The next Liberty Law Talk is a conversation with Greg Lukianoff, attorney and president of the Foundation for Individual Rights (FIRE), about his new book, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate. For those who have followed the pathetic censorship episodes on campus the past few decades, you might think that many of these battles had been won. Lukianoff, however, has the proof that free speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of association remain under siege on campus in myriad forms. Unpopular opinions, usually attributed to those held by conservative students and religious students, are frequently targeted by administrators laboring under diversity and no intolerance mandates. To put it mildly, this type of heavy-handedness proceeds apace. Political comfort for certain students is privileged over the search for different forms of meaning and truth that other students might be articulating. Ultimately, Lukianoff wisely argues that the inability to argue, debate, and take ideas seriously on many campuses makes students dumber and indifferent, with consequences for public discourse and civil society that stretch beyond college years.
Bias response policies rarely emphasize free speech, opting instead for stern, admonitory lists of “no go” topics subject to administrative questioning.
Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt explore the logic by which college students and profs label the words and ideas of others as violence.