Critique of Our Article on Speech Codes
Ralph Luker has called my attention to a reader response by Professor Thomas Ingersoll of Ohio State University in the newsletter of the OAH. Ingersoll faults our article (co-authored with K.C. Johnson) “Consulting All Sides on 'Speech Codes'” published in a previous issue. Ingersoll’s argument shows an unusually impoverished understanding of the importance of academic freedom.
Stunningly, he offers this defense of Cal Poly’s censorship of Steve Hinkle, who attempted to post an informational flier advertising a speech by Mason Weaver, a black conservative:
The truth is, he [Hinkle] was deliberately provoking an incident. What the writers do not say is that all schools have rules about obtaining permission before posting on school club and special interest boards, and Hinkle had not done that. Without rules, posting boards would become war zones. He knew perfectly well that there were many public boards where he could (and probably did) post, but he wanted Mason Weaver’s opponents to be forced to look at his fliers.