In recent weeks, two of the legal scholars I most admire -- Cass Sunstein and Eric Posner -- have independently called for possible limitations on the scope of First Amendment protection in light of the dangers posed to the United States by online radicalization messages directed at Americans. Although I certainly understand the concerns driving these suggestions, it is essential that we resist the temptation to restrict our most fundamental freedoms in moment of panic. This is not to say that our nation's security is not important or that preventing terrorist attacks is not a critical goal. But it is to say that this is not an appropriate way to protect ourselves.
For Donald Trump or anyone else to single out the negative, destructive, and, yes, evil passages of the Quran (or how some sects or cults within Islam co-opt, distort, and attempt to hijack the overall messages) without doing so as well with the holy books of Judaism and Christianity demonstrates a hierarchical double standard.
It must be easier for conservative columnists to fret about those crazy students instead of focusing on the intellectual wasteland sprouting from what was supposed to be their think tank driven "revolution of ideas." These writers are aghast that students from groups long discriminated against aren't just grateful to their institutions for allowing them on campus.
I don't really care one way or the other whether Princeton erases Woodrow Wilson from its history - except to the extent that such an action would inevitably invite an endless array of similar claims that would both fundamentally distort the realities of our history and distract attention from the real issues of deeply-rooted injustice in our contemporary society that we need to take seriously today.
Will McAvoy, in the HBO drama The Newsroom, tells a colleague: "I don't believe in censorship, but I'm a big believer in self-censorship." It's a simple principle that guided generations of journalists and news organizations in America for decades, but one that the press now seems to have forgotten. In an age of 24-hour online news driven by ad sales and page views, responsible journalism seems to be hard to find.