Saratoga Springs

Leftists on campuses harming free speech

Free speech belongs on college campuses
Is it the beginning of the end of the greatest political experiment and creation of a free and safe society by the American university, where intellectuals with dissenting views are silenced — even physically assaulted — by mobs? Administrators sit by and watch, afraid to anger those mobs. 
I recall the Norman Rockwell painting of a little black girl in a pretty white dress walking up the steps of the first-ever desegregated school in Alabama accompanied by a burly National Guardsman; Martin Luther King marching and protected by the National Guard; even the neo-Nazis being protected by the National Guard, all to exercise their First Amendment right of free speech. The National Guard was called out by the governors of the state. So where is Gov. “Moonbeam” of California when thugs take over Berkeley? 
The protests of Ann Coulter’s speech at Berkeley by masked thugs with violence, and the destruction of property is unprecedented. Are the students masked so their parents won’t be embarrassed or masked to hide their identity as hired thugs? Either way, the masks should be reason enough to arrest them. It would be if they walked into a bank. 
The lie we were told as kids was that the end of American liberty would come at the hands of the political right. However, it’s not conservatives who coerced young people or made them afraid of ideas that challenge them nor shame people into silence or send thugs out on college campuses to beat down those who wanted to speak. The left did all that.
The thuggish mobs of the left are killing free speech at American universities, yet blaming the right for the destruction of freedom of speech. The thugs call themselves Antifas, for anti-fascists. They beat people up, break things, set fires and intimidate. They aren’t anti-fascists; they are fascists. It’s what fascists do — destroy property, businesses and means of making a living. The cost for all this? Free speech. Without it, there is no republic. 
American universities were once thought to be the last great refuge of ideas, to flourish, be challenged and debated. But today, the university is the place where liberty and ideas go to die.
Arthur Salvatore

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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