Monday, May 21, 2018

Right-wing students are being subjected to vile abuse on campuses with one undergraduate finding 'Tory b***h' written on her bedroom door

Students are being subjected to vile abuse on campuses for holding Right-leaning views, the universities minister has warned.

One undergraduate found ‘Tory bitch’ written on her bedroom door after airing her political views in a lecture, Sam Gyimah said.

In another example, a student had his car egged for expressing his political opinions.

Mr Gyimah, who has been touring universities to talk with students, said: ‘I think that is an unacceptable way to deal with people for expressing quite valid views.’

Speaking at King’s College London, the minister expressed ‘serious concern’ at the state of free speech in universities.

He said: ‘We have a danger of developing a mono-culture, where some views are in and some views are out.’

The MP for East Surrey is currently overseeing new guidance that will require all universities to protect freedom of expression. He said he worried that intolerance on campuses may be originating from professors with strong views.

‘Let’s say you happen to be quite Right-wing, but your lecturer disagrees with your politics,’ he said.

‘You can suddenly become quite conscious about expressing your views because they mark your essays and grade you.’

Criticising what he suggested was a Left-wing bias on campuses, Mr Gyimah said: ‘I have never seen a Left-wing politician in this country treated on campus the way some Right-wing politicians are.

‘If you are going to condemn Toby Young, you have to condemn Ken Livingstone too. Free speech has to cut both ways.’

The minister also expressed concern at the growing culture of ‘safe spaces’ at universities, which has led to speakers being banned simply because they might offend someone.

He said: ‘You might think someone’s views offensive and abhorrent, in which case challenge them.

‘I do not think we can progress by sticking our hands in our ears to views we simply do not want to hear.’

Earlier in the day in a Commons debate on free speech, Christian MP Fiona Bruce revealed how she was rebuked by a university official for giving a talk at a campus ‘pro-life’ society.

She was informed she was ‘offending students’ – and asked to screen off the event so it could not be observed from outside.

‘I believe it is emboldening students who want to silence or censor views that they think are wrong or offensive,’ she told the Commons human rights committee.


Christian Colleges Press Their Suit on Mandate
On Obamacare’s eighth birthday, most Americans probably wanted to blow out the candles and wish it all away. The courts have certainly tried. Almost 100 lawsuits into this miserable failure, Obama’s train wreck of a health care law isn’t just unpopular with the American people but with judges too.

Ninety-one rulings into their fight for the abortion pill mandate, liberals have lost every case but three. For the pro-abortion Left, which is used to the friendly turf of the courts, the drubbing speaks to just how bad the law is. And it shows no sign of slowing. This week, a federal district court knocked the Left’s winning percentage down another peg when it sided with four Christian colleges that objected to paying for pills and procedures that violate their faith.

After a five-year legal battle they should’ve never had to fight, Southern Nazarene University, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Oklahoma Baptist University, and Mid-America Christian University finally got the news they were hoping for: The threat of government punishment is over. Judge Stephen Friot agreed that “Plaintiffs have demonstrated, and Defendants now concede, that requiring Plaintiffs to comply with [the HHS mandate], to the extent such compliance contradict[s] Plaintiffs’ religious beliefs, violates their rights protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Forcing these campuses to violate their faith would make them “suffer irreparable harm,” Friot wrote in his order, which granted the schools complete and permanent relief from the Obamacare mandate.

Our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom, who are representing these universities (and others), celebrated the decision now a half-decade in the making. “These universities no longer have to fear being forced to pay fines for simply abiding by the Christian beliefs they teach and espouse, and they are no longer required to fill out forms authorizing coverage for abortion-inducing drugs,” Senior Counsel Greg Baylor explained. “The government has many other ways to ensure access to these drugs without forcing people of faith to violate their deepest convictions.”

Before President Trump, abortion activists could lean on the Justice Department to argue for the mandate in court. Now that crutch is gone, and liberals are on their own to argue a losing case. The DOJ under this White House refuses to lift a finger to defend a policy as flawed and unconstitutional as Obama’s. If anything, President Trump only made the Left’s job harder when he broadened the pool of people who could take advantage of the mandate’s exemptions.

Unfortunately, the nightmare for religious liberty isn’t over yet. The only way to resolve that — and the laundry list of problems with the law — is to repeal it altogether. And believe it or not, that’s still a possibility. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) hasn’t given up on conservatives’ top gripe, telling reporters Wednesday that he plans to take another crack at the bill he and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) floated last year. “I’m just trying to get a product together,” Graham explained. “We’re talking to everybody.” Including the president. Asked if the White House would back another shot at repeal, Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley said yes. “The White House fully supports the efforts of a broad coalition working to address the Obamacare disaster and increase affordable healthcare options for middle-class Americans.”

For the sake of American families and freedom, let’s hope they try.


It's Now 1984 at the University of Michigan
Students at the University of Michigan, beware. If you say anything politically incorrect or out-of-line with the political and social orthodoxy on your campus, you may get a knock on your dorm room door from the university’s equivalent of the Thought Police and be forced into a reeducation camp. Or you may be suspended or thrown out of school, potentially damaging your educational prospects and your entire future professional career.

If this sounds like an exaggeration, consider a new lawsuit filed in federal court in Michigan by Speech First, Inc., against the president of the University of Michigan, other senior university officials, and the entire board of trustees. Speech First is a nationwide membership organization of students, faculty, and alumni (including students at Michigan) dedicated to preserving First Amendment rights on college campuses.

That is a very tough job these days when so many students and administrators don’t believe the First Amendment should apply in their dormitories, their classrooms, or anywhere else on campus (or off campus, for that matter).

Don’t be surprised if what I am about to describe sounds like a scene out of George Orwell's 1984, where the Thought Police would arrest any citizen criticizing the regime or otherwise disagreeing with the official view on everything from politics to culture. And they used surveillance that included informers and electronic devices like cameras and microphones.

That is what the University of Michigan has been transformed into — the equivalent of Oceania in 1984 or the former East Germany. As the lawsuit says, the university has created an “elaborate investigatory and disciplinary apparatus to suppress and punish speech other students deem ‘demeaning,’ ‘bothersome,’ or ‘hurtful.’” Yes, really: The student disciplinary code defines “harassment” as any “unwanted negative attention perceived as intimidating, demeaning, or bothersome to an individual".

In other words, as the complaint says, “the most sensitive student on campus effectively dictates the terms under which others may speak.” Under this absurd but dangerous policy, a student expressing his positive opinion about Donald Trump could be considered “bothersome” to the many (or any of the) liberal students on campus.

One of the students in the lawsuit believes that Black Lives Matter is “a hateful group that promotes racial division” and has “sowed division [on campus] through intimidation by, for example, disrupting speakers and events and vandalizing student displays.” But that student is afraid to express those views because he “credibly fears” that those views will be considered harassment or bullying. There seems little doubt that he is right.

Given the protests I have encountered giving speeches on campuses about immigration, including criticizing sanctuary policies and praising the enhanced enforcement efforts of the Trump administration, there is also little doubt that any student voicing similar sentiments or even using the politically incorrect but accurate legal term “illegal aliens” would be charged.

This speech code violates fundamental First Amendment rights to speak freely and will have a profoundly chilling effect on students and faculty — assuming there are any faculty members at Michigan who stand out from the liberal academic hierarchy that runs most campuses these days like the Inner Party in Oceania.

The university has its version of the Stasi and Orwell’s Thought Police — a “Bias Response Team” that investigates supposed “bias” complaints from offended students — students who can file their complaints anonymously. So if you are accused of wrongdoing, you don’t even have a right to confront your accuser — just like the former citizens of East Germany where the Stasi had literally hundreds of thousands of informers who could be your next-door neighbor or even a member of your own family. Or in this case, a student down the hall or from one of your classes.

If you think this Star Chamber process is limited to verbal speech, think again. Just like the electronic surveillance in Oceania, the “Bias Incident Report Log” posted by Michigan on its website shows that the Bias Response Team may come after you for what you do and say in “On-line/Social Media” communications including texts, emails, and Twitter.

The log also shows that the campus secret police — sorry, the Bias Response Team — also goes after “Off Campus” speech. So students aren’t safe anywhere. Their First Amendment rights are severely restricted, no matter what they are doing or where they are.

So a student may literally receive a knock on his door “from a team of University officials threatening to refer the student to formal disciplinary authorities” for something some unknown, anonymous informant alleges that he said, something the informant doesn’t like, or doesn’t agree with, or is uncomfortable with. Unless, of course, as the complaint says, the student agrees to submit “to ‘restorative justice,’ ‘individual education,’ or ‘unconscious bias training.’”

In other words, the only way a student may be able to avoid formal charges against meritless claims is by agreeing to submit to the academic equivalent of a communist-style “reeducation” camp or brainwashing about the latest liberal fad like “unconscious bias.”

The University of Michigan doesn’t seem to care that, as the U.S. Supreme Court has said, “First Amendment protections [do not] apply with less force on college campuses than in the community at large." Moreover, "the mere dissemination of ideas — no matter how offensive to good taste — on a state university campus may not be shut off in the name alone of ‘conventions of decency.’” In fact, the point of the First Amendment — and this is particularly important in the academic setting — is “to shield just those choices of content that in someone’s eyes are misguided, or even hurtful.”

The complaint contains a list of specific incidents that show that this draconian speech code is a one-way ratchet: it is used against those who express conservative opinions and ideas. Disruptions by liberal students against conservatives are tolerated and ignored by the university. Or as one student says in the complaint, “the University has only made it a safe place for those who have the same democratic views that the University promotes.”

We can only hope that this lawsuit succeeds in forcing the University of Michigan to throw out its shameful policy. Universities are supposed to be places where vigorous and often contentious — but civil — discussions take place and where the flow of new ideas and new concepts is promoted so they can be examined and discussed.

Today, the University of Michigan — and many other colleges — is not that place.


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