New York University English Professor, Vice Provost for Faculty, Arts, Humanities, & Diversity, and leftist hack Ulrich Baer wrote an article in The New York Times claiming to "defend free speech." However, the article advocates a completely different view of the First Amendment that does not reflect any meritorious defense of free speech. The article, titled "What 'Snowflakes' Get Right About Free Speech," starts by talking about how free expression shifted from talking about logical arguments to conversations about people's feelings.
During the 1980s and ’90s, a shift occurred in American culture; personal experience and testimony, especially of suffering and oppression, began to challenge the primacy of argument. Freedom of expression became a flash point in this shift. Then as now, both liberals and conservatives were wary of the privileging of personal experience, with its powerful emotional impact, over reason and argument, which some fear will bring an end to civilization, or at least to freedom of speech.
Baer implored his readers to "not rehash those debates" because it would be problematic for a generation grown up in a tradition of expressing their traumatic experiences in response to issues of fact. Using the extreme case of Holocaust denial as an example of positions people take without much basis in reality, Baer argued that certain conversations and topics should be censored to help the public, especially those who are "not open to debate." He specifically alluded to issues of illegal immigration and racism, insinuating that minorities are incapable of arguing along rational, logical lines on tough topics.
What made Baer's article particularly asinine was his praise for the efforts of students who attempted to or successfully shut down individuals like Richard Spencer, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Charles Murray. In Baer's warped perspective, these students are the true advocates of free speech:
The recent student demonstrations at Auburn against Spencer’s visit — as well as protests on other campuses against Charles Murray, Milo Yiannopoulos and others — should be understood as an attempt to ensure the conditions of free speech for a greater group of people, rather than censorship. Liberal free-speech advocates rush to point out that the views of these individuals must be heard first to be rejected. But this is not the case. Universities invite speakers not chiefly to present otherwise unavailable discoveries, but to present to the public views they have presented elsewhere. When those views invalidate the humanity of some people, they restrict speech as a public good.
He also used this op-ed to talk about how the leftist "snowflakes" attempts to silence non-progressive voices are helping to heal a racist and sexist nation:
What is under severe attack, in the name of an absolute notion of free speech, are the rights, both legal and cultural, of minorities to participate in public discourse. The snowflakes sensed, a good year before the election of President Trump, that insults and direct threats could once again become sanctioned by the most powerful office in the land. They grasped that racial and sexual equality is not so deep in the DNA of the American public that even some of its legal safeguards could not be undone.
This is not a defense of free speech; this is an unapologetic defense of liberal fascism masquerading as social justice. The "snowflakes" that Baer champions as free speech advocates bastardize the First Amendment and rationalize their bruised feelings to act savagely toward those who disagree with them. Much of this behavior is normalized and encouraged by the Communist hacks in the ivory tower in which Baer and many of his colleagues reside; it directly correlated with President Trump's rise to the presidency. The American people are sick of seeing spoiled brats coming out of prestigious colleges and universities acting morally superior to people who have every legal right to express their opinion in a cordial, rational manner.
This is not a defense of free speech; this is an unapologetic defense of liberal fascism masquerading as social justice.
However, the Left has no intention of stopping its fight against the First Amendment. As Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro wrote in response to Howard Dean's asinine tweet regarding hate speech:
But the Democrats have long wanted to gut the First Amendment: they want to prohibit political spending from their opponents, they want to prohibit people from using biologically correct pronouns to describe transgender people, they want to ban “hate speech.” They hate the First Amendment because they see its protections as incompatible with the collective good – the collective good protecting “non-offensive” speech only.
It is for conservatives, libertarians, and classical liberals to take the Left to task and protect the First Amendment from the intellectual and moral cowards that run college campuses as fascist dystopias.