Yahoo Professor Hates F-word, But Only if Directed at Obama
From the Daily Caller:
Insulting the president and other government officials is practically a national pastime in the United States. This is a testament to the freedom of our society; in some parts of the world, insulting those who govern earns you swift punishment, or at least official censorship. That isn’t the case in America — unless you live on a college campus.Of course, trying to use a “heckler’s veto” is a standard tactic of the campus left. Threaten disorder, and way too many college administrations will shut up the speech the left dislikes, rather than clamp down on the disruptors.
Students at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) in Texas found this out the hard way yesterday when they erected a “free speech wall” — a recently popular way for students to highlight the importance of free speech in which students put up a freestanding wall covered in paper, upon which anyone can write anything they want. Students jumped on the chance to participate. To cite a few examples: “Don’t hate against Gays . . .,” “If you make less than $200,000 Republicans don’t care about you,” “Life’s not a bitch, Life is a beautiful woman . . .,” “Han Solo Shot First,” “My boyfriend is a liar!,” “Legalize Weed!!!,” and “NAZI PUNKS FUCK OFF!!!”
But just hours in, the free speech wall was vandalized by a professor — yes, a professor! — who was offended that someone had written “FUCK OBAMA” on the free speech wall. Students being students, the “F-word” was written on the wall many times about many different topics, but apparently the only expletive that offended this professor enough to take action was the one referring to President Obama.
The professor, whom students identified as Joe Kirk, demanded that the student groups sponsoring the wall — including Republicans, Democrats, libertarians and socialists — cover up only the Obama statement. They refused. He then told them that he would come back with a box cutter and cut it out of the wall himself, which he then did. You can see the before and after pictures at thefire.org.
Shocked that a professor would do this, the student organizers got in touch with the campus police. When the police arrived, they interviewed the students and the vandalizing professor. Then came the surprise: The police told the students that since Prof. Kirk was offended by some profanity on the wall, the students were engaging in “disorderly conduct,” a misdemeanor, and had to cover up all the swear words on the wall or take it down. Realizing that this would make a mockery out of the purpose of a free speech wall, the students simply disassembled the wall. Thus ended SHSU’s several hour-long experiment with free speech.
. . . the police, by threatening to charge the students with disorderly conduct rather than Prof. Kirk with vandalism, have established a “heckler’s veto” on SHSU’s campus. Institutions grant a “heckler’s veto” over expression when they allow the reactions of those who hear or see the expression to govern what might be said, creating an incentive for people to act disruptively or violently when confronted with speech they don’t like in the expectation that the police will shut it down. That’s precisely what happened in this case: Prof. Kirk’s destructive vandalism and claims of offense led the police to silence the expression of every student who wrote on the Free Speech Wall.
It will be interesting to see whether Kirk is subjected to any kind of punishment. We doubt it will happen, since most college administrators (and the loud leftist lobby on most campuses) see nothing wrong with shutting up speech.
Just how many Marquette professors would do this? Very few, if any.
How many Marquette professors would defend what Kirk did, and insist that the student didn’t really have the right to make a vulgar comment on Obama? Quite a lot.