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Old November 5th, 2017, 03:08 PM   #1
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"Free speech" no longer free anymore? Or...

Has nothing been learned or taught about our history, US history?


https://www.usatoday.com/story/opini...iam-a-jacobson

My lecture against squeezing out free speech from colleges got me smeared. The students who smeared me got a safe space complete with coloring books and markers.

WILLIAM A. JACOBSON | Opinion contributor
7:00 a.m. CST Nov. 5, 2017
I became the campus-wide object of hate at Vassar College for defending free speech


It will come no surprise that campuses face a free-speech crisis at many levels.

More: Florida Gov. Rick Scott is right to stand up to 'vigilante censors' and fight for free speech

More: We need to restore trust in free speech. We're opening a new center to help: Napolitano

From speech codes to kangaroo campus courts to lack of faculty political diversity, non-progressive voices are being pushed off campus.

But there is an aspect of the free speech problem that gets most of the headlines because of the viral videos.

From UC Berkeley in the west to Middlebury College in the northeast, and at dozens of colleges and universities in between, we have seen speakers disrupted, shouted-down, shut-down and threatened. Almost all such speakers were right of center, and almost all of the perpetrators were progressive students.

At Cornell University, where I teach at the law school, former Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum was heckled and Tea Party activist Michael Johns was forced to hold his appearance at a secret location due to threats of disruption.


I have watched these anti-free speech mobs from a distance, and from a news perspective. At my website, Legal Insurrection, I’ve written about many dozens of such incidents which started with attacks on Israeli and pro-Israeli speakers going back almost a decade and now have migrated into the mainstream.

I have given many lectures on campuses, mostly focusing on opposing the academic boycott of Israel and on the subject of anti-Semitism.

But I’m not a household name. And I’m not particularly controversial, although I do stick out at Cornell as one of only a small number of openly politically conservative faculty members.

So despite my campus speeches and conservative politics, I never really thought the anti-free speech mob would come for me. Until they did, at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.


I previously spoke at Vassar in 2014 about academic freedom and the Israel boycott, at the invitation of the Vassar Conservative Libertarian Union. That small group, numbering fewer than 20 students on a campus of 2400 students, invited me back to speak on Oct. 25, 2017, on the topic of “hate speech” and free speech on campus.

That topic was important to me, particularly after the Charlottesville torch march and subsequent riots and killing of a young woman. I feared that the normal tension between free speech on campus and the desire to create an atmosphere where all groups would feel welcome, would sway campus politics towards greater speech restrictions.

My speech was to be titled “Hate Speech” is Still Free Speech, Even After Charlottesville. That title, which is an accurate statement of the law, focused on the dilemma of constitutional rights versus campus inclusiveness goals. Through clerical error, VCLU filed for funding of the speech under a different name, An Examination of Hate Speech and Free Speech.

Regardless of title, the planned discussion of “hate speech” as protected speech set in motion a smear campaign against me and attempts to stop my speech that left me feeling like I was going through an out-of-body experience.


A student activist group at Vassar, with the help of Vassar student government, spread false claims to the entire student body that event information was shared by me “on multiple white nationalist websites,” that there was “active encouragement for other white nationalists to come to the event,” and that there was a need to “protect the people that this speaker has targeted in the past.” None of this was true.

Two forums were held attended by over 200 students, faculty and staff, for the purpose of planning how to prevent ME from harming students. The claim reportedly was made at that forum that the “speaker himself is trying to incite violence.” That was a lie without any factual basis.

More: Byron McCauley: I know Richard Spencer's ilk. They threw rocks at my mother-in-law

POLICING THE USA: A look at race, justice, media

The student activists put together a research team to pour though my thousands of blog posts in order to falsely portray me as the equivalent of a Richard Spencer-type character. Being mainstream right-of-center became the equivalent of being a neo-Nazi or White Supremacist.

So complete was the demonization that one event poster was defaced by putting horns on my head.


Students put together a safety plan for the day of my speech that reads like parody, but was real. It included the now-common “safe spaces,” but also safety and emotional support teams. The Library was designated one such safe space and “will provide coloring books, zine kits, markers, construction paper etc.,” per a campus email. In case students had trouble finding a safe space, “Safe(r) spaces will be occupied by designated Vassar students with glowsticks.”

This all was surreal.

And then the Vassar student government moved in to kill the event, demanding in a letter from the Executive Board that Vassar’s president prevent me from appearing:

“We strongly urge you, on account of students undergoing serious and real pain, to take our words and ideas seriously, and work towards breaching the contract, ultimately preventing him from coming to campus on Wednesday... We urge you to think critically about these things. Rather than just engaging the abstract, we urge you to understand how these ideas have physical implications for the safety and well-being of real students on this campus..."

I was permitted to appear, under heavy security.

The event itself was as wonderful as the demonization campaign was awful. The room was at capacity of 200 students, with an overflow crowd in the hallway. The students listened to me discuss constitutional principles of free speech, how those principles do and do not apply at private colleges and how we should aspire to make campuses the most free places, not the least free.


There were no disruptions, not even from the 2-3 dozen students dressed all in black as a protest. Almost all students stayed to the end of the 45 minute lecture and 120-minute Q&A.

This Vassar experience left me shaken.

Because I committed to discussing free speech and the constitutional protection of even hateful speech, I was made the object of hate by student activists who whipped the campus into a frenzy.

Why would any right-of-center student, faculty member or guest speaker want to endure what I had to go through? For that matter, why would any liberal defender of free speech want to undergo such a smear campaign?

And isn’t that the point? While I was permitted to speak, the message was sent that support for the 1st Amendment and freedom of speech is not welcome. To get to speak on these sensitive yet critical topics means you have to run the gauntlet of anti-free speech progressives.


The mob didn’t stop me from speaking. But the damage was done.
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Old November 5th, 2017, 03:33 PM   #2
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They weren't anti free speech progressives, they were anti fascist progressives, protesting a "Pro Nazi" speech, defending what the Nazis did in Charlottesville.

They have a right to speak too, and if they turn out to be louder than the pro Nazi guy, maybe the Pro Nazi guy will figure out that his speech won't be received as well on a Liberal Campus as it is at a Nazi Rally.

(This post is an example of the over the top hyperbole that the right has been using for decades, and now they melt like snowflakes when they get a taste of it)
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Old November 5th, 2017, 04:07 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by goober View Post
They weren't anti free speech progressives, they were anti fascist progressives, protesting a "Pro Nazi" speech, defending what the Nazis did in Charlottesville.

They have a right to speak too, and if they turn out to be louder than the pro Nazi guy, maybe the Pro Nazi guy will figure out that his speech won't be received as well on a Liberal Campus as it is at a Nazi Rally.

(This post is an example of the over the top hyperbole that the right has been using for decades, and now they melt like snowflakes when they get a taste of it)
The guy is a conservative law professor and a rare one as far as universities go. And he brought up defending israel (a nazi boogieman) and the right for all speech to be heard, liberal conservative, independent or progressive. From the stupid and inane to the rational and sublime.

And please next time, call me a dumbass directly. Don't do it in such a subtle off handed manner. Thanks.
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Old November 5th, 2017, 04:21 PM   #4
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That actually is an interesting point to my mind, whether protesting a speech to the point of preventing it is in fact another example of free speech or is it in fact inhibiting free speech. I can't sort this one out in my head.
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Old November 5th, 2017, 05:12 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RNG View Post
That actually is an interesting point to my mind, whether protesting a speech to the point of preventing it is in fact another example of free speech or is it in fact inhibiting free speech. I can't sort this one out in my head.
Yes! I'm all for unrestricted freedom of speech. Makes the fools and idiots easier to spot and ignore, if need be. Then again, not everyone is troll resistant.

Also, the students protesting his speech is equally fair and should not ever be prohibited. What wasn't fair and inhibiting an individuals right was the smear campaign, the threat and the student government demanding his speech being canceled, because of what exactly? What did he do that terrified the holy living shit out of them?

What makes them any different than the kkk or and their threats and silencing of unwanted speech. Granted, it is the absence, to my mind, by degrees of willfull physical violence on the part of the students and ridiculous looking wearing of bedsheets and whitenribes. Other than that, i keep watching this too see if they ever become the full fledged monsters they're afraid of and love to damn.

That sounds harsh, but that sure is what it looks like.
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Last edited by Panther; November 5th, 2017 at 05:17 PM.
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Old November 5th, 2017, 05:23 PM   #6
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Higher education is where young adults go to learn, be challenged and grow.
Yes beer parties are the side effect of new found independence.
But what we have now is embarrassing. But then, are they reflecting society as it is now or the one yet too come?
If its the former, than i am embarrassed to call myself an American citizen. If it is the latter, then i might be dead before that nonsense comes about.
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Old November 5th, 2017, 05:33 PM   #7
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Free Speech should always offend somebody.
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Old November 5th, 2017, 05:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panther View Post
Has nothing been learned or taught about our history, US history?


https://www.usatoday.com/story/opini...iam-a-jacobson

My lecture against squeezing out free speech from colleges got me smeared. The students who smeared me got a safe space complete with coloring books and markers.

WILLIAM A. JACOBSON | Opinion contributor
7:00 a.m. CST Nov. 5, 2017
I became the campus-wide object of hate at Vassar College for defending free speech


It will come no surprise that campuses face a free-speech crisis at many levels.

More: Florida Gov. Rick Scott is right to stand up to 'vigilante censors' and fight for free speech

More: We need to restore trust in free speech. We're opening a new center to help: Napolitano

From speech codes to kangaroo campus courts to lack of faculty political diversity, non-progressive voices are being pushed off campus.

But there is an aspect of the free speech problem that gets most of the headlines because of the viral videos.

From UC Berkeley in the west to Middlebury College in the northeast, and at dozens of colleges and universities in between, we have seen speakers disrupted, shouted-down, shut-down and threatened. Almost all such speakers were right of center, and almost all of the perpetrators were progressive students.

At Cornell University, where I teach at the law school, former Senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum was heckled and Tea Party activist Michael Johns was forced to hold his appearance at a secret location due to threats of disruption.


I have watched these anti-free speech mobs from a distance, and from a news perspective. At my website, Legal Insurrection, I’ve written about many dozens of such incidents which started with attacks on Israeli and pro-Israeli speakers going back almost a decade and now have migrated into the mainstream.

I have given many lectures on campuses, mostly focusing on opposing the academic boycott of Israel and on the subject of anti-Semitism.

But I’m not a household name. And I’m not particularly controversial, although I do stick out at Cornell as one of only a small number of openly politically conservative faculty members.

So despite my campus speeches and conservative politics, I never really thought the anti-free speech mob would come for me. Until they did, at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.


I previously spoke at Vassar in 2014 about academic freedom and the Israel boycott, at the invitation of the Vassar Conservative Libertarian Union. That small group, numbering fewer than 20 students on a campus of 2400 students, invited me back to speak on Oct. 25, 2017, on the topic of “hate speech” and free speech on campus.

That topic was important to me, particularly after the Charlottesville torch march and subsequent riots and killing of a young woman. I feared that the normal tension between free speech on campus and the desire to create an atmosphere where all groups would feel welcome, would sway campus politics towards greater speech restrictions.

My speech was to be titled “Hate Speech” is Still Free Speech, Even After Charlottesville. That title, which is an accurate statement of the law, focused on the dilemma of constitutional rights versus campus inclusiveness goals. Through clerical error, VCLU filed for funding of the speech under a different name, An Examination of Hate Speech and Free Speech.

Regardless of title, the planned discussion of “hate speech” as protected speech set in motion a smear campaign against me and attempts to stop my speech that left me feeling like I was going through an out-of-body experience.


A student activist group at Vassar, with the help of Vassar student government, spread false claims to the entire student body that event information was shared by me “on multiple white nationalist websites,” that there was “active encouragement for other white nationalists to come to the event,” and that there was a need to “protect the people that this speaker has targeted in the past.” None of this was true.

Two forums were held attended by over 200 students, faculty and staff, for the purpose of planning how to prevent ME from harming students. The claim reportedly was made at that forum that the “speaker himself is trying to incite violence.” That was a lie without any factual basis.

More: Byron McCauley: I know Richard Spencer's ilk. They threw rocks at my mother-in-law

POLICING THE USA: A look at race, justice, media

The student activists put together a research team to pour though my thousands of blog posts in order to falsely portray me as the equivalent of a Richard Spencer-type character. Being mainstream right-of-center became the equivalent of being a neo-Nazi or White Supremacist.

So complete was the demonization that one event poster was defaced by putting horns on my head.


Students put together a safety plan for the day of my speech that reads like parody, but was real. It included the now-common “safe spaces,” but also safety and emotional support teams. The Library was designated one such safe space and “will provide coloring books, zine kits, markers, construction paper etc.,” per a campus email. In case students had trouble finding a safe space, “Safe(r) spaces will be occupied by designated Vassar students with glowsticks.”

This all was surreal.

And then the Vassar student government moved in to kill the event, demanding in a letter from the Executive Board that Vassar’s president prevent me from appearing:

“We strongly urge you, on account of students undergoing serious and real pain, to take our words and ideas seriously, and work towards breaching the contract, ultimately preventing him from coming to campus on Wednesday... We urge you to think critically about these things. Rather than just engaging the abstract, we urge you to understand how these ideas have physical implications for the safety and well-being of real students on this campus..."

I was permitted to appear, under heavy security.

The event itself was as wonderful as the demonization campaign was awful. The room was at capacity of 200 students, with an overflow crowd in the hallway. The students listened to me discuss constitutional principles of free speech, how those principles do and do not apply at private colleges and how we should aspire to make campuses the most free places, not the least free.


There were no disruptions, not even from the 2-3 dozen students dressed all in black as a protest. Almost all students stayed to the end of the 45 minute lecture and 120-minute Q&A.

This Vassar experience left me shaken.

Because I committed to discussing free speech and the constitutional protection of even hateful speech, I was made the object of hate by student activists who whipped the campus into a frenzy.

Why would any right-of-center student, faculty member or guest speaker want to endure what I had to go through? For that matter, why would any liberal defender of free speech want to undergo such a smear campaign?

And isn’t that the point? While I was permitted to speak, the message was sent that support for the 1st Amendment and freedom of speech is not welcome. To get to speak on these sensitive yet critical topics means you have to run the gauntlet of anti-free speech progressives.


The mob didn’t stop me from speaking. But the damage was done.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is right to stand up to 'vigilante censors' and fight for free speech


Glad he feels that way. No doubt he wouldn't have any protesters arrested if they stood outside of his office with signs reminding FL voters of the multiple felonies he hasn't been tried for yet regarding the largest Medicare fraud in US history.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...lB8OMdZXWQZIdq

Any word that the 'conservative" speaker made any mention of it?

I mean given his honest predisposition and everything.
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Old November 5th, 2017, 05:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by skews13 View Post
Florida Gov. Rick Scott is right to stand up to 'vigilante censors' and fight for free speech


Glad he feels that way. No doubt he wouldn't have any protesters arrested if they stood outside of his office with signs reminding FL voters of the multiple felonies he hasn't been tried for yet regarding the largest Medicare fraud in US history.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...lB8OMdZXWQZIdq

Any word that the 'conservative" speaker made any mention of it?

I mean given his honest predisposition and everything.
I don't know. How about please starting a thread on the craziness that comes out of florida politics?
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Old November 5th, 2017, 06:45 PM   #10
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Last edited by guy39; November 12th, 2017 at 05:21 PM.
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