Censorship Diminishes Freedom

I just read a story in the New York Times that said a number of book publishers are turning away manuscripts received from “conservative” authors, in particular Trump and anyone affiliated with the former president’s administration.

Some blowback is coming from employees of the publishers who believe that any writer who supports Trump or any of his policies should be treated like a criminal, unfit to write and be published.

What the hell is this country coming to? Are we going to have book bonfires in coming months? Is censorship the ultimate demise for any books that are contrary to liberal ideology? Is dissent forbidden if it is not liberal based? What about all the protest for freedom of speech in the 60s at Berkeley? Has all the blood, sweat and tears affiliated with those efforts faded away in history?

I have great problems with the censoring of books by publishers and anybody in a position to do so. First of all, I am perfectly capable of deciding which books would be detrimental to me personally. I would never censor a book for another adult. That should be up to him or her to decide. But to have employees working at publishing companies effectively censoring what they feel is inappropriate is beyond the pale.

Just because Trump and some of his followers believe the elections were unfair, does not justify censorship of their opinions. I would remind you that 70 million Americans voted for the president. Note: just so all of you know, if I never heard the name Trump mentioned again, I would be very happy. Yet, I would never suggest he be censored.

Liberals have taken over our country and respond harshly to anyone who disagrees with them. They hate Fox. They hate Republicans. They hate anyone who questions their ideology. They brand anyone who doesn’t endorse their proposals regarding women, minorities and proposed legislation misogynists, racists and un-American.

Book publishers are going down a treacherous path, one which will degrade all Americans and rip apart a freedom that is basic to our country. Allow others to express their themselves even if their ideas are objectionable to you personally. You will be better informed by doing so and you will be protecting a cornerstone of our republic.

One more point that should be noted is that schools, and in particular colleges, are taking it upon themselves to censor not only historical books but new books on subjects that some might find objectionable. The best colleges are those that allow freedom of thought that represent both sides of the aisle and both sides of social acceptance. I’m often flabbergasted when I hear college professors and their students protesting to ban books, veto open discussion in classrooms and not allowing certain speakers an opportunity to express their opinions on campus. Once again, I recall Berkeley because that institution worked very hard in the 60s to protect our right to express ourselves.

Indiana U. Protects Free Speech On Campus

Indiana University has taken a courageous stance to protect freedom of speech on its campus.

The IU provost, Lauren Robel, indicated that “[an Indiana professor’s] views were racist, sexist and homophobic . . . They were ‘vile and stupid’ . . . [They] were consistent with someone who lived in the 18th Century . . .’”

Robel then said, “The First Amendment prohibited the university from firing the professor, Eric Rasmusen, for expressing his views.”

What a reversal from Berkeley, which cratered when a right leaning commentator was not allowed to speak, and students violently protested his presence on campus.

And more recently The Daily Northwestern, the school newspaper at Northwestern University, apologized for covering a speech made by Jeff Sessions, the former Attorney General in the Trump administration. After a highly charged condemnation by activists, the paper promised not to report, take photos or ask students to comment on any events that might offend any students or specific groups at the institution.

Thank you Indiana for stepping up to protect free speech, even if the purveyors of some perspectives are abhorrent. And thank you for recognizing that censorship subverts the right of every American to speak his or her mind.

Left wing professors and activists overrun colleges these days. It’s disappointing that some teachers poison their lesson plans by only presenting one side of the most controversial issues. True scholars encourage civil discussion and debate of opposing sides of the most important issues facing America.

College students will find that after graduation they will encounter many people who have different opinions than they do. Society away from universities is much more diverse.

The ability of Americans to freely speak their minds is our nation’s greatest freedom and is the basis of most other freedoms we enjoy in this country.

Yet Another Attack On Freedom Of Speech

The Daily Northwestern, the student newspaper of Northwestern University, apologized to students for reporting on a speech made by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to a group of student Republicans. This act of contrition by the university media represents yet another direct assault on freedom of speech. It’s becoming more and more prevalent that opposing opinions to liberal perspectives are not tolerated on college campuses, places where freedom of speech has flourished historically.

Liberal activists were also unhappy with the manner in which The Daily covered the event. In fact they were apoplectic about Sessions expressing his opinions on campus at all, as his perspectives are not aligned with the protesters’ ideology. Many students were upset that they were contacted by The Daily reporters asking for comments on Session’s presentation after the fact, and that student photographers took pictures of dissenting students (a supposed invasion of their privacy).

The student newspaper has pronounced that it will no longer report on any events, or take photos of students if they, in some way, traumatize or threaten said students or specific groups at the school. In other words The Daily will only report on events and issues that are consistent with liberal, and radical, dogma. The students are to be protected from the opposition to these political and moral perspectives.

This affair is reminiscent of a recent student revolt that occurred at Berkeley just a short time ago. Activists reacted to a proposed speech by a conservative commentator. Property was destroyed and violence was encouraged to emphasize liberal ideology. This activity, protesting and repressing all opposing opinions, is becoming more commonplace every day. It seems as if liberals believe free speech should only be protected for left wing interests.

Four year college students live a charmed life in an ivory tower. It should be a time to experiment with new ideas and test the validity of all perspectives pertaining to the most controversial issues of the day. Why are colleges, professors, activists, and left-wing radicals demanding censorship of ideas? Why is free speech being denied to anyone on campus? Why would students resort to violence to inhibit the most basic right of an American? You would think that schools of higher learning would want to present all sides of important issues. But liberal activists don’t see it that way.

Northwestern is the home of the prestigious Medill School of Journalism. Why would professors in this department condone the censorship of anything? Are they really concerned about student feelings if a Fox commentator makes a speech about the virtues of Trump’s policies? What’s going to happen when students graduate and read about the horrors occurring in the world every day in the most prestigious newspapers? Will graduating students weep in response to genocide, terrorism, wars and the like?

Students should be taught to recognize that when the most hideous among us are silenced, the right of free speech is diminished for all Americans. You can’t have it both ways. Neither liberals nor conservatives own free speech. Students are cheating themselves by not listening to the other side of every difficult issue. You will never be an effective advocate if you don’t appreciate what the opposition is thinking about.