Barry Saunders, of the N&O in Raleigh, has an interpretation of freedom of expression, in the press and at colleges. He says, "freedom of speech means you can say what you want. But you still gotta take the ass-whuppin'" if people disagree with you. Is that so hard?
Look at what is happening to Phil Kurian, because he wrote this. People are offended. Our Prez takes a hand.
I have come to believe that nobody but Barry Saunders (and, of course, your own K. Grease) understands the nature of freedom of speech in private universities.
First, 1st Amendment pretty much doesn't apply. It says "CONGRESS will make no law...." Nothing about Larry Moneta. Universities have "in loco parentis," like it or not.
Second, even if you get to speak, you are not guaranteed an audience, or agreement from whatever listeners you do get.
Finally: you have no formal protection against getting offended, or upset. People go nuts if they get offended, and act like their own (nonexistent) "rights" against being upset somehow trump other people's rights to express their views. A commitment to freedom of expression, as a means to improving education, means that sometimes people are going to get offended.
Which made me think of this handy Name-Calling List. Since nothing is more upsetting than an opponent who is making a better argument than you are, using logic and evidence and that sort of thing, your best bet is to be a big crybaby and act all hurt. Call the person beating you in an argument names! These will come in handy; make sure you commit them to memory:
- Person winning an argument with a conservative--A godless communist
- Person winning an argument with a liberal--A heartless fascist
- Person winning an argument with a black person--A racist
- Person winning an argument with a Jewish person--Anti-Semitic
- Person winning an argument (accented speech) with a white person--A foreign terrorist (use "Islamic extremist" if they look Arab.)
- Person winning every argument with me--Dear*
(*I call her "dear" because she's my wife. And, yes, Snookums, you are right!)