College Professors Organize Against Free Speech on the Nation’s Campuses

One school leader told LifeZette, 'Progressives will argue for the right to disagree until they have power, then they'll try to squash all who disagree'

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is urging its members to fight against legislation designed to protect free speech on college campuses — and is framing the effort as a right-wing conspiracy.

You read that correctly. The nation’s largest membership group of college professors, based in Washington, D.C., is flexing its muscle against measures to protect the First Amendment, as a piece in Campus Reform explained.

“Archbishop Charles Chaput once said, ‘Evil preaches tolerance until it is dominant and then tries to silence good,’” Dr. Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University and author of “Not a Day Care: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth,” told LifeZette about the free-speech issue.

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The Left is now skilled at harassing conservatives and suppressing their free speech rights on our country’s college campuses. While the left-leaning AAUP is painting itself as a victim, left-leaning professors — social justice warriors in charge of the classrooms — have been the ones relentlessly demonizing conservative colleagues and students with diverse viewpoints.

Last August, for example, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax was vilified by colleagues for co-authoring an op-ed in favor of meritocracy. As a punishment, Wax is now barred from teaching first-year law students.

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AAUP’s Monica Owens, a political organizer, is taking specific aim at free-speech legislation on campus that has been “drafted from model bills produced by the Goldwater Institute,” according to a video on the group’s Facebook page.

Key aspects of the legislation to protect free speech include prohibiting public institutions from disinviting speakers, mandating universities to remain neutral on “issues of public controversy,” and imposing financial penalties on students and others found to have twice interfered with the free expression of others.

The legislation also requires public institutions to educate new students, faculty and staff on their free speech rights, among other requirements.

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“‘Campus Free-Speech’” bills are on the rise in state legislatures across the country,” warns the AAUP’s website. “From Arizona to North Carolina, conservative lawmakers under the influence of influential right-wing billionaires are introducing model bill to suppress dissent on campus.”

It added, “Behind this legislation are powerful libertarian forces, including the Koch brothers-funded think tank, the Goldwater Institute.”

“Progressives will argue for the right to disagree until they have power, and then they will try to squash all who disagree,” said Piper of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. “It’s what Graham Walker called ‘the pathology of the intellect,’ and what M. Scott Peck called ‘the diabolical human mind.’ It’s what David Horowitz calls the ‘rule of the gang.’ It’s the arrogance of the elites and the sickness of the intellectuals.”

He also noted, “It’s the opposite of academic freedom. It’s ideological fascism — become one of us or be expelled.'”

Elizabeth Economou is a former CNBC staff writer and adjunct professor. Follow her on Twitter.

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