Thursday, April 30, 2015

College and British attacks on free speech

Law professor David Bernstein says the biggest threat to free speech today on campus is students complaining about feeling unsafe:
In fact, despite writing a book devoted largely to (primarily) left-wing assaults on freedom of speech, and sporadically blogging on related issues, I only started seeing references to students objecting to campus speakers, classroom comments, actions by student groups, and so on on “safety” grounds fairly recently.

But it’s such a common complaint that one hears it from across the political spectrum these days,
Here is a left-wing professor with a similar complaint, and annoyed that conservatives are on the side of free speech:
This seems to be becoming a regular feature here: students playing the “safe spaces” card to try to get events or talks cancelled that offend them. This time it’s at a redoubt of academic excellence—the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)—and this time the university didn’t give in to the students with hurt feelings. And once again I have to turn to a conservative website, Legal Insurrection, to find the story.
Both of these professors are Jewish, so they must think it strange that colleges today could be so pro-Jewish and anti-Israel at the same time.

Britain is ahead of us in attacks on free speech:
Freedom of speech no longer exists in Britain. The land that gave the world the Magna Carta, the Levellers, and John Stuart Mill—three of the key foundation stones of the modern conception of liberty—is now arresting and even jailing people simply for speaking their minds.

To see how bad things have got, consider three cases from the past week alone:

A man has been investigated by the police for a hashtag he used on Twitter. ... Liverpool this week said it is deciding how to punish this man who dared to type the word "DISGRACE" on the internet.

2. A journalist, Katie Hopkins, has been reported to the police, and, bizarrely, to the International Criminal Court (ICC), for writing a column for the Sun in which she referred to the African migrants trying to get into Europe as "cockroaches." ...

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has launched an investigation into the appropriateness of an advert for protein supplements which features a sexy woman in a bikini next to the words: "Are you beach-body ready yet?" The ads, which appear on the London Underground, have been vandalized by SJW feminists who claim they "body shame" the plump. More than 30,000 people have signed an online petition—again with the petitions—demanding the ads be removed because they make women "feel physically inferior to… the bronzed model."
Somehow people are acquiring a right to not be offended, and they are couching it in the language of "safety".

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