:



  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 29, 2015 6:54 PM GMT
    mx5guynj saidLiberals: One of your own wrote a book explaining what's wrong with you.

    Kirsten Powers discusses her book "The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech:


    She is not "one of us" she is a sell out to FOX. We've discussed her already. Bunk.
  • bishop65

    Posts: 226

    Jun 30, 2015 1:01 AM GMT
    Yes, free speech matters. But there are times when people need to keep their fucking mouths shut.
  • TroyAthlete

    Posts: 4269

    Jun 30, 2015 1:42 AM GMT
    bishop65 saidYes, free speech matters. But there are times when people need to keep their fucking mouths shut.


    They should run their mouths -- they just can't prevent others from criticizing them. This is about the inability of "anti-PC" whiners to own their speech. When someone calls me racist, I feel nothing in the same way if someone told me "You're Argentinian" makes me feel nothing. Why? Because it's just not true. If someone calls you racist and it stings...it's probably because you're a little bit racist. Whining about PC is typically bigots way of playing the victim instead of dealing with their personal issues.

    Everybody is free to be as racist/sexist/homophobic as they want. But some of these folks are having difficulty adjusting to a rapidly-changing, increasingly multicultural society wherein we will be increasingly called out for rude and bigoted behaviors.

    This would be a free speech issue if government was abridging speech. It's not. The 1st Amendment does not prevent other private citizens from criticizing you for your speech. Seinfeld is no longer one of the cool kids, cannot adjust his comedy to modern values, and can't deal with that. Today's youngsters don't *have* to find him funny -- who is he kidding?

    People who actually are not racist/sexist/homophobic can't get "shut down" by being called those things, because they know it's not true. People who feel "shut down" by being called out feel that way because the criticism hits too close to home, making them feel exposed. But society is not going to stop changing so that bigots and feel more comfortable. People with class, tact, and manners who have integrated their lives and done the introspection to reduce their prejudices don't whine about PC because what they say/do is coming from a good place, offensive or not. This is why some can make offensive jokes and others can't: you can't hide who you are.

    When people whine about "PC" what they really mean is "I'm an insecure, tacky douchebag with no manners who immaturely thinks I should be able to say and do whatever I want whenever I want without criticism." World doesn't work like that. You are free to do and say what you want, and others are free to call you a bigot. Get over it.
  • Apparition

    Posts: 3516

    Jun 30, 2015 2:58 AM GMT
    UndercoverMan said"Know what it says" is more than what the words mean to your modern mind. You have to know the context in which they were said. You have to know the original language that was used to express them. You have to know the culture in which the speaker spoke them. With that in mind I seriously doubt the modern layman "knows" hardly anything that's in that book.



    I am pretty sure the complete instructions saying do this and dont do that do not require interpretation. You would have failed already. You cannot say the book is written in "magic English" which i classify your arguement. If it requires magic english to follow the instructions, they have had 2000 years to learn how to translate it, if they still require a magic interpreter to understand it, you dont get to use it as source material.
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    Jun 30, 2015 4:46 AM GMT
    Debate between individuals is usually merely trying to prove that you're right and the other person(s) is (are) wrong. If you've got an audience then you're trying to win them over to your point of view.

    But in any case you're each proceeding from the standpoint that you've got the correct answer on a topic, before any of you open your mouths. In fact, when I took debating in college, and later when I was judging other students in debates, the common practice was to assign the students their topics. They didn't get to choose a topic they necessarily supported personally.

    I know there are a number of reasons for that, but it always made me feel uneasy, like it was a kind of dishonesty. But I'm sure quite a few successful trial lawyers got their start that way.

    A free exchange of ideas with a willingness to evolve your thoughts is more properly termed a discussion. When I was a teacher I tried to incorporate classroom discussion periods, that I merely moderated with little direction, while the students expressed opinions & ideas among themselves. I kept my formal lecturing to a minimum, except when presenting very objective hard facts, like historical dates, events and such.

    With some kinds of material it came closer to the form of the Socratic Method of questioning inquiry. Something learned through self-revelation can be much better retained and its subtleties better appreciated than listening to dry pedantic lectures or reading from a text book.

    In that sense speech in my classrooms was very free. Although I didn't allow vulgar language, and I required mutual politeness & respect. The few students who rarely did get out of line found themselves up against disapproving peer pressure, which was more powerful than most threats from me. But in terms of course content I tried to be as neutral and non-PC as possible, and to keep my own personal opinions, especially political ones, private and unknown to my students.
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Jun 30, 2015 11:13 AM GMT
    ^^^" But in any case you're each proceeding from the standpoint that you've got the correct answer on a topic, before any of you open your mouths. In fact, when I took debating in college, and later when I was judging other students in debates, the common practice was to assign the students their topics. They didn't get to choose a topic they necessarily supported personally."

    I clearly debated at a different college than you did.

    "But in any case you're each proceeding from the standpoint that you've got the correct answer on a topic, before any of you open your mouths."

    A "debate" is about convincing a majority to adopt your resolution: since when is it about "the correct answer"? (It's not a math problem).

    "This house is resolved: That British Colonial Rule of India Should Continue". (Say, 1920).

    Where is the question of whether continuing British Colonial Rule of India is... "right" or "wrong"?
  • WrestlerBoy

    Posts: 1903

    Jun 30, 2015 11:27 AM GMT
    Art_Deco saidDebate between individuals is usually merely trying to prove that you're right and the other person(s) is (are) wrong. If you've got an audience then you're trying to win them over to your point of view.

    But in any case you're each proceeding from the standpoint that you've got the correct answer on a topic, before any of you open your mouths. In fact, when I took debating in college, and later when I was judging other students in debates, the common practice was to assign the students their topics. They didn't get to choose a topic they necessarily supported personally.

    I know there are a number of reasons for that, but it always made me feel uneasy, like it was a kind of dishonesty. But I'm sure quite a few successful trial lawyers got their start that way.

    A free exchange of ideas with a willingness to evolve your thoughts is more properly termed a discussion. When I was a teacher I tried to incorporate classroom discussion periods, that I merely moderated with little direction, while the students expressed opinions & ideas among themselves. I kept my formal lecturing to a minimum, except when presenting very objective hard facts, like historical dates, events and such.

    With some kinds of material it came closer to the form of the Socratic Method of questioning inquiry. Something learned through self-revelation can be much better retained and its subtleties better appreciated than listening to dry pedantic lectures or reading from a text book.

    In that sense speech in my classrooms was very free. Although I didn't allow vulgar language, and I required mutual politeness & respect. The few students who rarely did get out of line found themselves up against disapproving peer pressure, which was more powerful than most threats from me. But in terms of course content I tried to be as neutral and non-PC as possible, and to keep my own personal opinions, especially political ones, private and unknown to my students.


    "I know there are a number of reasons for that, but it always made me feel uneasy, like it was a kind of dishonesty. But I'm sure quite a few successful trial lawyers got their start that way."

    You mean trial lawyers got our start that way... or the very foundations of our Common Law adversarial system of justice got "its start" that way?
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    Jun 30, 2015 11:59 AM GMT
    Apparition saidI start with Matthew 6:5-6. NO praying except alone in the closet, and definitely not in church. Watch them stutter.
    I dont make the book, I just know what it says.



    Strict literalist, indeed! You've totally lost the background and context that scripture means....it's a suggestion, not a command. It's about being humble, not doing it for show "to be seen by others". icon_rolleyes.gif



    So, since you're such a literalist, I bet you obey this sign every time you see it:


    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTD5hEAo_aaQEP3d4DAYLX

    icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
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    Jun 30, 2015 3:10 PM GMT
    WrestlerBoy said
    Art_Deco saidDebate between individuals is usually merely trying to prove that you're right and the other person(s) is (are) wrong. If you've got an audience then you're trying to win them over to your point of view.

    But in any case you're each proceeding from the standpoint that you've got the correct answer on a topic, before any of you open your mouths. In fact, when I took debating in college, and later when I was judging other students in debates, the common practice was to assign the students their topics. They didn't get to choose a topic they necessarily supported personally.

    I know there are a number of reasons for that, but it always made me feel uneasy, like it was a kind of dishonesty. But I'm sure quite a few successful trial lawyers got their start that way.

    A free exchange of ideas with a willingness to evolve your thoughts is more properly termed a discussion. When I was a teacher I tried to incorporate classroom discussion periods, that I merely moderated with little direction, while the students expressed opinions & ideas among themselves. I kept my formal lecturing to a minimum, except when presenting very objective hard facts, like historical dates, events and such.

    With some kinds of material it came closer to the form of the Socratic Method of questioning inquiry. Something learned through self-revelation can be much better retained and its subtleties better appreciated than listening to dry pedantic lectures or reading from a text book.

    In that sense speech in my classrooms was very free. Although I didn't allow vulgar language, and I required mutual politeness & respect. The few students who rarely did get out of line found themselves up against disapproving peer pressure, which was more powerful than most threats from me. But in terms of course content I tried to be as neutral and non-PC as possible, and to keep my own personal opinions, especially political ones, private and unknown to my students.


    "I know there are a number of reasons for that, but it always made me feel uneasy, like it was a kind of dishonesty. But I'm sure quite a few successful trial lawyers got their start that way."

    You mean trial lawyers got our start that way... or the very foundations of our Common Law adversarial system of justice got "its start" that way?


    And it's practiced to 'perfection' in moot court during law school.
  • carew28

    Posts: 658

    Jul 01, 2015 6:04 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidMy mom used to tell me "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

    Now I tell her "if you don't have anything nice to say, you need to adopt a happier lifestyle."



    I once overheard this in a gay bar:

    "If you have nothing nice to say about people, sit next to us."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 01, 2015 6:41 PM GMT
    WrestlerBoy said
    Art_Deco saidDebate between individuals is usually merely trying to prove that you're right and the other person(s) is (are) wrong. If you've got an audience then you're trying to win them over to your point of view.

    But in any case you're each proceeding from the standpoint that you've got the correct answer on a topic, before any of you open your mouths. In fact, when I took debating in college, and later when I was judging other students in debates, the common practice was to assign the students their topics. They didn't get to choose a topic they necessarily supported personally.

    I know there are a number of reasons for that, but it always made me feel uneasy, like it was a kind of dishonesty. But I'm sure quite a few successful trial lawyers got their start that way.

    A free exchange of ideas with a willingness to evolve your thoughts is more properly termed a discussion. When I was a teacher I tried to incorporate classroom discussion periods, that I merely moderated with little direction, while the students expressed opinions & ideas among themselves. I kept my formal lecturing to a minimum, except when presenting very objective hard facts, like historical dates, events and such.

    With some kinds of material it came closer to the form of the Socratic Method of questioning inquiry. Something learned through self-revelation can be much better retained and its subtleties better appreciated than listening to dry pedantic lectures or reading from a text book.

    In that sense speech in my classrooms was very free. Although I didn't allow vulgar language, and I required mutual politeness & respect. The few students who rarely did get out of line found themselves up against disapproving peer pressure, which was more powerful than most threats from me. But in terms of course content I tried to be as neutral and non-PC as possible, and to keep my own personal opinions, especially political ones, private and unknown to my students.


    "I know there are a number of reasons for that, but it always made me feel uneasy, like it was a kind of dishonesty. But I'm sure quite a few successful trial lawyers got their start that way."

    You mean trial lawyers got our start that way... or the very foundations of our Common Law adversarial system of justice got "its start" that way?


    He doesn't know, WB - and I'd sure like to know more about that "disapproving peer pressure," among other "shaming" and silencing techniques - but thanks to you, Svn, and some of the other for a good discussion. The only things I'd add are that 1), even in the private school context, there is a certain amount of "common law academic freedom," akin to common law due process. Ultimately, however, an institution's credibility is the thing and, public or private, those that impose these silly speech codes, let alone put young power-trippers from whatever end of the political spectrum onto enforcing them, are going to lose real world credibility real fast. See, e.g., the "Duke 88."

    And 2), acceptance of federal funds by all colleges is not a fact, Svn; some colleges do do without, Hillsdale, Grove City, and Patrick Henry among them. (You're as free as anyone to judge their credibility or rank in academia.) But for those schools that do, I'd like to see how well an argument that conditioning receipt of federal funds on limiting one's constitutional right of speech is itself unconstitutional would fare. That's not to encourage race, sex or any other kind of baiting, but exactly what is "an open, inclusive, and non sexist and non racist atmosphere?" In some schools' efforts to provide that setting, they end by creating the monster they initially claimed to seek out and destroy.