August 24, 2017
The First Amendment guarantees everyone the right to free speech and express their opinions, no matter how abhorrent or “problematic.” In the wake of Charlottesville and fearmongering over the rise of the so-called alt-right, The Washington Post published a piece Tuesday by history professor Jennifer Delton calling for liberals to reconsider their stance on free speech.
Delton argues that the same right that gives her the privilege of expressing opinions on the Post is a dangerous “political weapon,” which she claims is being used as “part of a strategy, deployed first by conservatives and perfected by the alt-right.”
Crediting Steve Bannon, Milo Yiannopoulos and Richard Spencer with popularizing the alt-right movement, Delton claims that these opponents of “liberal cultural hegemony,” which “they think, is perpetrated in the United States by the mainstream media and on college campuses” are baiting universities into weaponizing free speech against itself.
She acknowledges that academic institutions brought the hammer down on themselves by extreme speech policing and tacit support for protesters who shut down speakers like Yiannopoulos, but claims that the “alt-right and conservatives are using ‘free speech’ to attack and destroy colleges and universities,” which she argues promote “different variations of the internationalist, secular, cosmopolitan, multicultural liberalism that marks the thinking of educated elites of both parties.”
This article was posted: Thursday, August 24, 2017 at 4:45 am