Campus Censorship Damages our Democracy

Harvey Silverglate, Harvard-educated New York lawyer and co-founder of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, has spent 50 years as a litigator battling bureaucratic tyranny.

An article from the Foundation for Economic Education explains how he has fought for the protection of liberty on, and off, campus.

Silverglate is particularly concerned about ongoing efforts to silence people on campus:

Today, Silverglate notes, campus bureaucrats with titles like “the Dean of Diversity and Inclusion” now outnumber instructors for the first time in American history, and are determined to “create a student body that looks different but thinks the same.” Their tool? The suppression of dissent, skepticism, and open inquiry. You can’t fight an ideology you are not allowed to challenge.

He warns this campus culture has a damaging effect on our democracy:

This matters more than the outcome of any one election. Students raised to question authority, call out hypocrisy, and speak their minds even if their questions make some uncomfortable, grow up to become adults who question authority. Free-thinking citizens are the ultimate check and balance in a democracy, because when all else fails they can throw the bums out at the ballot box.

But students browbeaten into silence, hemmed in by speech codes, conditioned to glide over contradictions, and nurtured on a steady diet of political correctness go out into the world intellectually disarmed. How can these citizens of tomorrow check the abuses of rogue bureaucrats and politically motivated prosecutors when they have been inculcated into a culture of obedience, fear, and self-censorship?

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