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realclearworld

Political Correctness Police win battle against free speech

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Nothing really new here.  Leftists on American college campuses have been trying to stifle free speech for decades.  Ostracism and censorship are among their favorite tactics. If they disagree with anyone's ideas or actions, they will do everything they can to prevent that person from speaking.

As the Rutgers student newspaper put it, commencement speakers should never have “questionable politics.”

Their outrage over "questionable politics" tends to be highly selective, of course.

The very same students and faculty who forced Condoleezza Rice to cancel her commencement speech at Rutgers would probably cheer for Mariela Castro or her father and uncle.

Whether Rice did the right thing is not the right question to ask.  The right question is this: are intolerant leftists winning their crusade against free speech?

This flap at Rutgers is very similar to one I had to endure at the University of Wisconsin back in 2003, when I was invited to give a talk on my memoir Waiting for Snow in Havana.  A few weeks prior to the event my invitation was rescinded with a curt email that said I couldn't pollute the Madison campus with my presence because I represented "the oppression of the Cuban people by the exile community."  And this was at a time when I was still known primarily as an expert on sixteenth century European history rather than as a Cuban exile.

Eventually, the invitation was renewed and I gave my talk, but the Latin American Studies folks refused to sponsor it.  It ended up being a bookstore event, supported by a commercial enterprise rather than the university itself.

God help us all if these intolerant zealots ever gain control.

Condoleezza Rice pulls out of Rutgers University speaking engagement

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has backed out of delivering the commencement address at Rutgers University following protests by some faculty and students over her role in the Iraq War.

Rice said in a statement Saturday that she informed Rutgers President Robert Barchi that she was declining the invitation to speak at the graduation.

"Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families," Rice said. "Rutgers' invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community at this very special time."

The school's board of governors had voted to pay $35,000 to the former secretary of state under President George W. Bush and national security adviser for her appearance at the May 18 ceremony. Rutgers was also planning to bestow Rice with an honorary doctorate.

But some students and faculty at New Jersey's flagship university had protested, staging sit-ins and saying Rice bore some responsibility for the Iraq War as a member of the Bush administration. Barchi and other school leaders had resisted the calls to disinvite Rice, saying the university welcomes open discourse on controversial topics.

More HERE from the Associated Press.  And also HERE: (Awful School is Awfully Intolerant).

3 comments to Political Correctness Police win battle against free speech

  • antonio2009

    Carlos: I am not surprised by your treatment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. That's where the Marxists Dwight and Karl Armstrong and two other terrorists in 1970 used a van crammed with explosives to blow up Sterling Hall, where the Army Math Research Center was located, to protest the Vietnam war. A graduate student was murdered in the process. If you ever go there, you can still see the shrapnel damage on many buildings.
    http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/crime_and_courts/years-later-fbi-still-looking-for-suspected-terrorist-leo-burt/article_c59b7c16-9509-11df-90f4-001cc4c002e0.html
    Killer Karl became a folk hero to some on campus, where he afterward sold juice from his own trailer timbiriche near Sterling Hall
    http://michellemalkin.com/2010/08/23/left-wing-campus-embraces-unapologetic-murdering-peacenik-bomber/
    More recently, Armstrong was arrested for possession of $800,000 in drug money
    http://host.madison.com/news/local/crime_and_courts/sterling-hall-bomber-armstrong-arrested-after-cash-found-in-vehicle/article_c5da4e80-a38c-11e1-a02f-001a4bcf887a.html
    Rutgers University in the 1970s gave tenure to Sociology Professor Lourdes Casal Valdes, who was identified by DGI defector Capt. Raul Perez Mendez as the No. 1 DGI agent in the New York area and after her death in Havana in 1981, was superseded in that job by Professor Marifeli Perez-Stable.

  • Honey

    I just wrote a comment in NR saying just the same thing.

    Jay Nordlinger is writing a series of pieces on the conservative Education minister in Great Britain, Michael Gove.
    When a woman complained to Gove because there are too many men in power in the country, he answered that the conservatives did a lot for women when they gave the country Margaret Thatcher, and as he recalled this questioner did all she could to oppose Thatcher.

    I am getting sick of the left dictating what is good for everyone and getting away with it whether in education or the press or business. We must do as Gove did and answer the hypocrisy of the left.
    A woman who has it all, working and family and success in leadership is a great thing for feminists, unless she is a conservative like Sarah Palin then she must be demonized.
    Bush is bad because of the Iraq war but Obama who has destroyed many countries in the Middle East and is indirectly responsible for many deaths is just fine. Progressivism trumps the truth every time.
    Blacks have been discriminated against, the liberals tell us; we must have more blacks in ascendancy. Unless you are a conservative, then you are an oreo and need not apply.
    And so it goes.
    We must be more proactive in public. Where are those brave enough, impolitic enough to speak out against this PC crap going on today? Too often if one speaks out, someone on our side tells him to keep quiet because we mustn't offend any constituency. The left never worries about who it offends. Free speech? Sure as long as it fits into what the left accepts.
    Well, I am getting sick of this. And I want more loud noise pointing out the hypocrisy of the left.
    Where is the University president who will stand up to thugs and bullies? An announcement should go out to the students early on to say if someone is invited here to speak, there is to be no noise against it. The university is for exchange of ideas.
    Of course, that said, Correa spoke at Penn - ugh.
    But we have to do something to stop self important spoiled students from continuing to be indulged.

  • asombra

    "Self-important spoiled students" did a lot of harm in Cuba when they were allowed to get away with it, especially in the wake of Machado's fall in 1933, which opened the door to Batista's ascendancy and its ultimately disastrous consequences. Being young, idealistic and passionate is NOT the same as being qualified to make major and far-reaching political decisions which need to be reality-based, practical and effective. Being young is great in some ways, but it is clearly deficient in others, or certainly can be.