Berkeley Columnist Calls for More Speech, Not Censorship
March 13, 2012
by Jaclyn Hall
Last week on The Torch, I wrote about former FIRE intern Casey Given's award-winning column in UC Berkeley's campus paper, The Daily Californian. Casey's latest, "Haters gonna hate. So what?," merits a second mention. His column outlines the conflict between free speech and political correctness at Berkeley in light of two recent controversies, a YouTube pick-up video and a campus visit by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. He writes:
Casey's call to fellow Berkeley students to answer controversial speech with more speech, not censorship, is worth your consideration. I highly recommend his article.
By now, both controversies have largely blown over, and, fortunately for the First Amendment, the two events unfolded unfettered by censorship. Indeed, to their credit, even the harshest critics of Farrakhan and Simple Pickup did not call for the administration to intervene. Nevertheless, their gut reaction to condemn and discourage discourse represents an illiberal element of our politically correct culture that is unhealthy for any free society. Rather, to protect individual rights and truly defeat bigotry, our campus should call for conversation surrounding such controversies, not silence.