Demonstrating once again the danger of hate speech laws, the Michigan State University Student Assembly voted Thursday (Feb. 21) to ask the administration to define the difference between free speech and hate speech.
MSU President Lou Anna Simon has been adamant that free speech is Ã¢â‚¬Å“at the heart of academic freedom.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The problem: a string of conservative speakers hosted by MSUÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom, one of them being the head of an unnamed civilian group of volunteers who patrol the U.S.-Mexican border, triggered protests and a few arrests. Making matters worse, the pro-hate speech law protesters justify their hostility (which looks in and of itself like a Ã¢â‚¬Å“hate crimeÃ¢â‚¬Â) by referring to the Southern Poverty Law CenterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s identification of the MSU Young Americans for Freedom as a Ã¢â‚¬Å“hate group.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Yet, many a conservative organization, for decades, has defined the Southern Poverty Law Center as a radical pro-communist group, motivated by an anti-American, anti-Capitalist, anti-Christian hate doctrine. I wonder who’s right about who?
The resolution to this problem is multi-faceted, beginning with the abolition of all “hate laws,” (since we should all be free to be motivated by whatever emotions, ideologies, or paradigms we choose – and who can judge what’s really going on in our minds anyway – it’s only our attacks on the lives, liberties, and property of others that ought to come under legal scrutiny); next, with the sending home of all those congressmen and senators who have supported those laws; third, with the abolition of the federal Department of Education; and finally, with the passing of legislation from Congress that limits the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court away from public and private education.
Centralized control of the nation’s school system (and for that matter, state school systems) is one of the greatest enemies of freedom known to man, that’s why Marx favored it in his Manifesto. Do it, and you might as well say goodbye to free speech in academia.
We have done it. And we’ve paid the price. The time for change has come.
PS. Young Americans for Freedom is a student organization founded under the inspiration and guidance of William F. Buckley Jr. in 1960, to help give balance to the one-sided, pro-leftist approach to education that was already plaguing academia back then. Our prayers go with this Young Americans for Freedom chapter that they may continue to be free to balance the discussion of any issue, and with Michigan State University, that they may see how Un-American, and freedom of speech crushing, hate speech laws are.
Hate is wrong, and it is my faith that we will all one day be held accountable for our thoughts, as well as our actions; but wisdom dictates that the laws of men punish our deeds, not our thoughts. Hate speech laws are too open to political manipulation.