opinion | ‘Bad Apple’ or Systemic Issues?

Author: Yuvi February 5, 2023  opinion |  'Bad Apple' or Systemic Issues?

Yes, it is a part of the anti-intellectual tension between the right wing and the right wing media. And this conservative mistrust of higher education (and secondary education) is causing it to turn its back on free speech and instead resort to punitive legislation, such as Florida’s recently passed “Stop Woke Act,” which A federal court called “positively dystopian” and unconstitutional “prohibiting professors from expressing adverse viewpoints in university classrooms while allowing unfettered expression of opposite viewpoints.”

But that’s not the whole story. The nonpartisan Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression — of which, full disclosure, I was once president — has tracked more than 900 incidents since 2001 where scholars were targeted for termination or other punishment for speech that was protected by the First Amendment or by traditional principles. Academic Freedom. There were 111 attempts to punish professors for their speech in 2021 alone, and about 70 percent of those attacks came from the Left.

I spent years litigating campus free speech in court. It was frustrating to file successful case after successful case – often challenging policies that existed on campuses across the country – only to be told that there was no systemic problem with free expression on campus, that these were just isolated incidents or products. It was the exuberance of youth, of being children’s children.

No one should pretend for a moment that there is any sort of moral equivalence between university censorship and lethal police violence. The stakes in the streets are infinitely greater than the stakes in the classroom. But there’s still a common problem: We often have the impression that people on our team can make mistakes or move forward, but people on the other team are intentionally hostile.

I should know. I used to fit that partisan mold. As a conservative, I could clearly see the problems in American universities. After all, it was my clan that disproportionately faced punishment and discipline. But when it came to the police, I got suspicious. I knew there were some bad apples. But was there a systemic problem? I suspected

I have changed my mind since then, but had to let go of my biases and apply my principles to allow me to see more clearly. Fundamental to my worldview is the belief that human beings have immense value, but also that we are deeply flawed. No person or organization can be fully trusted.

Thus powerful people and powerful institutions must be held accountable. If you combine power with impunity, corruption and injustice are inevitable results. If I could see this reality clearly in the institutions on the left, why could I not see it on the right?

Author: Yuvi

My name is Yuvi, I work as Sub Editor at newscinema.in

5 February, 2023, 4:30 pm

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