The First Amendment applies only against governments, but our free speech rights can be violated by nearly anyone.
These days, these rights are most notoriously and routinely violated by mobs of students . . . attending colleges and universities nearly all of which depend upon taxpayer subsidies.
David E. Bernstein, writing at the Volokh Conspiracy, in “USC Law Professor: Supporters of Campus Free Speech are ‘Preying on Vulnerable Teenagers,’” makes a number of points regarding a law professor’s published defense of nasty student reactions to a Federalist Society speaker . . . on a campus not his own.
Bernstein notes that “the article has to have the requisite references to the Emmanuel Goldsteins of the modern left, the Koch Brothers, who are mentioned four times for no discernable reason.” The reason, of course, is demonization. For a movement needs enemies.
The USC law professor argues that journalists should ignore campus speaking events that “goad” students into “tactical mistakes” by the “mean-spirited provocations” of “seasoned political operatives preying on vulnerable teenagers and inexperienced young adults.”* Bernstein shows that the “tactical mistakes” amount to peaceful and intellectual speakers being “harrassed, shouted down, and subject to or threatened with violence”; every reasonable person knows that disagreeing with the ideas someone communicates does not excuse violating that someone’s rights.
No matter how “provocative.”
Most chillingly, the speaker who incited student ire and accusations, etc., had been advised by “a security guard” before his “talk” to devise “an ‘exit strategy.’” This indicates that the American taxpayer needs an exit strategy from subsidizing anti-democratic mob activism.
And its professorial enablers.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
* Don’t you find this language awfully coddling of people who should be treated as responsible for their actions, and who, by their attendance at an institution of higher learning, should be capable of listening to any point of view? I find it maddening.