In a new interview with Allie Grasgreen of Inside Higher Ed, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff discusses the issue of censorship on America’s college campuses.
Since its founding in 1999, FIRE has defended college students and staff who believe their fundamental rights – freedom of speech, expression, association and conscience, religious liberty, and due process and legal equality – were violated by overly broad administrative rules and an educational culture that, directly and indirectly, censors unpopular opinion. Its president, Greg Lukianoff, chronicles many of those cases in his new book Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate (Encounter Books). He opens the book with Barnes’s case, which is far too nuanced to be fully explained here. Lukianoff answered questions about the book via e-mail; some answers have been condensed for space.
Q: You call the book Unlearning Liberty, which seems to imply things are getting worse. Are they?
A: I don’t pretend or imagine that there was ever some perfect “Golden Age” for freedom of speech on college campuses. Certainly the early half of the 20th century and the ‘50s and ‘60s saw notable attempts to interfere with or prevent political discourse on campus.
Generally, however, and from both looking at case law and from talking to people educated during the period, it seems as though things may have been about as good as they were going to get in the late ‘70s (a decade that included some great Supreme Court cases strongly protecting the free speech rights of college students) and even maybe the early ‘80s. This was the brief time in which the old anti-political speech censorship and in loco parentis stance on campus had largely ended, but before the more recent rationales for restrictions on freedom of speech, sometimes roughly referred to as “political correctness,” began.
Read it all at the link below.
Author discusses new book on rise of campus censorship (Inside Higher Ed | News)