I did not get very far into my First Amendment lecture before that administrator transferred me to another office. The reception I got there was markedly more professional. I explained the illegality of a policy banning all printed political speech. I explained that it was irrelevant because the policy actually does not exist because the administrator simply made it up. Then, I arranged a time for the student to come back to seek approval with two things in her hand: 1. A stack of political posters advertising a Republican event. 2. An iPhone loaded with pictures of OFA posters hanging all over the CFCC campus.
By the end of the day, the posters were hanging on the campus. I went back to preparing for my debate and working on my book edits. When I finished those tasks I sat down to catch up on my column chronicles of the campus free speech wars. I wrote this specific column in order to illustrate the followings points:
1. Campus censorship, which began in the elite private schools and spread to the state universities has now reached our community college campuses.<>2. All of these institutions are populated with armies of administrators who are, at best, indifferent to First Amendment principles.
3. Increasingly, many campus administrators, including those at small community colleges, are openly hostile toward the First Amendment.
4. Hostile administrators often invent campus policies in an effort to shut down the marketplace of ideas.
5. The goal of hostile administrators is to completely remove any semblance of conservative thought from the marketplace of ideas. Their goal is total domination of the ideological marketplace.
6. Administrators rely upon a combination of student apathy and student ignorance in their efforts to reduce intellectual diversity on campus.
7. When questioned by others in positions of authority, these administrators generally refuse to answer questions and try to pass responsibility on to other administrators.
8. When initially confronted, those other administrators claim ignorance of the facts concerning alleged constitutional violations.
9. When confronted again with explicit evidence and implicit threats of litigation, campus administrators often capitulate.
10. Even small free speech victories require substantial effort due to the size of the college administration and the ambiguity of its organizational structure.
There really is little wonder why some administrators at CFCC sought to keep OFA posters as the sole examples of political speech on campus. It really isn't political speech. It's just the way things ought to be. The OFA movement protects the administrative bureaucracy. The administrative bureaucracy protects the OFA movement. That is how these things move. Forward.
These days, the purpose of speech at government schools is to grow the government. It isn't about the students. It hasn't been that way since the 1960s.
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