Free speech no longer considered a virtue.

Ted Belman

If the question of the free speech and its new found limitations interest you, read The Life of a Free Speech Task Force.

    DePaul University, which bills itself as “the Largest Catholic University in America,” was described as a “basket case” on a Hannity and Colmes segment because of its questionable “commitment” to free speech. In the past couple of years DePaul has suspended, without due process, a professor who defended Israel. It has created de facto policies to prevent students from posting flyers opposing an on-campus event featuring the plagiarist professor Ward Churchill. It has also shut down a student-run Affirmative Action Bake Sale in which cookies were sold at different prices depending on the customer’s skin color because the campus left was offended. It later condemned the student group sponsoring the bake sale in a university-wide email. DePaul seemed to have no grasp of the freedoms vital to a university. To cope with the public relations problem its actions had created, last year DePaul president Rev. Dennis Holtschneider assembled a Free Speech and Expression Task Force, of which I was a student member, and charged it with creating a “policy” concerning speech on campus.

We learn that pressure from the self-appointed free speech police resulted in some re-wording in the first draft

    A less ideological person might ask whether free speech doesn’t by its very definition empower all ideas and give them the opportunity to be expressed? “No,” Cho responded indignantly when this was suggested: “Some members of the community are silenced by offensive speech.” Silenced? Isn’t that patronizing the “oppressed,” whom Cho is claiming to protect? Doesn’t this severely minimize the ability and indeed, the right of the “marginalized” to express their ideas?

    Now the Task Force removed the phrase “discovery of the truth,” because the idea that there is “truth” can be harmful and excluding to the oppressed. So can “God-given dignity.” Sonia Soltero, a President’s Diversity Council appointee, was baffled by the concept that a university was founded on the pursuit of truth. She had never heard that before. She would rather understand the university as a place for “exploration” and “seeking knowledge.” And one of our new members, Theatre School professor Phyllis Griffin, even went so far as to say that whenever she reads “God-given dignity” she feels the “heavy, historical foot of the Catholic Church on her neck.” Really? At the largest Catholic University in America?

Free speech used to be a virtue, the highest virtue. Now it has been made a tool of oppression.

January 17, 2008 | Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply