Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The death of free speech at Williams College in  Massachusetts

John Derbyshire is British and unafraid to mention American racial realities -- black crime etc.

Last week, Williams College President Adam Falk declared that the Uncomfortable Learning group could not host a speech by John Derbyshire because of past, racist statements he had made. In a message to students, Falk wrote:

"Today I am taking the extraordinary step of canceling a speech by John Derbyshire, who was to have presented his views here on Monday night. The college didn’t invite Derbyshire, but I have made it clear to the students who did that the college will not provide a platform for him.

Free speech is a value I hold in extremely high regard. The college has a very long history of encouraging the expression of a range of viewpoints and giving voice to widely differing opinions. We have said we wouldn’t cancel speakers or prevent the expression of views except in the most extreme circumstances. In other words: There’s a line somewhere, but in our history of hosting events and speeches of all kinds, we hadn’t yet found it.

We’ve found the line. Derbyshire, in my opinion, is on the other side of it. Many of his expressions clearly constitute hate speech, and we will not promote such speech on this campus or in our community.

We respect—and expect—our students’ exploration of ideas, including ones that are very challenging, and we encourage individual choice and decision-making by students. But at times it’s our role as educators and administrators to step in and make decisions that are in the best interest of students and our community. This is one of those times"

The statement is positively Orwellian. While purporting to reaffirm the principles of free speech, which he claims to hold in “high regard,” Falk abandons them entirely.

I am no fan of John Derbyshire’s. He has written some contemptible things, and I supported National Review’s decision to cut him loose over his intemperate writings. I would not have invited him to give a speech and (frankly) I question the judgment of the students who did.  Nonetheless, Falk’s decision to cancel the event — to, in effect, prohibit someone with Derbyshire’s views from speaking on campus — was awful, and represents a betrayal of the ideals of a liberal arts education.



Anonymous said...

Politically Correct Liberals have taken control of many universities !

Bird of Paradise said...

Political Corectnes is just another form of Socialism and this Falk wacko needs to be made to read the Constitution and quit whining that its racsisit

Anonymous said...

Falk wacko needs to be made to read the Constitution

Because the Constitution and the First Amendment apply to private institutions?

Maybe you should take your own advice and read the document.

Anonymous said...

Birds can't read!

Spurwing Plover the fighting shorebird said...

Liberals and demacrats cant think

Anonymous said...

Birds can't spell either!!

Storm the Albatross said...

Anon. 6:02 Go pound sand you doofus

Anonymous said...

Hey birdbrains, we can explain it to you, but we can't understand it for you.

Flu-Bird said...

Anon 4:12 if they put your brains on the edge of a raizor it would look like a pea rolling down a four lane highway