Floyd Abrams: Great Threats To Free Speech Come From Inside AcademiaPosted: January 4, 2016
The nation’s preeminent First Amendment lawyer, Floyd Abrams (of The Pentagon Papers, et al. fame), gave a wonderful speech last March at Temple University on the greatest threats to free speech presently facing our country. Mr. Abrams recently gave the blog “Concurring Opinions” the right to republish the speech in its entirety.
Notably, Mr. Abrams identifies the deplorable status of free speech on college campuses as one of the greatest threats. He writes:
Now, however, pressures on freedom of expression and all too often the actual suppression of free speech comes not from outside the academy but from within it. And much of it seems to come from a minority of students, who strenuously — and, I think it fair to say, contemptuously — disapprove of the views of speakers whose view of the world is different than theirs and who seek to prevent those views from being heard. The amount of students who will not tolerate the expression of views with which they differ is less important than the sad reality that repetitive acts of speech suppression within and by our academic institutions persist and seem to grow in amount. And that is shameful.
For anyone interested in this issue, please please read the full speech.