Free Speech in American Universities

- the heroism and idealism of youth in full and glorious display

Free speech only comes into its own when you freely consent to hear what you hate to hear.

When everyone is singing from the same songbook, it sure may sound mighty sweet – but it is not free speech. It then becomes a type of cackle of congregating geese or perhaps even the synchronized song of several robins of early spring, singing the same song together. Except for the robins themselves (or perhaps even for them!), this would become insufferably boring after the first full flush of amorous feeling.

It is the multitudinous, different tones and timbres and pitches of birdsong that has been the stuff of the poet’s longing and the spurned lover’s consolation when he walks in the woods alone. In comparing the song of the skylark to that of the nightingale and several other choristers of the skies and choosing one (Shelley, the skylark) or the other (Keats, the nightingale), we may join the poet in the exercise of free choice that follows the exercise of free speech. You Will Own Nothing: ... Roth, Carol Best Price: $10.08 Buy New $11.46 (as of 02:47 UTC - Details)

For those of us who have resolved to fight the good fight of freedom, for those of us who believe in the right to protest and the right to free speech, we must support free speech anywhere, everywhere, even in our universities. Especially in our universities.

We don’t have to agree with those who protest. We may even detest their views with all our hearts. But we of all people must uphold their right to protest. To protest in peace is a fundamental right. It follows from the right to free speech and it is deeply indebted to our Christian civilization and the bequeathing to us of the ability to choose life or death, blessing or curse, for ourselves.

The present, widespread turmoil in American universities is not new. It follows a glorious tradition of civil disobedience and protest which has inspired generations of Americans. Quintessentially, Americans have seen themselves as blessed among the nations in their ability to protest in the hallowed grounds of their institutions of higher education and exercise their “first amendment rights.” That ancient incubator of new ideas which is the university, has nowhere seen as much of the ever present tension between free speech and tyranny, as in America.

The people of the Western world are coming round to the idea at last, that children in Gaza must be protected from harm – from having their limbs and faces blown off, from being burned and incinerated by bombs dropped from the skies; from undergoing ampuations without anesthesia; from being orphaned and seeing adults dying slow, painful deaths all around them; from dying of hunger and thirst; and from being shot and bombed to death themselves -with 15,000 of them killed so far, in the space of just six months. Normal people, who have not lost their common humanity cry out in despair and shake their fists with anger at the powers that have allowed this demonic travesty to happen. And most people, upon witnessing what is happening to the trapped children in the besieged, bombed and battered city of Gaza are, (in the words of Roger Waters, the Pink Floyd frontman), “on the edge of tears.” The Great Reset: Joe B... Beck, Glenn Best Price: $2.13 Buy New $9.51 (as of 01:44 UTC - Details)

But the cowardly powers behind the throne seem to think they can literally get away with murder. The chicken hawk Speaker of the American House has lately put his satanic stamp upon sending 61 billion dollars to the killing fields of Ukraine (where 300+ billion dollars to Ukraine so far has not stopped the Russian advance) and several billion dollars to Israel, which will be used to kill more children in Gaza with American bombs. The world was treated to the curious spectacle in the august hall of Jeffersonian democracy a week ago, when, after unleashing the dogs of war, members of congress started waving little Ukrainian flags no less! Mr. Blinken, America’s secretary of state is acting like a blinking, blundering, but dangerous fool – and there is no coherence or common sense at all that comes out of the mouths of our “leaders” – Trudeau, Biden, Sunak, Macron, Scholz, all seem to be under an evil spell.

Students in numerous American universities have now decided that enough is indeed enough – and for the last week, have been protesting peacefully in Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, Brown, Berkeley, Emory and numerous other universities. Tyrannies feel particularly threatened by peaceful student protests, since they know that nothing short of brute and crude force will be able to suppress them (temporarily). They also know from recent history that American student protests spread with an organic intensity and fervour from university to university – and then to the public at large. And when American students have spoken their free speech with just cause, the tyranny knows that a whole generation of people have been inspired to stand up for liberty, for freedom, for peace over war and for love over prejudice and hate. The tyranny trembles at the sounds of students marching or camping in protest.

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