Unlearning Liberty

Unlearning Liberty

Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate

Book - 2012
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For over a generation, shocking cases of censorship at America's colleges and universities have taught students the wrong lessons about living in a free society. Drawing on a decade of experience battling for freedom of speech on campus, First Amendment lawyer Greg Lukianoff reveals how higher education fails to teach students to become critical thinkers: by stifling open debate, our campuses are supercharging ideological divisions, promoting groupthink, and encouraging an unscholarly certainty about complex issues.

Lukianoff walks readers through the life of a modern-day college student, from orientation to the end of freshman year. Through this lens, he describes startling violations of free speech rights: a student in Indiana punished for publicly reading a book, a student in Georgia expelled for a pro-environment collage he posted on Facebook, students at Yale banned from putting an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote on a T shirt, and students across the country corralled into tiny "free speech zones" when they wanted to express their views.

But Lukianoff goes further, demonstrating how this culture of censorship is bleeding into the larger society. As he explores public controversies involving Juan Williams, Rush Limbaugh, Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, Larry Summers--even Dave Barry and Jon Stewart--Lukianoff paints a stark picture of our ability as a nation to discuss important issues rationally. Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate illuminates how intolerance for dissent and debate on today's campus threatens the freedom of every citizen and makes us all just a little bit dumber.
Publisher: New York : Encounter Books, 2012.
ISBN: 9781594036354
Characteristics: x, 294 p. ; 24 cm.


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Oct 03, 2016

This book is FANTASTIC! Here's why -- to my surprise, I have learned that my daughter's generation -- especially those educated at more selective liberal arts schools, often do not share our family's view that free speech is an extremely important legal right, that we need to watch closely and protect. In fact one of my daughter's friends said that she didn't think free speech was that important -- and that she thinks it is MORE important to be able to restrict speech considered offensive -- especially when it is racist or derogatory to religion.)
Here are a few favorite passages from this book:
"it may be very tempting for high school students entering college to have sympathy for the advocates of speech codes, but that is only because they misunderstand the purpose of the First Amendment and lack knowledge of the legal, philosophical, and historical principles that support it. The First Amendment exists to protect minority point of view in a democracy, and anything that undermines it necessarily gives more power to the authorities. It is ultimately the best protection of the weak, the unpopular, the oddballs, the misfits, and the underdogs. If the only price that we have to pay for this freedom is that we sometimes hear words that we find offensive, it is well worth it."
"Probably the simplest but most successful argument for restrictions on speech I hear today is that censorship can protect people from hurtful or bigoted speech. The implicit question I run into all the time on campuses is, “Can’t censorship be acceptable if one’s intentions are pure, compassionate and generally good?”
History tells us that the answer is flatly “no”. I cannot think of a single anti-free-speech movement in American history that did not sprout from someone believing that they were fighting for truth, justice, decency, and goodness itself. This is so common a friend of mine has an acronym for it: the “GIRA Effect,” standing for “Good Intentions Run Amok.”. John Adams thought he was saving the country from ruin by instituting the Alien and Sedition Acts. Northerners who believed that abolitionists needed to be silenced thought they were preventing a bloody civil war."

Jun 26, 2015

About the . . . Foundation for Individual Rights in Education . . . http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Foundation_for_Individual_Rights_in_Education . . .
and . . .
related articles: . . . . .
“Why conservatives hate college – The right's decades-long war on academia and "liberal professors" is about defining an elite "populists" can oppose” . . . http://www.salon.com/2013/03/31/why_conservatives_hate_college/ . . . .
and . . . .
“The Koch brothers’ influence on college campus is spreading” . . . http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/03/28/the-koch-brothers-influence-on-college-campus-is-spreading/ . . . .
or, . . .
how about freethought at Liberty University?
see . . .
“An Atheist at Liberty University, Part III”
and, related . . .
“In case you still held the illusion that Liberty University was a real institute of higher learning…”

Jun 26, 2015

Once upon a time, a college campus was considered a place for free thought and debate. This book details many cases that show how censorship, political agenda and political correctness is squashing free thinking in the college institution where young minds are being molded. Or, brainwashed. A real indicator of how and why free speech and liberty is rapidly disappearing in America today.


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