Does the First Amendment apply to college campuses?

Via a story referenced in Neal Boortz' column today, I came across a USA Today article on conservative students and student groups on today’s college campuses, and how many of these students are finding freedom of speech and press difficult to come by. As the news piece describes, those who reside anywhere right-of-center risk forced diversity training, being shouted down by leftist professors, or having their newspapers banned while others are allowed to operate. The atmosphere of squelched thought is apparently getting worse on the generally left-wing centers of education, and not just at the PRB (the People’s Republic of Berkeley).

The article is disturbing enough, but not half as frightening as the forthcoming USA Today's Letters to the Editor.

Chris Wolfe of Chicago writes:

Whether an organization or person is conservative has nothing to do with decisions to prohibit certain groups or ideas from the public forum. Instead, school administrators are forbidding an environment where hate, individualism and repression are encouraged.

Chris, a voter, finds no problem lumping individualism in the same category as hate and repression.

The groups with permission to form -- the ''leftist'' groups -- do not preach racism and discrimination, but promote unity and the understanding of all types of people.

I wish this was satire, but it isn’t.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t get much better further on. Robert Laine of Brooklyn doesn’t refrain from unleashing a barrage of categorical attacks on conservative students, filled with the usual simplistic "isms" found in any Socialist Debaters Handbook:

Sometimes I can't believe what I read. Is there actually a movement on college campuses to give racist, sexist, homophobic conservative students the right to harass and make fun of minorities in the name of free speech?

I doubt Mr. Laine, another voter, would be able to find any reference to minorities getting "harassed and made fun" in the article. It’s just easier to resort to tired old stereotypes of entire groups of people, which collectivists normally do. Laine disagrees with the conservative point of view (although I doubt he even understands their points of view), and decides that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to them. If he had the power, the freedoms guaranteed would be provided to a select people of his choice.

Such people shouldn't even be allowed on college campuses, let alone be granted the ability to spread their ignorance freely.

These letters are perhaps some of the most ignorant bollocks I’ve ever read in my life.

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Another take:

Another take: http://www.townhall.com/columnists/davidlimbaugh/dl20030816.shtml

It doesn't astonish me like

It doesn't astonish me like it used to, but it still sickens me. I found the "individualist" remark extremely telling--as though individualism, as a concept, can be at all diverced from the meaning of the First Amendment. If you read Erin Oconnor web site, check out her recent entry from a reader that describes having a threatening note left on his car by some "enlightened" leftist. I wrote the letter.

These people believe, and are being encouraged to believe by their professors and administrators, that they are within their rights to ban conservative (or even libertarian) speech. It's a scandal and a tradgedy of stunning proportions.

I get the same sickening

I get the same sickening experience dealing with many in the anarchist community. There is a whole industry of self-proclaimed "anti-fascists" and "anti-racists" who believe themselves to be entitled to forcibly shut down speech they disagree with.

I'm even aware of one "anarchist" who claims the right to hack any "racist" website (according to his exacting definition of "racism," of course); and not only that, he has the right to hack the site of anyone who challenges his right to do so.

I occasionally frequent anarchist venues like Infoshop and make a case for the free market from Benjamin Tucker's individualist anarchist point of view. It often results in several private flame-mails calling me a "racist, Rand-worshipping Nazi," a "goose-stepping fascist," or the like. Once I replied, informing the flamers that Tucker considered himself a libertarian socialist, and that they were historically illiterate to believe that support of the free market equalled "anarcho-capitalism." One reply: "Fuck off, Nazi!"

I get the impression that most of this set are people with no principled basis for their anarchism at all, and no understanding of the history of classical anarchism. They just like wearing circle-A T-shirts and smashing windows.

A long time ago I read a news item about the diary of a Baader-Meinhof member, in which he said that he no longer cared about ideology any more--he just enjoyed killing people. I think the ugliness and viciousness of the PC thugs on college campuses reflects a similar libido dominandi, long since divorced from any sincere basis in principle.

Private schools ought be

Private schools ought be free to make any rules they choose. Public schools are FUBAR and unsalvageable.