Furthermore, gay activists have recently been leaving magazines with pictures of nude men engaging in sexual acts, in visible locations all around the student union. But, to date, there has been no apology from the university to those who might have been offended. Such an apology from the university would make sense because some of these magazines appear to have the specific endorsement of the university. In fact, one is promoted on the university website via a link to its online edition.
Anyone who is trying to make sense of these seemingly contradictory results must understand that universities seldom adhere to principles when deciding free speech controversies. Instead, they make decisions on the basis of group identity. Specifically, they carefully monitor speech that is offensive to blacks, women, and gays. However, complaints from anyone not in one of the aforementioned groups are never taken seriously.
I am certainly pleased that the university has taken some responsibility for this recent blunder. But I would be more pleased if they would apologize for other obvious transgressions without considering the characteristics of the people offended. Like Justice Potter Stewart, they may not know how to define obscenity, but they should know it when they see it.
Mike S. Adams (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Wonderland. He just finished reading Animal Farm. He is currently re-reading Lady Chatterley's Lover. After that, he intends to read Welcome to the Ivory Tower of Babel, when it is released on April 15.