Free Speech

Michigan student reacts after university announces it won’t reinstate the ‘Bias Response Team’

In a victory for free speech on college campuses, the University of Michigan announced it would disband its “Bias Response Team.” After a nearly 18-month legal battle, Judge David McKeague of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit announced that “The very name ‘Bias Response Team’ suggests that the accused student’s actions have been prejudged to be biased.” First Amendment watchdog Speech First settled a lawsuit with the school over its “subjective” speech policies. According to the settlement, the university will maintain its new definitions of “bullying” and “harassing” and will eliminate the Bias Response Team. The team will be replaced with “Campus Climate Support” or CCS. The Department of Justice (DOJ) also filed a Statement of Interest in the case. Appearing on “Fox & Friends” with hosts Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt, Campus Reform Correspondent and University of Michigan student Austin McIntosh said he was happy the Bias Response Team could no longer act as “language police.” “If somebody found something hateful, or if they understood it as hate speech or offensive, then they could report you and you could face punishment from some bureaucracy from the college,” he explained. He told Doocy he was attacked by a classmate last week just for sharing his conservative ideals, noting that campuses “aren’t doing a whole lot to protect freedom of speech either.” In October, University of Michigan spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald said that the settlement “makes it ‘abundantly clear’ the lawsuit was unnecessary. …Vigorous debate on all sides of an issue has been a hallmark of this campus before and during the lawsuit. We have confidence that true diversity of thought will continue to flourish on our campus.” McIntosh told the “Fox & Friends” hosts that he believes the campuses which still have Bias Response Teams “inhibit our freedom of speech.” “I think that these bias response teams create an environment where — they live in this liberal bubble…and when you bring in your conservative morals and values it pops and people get upset. And, it’s sad to see,” he said.

Indeed..  Kudos to Campus Reform, Speech First, and others who secured this legal victory.  Excellent!!    🙂

Watch: ‘Killing Free Speech’ Documentary Exposes Far-Left Propaganda in Schools

Independent filmmaker Michael Hansen has a new documentary out titled Killing Free Speech. It features internal emails from a New Jersey school showing teachers pushing political propaganda in the wake of President Trump’s travel ban. The documentary shows a teacher encouraging colleagues to wear hijabs and/or burkas, and distribute pamphlets in solidarity with Muslims to protest Trump’s policies — even though the White House’s restrictions on travel from countries, erroneously described as a “Muslim ban” by his opponents in the media, includes North Korea, a non-Muslim country. Hansen interviews the school principal who claims to know nothing about the agitation, even though Hansen obtains staff emails showing she had been made aware of it. “Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion on this issue, however, the administration is using this school as a platform to push their political agenda,” explains Hansen. Killing Free Speech is the second documentary released by Hansen, the first being Killing Europe, a feature about mass migration from Muslim countries into Europe. A planned screening of Killing Europe was canceled by the Ottawa Public Library last year following pressure from left-wing activists. Killing Free Speech: Part 1 depicts the rise of street violence by the extremist “Antifa” movement in the United States, as well as campaigns of pressure by CAIR and other groups to shut down political expression they disagree with. Click here to watch part one of Hansen’s documentary, which features the investigation. Part two is scheduled for release later this year.

Tomi Lahren: Free speech isn’t just saying what you want to say, it’s also hearing what you don’t want to hear

President Trump has signed an executive order to protect free speech on college campuses. I like it, but it’s truly sad it had to come to this. It’s time for “Final Thoughts” Yes, another promise made by President Trump is kept. Thursday our president signed an executive order designed to protect and promote free speech on college campuses — threatening to pull federal research funding if colleges don’t play ball. He said, “Under the guise of speech codes, safe spaces and trigger warnings, these universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity and shut down the voices of great young Americans like those here today.” I couldn’t agree more and I’m glad Trump is using his bully pulpit to push back on the college liberal indoctrination disease. Quite frankly, it needed to be done. I am saddened it took government intervention to make it happen. It shouldn’t be that way. College kids and their school administrators shouldn’t be so fragile, so delicate, so close-minded an executive order is necessary to stop the madness. How did we get here? There have always been liberals, conservatives and competing ideas in this country — that’s part of what makes it so great. When then, are we at the point where safe spaces, trigger warnings, cry-ins, and screaming at the sky are the new norm? All for what? Because Trump won the election? All because conservative college groups invite speakers? Remember the violent ruckus when Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley two years ago? This, from the same people who claim to be all about tolerance, peace, and love? Seriously, UC Berkeley? Your campus used to be a home for free speech, especially political speech, but now your administration and leftist students are so delicate you have to shield your students from free speech? Ironic isn’t it? You claim our president — and yes, he is your president, too, and those who support him are so reprehensible you have to threaten violence and destruction when a conservative speaker comes to campus? Trump is a meanie so you have to beat up anyone who disagrees? Or smash and burn your own campus? Not smart. It’s sad to think some college-age students are signing up to fight for our country in the U.S. military and meanwhile, others are sitting on their precious California campuses whining about Ann Coulter and others. Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic. Our service members and law enforcement officers put their lives on the line to protect and defend free speech and the American way of life and meanwhile some are marching around in black outfits or pink hats crying about how words hurt. Pathetic. You know free speech isn’t just saying what you want to say, it’s also hearing what you don’t want to hear and that includes conservative opinions too. Sorry. And let’s not forget, no one forced these students to go listen to these conservative speakers. It didn’t cost them anything. They aren’t losing college credits or hurting their grades by not going. So people you don’t like are coming to your campus to say things you don’t like? Suck it up. Conservative students have to listen to liberal garbage from professors every day and yes, they are required to be there for that! College campuses are the least diverse places in the country because diversity of thought isn’t a protected class. Over the course of your lives, you’re gonna have to hear things you don’t want to hear from folks you may not like. Get used to it. You’re not that special. And if you can’t be around people you don’t like saying things you don’t like, you can’t go around creating mass chaos and physically attacking people because you think words hurt. Grow up. Get over yourselves and develop a thicker skin. You might learn something more valuable than your professors can teach you. Those are my “Final Thoughts.” From Los Angeles, God bless and take care.

Wow..  Tomi Lahren just nailed it!  You can catch her over on Fox Nation..  Thanks Tomi!     🙂

Georgia Southern University Calls Police on Students Exercising Free Speech

Students at Georgia Southern University were confronted by school staff and campus police last week while recruiting members for the Turning Point USA student group on campus. Staff told the conservative students that they needed to “fill out paperwork” in order to exercise free speech at the public university, and then proceeded to call the police when the students did not leave the public grounds. An administrator at Georgia Southern University (GSU) told students that they needed to “fill out paperwork” in order to exercise free speech within the confines of the school’s designated “free speech zone,” a specific area on campus that school claims is approved for exercising free speech, as long as the space is reserved in advance. The students, who were recruiting members for their Turning Point USA (TPUSA) chapter, decided not to leave an outdoor area on campus after GSU staff had requested for them to do so, resulting in the police being called as a last-ditch effort to force the students to comply with the school’s perplexing demand. The apparent intimidation tactic, however, was futile, as the TPUSA students filmed their interaction with the officers, who admitted on video that they could not legally arrest the students for exercising free speech at the publicly-funded university, as seen in a report by Campus Reform. “If we do not leave, will we get arrested?” one individual can be heard asking a police officer. “No,” responded one officer. “Well, now, you will be judicially referred,” added the officer. “What does that mean?” inquired a student. “That means you’ll go in front of the Dean of Students for violating Georgia Southern policy,” responded the officer, suggesting that while the police cannot punish students for exercising their free speech rights on public grounds, the university can. “They’re telling me you’re breaking policies, school policies,” added the officer, “But if you’re asking me about laws, which is mainly what I do here, I don’t know of any laws you’re breaking.”

To see the video of this encounter, and read the rest of the article, click on the text above.  It is hard to imagine that publicly funded colleges and universities, students hare bullied for simply exercising their 1st Amendment rights.  Unreal..

San Francisco area restaurant bans ‘Make America Great’ hats, compares to white hoods and swastikas

An award-winning cookbook author and California restaurant owner says anyone wearing a red “Make America Great Again” baseball cap will be refused service at his restaurant. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is a chef-partner of the Wursthall restaurant in San Mateo and says in a tweet Sunday that he views the hats as symbols of intolerance and hate. The San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday that Lopez-Alt’s decision was met with mixed reaction by restaurant clients. Diners interviewed by the newspapers said they understood Lopez-Alt’s stance but questioned the hat ban and said he could have found a way to start a dialogue on the issue. On Twitter, many criticized the so-called tolerance of the liberal Bay Area. Lopez-Alt wrote the 2015 book “The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science.” He says his restaurant received threatening emails following the tweet and declined further comment.

Of course not!  This chef is a brazen hypocrite.  I find it curious how liberals are so quick to judge and whine about “intolerance,” when it is they who are being intolerant.  If you’re wearing a Trump MAGA hat, or voice your support for the man, you can’t eat here.  So typical..  Hopefully people will boycot the Wursthall restaurant in San Mateo, until this self-righteous tool decides to be a little more tolerant.

Campus Free Speech Hearing: ‘The Most American of Values Are in the First Amendment’

A congressional hearing that took place on Wednesday featured eloquent arguments about the importance of fighting for expression rights on campus. Ken Paulson, the President of the First Amendment Center, aggressively defended free expression principles during a congressional hearing on the relationship between free speech and the American campus. Paulson argued that certain university officials are willing to bend First Amendment principles in order to protect the feelings of students. “As part of my First Amendment work, I’ve traveled to a dozen campuses a year for the past 20 years and I honestly don’t believe there is an epidemic of suppression or intolerance in the nation’s universities,” Paulson began. “I do see some high profile instances where college administrators and students are willing to bend free speech principles to prevent hurt feelings or ideological conflict. Somewhere over the past two decades, the land of the free has become the home of the easily offended.” Paulson contends that the rise in attempts to shut down guest speakers is a consequence of the lack of education on the topic of democracy. “You can’t shout down a speaker if you truly understand how diversity of opinions has bolstered our democracy. You can’t censor students or their media if you understand what Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the first generation of Americans meant by freedom of the press,” Paulson continued. “You can’t try to zone protests off campus if you truly appreciate the value of petition and assembly. Too many of our students and sadly, their parents and grandparents, don’t truly understand these core American principles. A First Amendment survey found that only a third of Americans can name a single freedom in the First Amendment. Only two percent can name all five.” Click here to watch the entirety of Paulson’s remarks, along with the rest of the hearing..

Federal Court Strikes California Handgun Advertising Ban as First Amendment Violation

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled on Tuesday that California’s ban on handgun advertisements violates the First Amendment. The ruling involved Tracy Rifle and Pistol (TRAP), Ten Percent Firearms, Sacramento Black Rifle, Inc., and PRK Arms, all of whom were supported by the Second Amendment Foundation, the Calguns Foundation, and California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees. The case was brought when Sacramento Black Rifle, Tracy Rifle and Pistol, and others were told aspects of their logo violated the state’s ban on advertising handgun sales with photographs and/or images of handguns. CBS Sacramento reports that Rob Adams, owner of Sacramento Black Rifle, was told he was breaking the law by having a pistol embedded with an “R” in his company logo. Adams said, “It’s a clear violation of the First Amendment, you know, advertising. It’s censoring.” California argued that the ban on handgun advertisements helps reduce suicides and crime, but court rejected these arguments, ruling that California did not provide evidence sufficient to support these claims Judge Troy L. Nunley wrote, ” In the absence of evidence and with no common-sense relation, the Government has not met its burden of demonstrating that § 26820 directly and materially advances that interest. In sum, the Government fails to show that § 26820 has any effect on handgun suicide or crime.” Nunley also addressed the issues put for by Sacramento Black Rifle owner Rob Adams, writing, “California may not accomplish its goals by violating the First Amendment.” He noted, “The Supreme Court has rejected this highly paternalistic approach to limiting speech.” Second Amendment Foundation founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb commented on legal victory, saying, “A state cannot legislate political correctness at the expense of a fundamental, constitutionally-delineated civil right. We were delighted to offer financial support to this case.” The case is Tracy Rifle and Pistol, LLC, v. Harris (No. 2:14-cv-02626).

Excellent decision!!  The court was exactly right, and slapped fascist California right across the face for their brazen violation of the First Amendment ostensibly to squash advertising of firearms.  Outstanding!!     🙂