Most made the list for the usual reasons, namely, hurting someone’s feelings.
But the amazing story is Modesto Junior College, where a student was targeted simply because he tried to hand out copies of the Constitution on Constitution Day!
It gets worse: when a faculty member sent out an email supporting the student’s free speech rights, the administration retaliated against him.
Here are some excerpts from the faculty member’s email. Clearly this subversive agitator must be punished!
I am puzzled why there has been no faculty outcry over this ugly incident. Why are we not standing up for our student who only wanted to exercise his constitutional right to free speech? Do we really want to be known nationwide as the college that wouldn’t let a veteran pass out copies of our Constitution on Constitution Day?
While this news has not even been mentioned on our faculty mail site, it has given our college a black eye all across the nation. … None of this [extensive media coverage] has shown up on our faculty website. Why not? It seems to me that protecting our students’ rights to freedom of expression should be of paramount concern to all of us.
A picture is worth a thousand words. If you think it a small matter that Van Tuinen was not allowed to exercise his rights on Constitution Day, then watch the video of how he was treated by campus security and Student Services. I contend that not even a morally defective person could watch that video without feeling deeply offended by how he was treated. …
If we need to be reminded of the importance of Freedom of Thought and Expression in a democracy, and in an institution of higher learning, we need only review J.S. Mill’s arguments in On Liberty that have been used to explain how only in an atmosphere of free discussion and free exchange of ideas can we develop our powers of judgment and have access to information that would enable us to know the truth and to develop our human excellences. An institute of learning without freedom of thought and expression and full exchange of information is simply not an institution of learning.
What about people calling us Nazis? Again, why be so hurt and surprised at being called Nazis when we are restricting people’s liberties? This isn’t what people expect from representatives of the law in this, these United States of America, in this land of the free and the brave. Instead of complaining that some (probably anonymous) people called our friends Nazis, perhaps instead we should commend Van Tuinen for his admirable restraint when he was blocked by a police officer, and told by a representative of this school that he had no right to distribute copies of the Constitution in a public place without first getting advance permission from a college administrator. Why should he be required to get advance permission from a bureaucrat to share his beliefs with others on the campus of an institution of higher learning? Who treats people like that? Nazis do. Communists do. The Taliban does. We don’t expect Americans to act that way. That is why the word “Nazi” springs to some people’s lips.