On Freedom of Speech at Colleges & Universities with public funding

So there is a lot of recent talk on the Liberal side of things (and this includes, to be blunt, Democrats, Greens, Socialists, and Communists, in terms of party) about Olim, the gay white supremacist fascist that has been roaming around the country getting no platformed, with a recent bit of violence surrounding his arrival at one University.

There are folks on the right who condemn him, wholly, and they tend to be in the majority, but there are also those who condemn him but argue that he has a right to spread his speech.

The really long title here is important — because, when it comes to human rights like freedom of speech, that little bit on the end there is really, really important.

Colleges & Universities that receive federal, state, county, or city funds all absolutely must allow him to speak, under current law and the core principle of the Human Right to free speech.

The reason for this is really simple: under current law, a University that does deny him after having invited him in the first place is acting as an agent of the State, and so in doing so is violating his freedom of speech.

But — and here’s the great part — most Universities, these days, do not invite people such as him in and of themselves.

Read that again: The University doesn’t invite him. So, factually (and the law is pretty big on facts most of the time — go figure), the University is not the problem.

The University or College does have the ability to decide who is and who isn’t allowed on their campus as a matter of security and safety of the students — with a real and actual meaning of *all* students. Especially including the ones Olim has had a habit of inciting harm towards.

So that isn’t them denying him freedom of speech.

The schools that he is going to are all schools where he has been invited (and often paid, but not always and not always the same amount) by students.

Now, those students are not the ones who are having their freedom of speech harmed by his being no platformed.  They do not have a right to use the school facilities for them to have him speak.

These same groups can, readily, rent a local movie theater or other venue and have him speak there.

The same thing applies to someone in opposition to olim — the same rules.

So when it comes to the arguments around this whole issue, keep one thing in mind — something key and critical and important as the basis of your argument:

The University isn’t the issue. It is the independent group that brought him that is the issue.  The University cannot stop them — it is ultimately part of the university job to do so, in the interest of promoting different and competing ideas and personal growth blah blah fucking blah.

But, the University doesn’t want a damn thing to do with picking people like that who might get it sued for actual freedom of speech encroachment.

So this is all about the group that brought this twit there. And that group is the problem, because they are supporting someone who is opposing human rights (which means they themselves oppose human rights, including the right of free speech, by giving him their support).

So when arguing, be sure to stay in that lane — do not go towards the Uni, because then you are falling prey to a trap argument, and one you will lose (the freedom of speech argument about an agent of the state) versus what we really have: a freedom of speech argument about a group of assholes.

The assholes do not have a freedom of speech point there, because the issue is not one of the human right. the human right only applies in relation to and regarding the government.

In short, one does not have a right to be a complete asshole in public without being challenged or no platformed.

This is why nuance and those little things are so important. If your argument is with a person who is not engaging using that nuance, then what you are dealing with is not a debate or a discussion or anything that has real and general value or meaning.

Because they are already operating in bad faith. And, as I point out in my post on conversations, this means you are wasting your time because you are never going to be able to change their minds.

This also applies to those who are arguing that he has some inherent right to freedom of speech without regard to the government, because he factually does not, and, more important, if he did, that right was not abrogated by his being no platformed in terms of the space.

The group that brought him there (and is bringing him back) can still do it — just off campus. more importantly, if they were to do it on Private Property, then they can block, stop, and deny the access to that event by people who comes to protest, because those people do not have a right to do so on private property.

They do on school property. And they do not have to be polite about it.

SO those making that kind of an argument about him having a right to freedom of speech outside of that are also not arguing in good faith — or they are trying to change the argument to the larger idea of people being free to say things.

If that’s the case, and you want to go there, feel free — but ask them about responsibility.

The reason I wrote this was something that Bill Maher said.  I find Bill Maher to be right of center, though he likes to disagree with anyone who characterizes him that way, and his argument is about the larger question — because he sees such thinking as a threat to himself, and he has good reason to do so — he makes his living by offending people.

He does have a right to do that.

Westboro Baptist Church pushes the line really hard — far harder than he or olim do. I will defend their right to do so, but only so long as they do not cross that line.

Not the moral line that I see their entire existence as having crossed, but their right as human beings to assemble and to protest without interference or abridgment of their right of free expression.

Which sucks, because they really don’t like me, but also doesn’t suck, because, as people, they deserve the same human rights as any other person.

Interestingly enough, the protests against him, and the no platforming that is being engaged in, are, themselves also acts of expression and the government cannot step in and make rules or laws against them, either — or their right to freedom of speech is being attacked.

This is the argument, btw, that most people forget to make.

When two rights of free speech collide, who wins?

The answer is both — but the place itself, well, that’s another thing.