Sandy Hingston, Senior Editor at Philadelphia Magazine, recently wrote an article chronicling the past 20 years of political correctness on today’s college campuses. Hingston deftly examines the broader anti-free speech trends by sampling from a range of cases and prominently features Greg Lukianoff, Unlearning Liberty, and FIRE in her piece:
[Greg] posits that political correctness has hamstrung free speech, resulting in a society where citizens lack the “experience of uninhibited debate and casual provocation” that keeps minds open and dialogue flowing. People lose their jobs because of jokes and misinterpretations; they’re hung out to dry in public when they misspeak; they quake in fear of being accused of “disrespect.” Those who dare question whether these offended parties have actually suffered harm are shouted down by the hurt-feelings “sensitivity” industry and social media and news organizations trolling for hits. And the costs of disagreeing with the PC guardians ratchet ever upward—costs that all of us pay.
The article is thought-provoking, funny, and a great read. Check it out!
Greg writes in The Huffington Post a response to Erika Christakis’s recent observations about college and university students’ increasing reluctance to push back against statements or ideas with which they disagree.
When we refuse to even have conversations on divisive issues, we help create a culture that fosters silence instead of exploration and innovation. New ideas cannot flourish and progress cannot be made in a society that fears talking it out.
Greg praises Christakis’s insight and joins her in saying to today’s college students: “‘Be offended. Get hurt once in awhile. Make your case.’ Don’t get into the habit of staying silent.” Check out his full response here.
In an extensive interview with Inside Higher Ed, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff unpacks many of the themes of his book, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate. In this wide-ranging interview, Greg addresses digital censorship, the “Dear Colleague” letter from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, the effect campus censorship has on society, and much more. Here’s what he had to say in response to a question about the implications of overbroad and vague speech codes:
By banning different attitudes, perceptions, and values, colleges send the message that policing discussion is the proper role of authority, essentially saying that enlightened society should not only censor but also delve into areas of the private conscience of individuals using the threat of punishment. This is a terrible lesson to teach students in our diverse and pluralistic society.
Inside Higher Ed’s interview is the longest online interview yet with Greg about Unlearning Liberty. It’s well worth reading in its entirety for those looking for a thorough treatment of the book. Be sure to check it out!
Greg is a guest contributor to Ricochet this week. Greg was invited to discuss the themes of his new book, Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate. His first four posts are already live, and we encourage you to check them out. Ricochet is a unique site where “the conversation” is the main focus. Contributors like Greg are encouraged to write short posts to spark a conversation and to stay active in responding to comments. While anyone can view the conversations, you have to be a Ricochet member to write comments.
In an article for Forbes online, Greg details the findings of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education‘s (FIRE’s) new report, Spotlight on Speech Codes 2013: The State of Free Speech on Our Nation’s Campuses. Though the percentage of colleges and universities with unconstitutional speech codes continues to decline, Greg reports that a whopping 62% of them continue to maintain policies that seriously infringe upon the free speech rights of their students. Greg points to several factors for this, including the burgeoning administrative class on campus and an increasing ignorance of the legal and philosophical principles of free expression. To read more of Greg’s analysis, visit Forbes!