Free Speech: Who gets to decide who speaks? But now we have a Decider!

Why Evolution Is True

This week we’ve seen two articles by English professors arguing that censorship is essential to ensure free speech. One, in the New York Times, was by Ulrich Baer from New York University, and the other, in the New Republic, was by Aaron Hanlon from Colby College (links go to my analyses, which contain links to the original pieces). Both professors claimed that yes, free speech was good, but that “hate speech”—speech that dehumanized people or attacked their identities or nullified their “lived experience”—was not free speech and thus was okay to censor. (By “censor,” I mean disinvite people who have already been invited to speak at universities, or to harass them in such a way that they become unable to give their talks.)

I’m thus pleased to see some pushback in the liberal press against what I consider not only dumb but dangerous arguments for censorship: arguments that, if they became…

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