Free speech for me but not for thee

American universities pay lip service to multiculturalism and inclusiveness, but one of their despicable secrets is that, while conservative and Jewish speakers are ignored or shouted down with no push-back whatsoever from the university administrations, pro-Palestinian speakers are given a bully pulpit.  The worse their rhetoric — the more anti-inflammatory and antisemitic — the more aggressively the university administrations go the mat for them to defend their right to free speech.  One of the best and most diligent chroniclers of this trend is Bruce Kesler, who blogs at Maggie’s Farm.

Kesler has now turned the spotlight on Cal State University, Northridge, where David Klein, a math professor has a university sanctioned webpage devoted, not to math, but to demonizing Israel in terms that would have made Goebbels, Eichmann, and the whole gang proud.  The good professor, you see, is exercising his “right to free speech.”

Back in the day, I naively understood professorial free speech to mean that, within the context of teaching the subject matter for which he was hired, a professor could not be coerced into limiting his teaching to state/employer mandated doctrine.  To do so would destroy an academic institution’s ability to introduce students to new ideas and new ways of thinking.  Foolish me.  I didn’t understand that academic free speech means that tax payer funded universities are open forums for one thing and one thing only:  the most radical Left ideology on any subject known to man.

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  • LCP

    Bookworm – Like you, I too went to college and law school (in the Bay Area) naively thinking that multiculturalism and diversity and academic freedom meant what normal people reading those words would think they mean. 

    I’ve since developed a quick rhetorical question I ask of every liberal who tries that tired leftist rhetorical bullying on me.  It immediately exposes their hypocrisy, as follows:  Imagine a world where blacks and latinos voted as a 90% block for Reagan-style Republicans.  How fast would Democrat support for affirmative action, multiculturalism and skin color diversity end? 

    To ask the question is to answer it. 

    Once you pose that question, you have the upper hand in any conversation you’re having with a liberal.  They are immediately defensive and they spend the rest of the conversation back-pedaling, justifying and deflecting – anything to avoid having to discuss the truth.  And when they’re doing that, they don’t have time to cry “Racism.”  Quite productive, really.  I was really amazed to find that once I’ve asked a particular liberal that question, my conversations with that person (even years later) are FAR more likely to be civil and productive even if the topic isn’t politics. 

  • JKB

    James Joyner wrote about this as not being a free speech issue but I noticed he carefully avoided addressing what the university’s and others’ reaction would have been if say the professor has a website stating Palestinians were a made up people.  

  • Ymarsakar

    Peasants do not have the right to speak back at their betters. Fundamental rule. Lesse Majesty and all that. Did anyone really think the Left was going to make society “just” and “equal”? Really.

  • LSBeene

    What’s really truly evil with these liberal academics is how they will be sexist and / or racists, but accuse YOU of being the bigot.

    If you disagree with the feminist line of thought, and do so by logically pointing out the blatant one sided unfairness of a policy, organization, or “study” they endorse, the feminists do not argue with you, as much as report you for your misogynistic and sexist views and speech.

    It applies to race, gender, religion or any conservative point of view.

    They silence by accusing, often with no proof, except you daring to disagree with their enlightened and manifestly correct view, of the very crime they themselves commit.

    I consider women equals and I do not infantilize them with “special” programs.  Same goes for race and religion.  But, for me daring to speak up and point out blatant sexism or racism of PC policies is in-and-of-itself a “crime” of being sexist or racist.