By L&T Managing Editor Larry Phillips
It wasn’t that many years ago when liberals were defending student armbands, flag burning and nude dancing as “free speech.” Well not only are those bygone days, now liberals are threatening the very thought of free speech.
Earlier this week, a Mexican-born student, Daniela Hernandez, shut down her sorority’s plans for a “Phiesta” at Dartmouth College scheduled for Saturday.
Because she said the event, “was ‘exploitative’ and ‘inappropriate,’ because it was a wink to the upcoming Cinco de Mayo celebration. It was also proof, she said, that the date is nothing more than a ‘drinking holiday in the United States, cultural appropriation and the inappropriate usage of cultural clothing, and the exploitation of groups of people and cultures for the sake of business opportunities,’” according to a report on FoxNews Latino.
“As a result, the party, which was meant to be a fundraiser for a cardiac health charity, was cancelled.”
Where are the free speech rights of the people organizing the party – their Constitutional guarantee of free association? Why do they lay down for this “Political Correctness run amok?”
Michael Barone, writing in the Washington Post last summer, noted, “Many people on the political left don’t much like the First Amendment.”
He went on to point out, “Democratic Sens. Jon Tester and Chris Murphy have proposed a constitutional amendment reversing the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which Barack Obama lamented in one of his State of the Union addresses, by denying constitutional rights to corporations.”
He closes with, “When I was young, students going off to college left communities where speech was informally but fairly tightly regulated for a campus where free inquiry was allowed. Those days are gone.”
You think these leftists will stop?
Not on your life, and I’m not talking figuratively.
Leading the effort to change the First Amendment is an unlikely volunteer: John Paul Stevens, the 94-year-old retired Supreme Court Justice whose former colleagues helped create the situation.
Noah Bierman writes in the Boston Globe, “… the court’s former liberal standard-bearer is speaking widely about what he sees as the need to change the Constitution, to restrain the power of wealthy people and groups to overwhelm the political process.
“His testimony Wednesday before a Senate panel gave the issue an immediate jolt.
“‘While money is used to finance speech, money is not speech,” Stevens said in an eight-minute address full of legal arguments and case citations. ‘After all, campaign funds were used to finance the Watergate burglary.’”
Does any liberal believe this man was “fair” while on the Supreme Court?
And not to be out-lefted, “Senator Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat and the Senate’s third-ranking member, promised to hold a vote on a constitutional amendment to allow restrictions on campaign spending sometime this year,” Beirman wrote.
Let’s get back to the bastions of progressive liberalism – colleges.
At Harvard, Sandra Korn, a senior at Harvard and columnist for the Harvard Crimson says, “Free speech on campus should be abolished and professors with dissenting views fired, because radical leftism is the only permissible political philosophy, and the First Amendment is a barrier preventing modern colleges from fulfilling their proper role as indoctrination camps,” according to reporter Robby Soave at www.dailycaller.com.
Can you imagine?
Remember when Brown University’s Campus liberals shut down NYPD police commissioner Ray Kelly’s speech last October of 2013?
Peter Beinart, covering that event for U.S. NEWS, wrote this:
“There’s something deeper going on here. On the surface, campuses like Brown’s seem hegemonically liberal. But in my experience, that apparent consensus conceals a crucial gulf between students and faculty who hold left of center opinions but accept basic norms of fair play and students who consider freedom of speech a scam employed by the powers that be to perpetuate their racism/sexism/classism/imperialism/homophobia. Convinced that freedom of speech is an illusion denied them outside the university gates, they take revenge in the one arena where the balance of forces tilt their way. And they thus inject into their own campuses the totalitarian spirit they believe characterizes society at large.”
Totalitarianism is right.
Our Sen. Pat Roberts made an impassioned statement Wednesday before a Senate Rules Committee hearing entitled “Dollars and Sense: How Undisclosed Money and Post-McCutcheon Campaign Finance Will Affect the 2014 Election and Beyond.” (More leftists wanting to re-write the First Amendment).
Roberts said, “Let’s stop this fool’s errand of speech regulation.
“Let’s stop trying to prevent people from criticizing us.
“Let’s stop demonizing citizens who exercise their First Amendment rights.
“Let’s stop pretending more speech somehow threatens our democracy.
“We have nothing to fear from a free marketplace of ideas.
“We do, however, need to fear a government empowered to investigate its own citizens for exercising their rights. The revelations of IRS targeting of conservative groups have shown this to be a real danger.”
He’s absolutely spot-on.
If you think this war against free speech is just ballyhoo, look at how it’s being attacked in super-progressive England.
“A British politician reading from a book penned by former Prime Minister Winston Churchill was arrested Saturday, April 26, on the suspicion of religious or racial harassment,” The Independent reported.
“Paul Weston, the chairman of the Liberty GB party, is facing the potential of two years in prison for breaching a dispersal notice delivered to him as he gave a speech with a megaphone in front of Winchester Guildhall in Hampshire.
“A member of the public reportedly complained to police about the speech. Weston was reportedly approached by the woman and was asked if he had the authorization to be there.
“He did not. He was arrested a short while later and spent several hours in a jail cell.”
That’s where we, as Americans, are headed if we don’t stand up and fight.
Thrown in jail for practicing your First Amendment rights
It’s a cultural “war,” and quit pretending it’s not – start fighting back.