These days it seems all we do is complain about the left and all the left does is complain about us on the right. It’s like the Hatfields and the McCoys.
We fight about everything — climate change, taxes, foreign policy, immigration, etc. Heck, we probably couldn’t agree on the time of day.
Yet, I finally found something both the left and right agree on — free speech. (How long this agreement will last when conservatives start speaking on topics that offend liberals is anybody’s guess.)
Now, I don’t mean all speech, everywhere. No, that wouldn’t be right. To the left, hate speech is where they draw the line on the First Amendment, and of course hate speech is determined only by the left.
I’m talking about free speech on college campuses — more specifically, campus “Free Speech Zones” as they’re called.
So I was more than just a bit surprised when I found myself on the same side as the ACLU and even the Clinton’s cabin boy and Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe. Oh, and the Huffington Post. Go figure.
For those unfamiliar with “Free Speech Zones,” they are tiny cordoned off areas on campus, usually off the beaten path, where few can see or hear you spout off your free speech. The Huff Po reports that “as many as one in six colleges maintain such free-speech quarantines.”
Some colleges even make students fill out an application for use of the little postage stamp sized area, requesting the time and reason for its use. It’s bad enough that one has to be in the square at all, but to have to get prior permission is ridiculous.
As absurd as the idea of a Free Speech Zone is, it appears the University of Kentucky has gone even further. Blake Neff at the Daily Caller reports on an e-mail survey obtained by the group Campus Reform.
One of the survey questions was whether students preferred “A single designated speech zone in a specific location on campus or multiple designated speech zones in various locations across campus. Students could also say that they had ‘no preference,’ but there was no option for them to oppose the idea of free speech zones entirely.”
In other words, do you like the current restrictions on free speech or would you prefer even more restrictions? Or of course there is, I have no preference, which means I don’t think about free speech — hand me that bong, and when does the next GloZell Green episode air on YouTube?
Susan Kruth, attorney for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, said that “Prospective students who value free expression should consider going to Eastern Kentucky University and Georgetown College instead.”
It’s gotten so bad on campuses that the aforementioned Virginia Governor, Terry McAuliffe, signed a bill that “effectively designates outdoor areas of the states campuses as ‘public forums’ which are only subject to what are called ‘reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions.’”
So before you send little Johnny, Janie, or GloZell off to University, you might want to check on their free-speech policy.
That sounds so sad when you say it out loud.