Last semester, the faculty senate at the University of Alabama (UA) passed an Orwellian speech code designed to restrict ?any behavior that demeans or reduces an individual based on group affiliation or personal traits, or which promotes hate or discrimination.?
Anyone armed with an 11th grade education can see that such a speech code is unconstitutional. Indeed, many of the UA ?diversity initiatives? such as the Vagina Monologues would be banned under such a code, if the university had any intention of applying the code equally. Come to think of it, booing an Auburn football player would be banned under the code, too.
The idea for the speech code followed a university-sponsored comedy show in which a homosexual student claimed to have been singled out for his sexual preference. In reality, it was an opportunity UA professors had been waiting on for years.
Accounting Professor and Faculty Senate President John Mason said the speech code was passed so UA would not be responsible for paying entertainers who might offend members of the UA community. For example, ?Vagina Warriors? who march around campus chanting ?vagina, vagina? during the Vagina Monologues need to be protected from speech that might make them cry.
"Our resolution asks that before the University hires an entertainer, we check to see that the performance does not use forms of hate speech, such as gay bashing or ethnic bashing," Mason said. "The rationale for that is that the University should not pay to bring someone on campus who will say those things. Freedom of speech means that you can say what you want, but we don't have to pay to hear it. Basically, the University should not sponsor or pay for an event where hate speech will likely be spoken."
In typical Orwellian double-speak, Mason said that the Faculty Senate never had plans to implement a speech code or anything of the kind. ?Anyone stating that is using that as a platform for other purposes, such as furthering his or her own political aspirations,? Mason said.
But, fortunately, UA Sophomore Pat Samples saw through the resolution and proposed that the Faculty Senate rescind its resolution made last semester. In addition, Samples urged the Senate to adopt positive protections for free speech.
Now, the Student Senate has unanimously passed a pro-free speech resolution repudiating that of the Faculty Senate. The text of the resolution follows:
WHEREAS the right to free speech is an inalienable human and civil right that is protected by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of
WHEREAS free speech is absolutely vital to the mission of any university, where new and often controversial ideas must be discussed openly and rationally in order to make advances in knowledge;
WHEREAS the Faculty Senate of the University of Alabama has recently passed a resolution urging the University of Alabama to regulate the speech of students at the University of Alabama;
WHEREAS speech codes have been used by other colleges and universities to silence dissenting speech, not merely so-called ?hate speech?, and to persecute those with unpopular opinions;
WHEREAS there are currently numerous legal challenges pending against such speech codes, and the adoption of such a speech code at the University of Alabama would invite a lawsuit against the University that would be costly and would greatly tarnish its public image;
WHEREAS in the words of Thomas Jefferson, ?Error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it?;
WHEREAS by defending free speech for all students, one in no way condones any kind of hate or intolerance; On the contrary, one is promoting tolerance of others despite their differences, especially their differences of opinion;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the University of Alabama Student Senate most strongly urges the Administration and the Faculty Senate of the University of Alabama to refrain from adopting any form of speech code, even one that purports to ban only so-called ?hate speech?;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the University of Alabama Student Senate most strongly urges the Administration and the Faculty Senate to adopt policies that explicitly protect free speech for all students at the University of Alabama;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT copies of this resolution also be sent to Dr.
Robert Witt, President of the University of Alabama, Dr. John Mason, President of the Faculty Senate of the University of Alabama, the Tuscaloosa News, the Crimson White and Dateline Alabama for informational purposes.
Clearly, a new civil war is underway on America?s college campuses. It is a war between sensible freedom-loving students and politically correct freedom-hating professors. But UA President Robert Witt (http://president.ua.edu/) has not yet taken sides in this new civil war. How much longer will he remain silent? The whole world is waiting for the answer.
Mike S. Adams? February 28 speech at the University of Wisconsin School of Law (Room 3250) will be open to the public. The speech will begin at 7 p.m. Offended feminists will begin protesting at 7:01.
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