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Free speech?

Posted: May 13, 2014 8:52 a.m.
Updated: May 14, 2014 5:00 a.m.

One of the most cherished rights on college campuses across the country is freedom of speech -- unless the tone of that speech doesn’t agree with the politics of left-leaning professors and students. The tolerance they so widely espouse gets left in the dust in the case of people who don’t share their own political philosophies.

There have been numerous incidents in recent years in which distinguished American people have been invited to speak on campuses, only to decline when professors and students threw up massive protests. The latest is Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of  state and national security advisor in the administration of George W. Bush. Rice was scheduled to be the commencement speaker at Rutgers but withdrew after faculty representatives and students protested her part in the Iraq war.

There have been many others over the years -- too many to name here. But they all share a common trait. They were harassed by faculty members and students who didn’t agree with whatever they happened to do. The ironic thing, of course, is that college campuses are supposed to be bastions of free speech -- places where the exchange of ideas is valued above all else. Professors fight for tenure so, ostensibly, they can’t be fired for remarks they make, yet they are all to quick to deny those same rights to those with whom they disagree. There’s definitely something rotten in the halls of academe.

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