The radical “cancel culture” censorship of conservatives and their viewpoint is a cancer that began in higher education and has metastasized to the rest of society.
Thankfully, there is some official pushback as the U.S. Department of Education announced a “Free Speech Hotline” where students could report violations of their First Amendment rights.
“We’re announcing today the creation of the free speech hotline so any abridgment of free speech on a college campus can and should be reported to this new hotline,” Robert King, assistant secretary of education for post-secondary education, said in his announcement Dec. 8.
The hotline is the email address firstname.lastname@example.org where such First Amendment violations at academic institutions can be reported and investigated by the department.
His remarks came as part of the “What Is To Be Done? Confronting a Culture of Censorship on Campuses” conference meant to address the scourge of repressive and outright hostile actions against conservatives and their viewpoints on college campuses.
The program began with Reed Rubinstein, acting general counsel for the department, asking rhetorically “What is to be done?” when schools, institutions, hospitals and even the government attempt to silence those who break from the woke leftist agenda.
“Cancel culture is a very old poison,” Rubinstein added. “Today, the bottle’s label reads ‘wokeness, anti-racism, safety.’
“Those who cancel ideas — who burn books — end up canceling people and burning them as well.”
Rubinstein and other presenters, including two professors involved in a panel discussion who were personally targeted, touched on the myriad examples of attacks against faculty, students and guest speakers for their views in an attempt to silence any dissenters.
The common thread among them all was that the aggressors were triggered by anything not of the leftist orthodoxy.
“This ideological orthodoxy is dangerous not because it shuts out conservative voices, but because it attempts to cancel all dissenting voices no matter their origin and seeks to exact vengeful punishment upon them,” King said. “This not only chills free speech; it prohibits pursuit of the truth and it has no place in a truly free society.”
King warned that “coming just behind this are communist-style re-education camps.”
Kristina Arriaga, a former vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, pointed out how some of the greatest policy advances like women’s suffrage and slavery abolition began with controversial thought and speech — exactly the kind of speech that gets censored and attacked.
“We are in a space where culturally we are being told and telling others that being offensive, being in a dissenter, is actually a threat to the tribe, a threat to our way of life,” she said.
“Imagine what would have happened had that thinking prevailed before many offensive ideas became some of the greatest successes we have had as our nation.”
College campuses are ground zero for these battles, and President Donald Trump and his administration have fought hard to protect conservatives on campus against the same administrators and college officials who roll out the red carpet for the radical Black Lives Matter movement.
“During the last few months, we’ve begun seven investigations of university free speech policies pursuant to Title 20, United States Code Section 1094,” the department’s Chief Investigative Counsel Paul Moore said. “There were many more situations which could have been investigated, but these were the most egregious.”
“In essence, the department opened investigations to determine if universities are permitting free and open expression as specifically guaranteed by those same universities according to their internal policies and binding promises to prospective students as well as to their university faculty and staff.”
“Shockingly, the race of the person exercising free speech suddenly seems quite relevant at several universities,” Moore said, charging that white people and Asians were often targeted.
Critical race theory has poisoned culture with another philosophy so ridiculous, illogical and contrary to the purpose it was supposedly developed for that it could only come from the halls of academia.
CRT suggests that white people’s inherent racism is as severe as it is universal, requiring white people to accept that they are the aggressors in a systemically racist power structure and minorities are their victims.
“‘Critical race theory’ ranks racial groups based on the harms they’ve suffered,” Trump’s former ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley tweeted Monday as a concise summation.
“The point is to tear down society & build something revolutionary in its place. All it does is divvy up people based on the color of their skin. That’s called racism and racism is always un-American.”
“Critical race theory” ranks racial groups based on the harms they’ve suffered. The point is to tear down society & build something revolutionary in its place. All it does is divvy up people based on the color of their skin. That’s called racism and racism is always un-American.
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) December 14, 2020
The recent change to drawing these problems and disagreements along racial lines is that it creates a situation where differences become personal and easily assigned based on outward appearance.
No longer can a pro-life student simply stay silent, or a college Republican put his MAGA hat in his desk drawer to fly under the radar.
With the out-group now being a racial feature that is more or less easily discernible, CRT has turned judging people by the color of their skin — also known as actual racism — into a virtuous pursuit.
Therefore, since these awful theories begin and are actively nurtured in higher education, it makes sense that the solution should be implemented there as well.
At least students who are shouted down or not allowed to hear their presenters speak will now have some recourse.
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