Government censorship, even for speech you don’t like, is a problem for speech in general

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Last Friday, New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg wrote a piece on the legislative war currently being waged on “woke” speech. The same day, I published an article here at Arc Digital making a similar case. Together, we described the onslaught of bills targeting public university professors, students, and school teachers in states across the country, particularly in Iowa, Arkansas, West Virginia, and New Hampshire. All have a single goal: silence left-wing speech.

The response from supporters of those bills, or at least the sentiment behind them, was about what you’d expect: some insults, lots of “you SJWs have it…


State and national governments try to suppress critical race theory, social justice, and related concepts

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“Unlawful propagation of divisive concepts.” That’s the subheading of a bill now under debate in New Hampshire. If passed, it would prohibit public school teachers, professors, or state contractors from endorsing certain ideas the legislators think are harmful.

What’s a divisive concept? Well, suppose a college wants to bring in a paid speaker who says America is fundamentally racist. Banned. Or perhaps you’re a law professor who believes that race-based affirmative action is a good policy. Banned as well. Maybe you want to teach that society confers a special status or privilege on white people, or even that a particular…


If racial statistics are analytically useful, we should use them

Medics transport a patient in Stamford, Connecticut, a city with disproportionately high coronavirus cases among black residents, April 04, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic, which was supposed to be a “Great Equalizer,” has turned out to be anything but. Across the country, for every age, education level, and income bracket, the virus has disproportionately impacted black, indigenous, and Latino Americans.

Compared to whites and Asian Americans, they are catching the virus at higher rates, being hospitalized at higher rates, and dying at higher rates. The reasons are unclear, but the disparities are simply too large to ignore.

Or maybe not. For one group, ignoring these disparities isn’t just possible — it’s downright necessary. These are the anti-racialists.

Broadly, anti-racialists believe that…


On the myth of faculty indoctrination

Credit: Geber 86 (Getty)

The American professoriate is dominated by liberals. Sixty percent of undergraduate instructors identify as either liberal or far left, according to a 2017 survey by the Higher Education Research Institute. By comparison, only 12 percent are conservative or far right. Other surveys tell a similar story, with especially large imbalances in the fine arts and humanities. Just last week, a study by Mitchell Langbert and Sean Stevens found that Democrats outnumber Republicans in elite institutions by a ratio of 8.5-to-1.

No use denying it: when it comes to political ideology, faculty are deeply out of sync with the rest of…


Outrage mobs, attacks from Republican officials, and the case of Professor Jeff Klinzman

President Donald Trump signs executive order aimed at protecting freedom of speech on college campuses. In the picture are students who claimed their conservative views are suppressed at universities across the country. | Credit: Chip Somodevilla (Getty)

Last week, while all eyes were on Bret Stephens and his unsuccessful attempt to intimidate a university professor, a smaller, but more significant campus free speech episode was playing out in Iowa. Jeff Klinzman, an adjunct professor of English at Kirkwood Community College and self-proclaimed member of Antifa, was stripped of his position after controversial comments he made on social media came to light.

According to Kirkwood President Lori Sundberg, her decision to remove Klinzman — she insists he voluntarily resigned; Klinzman disputes this account — came from a “commitment to fostering a safe learning environment for students, faculty, and…

Jeffrey Sachs

Jeffrey Sachs is a lecturer in Politics at Acadia University.

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