The University of Louisville attacks Freedom of Speech

From the Louisville Courier-Journal:

White nationalist recruiting fliers posted around University of Louisville’s campus

Thomas Novelly, The Courier-Journal | Published 2:59 p.m. ET September 21, 2017

Photo of flyer posted on University of Louisville campus. Click to enlarge.

Photo of flyer posted on University of Louisville campus. Click to enlarge.

A series of fliers urging students to join a white nationalist group have been appearing on the University of Louisville’s campus.

“For all of those who feel alone in caring about the future of European people and the preservation of European culture, you are not alone,” the poster reads.

University police are investigating the U of L Identitarians, the group placing the papers at bus stops around campus for the last three weeks. While university police said students shouldn’t be concerned, others are furious.

That part of the story is unremarkable, other than the fact that the Courier-Journal chose to report it, with a photo, when the editors would have made nothing about posters from Black Lives Matter or homosexual activist groups. But it was the last paragraph which spurred my ire:

“Just this morning is when we first heard about it,” said Kenny Brown, interim chief of U of L Police. “We’ll get a copy of it and review security footage to see who put it up.”

What? Regardless of what one thinks about the “U of L Identitarians,” they were simply exercising their freedom of speech under the First Amendment. The interim President of the University wrote:

Faculty, Staff and Students,

Recently, our campus has been littered with flyers bearing messages that have caused concern among underrepresented groups on campus.

Groups that attempt to separate us have no place at the University of Louisville. We have built a well-deserved reputation as a safe, welcoming home for all our students, faculty and staff, and we will continue to work to sustain that respect and support among our community.

The UofL Police Department is investigating this incident. They ask that anyone who sees suspicious activity or materials that may be deemed offensive or threatening to call them immediately at 852-6111.

Again, the university is no place for those who wish to separate us or to cause fear among our population. Let us all work together to ensure that every member of our community is supported and respected.

Greg Postel, M.D., Interim President

At least thus far, whomever the Identitarians are — and I was unable to find a website for their group through a Google search1 — they have not attacked anyone, nor committed any crimes, nor done anything other than exercise their freedom of speech.

Image of the First Amendment, from the original document. It was listed as the third article; the first two amendments proposed were not ratified. Click to enlarge.

Image of the First Amendment, from the original document. It was listed as the third article; the first two amendments proposed were not ratified. Click to enlarge.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

And yet here, the University of Louisville, a state university in Kentucky, is “investigating” the posting of these flyers, and the university president is asking that “anyone who sees suspicious activity or materials that may be deemed offensive or threatening to call” the campus police. The campus police are going to “review security footage” to attempt to identify who put up the posters. William Teach of The Pirate’s Cove has a blog tagline which states, “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all,” and he is absolutely right.

I do not have to like the U of L Identitarians to support their freedom of speech, any more than I have to like Black Lives Matter organizers to believe that they have a right to put up posters and organize. Frankly, I don’t like either group, but just as almost no one would think we should ban BLM from putting up posters, we should also not ban the Identitarians from advertising however they would like.
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Cross-posted on RedState.
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  1. While the poster lists an email address by which the group may be contacted, I chose not to do so. I am not interested in reporting about the group individually, but am simply concerned about the freedom of speech.

5 Comments

  1. Pingback: The University of Louisville attacks the Freedom of Speech – Liberty REDUX

  2. From a comment on Red State:

    The University of Louisville announced a tenure-track position for an Assistant Professor in the Departmenht of Physics and Astronomy whick will be filled by either an African-American, Hispanic-American or Native American. No whites or Asians need apply.

    The University of Louisville has created a closed support group and safe space for homosexuals.

    The U of L Cultural Center had a meeting to Stop White Privilege.

    ‘Twould seem that the university president’s statement that “the university is no place for those who wish to separate us or to cause fear among our population” isn’t quite accurate.

    • You know who deserves a lot of blame for this? Parents. Parents who write big checks so their offspring can be brainwashed by this BS. And in some cases rich parents who write even bigger checks because they’re alumni and want to “Support their school”.

      An unsung hero of this is Steve Forbes, graduate of Princeton and certainly a rich guy, who announced that he would not give another dime to that school so long as they employed baby killing advocate peter singer as a professor. Forbes took some flack for this, but has stuck to his principles.

      No, parents who fund this crap, either through tuition or donations, are as much enablers as someone who hands free bottles of whiskey to a confirmed alcoholic. This is especially so of conservative parents, who ought to be telling their offspring that, if they want to go to a college that teaches this garbage, then they can pay for it themselves.

  3. You can always tell what is important at a school by how it behaves. Rick Pitino is the head basketball coach at U of L, and he’s a really good recruiter and coach. Trouble is, he’s kind of a scumbag as well. First, he wound up settling a lawsuit for screwing some woman over a table in a bar, sex which he admitted, in public, lasted less than a minute. And yes, of course, he’s married.

    U of L wasn’t going to dismiss him for that, of course, but then Mr Pitino led them into a recruiting scandal and NCAA probation. One of his assistants was providing, allegedly without Coach Pitino’s knowledge, recruits with prostitutes and ‘escorts.’ Since Coach Pitino was the one who rescued the University of Kentucky from the recruiting scandal under his predecessor there, Eddie Sutton, he knew, better than most, what was required, and that the activities of assistant coaches had to be kept under control.

    The Louisville assistant coach was dismissed, and U of L got probation, but Coach Pitino is still there.

    • I don’t much follow college sports, except maybe briefly in March if the Arizona basketball team happens to be doing well.

      It’s been suggested on any number of occasions that we treat top level college sports for what they are – minor leagues for the pros, at least in football and basketball, and then just pay the athletes accordingly and stop pretending they’re there to study or earn a degree that’s actually worth something.

      A good book to read on this subject (among others) is Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simmons which takes a scathing look at modern academia, and which has an important subplot involving his fictional DuPont University’s basketball team, its coach and the players. Since the players are, technically speaking, amateurs and thus can’t be paid directly, it is simply done indirectly. Expensive cars (Cadillac Escalades, Dodge Vipers) magically show up in the players’ parking spots just as keys for these vehicles magically show up in their lockers. And the academics are massaged in such a way that the players get assigned to easy classes where they are practically guaranteed at least a passing grade, and if they still proves too hard, then they have “Tutors” to do the work for them.

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