Uneducated ‘students’ drown out speech on free speech on campus

Students protest a presentation by the American Civil Liberties Association. (Pix by The Flat Hat)

Once again uneducated hooligans used the heckler’s veto to shut down a speech on a college campus. This time, appropriately enough, it was a speech a couple of weeks ago by an ACLU executive about free speech.

Students supposedly linked to the so-called Black Lives Matter movement at the College of William & Mary in Virginia chanted, shouted and held up signs for an hour preventing anyone for hearing the speech by Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the ACLU’s Virginia chapter.

The students chanted idiotic slogans such as: “ACLU, free speech for who?” “The oppressed are not impressed,” “ACLU, you protect Hitler, too,” “Blood on your hands,” “Shame! Shame! Shame!” and “Your free speech hides beneath white sheets.”

When students later tried to approach the ACLU speaker after it was clear the speech would not be allowed, the protesters yelled louder and prevented even that conversation.

According to Inside Higher Ed, the college out a statement saying, “We do not want any event to be ended early or shut down because someone disagrees with the views of the speaker or is attempting to prevent speech and questions by those attending. We must be a campus that welcomes difficult conversations, honest debate and civil dialogue. We are reviewing our planning and protocols and taking measures to prevent this from happening again” But the college, citing privacy laws, refused to be specific about what, if any, punishment might to handed down.


Among the more hare-brained comments from an alleged leader of the speech protesters was this: “The ACLU and liberals believe that legality determines morality. Not too long ago, the Constitution dictated that black people only counted as three-fifths of a person. The Constitution cannot be your moral compass. In contrast to the ACLU, we want to reaffirm our position of zero tolerance for white supremacy no matter what form it decides to masquerade in.”

In other words, they will not tolerate intolerance, apparently not having a clue that such tactics cut both ways and can be used against them, too. They apparently totally misunderstand the significance of the concept of free speech as a tool to win an argument instead of a war. Dismissing the precepts of the Constitution simply because its drafters had to compromise on slavery is tantamount to refusing to hear or heed anyone but the pure of heart.

The free speech the students are denying is what has allowed the mindset of the country to evolve over the years. They are fighting for civil rights that were won half a century ago. The instances of abuse are now rare, but the children have taken up a self-defeating argument under false assumptions about a handful of incidents. By gawd, they have seen injustice and it is theirs — to make their petty lives meaningful.

A little education about wise words from more than century prior to the Constitution might be in order:

And though all the windes of doctrin were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licencing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falshood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the wors, in a free and open encounter. Her confuting is the best and surest suppressing. … When a man hath bin labouring the hardest labour in the deep mines of knowledge, hath furnisht out his findings in all their equipage, drawn forth his reasons as it were a battell raung’d, scatter’d and defeated all objections in his way, calls out his adversary into the plain, offers him the advantage of wind and sun, if he please; only that he may try the matter by dint of argument, for his opponents then to sculk, to lay ambushments, to keep a narrow bridge of licencing where the challenger should passe, though it be valour anough in souldiership, is but weaknes and cowardice in the wars of Truth. For who knows not that Truth is strong next to the Almighty; she needs no policies, nor stratagems, nor licencings to make her victorious … — John Milton, Areopagitica, 1644, a speech for the Liberty of unlicenc’d Printing

Nor vulgar protesters claiming to already grasp the truth.




49 comments on “Uneducated ‘students’ drown out speech on free speech on campus

  1. deleted says:

    Didn’t those “supposed” affiliates of a Black Lives Matter have a right to free speech that they used?

    So what’s the problem with free speech then?

  2. No. Shouting someone down is not speech. It is gagging. No give, all take.

  3. deleted says:

    Sorry Thomas there’s no volume level restriction in the First Amendment, and there’s no requirement that there be any “Take” either, you know that.

    Another obvious error in drafting.

  4. The issue is principles, not “Congress shall make no law …”

  5. deleted says:

    My principles say that fascists get no rights to free speech.

    The Germans learned their lesson the hard way, and we don’t have to.

  6. fascism: the exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

  7. Steve says:

    Drowning speech does not silence it.

    The only way to deal with speech is to allow it to be heard, so it’s reality can be on full display and consequences (good or bad) felt fully.

    Like mushrooms in the dark, shouting down speech ensures it will spread and grow.

  8. deleted says:

    That’s certainly a very narrow definition, but it reminds me of what some black people say about their inability to be racist since they don’t have control of the tools that make racism “possible”.

  9. Rincon says:

    For the fundamentalist Constitutionists, it would seem that the federal government has no right to stop the practice of shouting down one’s opponent, but I suspect the state and local governments have the power to arrest these people for disturbing the peace, but that might make matters worse. Probably best to let it go so that the public can recognize these idiots for what they are.

    It’s also curious that the “Black Lives Matter” movement focuses on race since very few black women are killed by police, but large numbers of white men are. I suppose white men don’t matter to Black Lives Matter.

  10. Steve says:

    Wow, Rincon.

    You pretty much nailed it.

    Who are you and what did you do with Rincon?

  11. Bill says:

    I am somewhat perplexed by the comment that some black people…say they are unable to be racist because they don’t have control of the tools that make racism “possible.

    In your experience do brown, red or yellow people say the same thing? And for everyone’s edification, what are the tools?

    For anyone who has traveled or lived abroad, ethnocentrism and racism are not solely sins of white Americans. ”.

  12. deleted says:

    Do you believe a person can be a fascist without dictatorial or autocratic control?

    Cause if you do, then you get the point; control is not a necessary element of being either a fascist or a racist.

  13. Steve says:

    Pure doublespeak.

    Cut the crap Patrick, answer the question.

  14. Rincon says:

    The problem with racism is that some of the solutions chosen by liberals are simplistic and ineffective. Condemning anyone committing an act perceived to be racist (such as the condemnation of George Lucas for giving Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars a politically objectionable dialect) isn’t dissimilar to the condemnation practiced by the racist – A little bit like an adult hitting a child who hits another child.

    Blatant racism should be condemned and illegal, but creating laws designed to ferret out evil racists inevitably catches the innocent along with the guilty, creating resentment. We are seeing that resentment in our politics today. Much of white resentment comes from the perception by poor white folks that they are standing in the queue to reach the good life and then people of color get to cut into line – even the rich ones. This is extremely counterproductive.

    In addition, their solution of Affirmative Action has unintended consequences. Consider an employer presented with two job candidates of apparently equal qualifications. Then tell him that in the event of poor performance, one candidate can be dismissed summarily, but the other would require the employer to jump through an expensive series of hoops. Which candidate would a rational employer hire? I have read that since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, unemployment among the handicapped has risen. Why would it not? In the long run, laws making it difficult for an employer to fire a problem employee because of their demographics is detrimental to the very groups they are trying to favor.

    Ethically, one should consider whether it is fair to discriminate against Asian Americans for the sake of other ethnic groups. If not, then why is it fair to discriminate against European Americans for the same reasons?

    That being said, I’m OK with reasonable quotas, but slapping employers with penalties without warning because their numbers aren’t up to snuff creates a backlash. Employers deserve ample warning before any punishment.

    If a group is disadvantaged in any way, the best way to help is to find a way to provide skills to the individuals in that group. Mostly, it means quality education for all, not just the well off.

  15. Deleted says:

    I’m wondering which laws fit this criteria?

    “Blatant racism should be condemned and illegal, but creating laws designed to ferret out evil racists inevitably catches the innocent along with the guilty, creating resentment”

  16. Steve says:

    Remember when some “alt right” nitwit would speak publicly and no one outside their echo chamber would ever hear of it?

    According to the top news headlines, Richard Spencer spoke at a university today. Had it not been for the left protesting this speech I would never have known it happened. OR even who Richard Spencer is. But, thanks to the left and their total intolerance, I now know who this nitwit is. Thanks a lot…. (as I type this, CH3 is teasing us with more Richard Spencer hype)

    I long for the good old days when speech was judged on its “merits” instead of the hype.

    But you peeps, “deleted” just keep on doing the advertising for these guys….good job.

  17. Rincon says:

    As I understand it, if employers fail to hire enough of any federally protected minority, they can go straight to court and do not pass Go. Certainly, they can be severely penalized if they are accused of wrongful dismissal. If innocent, they’re still punished, but not as severely as those who are convicted.

  18. Steve says:

    Rincon speaks from the owners mouth.
    On this issue, the comments made by Rincon are as accurate as can be.

  19. deleted says:

    There is no such law. Course there are laws prohibiting employers from discharging people because of the race, or their sex, or their religious beliefs.

    Unless of course you happen to be a christian, then, apparently, the law doesn’t apply in the same fashion.

    At least according to this administration and some far right judges on the Supreme Court that don’t rightly cotton to the idea of Equal Protection.

  20. Rincon says:

    I have consulted with several lawyers over the years regarding the impending dismissals of employees. In every instance, the first question the lawyers asked was whether they were a member of a protected minority. When they were, the procedures advised were expensive and time consuming. When they weren’t a member of a protected minority, I was advised that I can fire them on a whim with little chance of legal consequences. Law in other states may differ.

  21. deleted says:

    Of course that’s the first question asked. And of course it should be since they’ve been discriminated against in the past and are now protected specifically because of it.

    And you can still fire them, you just can’t fire them because of their identified status.

    Is that a bad thing?

  22. Rincon says:

    It’s a bad thing for two reasons:

    1) Obviously, you’ve never had to fire anyone who’s protected. It is a difficult and costly process. The greatest cost is often that of having to keep an employee that performs poorly for an inordinate amount of time. Poor employees do real damage to a business.

    2) I suspect that most employers prefer to hire employees that are less hazardous and so, are likely to hire fewer from protected minorities rather than more. As I said, this appears to have been the case with disabled people over the last couple of decades. If an employer hires and spends the time and money to train any individual, that employer is not likely to want to get rid of them due to something that was obvious at the first interview, so the whole suspicion of wrongful dismissal for reasons of stereotype bias is irrational (if the same person is doing the hiring and firing). This dynamic potentially creates yet another hurdle for some who are disadvantaged.

    There are no quick and easy answers, but our answers should at least do more good than harm.

  23. Discrimination is, well, discrimination.

  24. deleted says:

    1. Not true. In fact, in the last 6 months I have personally fired more than 10 employees and all but 2 belonged to an identified minority group specifically entitled to heightened protection. It cost no more, and no less, than firing others. And unless you’ve treated the employees differently, because of their race or sex, there’s not a single reason to retain any employee (unfortunately) JUST because they are in a protected category.

    2. Employers base their decisions about hiring on lots of things primarily related to the cost benefit analysis they do when hiring. Lots of employers, hire lots of illegals who are a minority group, because the employer might believe these people work cheap, or might not pursue legal remedies so, there’s that.

    Whomever is advising you about the law, is doing a poor job if it means that you’re retaining workers, in an “at-will” state because of their race, sex, or religious status.

  25. Rincon says:

    Since you’ve fired 10 people personally in 6 months, then I suspect you either work for a large company or you have some really lousy employees (Are 80% of your employees protected minorities?). Large companies have to document every employee very carefully specifically because they are so large. It’s the only way the higher ups can know what’s going on. In addition, they have to use standard procedures on everyone because consistency throughout the organization is necessary. Smaller employers often know their employees and their performance intimately and so, cumbersome procedures and documentation are used for only one reason: to stay out of legal trouble. The risk of legal trouble in a work at will state is very small, except for protected minorities. I use the term loosely since one of these protected minorities actually constitutes a majority of our citizens.

    If firing a “minority entitled to heightened protection” is the same as, and no more hazardous that firing those workers who do not enjoy protected status, then how is it possible that they have “heightened protection”?

    I have been advised by three lawyers to not tell certain employees the reason(s) for their dismissal. This is harmful to the employees, since it robs them of valuable feedback. I really would have liked to let them know so they could learn from the experience. Another unintended consequence of well intended, but overly restrictive laws.

    I have to point out that the laws themselves are often reasonable, but so nonspecific that bureaucrats decide the actual meaning. That’s often the cause of the problems. A small, but clear example lies in my animal hospital. We are required to have two restrooms. Fair enough, but BOTH have to be large enough to accommodate wheelchairs, presumably just in case we have two people in wheelchairs with full bladders at the same time. This necessitated changing the layout rather extensively, because animal hospitals have lots of small rooms that have to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Make one piece bigger, and there has to be a lot of shuffling around to make it all fit. With enough headaches like this, I came to the conclusion that the Americans with Disabilities Act is a well intentioned and worthwhile law that costs our country scads of money because of poor implementation.

  26. deleted says:

    Our company has shrunk from approximately 250 employees to it’s current size of around 60. The owner has never looked to the color of our employees skin, or their religious preferences to decide whether to hire or not, and thus it has happened that approximately 60-70% of them are within a protected class. Even with the 250 employees the company was run like a small family operation and was absent the typical progressive disciplinary policy, strict adherence to any employee handbook rules that guide many similarly sized companies. The difference is that the owner treated everyone equally as related to their race or religious preferences and this equal treatment resulted in a grand total of 1 wrongful termination/discrimination allegation against the company during the more than 15 years I have been associated with it. And that single action, while it included a cause of action for discrimination and wrongful termination was not based on these charges, and was solely based on an allegation that the employer discharged the employee while she was receiving workers comp benefits. The allegation was eventually dismissed.

    The point really is that, in all my years of being intimately involved with handling the legal aspects of these issues, they are very easily and cheaply avoided when employees are treated fairly and in the absence of discrimination.

    And whatever other in my opinion, poor advice, your attorneys have given you about discharging employees, the advice about telling employees nothing about why you decided to terminate them is sound. It is understandable and laudatory that you’d like to tell them so as to possibly improve their work habits in the future, but in the world we live in, it doesn’t accomplish anything for your company.

    We started this discussion because you seemed to be claiming that there are rules which require an employer to hire a certain number of employees from protected classes, but there are no such rules. Likewise, there is no rule that protects “bad workers” from being discharged simply because they are in a protected class, it just means that you better be sure the reason you want to get rid of them is for some reason OTHER than their status as protected. Trust me when I tell you that, the rules protecting EMPLOYERS is so great that even when a solid case of discrimination is made out, the burden on the employee is so high, that their chances of recovery are not good.

    The history of employment law is not a good one as it relates to employees being protected from arbitrary employment actions and even the kind of overt prejudice that exists today. It’s is the extremely rare case, of overt hostility and ongoing employment discrimination that ever ends with a resolution in favor of a mistreated employee.

    The rule in this country is still the golden rule “he who has the gold, makes the rules”. So never fear, employers got the gold, and the courts, and the legislatures, and even oddly enough, the jurors, to make sure they get to do what they want, when they want.

  27. deleted says:

    And I unintentionally failed to answer one of your questions, which was why certain employees are given protective status at all?

    The reason is that the country has decided, based on the blatant history of mistreating blacks, and women, and those who practice various religions, and taking employment against against folks in these classes strictly based on their status within those classes, that this is contrary to what we would like to believe about ourselves as a country and therefore are contrary to public policy.

    Seems more than reasonable to me.

  28. Steve says:

    A company that shrinks from 250 to 60 employees is a company downsizing via lay off.

    Firing 10 people out of a company with less than 100 employees is a very high rate of failure.

    I strongly suspect “Patrick” is intentionally conflating a Reduction In force with firing for cause.

    Trust your legal advice Rincon. Especially over an anonymous blogger who also suffers severe delusions of adequacy.

  29. Rincon says:

    My point is that trying to protect certain classes of employees may easily backfire onto those classes we are trying to protect. Although I fire very few employees, it took me 3-4 months to fire one in a protected class and 3 days to fire one not in a an unprotected class, both on the advice of lawyers.

    Firing 80% from a protected class while only hiring 60-70% sounds like your company is risking a suit right now. Better make those numbers better. Firing a random unprotected employee or two should do the trick.

  30. Rincon says:

    In some ways, the law favors employers and in some ways not. An employee can end the relationship instantly and with impunity. An employer cannot, even if we’re only talking about unemployment compensation.

  31. Rincon says:

    I just read an article in the Economist which seems pertinent. They claim there are two major factors which cause women to earn less than men and that women and men who work at the same job in the same company actually earn similar money. The first is that women are drawn to lower paying occupations than men. Their analysis is too long to reproduce here, but it is obvious to many of us that there are a lot more female nurses than male and a lot fewer female roofers.

    But that doesn’t explain why men often attain higher positions than women, especially in the executive suite. According to two studies of British and American workplaces, the gender gap in pay is low in young people, rises precipitously to the age of 40 or so, and then drops back off. The inference is that women may frequently miss opportunities for promotion because of a lack of availability during critical periods in their careers. They also showed that women more frequently cut back on their working hours or remove themselves entirely from the work force far more frequently than men (is that also not discriminatory?). No surprise there, but why do we have the expectation that people who work for a significantly smaller time for their employers should get promoted as quickly as those with greater presence and experience? If women really want the same pay, then daddy needs to stay home more often so mommy can work some more.

    Those who blindly follow numbers saying that women make less than men, should be willing to explain why they don’t claim discrimination against men when the figures show that more women attend college than men, that fewer women are injured or killed on the job, or that 9 times as many men are in jail as women. For these statistics, the politically correct crowd suddenly accepts that there are gender differences which account for differing performance, but not for workplace statistics. This is confirmation bias at its worst.

  32. deleted says:

    Employers can end the employment relationship at will, retributively even, and even with being on the hook to pay unemployment, so long as the basis for the termination is that the employee committed some “misconduct” which is EXTREMELY low hurdle (I have about a thousand and one examples if you’re interested) but that is no legal obstacle.

    And as relates to the article in the Economist, I suggest that studies have shown that women and minorities are paid less for doing the same or similar jobs, and legislative efforts to fix this obvious discrimination have been consistently turned back by employers who wish to continue the practice. As they tried to, and continue to try, to turn back other laws intending to protect workers, like OSHA rules and others.

    And in my opinion, the very REASON salaries in various occupations are what they are on average, is not becuase women are drawn to low paying jobs, it’s that BECAUSE women have entered the workforce in particular sectors, employers pay less. Because they are women who are working in those jobs. Teaching, nursing, clerical jobs, pay less, not because those jobs require less skill or training, but because those jobs have lots of women doing them. This applies to jobs where minorities see to predominate. It’s not the job, it’s the fact that the person filling the job has been deemed less valuable and for the most part, those workers have not received the benefit of being white males.

  33. Steve says:

    Bocks o’ rocks.

  34. Rincon says:

    Is it true then, that men are discriminated against for admissions to colleges and penal institutions? And men are killed and injured more on the job because employers don’t want to hire women for the dangerous jobs? This is where your logic leads.

  35. Rincon says:

    ” it’s that BECAUSE women have entered the workforce in particular sectors, employers pay less.”

    Then why don’t women enter these other sectors instead of whining? Because the mean old bosses won’t hire them? Then they could make money on the law suits. Either way, the choice is theirs. Men almost never apply for veterinary technician jobs, which pay less than they should in my opinion. If they refuse to apply, then why can’t the women? That would drive up pay.

  36. deleted says:

    I don’t know but maybe more women apply and as to the more men killed on the job I don’t know that either, but if that’s where the logic leads,that’s where it leads.

    But, what’s the point?

  37. deleted says:

    I don’t know if women wanting to be paid the same as men doing the same job constitutes whining so much as just pointing out that it’s discriminatory which is, and ought to be, illegal.

  38. deleted says:

    “Overall, a woman makes about 76 cents for every dollar a man does nationwide, according to a new study by salary-tracking website PayScale.

    Even when comparing the sexes with the same job title at the same company and using similar education and experience, the gender pay gap persists: Men earned 2.4 percent more than women on average, down slightly from last year, PayScale said.”


  39. Bill says:

    The simple truth is that these days, employment terminations can be risky. This is particularly true if the person to be terminated, falls within a “protected” class. Generally speaking, in most Federal and State cases for wrongful termination there is little or no downside risk to the person bringing the claim, since generally speaking, attorneys fees and costs are either not provided for even in the case of a successful defense or if they are, they are not recoverable since the claimant is often a legal turnip.

    I am sure that some employers out there have been faced with the harsh reality that some of these cases are brought without merit but it is cheaper to settle them than to defend them.

    Most businesses operating today find that the Human Resources Department is the tail that is wagging the dog.

  40. Steve says:

    That was certainly the case during my years of supervisory experience for Eastman Kodak.
    With all the downsizing leading up to and throughout the bankruptcy, I was unfortunate enough to be required to fire a field tech found to have been falsifying his time cards.
    Everyone was trying to get him to stop and be honest but, once HR got involved, we were given no choice.
    And he was not a protected class, HR flat told me we didn’t need to do a damned thing to try and keep him. If he had been one of those protected people HR would have required whole reams of paperwork on him to provide Kodak with protection from the inevitable lawsuit.
    And Kodak was non union.

  41. deleted says:

    The simplest truth is that finding an attorney willing to fight a case of wrongful termination or discrimination is a giant hurdle for most people. Mostly because, as I said, the deck is so clearly stacked against someone making these claims. Attorneys know this, and they also know the work required can be extensive which means money out of the attorneys pockets and since there is typically no recovery for the attorneys fees, their only hope of getting paid is from whatever eventual settlement or award is obtained.

    Because the law,the courts, and even oddly enough the juries, are against these claims, attorneys, except in the most egregious cases, usually involving sexual harassment and not racial discrimination, never even make it to a filing.

    Which of course means that while there are lots of actions, taken against protected workers (usually poorly paid ones because their rates of pay would form a basis for any recovery, and attorneys dealing with these sorts of cases know their contingent fees would therefore be less) these sorts of discriminatory actions go totally unpenalized.

    The golden rule. For employers that is.

  42. Rincon says:

    “I don’t know but maybe more women apply and as to the more men killed on the job I don’t know that either, but if that’s where the logic leads,that’s where it leads.
    But, what’s the point?”

    My point is that statistics showing that women make less money than men are considered by many to be prima facie evidence that discrimination is the cause. If those statistics show unmistakable discrimination, then why don’t statistics showing far more men are put into prison then women also constitute prima facie evidence of discrimination? Liberals readily accept that men and women differ when it comes to committing crimes, but insist that men and women give the exact same performance on the job. They can’t even accept that a 2.4% difference in pay might be due to factors other than outright discrimination, assuming that I understand your figures correctly.

    My greatest beef is that while we are hypervigilent about discrimination on the basis of race, gender, etc., we completely fail to address the well documented discrimination against people who are fat, ugly, short or those with a combination of deficiencies that stack the deck against them. EVERY person who tries hard and cannot find a job is disadvantaged. Does a white male with mild ADD, brought up by a single, alcoholic, drug abusing mother in a bad neighborhood with terrible schools deserve less than a black women who has no such hindrances in her background? Liberals say, “of course so”, because the African American woman is disadvantaged while the European American man is not.

  43. Bill says:

    Good commentary Rincon. We spend so much time, energy and resources on statutory imposed social engineering that begins with the flawed premise that we must statutorily impose penalties predicated on statistics.

  44. Anonymous says:

    I will await to hear (hopefully in a post similar to the above one) about the tyranny of the public university at issue here.

    How they deserve to be condemned and such, etc. etc for violating these students freedoms and how this is especially despicable during an administration of republicans.

    “University of Montana (UM) students used the “M” that is written on the side of Mount Sentinal in Missoula to spell the word “IMPEACH” ahead of President Trump’s visit on Thursday night.

    A group of sophomores who are not affiliated with any political groups hadn’t finished the display before school administrators ordered them to take it down”


  45. It was not their mountain.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Public land.

  47. So everybody owns it and anyone can deface it?

  48. Anonymous says:

    “Apparently they were not in the federally designated Free Speech Zone, whatever that is. I thought it was that region between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans and between the Canadian and Mexican borders and the Gulf of Mexico.”

    Someone said this once.

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