In an act to preserve free speech on college campuses, Claremont McKenna College in southern California will discipline seven students responsible for preventing an audience from hearing conservative speaker Heather Mac Donald talk in April.
According to Inside Higher Ed, five of the seven students responsible for the disruption will receive suspensions. In contrast, Middlebury College in Vermont issued punishments that fall short of suspensions for 67 students whose college policy violations ended in violence and intolerance towards social scientist Charles Murray and his opponent during a March debate. Writing in the Atlantic, Peter Beinart warns that violently shutting out speakers some students disagree with will easily lead to the “disaster” of intensely suppressing the free speech of fellow students with minority views.
In its statement, Claremont McKenna acknowledged “that the blockade of the speech site ‘breached institutional values of freedom of expression and assembly.’” The right to protest Heather Mac Donald’s views on criminal justice and her criticisms of Black Lives Matter is the fruit of constitutional liberty; but as the school rightly contends, preventing others from listening to her speech is both a violation of school policy and an infringement on individual free speech.
Nana Gyamfi, a lawyer for Justice Warriors for Black Lives, has advised and supported the punished students, saying the college’s disciplinary treatment is “completely outrageous” and an attempt “to intimidate and to bully” the protesting students. Gyamfi thinks the real issue is Claremont McKenna’s supposed lack of commitment to diversity, even though the college’s free speech policy is aimed at encouraging diversity of thought and expression.
“Real diversity,” Gyamfi contends, “is about ‘creating safe spaces’ where students feel respected.”
Gyamfi’s desire to create “safe spaces” is the same free speech-killing rhetoric exposed in our upcoming feature-length documentary, No Safe Spaces—featuring comedian Adam Carolla and syndicated talk-show host Dennis Prager in partnership with Dangerous Documentaries, a project of Capital Research Center.
CRC Senior Fellow Martin Morse Wooster also calls for an end to the prevalent attack on free speech sweeping college campuses nationwide, promoting higher education instead as an avenue for free-flowing, constructive intellectual discourse and debate.
Watch the official trailer for No Safe Spaces here: