Blogs > Liberty and Power > Does Horowitz Want Rightwing Speech Codes?

Mar 26, 2005 8:19 pm

Does Horowitz Want Rightwing Speech Codes?

While parts of David Horowitz's Academic Bill of Rights have merit, I have never felt entirely comfortable with it. The words of the proposal itself are not as troubling as the contradictory interpretations by leading proponents of what those words mean.

In some cases, they come across as true blue believers in campus free speech. But in others, they write as if they want to use the Bill to impose rightwing speech codes. Which is it?

Witness these recent comments by Horowitz:

"The leading opponent of my bill is the American Association of University Professors, the oldest and largest organization of faculty members. The AAUP contends that the bill would restrict professors' free speech rights. It wouldn't. Professors can still express their political opinions, but outside the classroom. In the classroom, they must distinguish between their official responsibilities as teachers and their private rights as citizens."
Horowitz is right to oppose the current speech codes. We agree that the continuing existence of these restrictions leads to the moral corruption of higher education. If the Academic Bill of Rights serves to add yet another layer of rules about what professors can say in the classroom, however, it will only worsen the problem. It seems to me that a better approach would be to concentrate on striking down the current restrictions rather than passing a"bill" to guarantee new"rights," and, presumably, new campus bureaucratic procedures for enforcement.
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