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Freedom of Speech

Love Bites

Christina Oxenberg | Posted 01.03.2017 | Comedy
Christina Oxenberg

It was a full moon and it was his birthday and he had to go out. Later, on his way home he met a dusty cat.

China Convicts Prominent Lawyer Pu Zhiqiang of Speech Violations While Nominated for Columbia 2016 Global Freedom of Expression Award

Cynthia L. Cooper | Posted 12.21.2016 | Home
Cynthia L. Cooper

A court in Beijing convicted Pu Zhiqiang, one of China's foremost human rights lawyers, of crimes early on December 22, 2015 because of comments he po...

ISIS, Fear, and the Freedom of Speech

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 12.22.2016 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

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.

We Live in Difficult Times. So Now What?

Susan Danish | Posted 12.21.2016 | Impact
Susan Danish

As we head into 2016, perhaps we can each recommit to being part of a world that has, and honors, freedom of speech and worship and freedom from fear and want.

Donald Trump Should Visit the America I Know

David Rivera | Posted 12.17.2016 | Latino Voices
David Rivera

"The Donald" while famously rich is exceedingly poor in knowledge, compassion, and respect for American values. It is as though he is trapped in some bygone era or simply "didn't get the memo."

If Islam Is Un-American, so Are Christianity and Judaism

Warren J. Blumenfeld | Posted 12.13.2016 | Religion
Warren J. Blumenfeld

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.

Arab Media: Fall in Line or Switch off!

Rana Sabbagh | Posted 12.02.2016 | Media
Rana Sabbagh

Most top Arab journalists and TV personalities are remarkably candid these days about their survival kit: hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. After a brief lull, brought about by the Arab Spring, they have decided to support their governments and rulers and serve as their mouthpiece.

This University President Is Sick of Reading About Pampered, Coddled Students

Michael Roth | Posted 11.22.2016 | College
Michael Roth

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.

Woodrow Wilson, Princeton University, and the Battles We Choose to Fight

Geoffrey R. Stone | Posted 11.21.2016 | Politics
Geoffrey R. Stone

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.

From Paris with Love! My Message to Mark Zuckerberg

Carole Bienaimé-Besse | Posted 11.14.2016 | Media
Carole Bienaimé-Besse

Thank you Mark for creating the safety check button during the Paris attacks. Thanks to you, since last night we were able to reassure people we love and vice versa. Thanks also for creating Facebook, such a great machine, who invented a new word : social network.

What's Going on at Yale Isn't About Free Speech

Perrye Proctor | Posted 11.12.2016 | Education
Perrye Proctor

I don't have racist or sexist experiences from my time at Yale but I will never insult fellow Yalies by tuning out their stories and telling them that my experience is the only legitimate account of what happens on campus. I'll never say something isn't happening because it isn't happening to me.

Going Silent (Installment Eight)

Peter Himmelman | Posted 11.03.2016 | GPS for the Soul
Peter Himmelman

After five weeks of total vocal rest, a necessary part of healing after a vocal cord surgery, I've started to speak again. My voice is weak and only s...

Bill O'Reilly: PC Campus Culture 'Beginning Of Totalitarian Society'

The Huffington Post | Gabriel Arana | Posted 11.05.2015 | Media

Despite his professed love for the Constitution, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly seems to have very little appreciation for what “freedom of speech”...

Free Speech is for the Speech You Hate, Not for the Speech You Like

Dr. Cindi Love | Posted 10.28.2016 | Education
Dr. Cindi Love

I can relate to the impact of saying what one believes to be true when other people don't want to hear it. That is why I feel alarmed today about the campus-based and society-wide movement toward censorship.

Iranian Poets Sentenced to Prison for Socially Conscious Poetry

Arash Sobhani | Posted 10.23.2016 | Home
Arash Sobhani

In a flagrant assault on civil liberties and creative freedom, the Islamic Republic of Iran has sentenced the poets Fatemeh Ekhtesari and Mehdi Musavi to prison for 11.5 years and 9 years respectively. Their crime? Endeavoring to write socially conscious poetry.

Has 'Black Lives Matter' Been Hijacked?

David Rivera | Posted 10.20.2016 | Black Voices
David Rivera

There is an organized effort by conservative elements and police departments to portray the peaceful non-violent movement as having been hijacked by cop killers. For those of us who have been around long enough there is nothing new with this approach. It is called divide and conquer.

Woman Charged With Criminal Mischief for Giving Water to Thirsty Animals

Jacy Reese | Posted 10.15.2016 | Green
Jacy Reese

While Anita refused to stop, he told her, "No, you know what, these are not humans, you dumb frickin' broad."

I'm A Librarian Who Banned A Book: Here's Why

The Conversation US | Posted 10.02.2016 | Home
The Conversation US

I am a librarian and academic library director and an ardent supporter of free speech and democracy, but in 2012 I banned a book at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania.

The Faith I've Seen in Washington D.C.

Kevin Hogan | Posted 10.01.2016 | Queer Voices
Kevin Hogan

It was after the meeting, back out in the real world, when I saw Faith take our message of bisexual visibility and respect and turn it into a love chant that could drown out even the most vocal of detractors.

Dirty Speech Is Protected Speech

Bennett L. Gershman | Posted 09.18.2016 | Politics
Bennett L. Gershman

To many observers, offensive speech should not receive any constitutional protection. Needless to say, telling a police officer to "f-ck off" is not the wisest thing to say, and many persons have been arrested for disorderly conduct for saying it to police.

All Threats Matter: The Selective Prosecution of Violent Speech

Torraine Walker | Posted 09.09.2016 | Black Voices
Torraine Walker

The efforts of Black Lives Matter protesters have forced a long overdue conversation about entrenched brutality and racism in American policing. It seems like opponents are using a handful of unfortunately worded expressions of black anger to avoid -- or destroy -- the discussion.

Offering Immigrant Children the 'Write' to Freedom

Steph Thompson | Posted 09.08.2016 | Impact
Steph Thompson

Poverty and the plight of the powerless is hard to behold firsthand. It is something so many people try to forget, save a few distant images on screens or words uttered in calm monotone on NPR while we drink our morning coffee.

Mauritania: Scholar Warns of "Implosion" Unless Leadership Embraces Change

Till Bruckner | Posted 08.17.2016 | Home
Till Bruckner

I spoke with Amadou Sall, a lecturer of social anthropology at the University of Nouakchott and leading member of the Mauritanie Perspectives think tank, about politics, social change and the prospects for democracy in this rapidly changing West African nation.

Why American Journalism Is in a State of Crisis

S. Kumar | Posted 07.31.2016 | Media
S. Kumar

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.

Art of Resistance: Charlie Hebdo's Antonio Fischetti and Judea Pearl on the War on Journalists

Devra Maza | Posted 07.27.2016 | Home
Devra Maza

It's the prize no one should have to win. When The Daniel Pearl Award was presented to the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, everyone who rose to applaud knew it came at a terrible cost.