"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap."
The Daily Texan has a curious way of choosing its editor-in-chief each year.Read the whole thing here.
Candidates write editorials laying out their vision, and then UT-Austin students vote online to “weigh in” on who gets the position (it’s not clear what effect this vote has).
The two candidates for the term starting June 1 are Janhavi Nemawarkar and Laura Hallas, and while they have contrasting visions for the job, both fundamentally misunderstand what role the public university can legally play in regulating offensive speech.
In her editorial, Nemawarkar expressed worry about the rise of white nationalist Richard Spencer and anti-feminist provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. (Both editorials were published Friday, before unearthed comments by Yiannopoulos on age-of-consent laws blew up CPAC and his book deal.)
What should be our response to the protests and violence in reaction to these two? According to Nemawarkar, “we must learn to balance the protection of free speech with the fight against the normalization of these racist ideologies”:
There is a distinct difference between engaging in a contentious dialogue and the type of hate speech that emboldens racists. It is the role of students, organizations, student-run media and professors to ensure that open, wide-ranging discussions continue on campus. But in the interest of supporting students of color, students and university administrators must draw a line and ensure that individuals who espouse specifically hostile views are not validated by receiving a platform to speak here.What she’s saying is UT administrators should be allowed to prevent (or threatened into preventing) student groups and faculty from inviting the speakers of their choice to campus, based on their views:
Speech can’t be taken in a vacuum — Donald Trump’s presidential election victory was accompanied by an outbreak of hate crimes around the country, including on college campuses.....
Hallas makes a better argument in her editorial, but just barely....Yet Hallas also makes an unconstitutional proposal, that the university has the right to compel speech by members of its community:
And if Yiannopoulos wanted to come to campus? Let him show his ignorance, but with preconditions. … Yiannopoulos may come if he likes, but he should submit to some fact checking in order to speak. Universities can protect free speech and host controversial speakers without compromising their informative missions.
Granting someone an open stage can feel uncomfortably close to an endorsement. The University should allow civil rights leaders and immigration lawyers to speak alongside such a speaker to prevent false equivalency. If this option doesn’t exist, students should fight for such a policy or review process.
Bottom Line: As long as Governor FoxNews continues to nominate, and as long as the Texas Senate continues to confirm, pro-status quo regents...nothing will change.