Can free speech coexist with an inclusive campus environment? Hardly a week goes by without another controversy over free speech on college campuses. On one side, there are increased demands to censor hateful, disrespectful, and bullying expression and to ensure an inclusive and nondiscriminatory learning environment. On the other side are traditional free speech advocates who charge that recent demands for censorship coddle students and threaten free inquiry. In this clear and carefully reasoned book, a university chancellor and a law school dean--both constitutional scholars who teach a course in free speech to undergraduates--argue that campuses must provide supportive learning environments for an increasingly diverse student body but can never restrict the expression of ideas. This book provides the background necessary to understanding the importance of free speech on campus and offers clear prescriptions for what colleges can and can't do when dealing with free speech controversies.
Free speech is being threatened, not by jackbooted censorship but by a creeping culture of conformism. This is a call to gird up our loins and laptops to fight the new free speech wars. Do we really need to worry about free speech in the West these days? After all, while the Internet might be censored in China and "blasphemers" can be executed in Islamist states, here everybody in public life insists that they now support free speech. And yet... Scratch the surface and it becomes clear that many support not so much free speech as speech on parole, released on licence with a promise of good behaviour, preferably wearing a security ankle bracelet to stop it straying from the straight and narrow. Lobbies demanding tighter regulation for the UK press try to differentiate between what they deem the respectable, serious press and the vulgar, irascible tabloids. Twitter has become the scene of "twitch hunts" where online mobs hunt down trolls and others who step outside the accepted conventions of online opinion. Football fans are nicked for a "racially-motivated public order offence" after calling a famously fat and Scottish manager a "fat Scottish w****r". In today's context, these all become coded ways to insist that there is too much freedom of expression in our society. And yet without freedom of expression, no other liberties would be possible. Against the background of the historic fight for free speech, this book identifies the unique challenges facing freedom of expression today and spells out how unfettered freedom of expression, despite the pain and the problems it entails, is the most important liberty of all.
How do teachers know the limits of their speech? Free speech means more than simply being free to agree, though the authoritarian managerial cultures of many schools increasingly ignore the need for a strong and empowered teaching profession. In response to this ongoing systemic contradiction, Learning What You Cannot Say provides a unique combination of teacher narratives, cultural theory and #65533;black letter law#65533; as part of a broader effort to create an active and effective critical legal literacy. The book explores the subtle ways in which cultural values inform shared perceptions of the black letter law and the detrimental impact of teacher apathy and confusion about rights. Since public schools educate our future citizens who learn not only from books but also by example, strong teacher speech is vital to the continued health of both our education system and our democracy. Any transformative form of political literacy, the author insists, must consider the cultural politics as well as the substantive law of rights.
The academy is in crisis. Students call for speakers to be banned, books to be slapped with trigger warnings and university to be a Safe Space, free of offensive words or upsetting ideas. But as tempting as it is to write off intolerant students as a generational blip, or a science experiment gone wrong, they've been getting their ideas from somewhere. Bringing together leading journalists, academics and agitators from the US and UK, Unsafe Space is a wake-up call. From the war on lad culture to the clampdown on climate sceptics, we need to resist all attempts to curtail free speech on campus. But society also needs to take a long, hard look at itself. Our inability to stick up for our founding, liberal values, to insist that the free exchange of ideas should always be a risky business, has eroded free speech from within.
When members of the founding generation protested against British authority, debated separation, and then ratified the Constitution, they formed the American political character we know today-raucous, intemperate, and often mean-spirited.Revolutionary Dissent brings alive a world of colorful and stormy protests that included effigies, pamphlets, songs, sermons, cartoons, letters and liberty trees. Solomon explores through a series of chronological narratives how Americans of the Revolutionary period employed robust speech against the British and against each other. Uninhibited dissent provided a distinctly American meaning to the First Amendment's guarantees of freedom of speech and press at a time when the legal doctrine inherited from Englandallowed prosecutions of those who criticized government. Solomon discovers the wellspring in our revolutionary past for today's satirists like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, pundits like Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann, and protests like flag burning and street demonstrations. From the inflammatory engravings of Paul Revere, the political theater of Alexander McDougall, the liberty tree protests of Ebenezer McIntosh and the oratory of Patrick Henry, Solomon shares the stories of the dissenters who created the American idea of the liberty of thought. This is truly a revelatory work on the history of free expression in America.