Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Education for All… Even a ‘Nazi’?

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

I do not like to get involved in U.S. politics because they are essentially the internal affairs of another country. However, Inside Higher Ed has published an article very sympathetic of Peter Cvjetanovic, one of the Charlottesville tiki torch marchers, and  Marc Johnson, the University of Nevada at Reno president who "had one clear, immediate thought: Cvjetanovic must graduate." The article depicts this case as one involving free speech (even though someone was actually killed at the far-right rally), but it is nothing of the sort. "Hate speech, after all, is protected just like other speech," says the article. No it isn't. It is a speech act, and specifically, a violent act, calculated to inflict harm on other people. Freedom and democracy are not about threats, intimidation and violence. Academic freedom doesn't grant the right to be racist and misogynist. People have a right to be protected from these people, even - especially! - on a university campus.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jul 13, 2024 10:21 p.m.

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