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Well, this is interesting.   For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know that I constantly talk about the free speech crisis that exist on college campuses all across America.  For example, in the last week I’ve written:

Student Protesters Shut Down University of Oregon President’s Speech – Laughably – to ‘Stand Against Fascism’

and

Video: UNLV Professor Blames Las Vegas Shooting Massacre on… Donald Trump?

And have even wondered

Should Conservatives on College Campus Should Be a Protected Group?

Today, however, the University of Tennessee sent this email to all of its students…  and the liberal fascists that make up modern academia will not be happy about it:

Across our country, universities are facing a variety of complicated and sometimes challenging free speech issues. We know our campus will face its own tests.

As a public university, we’re a marketplace of ideas. We support and encourage debate. We believe that exposure to different viewpoints expands one’s perception of the world.

We want to make sure you are aware of the state’s Campus Free Speech Protection Act, which was signed into law in May.

We are required to notify the campus community of this act annually.

The state law says “it is not the proper role of an institution to attempt to shield individuals from free speech, including ideas and opinions they find offensive, unwise, immoral, indecent, disagreeable, conservative, liberal, traditional, radical, or wrong-headed.”

Further, the law says that although members of the campus community are free to state their own views and contest what others are saying, “they may not substantially obstruct or otherwise substantially interfere with the freedom of others to express views they reject or even loathe.”

We must protect the freedom of our campus community to vigorously discuss ideas. Just as we urge you to speak up, we urge you to allow others to speak. 

Vincent Carilli

Vice Chancellor for Student Life

John Zomchick

Interim Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor

Sanity…on a college campus?  It’s a little like seeing a unicorn. I didn’t think it was possible.

The full statute is even better, because it says teachers should keep their personal opinions to themselves when not related to the subject matter they are teaching.  (But what would social work professors even talk about it they stopped bashing conservatives and Christians?)

Folks, this is important.  Every state should pass this, if they are even remotely serious about the idea of free speech.  And frankly, any state that won’t, isn’t.

My favorite part of the email is when Vincent Carilli writes, “We are required to notify the campus community of this act annually.”  I don’t know Carilli — from all accounts, he’s a great guy.  But this email almost seems like he’s being held hostage… that his overlords are requiring him to say something under duress. 

Guess what?  I’m fine with that.

The residents of Tennessee voted in their state legislators, who represent the will of the people.  It’s time to remember that the government answers to us — not the other way around.

This email is a wonderful step toward freedom.  Way to go, Tennessee!

Image Credit: Wikimedia

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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