Friday, October 06, 2006

Attacking Free Speech

The student chapter of the International Socialist Organization at Columbia University rushed a stage where the founder of the Minutemen, Jim Gilchrist, tried to deliver a speech. The campus Republicans had asked him to speak.

The New York Sun has this to say:

"It's not that some Columbia students chose to disagree with Mr. Gilchrist — this newspaper does, too. It would have been entirely appropriate for school administrators to allow students to protest peaceably outside the lecture hall or to host a competing event. The university's willingness to allow this event to devolve into pandemonium, however, speaks volumes about its commitment to fostering open debate. The video of the event shows campus police officers — paid for by the Columbia College Republicans — standing by just feet away as students overturned tables and chairs onstage and proceeded to attack Mr. Gilchrist and his fellow Minuteman, Marvin Stewart."

How many times have conservatives decried some outrageous leftwing speaker speaking on campus? More times than I can count. But did we ever go to the extremes that the leftwing protesters do when they oppose speakers? No.

Why is it that those who yell "Free Speech" the loudest are the same ones who don't want anyone to hear the speech if they don't agree with it? This kind of behavior not only sends the wrong message to our youth about free speech, but also the wrong message about common decency.