Professors at Washington State University are arguing that free speech protections on college campuses “harm”marginalized and minority students.
In a letter written by faculty to students on the subject of “bigotry,” professors at Washington State University declared that protecting student’s rights to express themselves is an exercise that hurts marginalized students.
The letter comes in response to a 20-foot “Trump Wall” that was constructed on campus a month and a half ago. In the letter, faculty suggested that the wall highlighted the “everyday realities of racism, xenophobia, and other forms of bigotry.”
The letter suggests that discourses on free speech undermine the ability of marginalized students to to feel empowered and accepted on campus.
It is not enough [to] encourage “open-mindedness” and “sensitivity” especially when these passive efforts and rhetoric invariably lead to a culture that accepts and tolerates bigotry and harassment; a campus culture that hides behind “tolerance” and discourses of free speech undeviatingly creates a campus that is especially disempowering to marginalized students.
We must create a campus that asserts that we are anti-racist, anti-sexist, anti-xenophobia, antihomophobic, anti-Islamophobic, anti-ableism, and anti-bigotry. We must work to create mechanisms and structures that combat hate, which empower all constituencies to be active in our collective efforts to rid the campus of bigotry and systemic inequality.
Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about Free Speech and Intellectual Diversity for Breitbart. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org