The 1st Amendment Under Attack on College Campuses
The 1st amendment only applies so long as you’re not offended!
More and more we are seeing stories where conservative minded students are coming under attack for expressing their first amendment rights on college campuses. Mind you the majority of the students expressing this right are doing so in a passive manner yet the liberals are still getting up in arms as the mere sight of a Donald Trump sign throws them into a tizzy.
If that’s not enough, conservative students are also being harassed and threatened if they dare decide to rally in support of conservative principles.
A prime example of this is the Berkeley riots we have seen break out on multiple occasions in which masked dissenters have been attacking Trump rally attendees.
What we are witnessing with these riots and various demonstrations around the country is a scary precedent. Not only are these individuals completely devoid of rational thought they also have a demented or non-existent view of the Constitution, the rule of law, and have no understanding of how our government is designed to work.
Just look up online various interviews of individuals who are asked just what it is they are protesting for and the majority aren’t even capable of explaining why they are there or what it is they are allegedly protesting about. This only confirms the stories that have surfaced reporting that George Soros is promoting and funding the protests all over the country! After all why else would you protest something you no knowledge of?
What’s even more worrisome when it comes to the whole anti-Trump sentiment is the elimination of free speech on college campuses! As I said before, young people today literally lose it at the mere sight of something they do not agree with and subsequently demand that dissenting opinions be silenced.
According to The Political Insider,
America’s colleges and universities are bastions of liberalism and nowhere is this more apparent than when they police their conservative students’ free speech rights.
We have one such case out of the University of South Alabama where a student was told he couldn’t post a Trump-Pence 2016 sign in his dorm window. David Meredith put up the sign on March 3, 2017 but by March 31st, he had been told by his dorm’s community director to remove it. The excuse? That his dorm window sign could be seen as an illegal political endorsement of Trump by the university and was against school rules.
An “illegal political endorsement”??? I’m sorry but when did endorsing anyone for political office become and illegal act? After all we had thousands of mindless millennials endorsing an outright socialist for political office in Bernie Sanders and no one batted an eye. Then again this goes back to my original sentiment, you can only express your opinion so long as your not “offending others”.
The Political Insider then goes on to explain,
According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which helped defend him:
Meredith’s response? Two simple words: “1st amendment.”
Instead of backing down, the community director sparred with Meredith over email, arguing that the dorm was a “federal building” that could not show support for candidates. As Meredith pointed out in the exchange, this would mean that federal buildings couldn’t display the name of the president — and a state university’s dorm is not a federal building. This is not to mention that the campaign ended almost five months before Meredith’s sign went up.
However, all of this was irrelevant. Political speech is protected not only during campaign season, but after the campaign is over. Moreover, as we pointed out in our letter to the University of South Alabama earlier this week (embedded below), 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in no way requires universities to censor students’ political speech. Rather, 501(c)(3) status, at most, requires tax-exempt entities to avoid reasonable appearances that the institution itself is endorsing a particular candidate.
Courts and tax authorities have repeatedly made clear that students are strongly presumed not to speak on behalf of the universities they attend. As stated in our letter, the notion that a sign in a student’s window might be viewed as an endorsement by the institution is absurd:
Under [the university’s] application of the 501(c)(3) policy, a student may display a political sign only where nobody can see it. No person, however unreasonable, could be misled into believing that the University of South Alabama had chosen to make its endorsement, in an election for the highest office in the land, through a solitary sign placed in one of dozens of windows in one of thirty-two dormitory buildings. That the university furnishes living areas to students, at the students’ expense, does not render students’ speech that of the university. A contrary interpretation, untenable at a university of any caliber, would require administrators to police and censor nearly every political expression on campus.
So there you have it, political speech is protected free speech regardless of where and when it is being displayed. I actually came across this in my place of work as I’m sure many others have given the atmosphere of the last election. This is definitely a sensitive subject no matter where or when it is being discussed. As this is the case it is essential we all posses the ability to have discussions like adults and not let them end up in arguments and fist fights.