From Mike Adams’ latest piece at townhall.com, we have this news – which would be remarkable if I didn’t already know the state of academic freedom in today’s USA colleges and universities, but is only mildly surprising because I do:
Six anti-free speech Democrats have done the unthinkable in the State of North Carolina. They have voted to prevent HB 527 from passing through the higher education committee and onto the house floor for a full vote. Dubbed as a bill to “Restore and Preserve Campus Free Speech,” it is difficult to understand how anyone could be opposed, regardless of his political persuasion. (For more details on HB 527, click here).
HB 527 directs the UNC Board of Governors to adopt a campus-wide policy stating that, “The primary function of each constituent institution is the discovery, improvement, transmission, and dissemination of knowledge by the means of research, teaching, discussion, and debate.” The bill also stipulates the following:
- Universities should not shield individuals from speech, including ideas and opinions that are unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.
- Students and faculty should have the freedom to assemble spontaneously as long as the activity is lawful and doesn’t disrupt normal university functions.
- On-campus protests are welcome so long as demonstrations are lawful and orderly. Any protests that “infringe upon the rights of others to engage in or listen to expressive activity shall not be permitted and shall be subject to sanction.”
- Campuses are open to any speaker that students, student groups, or members of the faculty have invited.
- Disciplinary sanctions apply to anyone who, under university jurisdiction, interferes with the free expression of others.
- Campuses should strive to remain neutral on the public policy controversies of the day.
- Who could possibly object to any of these basic principles of free expression? Well, six elected Democrats did.
The six Democrats who found this too problematic to support are Rep. Becky Carney, Rep. Henry Michaux, Rep. Rodney Moore, Rep. Brian Turner, Rep. Edward Hanes and Rep. Verla Insko.
Congratulations to all of them for proving, to however few don’t already know it, that when it comes to suppressing freedom of speech Democrats have exactly no high ground whatsoever…
…and for also insuring that – astonishingly – freedom of speech will be a major issue in 2018, which Republicans will own.