View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Friday, June 04, 2004

Free Speech For Me, But Not For Thee 

I know this is old news, but I haven't seen it commented on anywhere else, and I think it's worth mentioning.

The Ford Foundation got caught passing money to groups and "researchers" in middle-east studies departments whose first order of business is the destruction of people like the board of the Ford Foundation, and who would only spare Dearborn because of its close proximity to Detroit. Since then, the Foundation has promulgated some new rules, preventing their money from going to programs or institutions that support terror or hate or bigotry (even directed against Jews) or the destruction of any country (even Israel).

Naturally, the Ivy League is up in arms. Claiming that this violates academic freedom. Coming from people who 1) overwhelmingly support "campaign" "finance" "reform," and 2) pass speech codes that have made duct tape part of the incoming freshman "valu pak," this is rich beyond words.

Of the nine schools who are complaining, seven of them get either a red or a yellow light from, FIRE's site devoted to monitoring campus squelch knobs. Of the two where free speech is explicitly defended, one is the University of Pennsylvania. While the University may not have an explicit code, it has been less-than-zealous defending actual free speech, refusing to condemn the theft of conservative campus newspapers, and censuring a religious Jewish student for complaining, colorfully but not racially, about the noise coming from a black sorority.

Here's the list:

  • Harvard
  • Yale
  • Princeton
  • Cornell
  • Columbia
  • Stanford
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of Chicago

    Of course, the irony here is that a student could get kicked out of school, or worse, for saying the very things that the universities insist that they have the right to promote.

    Hypocrisy is an easy charge to make, and not very impressive. But these schools seem to have a nasty habit of trying to tell other people what they can say with their own money.

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