I have been reading about students at universities forming violent crowds to disrupt and intimidate invited speakers.
Often, they succeed in having the speakers dis-invited, shouting them down or otherwise preventing them from speaking. The administrations and faculty members acquiesce to the students and, in some cases, support them. The students shout nasty epithets like “fascist,” “racist” and “white terrorist.”
At the University of California, Berkeley recently, students caused substantial property damage as campus security was ordered by the president to stand down. Apparently, little is done to punish those who damage property or trample the rights of speakers to speak and listeners to listen.
Freedom of speech is at the foundation of a free, civil society. College professors are granted tenure in part to protect their freedom to research, write and speak without fear of reprisal. Yet, many universities seem unwilling to protect the free speech of invited outsiders.
I hope colleges and universities in Kentucky are teaching students that speech is protected under our Constitution, especially speech with which we do not agree, and that administrations will not allow anyone to be silenced. There should never be “safe space” reserved just for speech with which we agree.