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Category Archives: Freedom of Speech

Mideast holds Al Jazeera, free speech hostage – Washington Times

Posted: June 28, 2017 at 6:01 am

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The United States likes to hold itself up as an example to the rest of the world how humankind can flourish when afforded certain freedoms. Among those freedoms is Freedom of Speech. The ability to express ourselves, even if our opinion differs from those in control of the government is a cherished right.

We see it all around us. Broadcast personalities that lambast the President. Newspaper publishers that assign cadres of investigative reporters to dig up dirt on candidates or officials they dont like. Protestors marching in the streets or in front of the Supreme Court. In the United States people are afforded the opportunity to share their views without fear of reprisal.

It isnt like that everywhere on the planet.

It is common for some Middle East nations to operate state-run media and use censorship to control what message gets out to the masses. In essence, they control public opinion by assuring only an approved message is circulated over the airwaves and in print.

Enter the Al Jazeera television network. Funded by the royal family in Qatar, Al Jazeera offers 24-hour news programming in Arabic (and in many places English as well), broadcast to a wide range of countries, including in those where television had previously been carefully controlled by the state. Al Jazeeras own site says they air in more than 100 countries to more than 310 million people. Many Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, have vocally opposed the introduction of alternative views to their public. They perceive this freedom of speech as a threat to the control of their own people.

Over the years, Al Jazeera has provided news reporting and editorial views that differed from the official line of nations such as Kuwait, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and more. Middle Eastern critics have complained that Al Jazeera sensationalizes the news in order to attract higher ratings. The complaint is laughable. We all snickered when the Obama administration would belly ache about Fox News. We smile when President Trump feuds with CNN. The idea that a news network would push its own ideas and make the governing class uncomfortable is readily accepted in the West.

What would never be accepted is the government telling a broadcast network who had offended it that it must shut down. Pull the plug. Say goodnight forever. Can you imagine the outrage if the Trump administration demanded that MSNBC go off the airwaves forever?

Yet that exact thing is happening in the Middle East. In an effort to regain sole control over the message that goes out to their nations. Saudi Arabia is leading the effort to make Al Jazeera go dark as part of a 13-point ultimatum in exchange for lifting a two-week trade and diplomatic embargo.

You may like the content offered on Al Jazeera. You may not. You may not be familiar with it at all. But regardless, you surely support the concept of a free and open media delivering its message to the broadcast world. If a broadcaster does its job well, the number of viewers, the number of advertisers and success itself will build. If not, demand will dwindle and the broadcaster will either change or vanish.

For a foreign nation or nations to hold another hostage, however, to literally blackmail them into pulling the plug on a worldwide broadcast or else face economic destruction, thats an act of war.

Perhaps more importantly, it is an act directly opposed to the freedoms we cherish in America and which we attempt to export everywhere. The Saudis and their allies are out of line in their effort to squelch free discussion of regional and world matters on the Al Jazeera airwaves.

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Oklahoma Joe: Freedom of speech is not limitless – Journal Record (subscription)

Posted: June 27, 2017 at 6:57 am

Joe Hight

Freedom of speech doesnt mean freedom from ramifications.

Ive often wondered that, especially considering recent events. Of the five some may even say six rights granted to us by the First Amendment, many may say speech is the most important. As my Media Ethics students have told me, Without freedom of speech, you wouldnt have the other freedoms.

Thats debatable, but the freedom to say or write or create is not limitless.

Examples are many, but here are a few recent ones:

Ten prospective Harvard students admissions were rescinded after they posted offensive messages and memes in the Facebook chat group Harvard memes for horny bourgeois teens. The Boston Business Journal reported the teenagers mocked sexual assault, the Holocaust, child abuse, and ethnic and racial groups.

Comedian Kathy Griffin was fired as CNNs New Years Eve commentator after posing with a fake bloody Donald Trump head. Then, as Vanity Fair reported, she joked with photographer Tyler Shields, We have to move to Mexico today because were not surviving this, OK? She later tearfully apologized, while also attacking the Trumps for seeking to ruin her life.

Milo Yiannopoulos resigned as editor of Breitbart News, lost speaking engagements and a book contract for remarks endorsing sexual relations with boys as young as 13. He apologized but not before saying he was a victim of child abuse himself. Conservative radio personality Charlie Sykes reacted by telling The New York Times, Weve created a competition for being the most offensive and the most outrageous in order to stay relevant, and then we must rally around and defend you.

Has our need for attention proliferated to the point that Sykes is correct? Is social media behind it? Last week, I wrote about unacceptable snarky and attack tweets in the aftermath of the shootings of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others at a practice for the congressional baseball game.

Have we taken freedom of speech too far?

Oklahoma State University professor Joey Senat is among the experts I turned to on First Amendment and freedom of information issues. He wrote in response to my question that obscenity, deceptive advertising and child pornography do not receive First Amendment protection. He also pointed to the U.S. Supreme Courts Brandenburg Test that is used to determine the difference between speech advocating an abstract idea (which is protected by the First Amendment) and speech intended to incite imminent lawless action (which is not protected).

Even when speech is protected by the First Amendment, it can be punished, he wrote. Freedom of speech receives a great deal of protection in this country, i.e., a preferred position. To say that ramifications exist isnt to say that freedom of speech and government regulation of speech are co-equal. The scale balances in favor of speech.

But when does it go too far? Should colleges cancel a speakers planned speeches because they dont share the majority of students viewpoints? Otherwise, known as Hecklers Veto? Should people protesting at a site be escorted out and even banned because their remarks dont agree with our own?

As Joey writes, Political speech receives more protection than does commercial speech. Government must have a compelling reason to regulate political speech. The First Amendment applies only when the government is doing the censorship. Private entities may censor without violating the First Amendment.

In the end, freedom of speech doesnt give you absolute freedom. But it is a freedom we must continue to defend, along with our other First Amendment rights.

Joe Hight is a Pulitzer Prize-winning and Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame editor who is the University of Central Oklahomas endowed chair of journalism ethics and president of his family-owned business Best of Books in Edmond.

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College panel: Free speech on campus under siege from students – Hot Air

Posted: at 6:57 am

TheNational Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) is holding its annual convention this week in Chicago. Inside Higher Ed reports on an interestingdiscussion that took place today about free speech on campus and how to protect it. Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) says campus speech is mostly under assault these days not from misguided administrators, but from students.

For most of my career, we were usually running up against administrative overreach campus leaders doing things that were a bad idea, or were sometimes well intentioned but still flawed, Lukianoff said during a panel discussion about the tension between free speech and inclusivity on campuses at the associations annual conference here.

Students, he said, were traditionally the best constituents for freedom of speech. But thats no longer the case, with many more students demanding that speakers be disinvited, calling for the firing of professors or suspension of fellow students whose speech they deem hurtful, and the like.

There was agreement among the panel that what todays students mean by safety on campus is not what administrators are there to guarantee:

Students do come to college expecting to be in environment that supports them, said [Wake Forest Universitys vice president for campus life Penny] Rue. To the extent they come to college expecting safety, I can guarantee them physical safety. But psychological safety and leaning into learning moments are not always aligned.

Just because it creates hurt is not enough, [University of Chicagos Jeffrey] Stone said. Almost all controversial speech harms people, upsets or offends them The First Amendment does not allow you to restrict speech because it harms them.

Some on the panel felt many students simply dont understand the importance of the First Amendments protection of free speech because of a basic lack of civics education in high school. Rue, the campus lifeVPat Wake Forest, suggested that needed to be addressed in college as part of the curriculum. However, both Lukianoff and Stone suggested college professors may not be the best solution to this problem. Stone pointed out that many professors, think hate speech shouldnt be allowed on campuses.

The discussion at this panel event does suggest there are still some adults left in the room, but increasingly they are playing defense against waves of students and some professors who genuinely dont see free speech as a fundamental right that needs to be protected from the hecklers veto. Even when students go off the rails, as happened recently at Evergreen College, you have administrators like President George Bridges who seem intent on making sure students suffer no consequences for their illiberal actions.

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Freedom of speech? – Columbia Basin Herald

Posted: June 26, 2017 at 5:02 pm

The Columbia Basin Herald changed the policy regarding Letters to the Editor several weeks ago. Now only one letter is allowed per month. This restricts people who want to address problems in our community, and often write second or third letters due to comments made to a prior letter. Many issues are time-sensitive. The issues cannot be addressed one letter per month.

This new policy creates a censorship because now, instead of writing a letter, there is concern that something more important may occur during the next few days, or two to three weeks. But, since a letter was submitted, the person is now blocked from writing a new letter for an entire month.

What is the reason behind this policy? Too many letters? It would appear that the number of letters being printed per week has decreased. Or is the Columbia Basin Herald attempting to restrict freedom of speech? Many people have thanked me personally, when we meet face-to-face, for writing. However, I now feel that I am being censored. I apologize to those who either like my point of view, or have chosen to debate my thinking, for not continuing to write. If you have concerns about this new one letter per month policy, please contact the paper.

Thomas Fancher

Moses Lake

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Free speech rallies happening today in Washington, DC – WXIA-TV

Posted: June 25, 2017 at 1:58 pm

John Henry and WUSA , WXIA 1:03 PM. EDT June 25, 2017

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – Rallies have become a common sight in DC this year, but Sunday might be a little unique.

A handful of groups plan to hold dueling rallies about political rhetoric and free speech.

The “Freedom of Speech Rally” will kick off at 12pm at the Lincoln Memorial. Colton Merwin, 19, of Baltimore organized the event as an outlet for conservatives to discuss political ideas, topics regarding free speech and immigration.

That event will have multiple speakers including Alt-Right figurehead Richard Spencer. His appearance has sparked controversy, but Merwin defended the rally’s decision to have him speak.

“To support free speech, you have to support all aspects of the conservative right and libertarian right as well,” he said.

DC United Against Hate will hold another rally to directly oppose the Freedom of Speech Rally at the Lincoln Memorial. It is scheduled to start at 11am. Organizers plan to bring attention to the multiple acts of racist behavior that have popped up around the DMV. Reverend Graylan Hagler, of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, told WUSA9 that hate speech is something that cannot be tolerated.

“Given the history we have in the United States of America, disparaging speech leads to violence,” he said.

At 12pm, another rally will kick off outside the White House. The event is called the ” Rally Against Political Violence” at the White House.

Political operative Roger Stone and former Virginia gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart are scheduled to speak. According to the rally’s Facebook page, the rally will condemn violence such as the shooting of Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise.

Finally, also at noon, protesters will gather at the DC Police headquarters to oppose the right-wing agenda and police brutality. The rally has been nicknamed the “Really Really Free Speech Rally”.

DC Police told WUSA9 it will monitor that protest just as it would any other protest. Park Police released the following statement regarding the other rallies.

“The United States Park Police maintains a robust patrol presence. We consistently analyze information to detect and deter threats to public safety. In order to protect the integrity of our operations, we are unable to discuss the logistics of our security footprint. The USPP makes no distinction regarding a groups message or political standpoint. Our intent is to protect our treasured icons and the people people who visit them.”

2017 WUSA-TV

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Attacks On Trinity Professor: Free Speech Or Intimidation? – Hartford Courant

Posted: at 1:58 pm

Trinity Professor Johnny Williams was added this week to a national “Professor Watchlist,” a list that academic leaders say conservative groups use to attack professors with views antithetical to theirs.

Williams, who made national headlines last week because of two controversial Facebook posts, joined a roster of 200 faculty members who have been selected for advancing “a radical agenda in lecture halls.”

Academic leaders say the Watchlist is part of a playbook employed by conservative groups and publications that threatens academic freedom if it causes professors to self-censor their remarks to avoid threats or possible job loss.

The longtime Trinity sociology professor was in the news after a conservative online publication called Campus Reform picked up the two Facebook posts, including a profane hashtag and, Williams says, misconstrued them as saying things he never said or intended: that he endorsed the idea that nothing should have been done to save white victims in the recent shooting at a Congressional baseball practice.

Williams tried to clarify his position saying that he wants to see an end to white supremacist ideology not to let white people die as the online publication said but the Facebook posts and Campus Reform’s interpretation of them went viral, resulting in death threats to Williams, threats to the Trinity Campus, and calls for Williams to be fired.

Trinity President Joanne Berger-Sweeney shut down the campus for a day and has launched an investigation into whether Williams violated college policies, while Williams and his family are in hiding far away from Connecticut to protect their safety.

The targeting of left-leaning professors like Williams and what some professors say is a misreading of their words is a scenario that Williams’ supporters and national experts say is becoming more common, and has made minority professors with views that may be discomforting for some all the more vulnerable.

“I do think there is a concerted campaign to try to target and intimidate certain kinds of public intellectuals,” Maurice Wade, a Trinity philosophy professor, said. “They want a certain kind of right-wing orthodoxy to be the curricular and education agenda in higher education.”

Williams, who is married to a white woman, has taught at Trinity about race and racism since 1996 and is known as an outspoken opponent of white supremacist ideology who challenges students to explore territory related to race that can be uncomfortable for some.

Landing On The Watchlist

Hans-Joerg Tiede, an associate secretary with the American Association of University Professors, said “it’s not new that public remarks that professors make somehow cause controversy. … It’s not even completely new that news outlets specifically try to find instances and quote them out of context or even incorrectly.”

What is new, he said, is that such instances “generate this response of inundating individuals with threats and harassment… There are often threats of violence.” He noted that The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., was shut down for several days earlier this month because of threats and security concerns after comments by a professor.

“It is already disconcerting for individuals to be subject to such threats. … But then to also basically cause entire institutions of higher education to close because of them that’s really an attack on higher education quite broadly,” Tiede said.

He said there have been instances in which students have recorded professors’ comments in class and then posted excerpts on social media that cause an uproar.

“All of these are concerns that faculty increasingly have,” Tiede said, “that they are going to be subject to surveillance by students recording things, surveillance of social media posts …”

The impact of the Professor Watchlist, which many have likened to McCarthy-era blacklists, is hard to assess, Tiede said. “As you know with the way it is with blacklists, no university will publicly say that they are not hiring somebody because they are [on the list] … but it could in principle dissuade someone from hiring. I certainly don’t know whether it does.”

Noel Cazenave, a UConn sociology professor, said he is concerned that such efforts could threaten academic freedom and the diversity of faculty.

In letter to Trinity College Faculty Dean Tim Cresswell, who will be reviewing Williams’ case, Cazenave wrote that organizations such as Campus Reform and Turning Point have launched a highly organized effort “to remove critical voices from college campuses.”

He said Williams is the fourth “progressive faculty of color to be attacked by such groups within the last month or so.” Cazenave said he sees the developments as tied to the election of Donald Trump as president. While that is unclear, the Professor Watchlist was established soon after the election on Nov. 16.

Cazenave said he’s concerned that Berger-Sweeney is going to get pressure from Trinity alumni and possibly significant donors. “They may take punitive action against Johnny, and I think the African-American community is going to put Trinity on notice that that we are not going to stand around idly and let that happen.”

Who Gets Targeted?

Matt Lamb, who manages the Professor Watchlist for Turning Point USA, said in an email that “professors are on the list for targeting students, shutting down debate, or otherwise using hyperbolic language which would tend to silence debate.”

He called the list “a wonderful example of free speech because professors can say whatever they want, news outlets can report on what they said (free speech as well), and then we can post what is said (using our free speech rights) and people can then make a decision for themselves.”

Their website says that students parents, and alumni “deserve to know the specific incidents and names of professors that advance a radical agenda in the lecture halls.”

Lamb said he relies on news stories done by other organizations such as Campus Reform to determine which professors make the list.

The listing under Williams’ name on the Professor Watchlist quotes the Campus Reform story as saying that Williams said first responders “should have let the congressmen die for being white” and that Williams said white people should “[expletive] die.”

Williams did not say those things, though he shared on Facebook an online essay titled “Let Them [expletive] Die,” which was written by another writer and explored those topics, and used that title as a hashtag in a post. That article, on Medium.com, discussed the Congressional shooting, asked what it means “when victims of bigotry save the lives of bigots” and urged a show of indifference to the lives of bigots.

Williams has said he did not defend or support the article but shared it as a “teaching tool” for readers. He said his Facebook posts, which called for an end to the “white supremacy system,” referred to the fatal police shooting of a black mother in Seattle on June 18. He said the use of the hashtag and sharing the article were meant simply to offer another point of view.

Sterling Beard, the editor-in-chief of Campus Reform, said the the goal of the online publication is to “operate as a higher education watchdog and expose liberal bias and abuse in America’s colleges.”

The publication has student journalists on campuses all over the country who work with professional journalists to produce stories.

Beard stood by the Campus Reform story, saying the “juxtaposition” of Williams’ Facebook share of the controversial essay and the hashtag constituted “an endorsement” of the essay and, coupled with the Facebook posts, backed up the story.

He added that he “condemns in the strongest terms any and all threats” received by Williams and his colleagues. “We do not advocate for any harassment of the subjects of stories on campusreform.org and we are sorry to hear that he’s received that harassment.”

Williams’ Message Lost?

A professor’s message condensed in a Facebook post or a tweet is often misunderstood because academic language can be technical and theoretical, experts say.

Wade, the Trinity philosophy professor, said it was clear to him in Williams’ Facebook posts that he was attempting to make a distinction between white “as a skin color and a socially constructed white identity, deeply rooted and tied to white supremacy.”

“Johnny is a dogged and relentless opponent to and critic of white supremacy,” Wade said. “You know Johnny does not attack people on skin color. This is ludicrous. … He attacks white supremacy, a certain kind of socially-constructed white identity that is linked, tied to white supremacy.”

Wade said he is deeply disappointed by the “vitriol and threats that are directed at a professor because of his legitimate exercise of his freedom of speech, when there is far less distress and concern shown over the murders of innocent black people.”

Cazenave said he doesn’t think “European-Americans understand how racially tense the situation in the U.S. is for people who perceive that they are under constant attack by their president and by his followers. …

“Today we have African Americans trying to respond to the intense anguish that has been caused by these police killing. That’s what Johnny Williams was trying to express, that outrage.”

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Campus Free Speech Bill Passes Wisconsin Assembly – legal Insurrection (blog)

Posted: at 1:58 pm

Around the country weve had situations that have gotten to the point of demonstration shout downs

This effort was advanced almost entirely by Republicans. Democrats oppose the idea of consequences for those who infringe the free speech rights of others.

The Journal Sentinel reports:

Wisconsin Assembly passes campus free speech bill

Lawmakers late Wednesday voted to crack down on University of Wisconsin System students who disrupt other peoples speeches and events, pitting one set of free speech concerns against another.

Republicans who control the state Legislature are pushing Assembly Bill 299 to protect conservative voices on campus. The Assembly sent the bill to the state Senate on a 61-36 vote Wednesday night, with Republican Rep. Bob Gannon of West Bend joining all Democrats in opposing the bill.

Today we are ensuring that simply because you are a young adult on a college campus, your constitutional rights do not go away, lead sponsor Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) said. Around the country weve had situations that have gotten to the point of demonstration shout downs and we do not want to get to that point in Wisconsin.

Critics argue the bill isnt needed in Wisconsin and would actually hinder freedom of speech by suspending or expelling students.

Our colleges and universities should be a place to vigorously debate ideas and ultimately learn from one another. Instead, this campus gag rule creates an atmosphere of fear where free expression and dissent are discouraged, Rep. Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) said.

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Several free speech rallies planned for DC this Sunday | WUSA9.com – W*USA 9

Posted: June 24, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Many different rallies are planned to take place on Sunday in D.C.

John Henry, WUSA 11:50 PM. EDT June 23, 2017

Lincoln memorial in Washington DC. Credit: Thinkstock. (Photo: sborisov, Sergey Borisov)

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – Rallies have become a common sight in DC this year, but this weekend might be a little unique.

A handful of groups plan to hold dueling rallies about political rhetoric and free speech.

The “Freedom of Speech Rally” will kick off at 12pm at the Lincoln Memorial. Colton Merwin, 19, of Baltimore organized the event as an outlet for conservatives to discuss political ideas, topics regarding free speech and immigration.

That event will have multiple speakers including Alt-Right figurehead Richard Spencer. His appearance has sparked controversy, but Merwin defended the rally’s decision to have him speak.

“To support free speech, you have to support all aspects of the conservative right and libertarian right as well,” he said.

DC United Against Hate will hold another rally to directly oppose the Freedom of Speech Rally at the Lincoln Memorial. It is scheduled to start at 11am. Organizers plan to bring attention to the multiple acts of racist behavior that have popped up around the DMV. Reverend Graylan Hagler, of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, told WUSA9 that hate speech is something that cannot be tolerated.

“Given the history we have in the United States of America, disparaging speech leads to violence,” he said.

At 12pm, another rally will kick off outside the White House. The event is called the ” Rally Against Political Violence” at the White House.

Political operative Roger Stone and former Virginia gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart are scheduled to speak. According to the rally’s Facebook page, the rally will condemn violence such as the shooting of Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise.

Finally, also at noon, protesters will gather at the DC Police headquarters to oppose the right-wing agenda and police brutality. The rally has been nicknamed the “Really Really Free Speech Rally”.

DC Police told WUSA9 it will monitor that protest just as it would any other protest. Park Police released the following statement regarding the other rallies.

“The United States Park Police maintains a robust patrol presence. We consistently analyze information to detect and deter threats to public safety. In order to protect the integrity of our operations, we are unable to discuss the logistics of our security footprint. The USPP makes no distinction regarding a groups message or political standpoint. Our intent is to protect our treasured icons and the people people who visit them.”

2017 WUSA-TV

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Fanta Aw testifies at Senate hearing on campus free speech – The Eagle

Posted: June 23, 2017 at 5:59 am

By Haley Samsel | 18 hours ago | Updated 10 hours ago

Interim Vice President of Campus Life Fanta Aw testifies in front of a Senate Judiciary Committee as a part of the “Free Speech 101: The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses hearing Tuesday.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Interim Vice President of Campus Life Fanta Aw recounted instances of controversial speech at AU and told committee members that free speech comes with responsibility and accountability.

The hearing, titled “Free Speech 101: The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses,” centered around two key questions: Do universities have the right to block speakers from appearing on their campuses? If so, why and under which circumstances?

Freedom of expression is integral to the mission of higher education, Aw said during her testimony. However, protecting it has become increasingly challenging in light of our national climate, changing attitudes of younger Americans about the First Amendment, and ever more diverse populations on our campuses bringing diverse perspectives and expectations into constant tension.

The hearing also featured a law professor from the UCLA School of Law, the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center and two students who have wrestled with college administrators over free speech on campus, among others. Aw was the sole woman on the panel.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the committee chairman who called the hearing, said he was concerned that free speech was being suppressed on college campuses.

College students vote. Not only academia, but our democracy depends on the ability to try to advocate to inform or to change minds, Grassley said during the hearing. When universities suppress speech, they not only damage freedom today, they establish and push norms harmful to democracy going forward.

Though she agreed with some of Grassleys points, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the committee, said the senators should focus on finding methodologies to help universities handle violent incidents surrounding free speech rather than condemning administrators or their tactics.

I do believe that the university has a right to protect its students from demonstrations once they become acts of violence, Feinstein said. I hope today that there will be some discussion of when does speech become violent, and what do you do to stop that violence?

Aw mentioned several incidents in which the free speech debate touched AUs campus, ranging from Milo Yiannopouloss public appearance in April 2016 to the anti-LGBT protest led by Westboro Baptist Church members in November.

But the core of Aws testimony hinged on the May 1 hate crime that targeted black women and the members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She said that AU draws the line when expression has the potential to incite violence and/or is a direct threat to members of our community.

With the increasing frequency of such episodes, the ability of students to learn and thrive has been severely limited, Aw told the committee. When students fear for their safety, this affects their ability to study and participate fully in the life of the University.

Prior to Aws testimony, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) accused university administrators of becoming complicit in functioning essentially as speech police.

Far too many colleges and universities quietly roll over and say, Okay, [there is a] threat of violence, we will effectively reward the violent criminals and muzzle the First Amendment, Cruz said, referring to college administrators controversial decisions to cancel speaker events.

Aw said AU administrators must balance their obligations to support freedom of speech with their responsibilities to investigate crimes that are motivated by bias. She cited University policies to protect freedom of expression as well as recent changes to the student conduct code that take bias-related motivations into account when determining sanctions for student violations.

In short, maintaining a commitment to our values and balance among them is complicated, and requires robust policies, as well as constant education and training, Aw said.

Following the hearing, Aw said administrators must engage with their full constituencies, including students and faculty, when considering free speech issues. She wants conversations about freedom of expression to take into account the complexities of actually working with students, she said.

We need to figure out what can be some incentives for students to be able to not only learn, Aw told USA TODAY College, but to really appreciate the full breadth of what this [free speech] could afford them, both in terms of their education and in terms of their growth as citizens.

hsamsel@theeagleonline.com

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Competing Alt-Right ‘Free Speech’ Rallies Reveal Infighting Over White Nationalism – Southern Poverty Law Center

Posted: June 22, 2017 at 4:57 am

Tim ‘Baked Alaska’ Gionet posted a meme aimed at the ‘alt light’ rally.

Although the alt-right presents itself as a new kind of white male nationalism rewired for the 21st century, it is proving in practice to have many of the same qualities as its old 20th-century forebears: Riddled with infighting and internecine quarrels, the product of a movement whose sociopathic agenda attracts similar personalities, ego-driven and contentious.

The infighting, which first erupted last week between far-right Oath Keepers and whitenationalist alt-righters, deepened this week when two factions outright white nationalists and committed racists on one hand, and alt-righters (dismissed as the “alt-light”) who disavow them and their politics while embracing the movement agenda squared off on social media over a series of free speech events aimed at provoking left-wing counter-protests and, potentially violence.

The result is that there will be two competing free speech events this Sunday in Washington, D.C.;one a Rally Against Political Violence hosted by alt-right provocateur Jack Posobiec, planned for noon at the White House; the other a Freedom of Speech Rally hosted by Colton Merwin at the Lincoln Memorial, and featuring such whitenationalist figures as Richard Spencer, Nathan Damigo of Identity Evropa, far-right neo-Pagan Augustus Invictus, blogger Jason Kessler, and social-media celebrity Tim Baked Alaska Gionet.

The White House rally will feature alt-right figures such as Laura Loomer (who recently made headlines by taking the stage during a performance of Julius Caesar in New York City), Kekistan fan Cassandra Fairbanks, and Kyle Prescott of the alt-right fight club Proud Boys. It apparently was organized by alt-right figure Mike Cernovich and Posobiec in response to the roster of speakers invited to the Lincoln Memorial rally; speakers such as Loomer (whose background included a stint as a writer for hate-group leader Pamela Gellers Islamophobia operation) had originally been scheduled to speak there but then canceled.

Organizers explained the rally is intended to condemn political violence such as the attack on Steve Scalise and US Congress recently, as well as depictions of gruesome displays of brutality against sitting US national leaders. All sides must join together to condemn violence and the violent rhetoric that inspires it!

The Lincoln Memorial rally organizers expressed their regrets: I’m sure some of you have already heard by now, but several speakers have dropped out due to the confirmation of Richard Spencer as a speaker. Now, not only is this horribly hypocritical, but is also bordering on an Antifa principle. By not sharing the platform with someone you disagree with you are therefore not supporting their right to speak.

I don’t know Spencer, I have been famously ambivalent toward the man, but I am looking forward to meeting with him and to defending his right to say whatever the hell he’s going to say on Sunday, chimed in Augustus Invictus. That is where I stand.

The two sides began sniping at each other on social media. All of you guys pulling out of the Freedom of Speech Rally are cucks, posted a critic on the Facebook page of the Political Violence rally. It’s flat out hypocritical to be speaking at a Freedom of Speech rally only to pull out of the event because someone you disagree with is speaking. That makes you a hypocrite with no balls and no conviction. Grow a pair.

On Twitter, Spencer labeled Posobiec a cuck, and taunted him: Oooosh… Jack Posobiec is a great war hero. No one can criticize him. He dismissed the rally as the “Alt Light,” and called them “a collection of liars … perverts … and Zionist fanatics.”He also made fun of them for changing the focus of their rally: Apparently, these dorks blushed at the idea of calling their little meet-up a free speech rally. He added: The Tea Party, at least at its inception, was an authentic expression of American nationalism. These people total zeros.

Jason Kessler posted a video demonstrating that Posobiec had plagiarized his work while he was employed at the Canadian alt-right website The Rebel; in response, Posobiec blocked him. Posobiec also apparently blocked Baked Alaska for criticizing one of his media stunts.

Baked Alaska also got into a Twitter war with Loomer after he posted a meme with her face Photoshopped into a gas chamber, outside which stood Donald Trump in a Nazi uniform, ready to pull the switch: Et tu, brute? it read.

Loomer responded in shock: Wow. I’m calling on @bakedalaska to fully condemn anti-Semitism after posting this pic of me inside a gas chamber.

He laughed at her: It’s a fucking meme. You’re an SJW [Social Justice Warrior] now and it’s hilarious.

The poster for Kessler’s Aug. 12 event.

A similar feud threatened to break out over another free speech event, this one an Aug. 12 Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., organized by Kessler as part of his ongoing protest against the threatened removal of a Confederate monument to Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The lineup for that event includes Spencer, Augustus Invictus, white nationalist Matthew Heimbach, and League of the South president Michael Hill.

Infighting is part of every movement – but it doesn’t have to be, posted Augustus Invictus on his Facebook page, along with a poster for the event.

A white nationalist commented: Very happy to see that Based Stickman, the anti-white civic nationalist cuck and shameless mountebank, has apparently been removed from the line-up. Good. He would’ve been fundamentally at odds with the other speakers.

Responded Kessler: He’s planning to be here in a non-speaking role to back-up our attendees in the event of Antifa violence. For that, he is a friend to the event and to the First Amendment rights of our speakers.

In the meantime, another would-be participant posted: “Will the Oath Cucks be there?”

It might be time to stock up on the popcorn.

See original here:
Competing Alt-Right ‘Free Speech’ Rallies Reveal Infighting Over White Nationalism – Southern Poverty Law Center

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