October 2, 2017

"I worry that there is a narrative that is being suggested — that is a false narrative — that campuses are not places that respect free speech and the rights of people to engage with and listen to speakers."

Said Peter McDonough, vice president and general counsel of the American Council on Education, quoted in a Chronicle of Higher Education article about the Justice Department, under Jeff Sessions, intervening in campus free-speech cases.

There's a quote from University of Chicago lawprof Geoffrey R. Stone: “I can see the federal government intervening to put its two cents in, but they have to be doing it in a principled and honest way.... There’s no evidence that they are willing to do that. They’re going to pick and choose the cases that fit their perspective.”

Sessions has made a statement (accompanying a court filing) asserting a “national recommitment to free speech on campus and to ensuring First Amendment rights is long overdue. Which is why, starting today, the Department of Justice will do its part in this struggle.” And in a recent speech at Georgetown, he said college campuses were an “echo chamber of political correctness and homogeneous thought, a shelter for fragile egos.”

44 comments:

rehajm said...

They’re going to pick and choose the cases that fit their perspective.

The fact there exists a single case that fits their perspective is reason enough to continue.

Comanche Voter said...

One man's "false narrative" is another man's view of the objective facts on the ground. When one sees reports of speakers being barred from campuses, or if allowed to speak, harassed and driven from the campus, one must wonder whether this gentleman has kept his head in a place where the sun doesn't shine--so to speak.

Unknown said...

It's a false narrative, eh?

Tell that to Ben Shapiro. He just spoke at the University of Utah, and there was violent protestors there trying to silence him. All leftists, naturally. Thankfully the cops actually did their job here and busted up the protests and arrested the women throwing fists and stuff.

And plenty of the local leftists who weren't there throwing fists were screaming "Silence the fiend! He shouldn't be allowed to disrupt our peaceful commune!" or words to that effect.

Just like with guns, we peasants are "abusing our freedom of speech" with "hate speech" meaning "speech liberals hate" and thus, the freedom of speech must be removed from America; just like the 2nd Amendment. Because we Americans can't be trusted with freedom. Thus, we must become another Soviet Socialist Republic! Safe and secure from guns, food, speech, religion, the ability to travel, protest, etc unless government approved! Paradise for Ritmo!

--Vance

exiledonmainstreet said...

"A false narrative."

Those students screaming at Shapiro, Milo, Hoff Summers, and Charles Murray are just figments of our imaginations then?

Larry J said...

Everyone is free to speak on a university so long as they're in rigid lockstep agreement with the SJWs. Anyone else, not so much.

Quaestor said...

Peter McDonough is bullshitting himself more anyone else.

Bay Area Guy said...

Stone is a bonehead.

At major universities, crazed criminal leftists such as Angela Davis and Bill Ayers, get actual teaching positions at the schools. They get feted, not shouted down for their viewpoints.

Stone, here's the deal. Show me one instance where Noam Chomsky was physically prevented from speaking at a university by a right-wing group in the past, say, 50 years.

Unknown said...

Free speech is like Henry Ford's Model T anymore. You can have all the speech you want, as long as it's black (lives Matter approved).

--Vance

Todd said...

I worry that there is a narrative that is being suggested — that is a false narrative — that campuses are not places that respect free speech and the rights of people to engage with and listen to speakers."
Said Peter McDonough, vice presiden


I think what he meant to say is that he is very, very worried that they are losing control of the narrative. That [as is typical] the left went too far and now the jig is up (so to speak). Though they are going to make at least one last ditch effort to regain control by [as expected] screaming fascism, censorship, and McCarthy!

Nonapod said...

It's amazing to me how many people there are that profess to respect our freedoms while doing everything they can to undermine them. Well, perhaps I shouldn't be so amazed. Why do so many human beings always want to be controlled and be looked after and be parented? Why are there so many people who want to remain children forever?

chuck said...

They make it clear that the educational establishment cannot be trusted to defend free speech.

Ken B said...

McDonough is lying, simple. Just look at TESC, or "free speech zones".

rhhardin said...

If they use the federal funds route in then only Hillsdale will be able to ban conservative speakers.

Big Mike said...

Calling it a "false narrative," is, well, false.

Beyond that, what rehajm wrote at the top of the thread.

Lem said...

The continuing cancellation of certain kinds of speakers on college campuses is not a mere 'narrative'.

There is more freedom of speech in a football field, these days, than in college campuses.

zipity said...

""I worry that there is a narrative that is being suggested — that is a false narrative — that campuses are not places that respect free speech and the rights of people to engage with and listen to speakers."

I think what he's actually worried about is that people have finally noticed the extreme Leftist/PC culture he and his colleagues have fostered on campus's across the country for decades, which may affect their funding....

YoungHegelian said...

There's a quote from University of Chicago lawprof Geoffrey R. Stone: “I can see the federal government intervening to put its two cents in, but they have to be doing it in a principled and honest way.... There’s no evidence that they are willing to do that. They’re going to pick and choose the cases that fit their perspective.”

I'm sorry, but the moral right of universities to complain about Federal government interference all but evaporated when they accepted & acted on the DoEd's "Dear Colleague" letter. They then jumped on the government's basically mere suggestion to set up a campus bureaucracy that placed itself in the middle of their students' most private lives, & did so in a way that stripped their victims of all their basic rights.

There were a few brave souls in academia who spoke out against this abomination, but to no avail. The university administrations all signed on, because it increased their power.

So, now there's a new sheriff in town, & academia doesn't like him. Well, tough shit. They thought it was a great idea when the feds threatened denial of federal funds for schools who didn't follow the "Dear Colleague" letter. Now, the feds are coming up with other reasons to deny federal funds to schools they don't like, & the academics are aghast. "But, but, that sauce was for the goose, not the gander!"

Personally, I hope the Trump admin pounds these guys up the ass like a jack-hammer. It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of bozos.

Original Mike said...

"I worry that there is a narrative that is being suggested — that is a false narrative — that campuses are not places that respect free speech and the rights of people to engage with and listen to speakers.". Said Peter McDonough, vice president and general counsel of the American Council on Education,

How can he say that with a straight face?

traditionalguy said...

He is using Orwell's 1984 as an instruction manual that's requires him to say this NewSpeak. He just proved Sessions is right.

Assrat said...

>Peter McDonough is bullshitting himself more anyone else.

I suspect that is the case. It's kind of amazing how silly his comment was.

Bob Boyd said...

Seinfeld explains it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOc5K3gZREg

Kristian Holvoet said...

I can see the federal government intervening to put its two cents in, but they have to be doing it in a principled and honest way

So, free speech, but only if you do it correctly (i.e., my way)?

Big Mike said...

How can he say that with a straight face?

Practice, my friend. Lots and lots of practice.

Charles Kramer said...

I wonder if the college or university in the article had counsel before it enacted it policy and, if it did, who it was. It amazes me that no one thought "Gosh, having to submit materials for university review before they can be distributed sounds a lot like a prior restraint." Of course, one of the almost guaranteed ways to trigger an adverse judicial ruling in a First Amendment case is to be seen engaging in prior restraint.

That aside, if amazes me that a university would need to review materials distributed by one (presumably) adult to other (presumably) adults.

brylun said...

Little Peter picked a peck of pickled peppers and they were all Lefties.

Earnest Prole said...

I worry that there is a narrative that is being suggested — that is a false narrative . . .

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice.

In theory, campuses are places that respect free speech and the rights of people to engage with and listen to speakers. In practice many are not. For public institutions at least, that gap will close when the Justice Department files a civil rights lawsuit every time a citizen's First Amendment rights are violated.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

On balance, Colleges are leftwing communist socialist corrupt collectivist totalitarian fascist re-education camps.

Anonymous said...

"I worry that there is a narrative that is being suggested — that is a false narrative — that campuses are not places that respect free speech and the rights of people to engage with and listen to speakers."

Really?

Middlebury. Evergreen College. Mizzou. UC Berkeley. U Penn Law School

I guess what he's telling us is that he doesn't believe conservatives and libertarians are people, and thus no "people" are being harmed by College and University campus speech restrictions.

Here's a hint: if it was normal for students to be exposed to competing views, then Berkeley would not have found it necessary to offer students counseling after Ben Shapiro spoke there.

JAORE said...

Their ilk are nodding in agreement. Everyone they know, every article they read, nodding, nodding.

They assume there are no others, or that the others are irredeemably stupid and evil.

Sam L. said...

For proof of falsehood, see: U of Missouri; U Cal Berkeley; Evergreen State; Reed College.

Rick said...

Compare his assertion to the response of any campus when racism is suggested. In the case of racism they first and foremost state their intent to oppose it no matter how minor the event was. This is how people react to the things they care about.

You don't convince anyone you're handling an issue by asserting it doesn't exist. It's even more ridiculous when everyone can see it does exist.

Mac McConnell said...

Isn't conspiracy to deny civil rights a felony? If not it should be.

Ralph L said...

It would be nice if this problem were fixed by the local people in charge (with some prodding from below) instead of a hammer from above.
We lose our capacity for judgement when we let someone else make decisions.
Dependency isn't just for poor people anymore.

Fernandinande said...

that is a false narrative

Obviously that's not true.

Chike Uzuegbunam sez:

"The Lord God has made clear to me that I am to seek and continually hunger after Christ all the days of my life and preach the gospel to as many souls as possible for the glory of the Enthroned Lamb. Woe is me if I do not preach the gospel of God, and as a bondservant of His glory I will channel all my efforts and abilities to declare Christ and Him Crucified. May all glory be unto God and our Reigning Savior Jesus Christ both now and forevermore. Amen!"

Obviously that's not true either.

Mike Sylwester said...

Universities have enrolled too many people who cannot and will not read at a university level and who therefore fail academically.

The universities employ many diversity experts who help those non-reading, failing students to concoct excuses about feeling unwelcome.

In order that no non-reading, failing students feel unwelcome, the universities prevent any outside speakers who might say anything that might be construed as making those non-reading, failing students feel unwelcome.

All this is the consequence of enrolling too many people who cannot and will not read at a university level.

bgates said...

Berkeley recently spent an estimated $800,000 for security at a four-day event billed as a “free-speech week,” which was canceled before it began.

“I do think there’s a hard issue: Is there a point at which the campus could or should say ‘We can’t afford this?’” [Berkeley law school dean Chemerinsky] said.


According to https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/infocenter/revenue-and-expense-data, in 2015-16 Berkeley had $2,545,382,000 in revenue.

Sebastian said...

"I worry that there is a narrative that is being suggested — that is a false narrative — that campuses are not places that respect free speech and the rights of people to engage with and listen to speakers." Some campuses do, many don't.

But the debate about free speech is really symbolic politics: its opponents just want to banish all doubleplusungood thought, its proponents want right-of-center views to be expressed and debated.

It seems even in places that nominally supports free speech, little is done to promote actual debate and actual conservative expression. Are there any?

Angel-Dyne said...

“I do think there’s a hard issue: Is there a point at which the campus could or should say ‘We can’t afford this?’” [Berkeley law school dean Chemerinsky] said.

The stem-to-stern dishonesty here is breathtaking. They can't afford to control their Red Guards, whose anti-free speech thuggery they supported and nourished from the get-go?

I don't think "dishonesty" informs most of the "nothing to see here, move along" attitudes on display here, though. I'm inclined to believe that most of these people are so far gone they sincerely believe their own bullshit.

Earnest Prole said...

Is there a point at which the campus could or should say ‘We can’t afford this?’

Free speech is a civil right, protected by the Constitution. Government cost-benefit analysis does not apply to the Bill of Rights -- that's the whole point. I know many people slept through high-school civics class, but you're the fucking dean of the Berkeley law school.

MountainJohn said...

Universities have enrolled too many people who cannot and will not read at a university level and who therefore fail academically.

The universities employ many diversity experts who help those non-reading, failing students to concoct excuses about feeling unwelcome.

In order that no non-reading, failing students feel unwelcome, the universities prevent any outside speakers who might say anything that might be construed as making those non-reading, failing students feel unwelcome.

All this is the consequence of enrolling too many people who cannot and will not read at a university level.


And then pointing these failing students towards grievance studies majors. Gotta keep those graduation rates up!

hombre said...

It is a violation of federal civil rights law to conspire to deny another's First Amendment right to free expression - even if you are a lefty student or professor.

There is no reason to believe that a dishonest apologist for our universities would acknowledge this, if he even knows it.

tim in vermont said...

There’s no evidence that they are willing to do that. They’re going to pick and choose the cases that fit their perspective. asserts he, without evidence.

Would love to hear about commies and other forms of socialists being denied the right to speak on campus.

Unknown said...

Mizzou took such a financial hit from their craziness of last year that they are desperate. On the train stations at O'hare (going from terminals to parking) every single door has an ad for Mizzou full of happy students.
It is fascinating to me that college campuses have less freedom of speech than a city but are convinced that they are bastions of knowledge and goodness.

Michael K said...

"On the train stations at O'hare (going from terminals to parking) every single door has an ad for Mizzou full of happy students."

Next year the ads will be for NFL games on TV.

The gods of the copybook headings and all