In Hate Speech 101, Mike Adams reprints a fellow University of North Carolina professor’s e-mail excoriating a student for “hate speech” in a class discussion. The student’s opinion created a “hostile environment,” says the prof, who shows a certain hostility toward white, male, Christian heterosexuals.
Update: Mike Adams writes that the professor has apologized for her e-mail after the department chair supported Adams’ free speech concerns. Adams writes about the fundamental flaw in the approach to diversity taken at UNC and other universities:
First, we want to emphasize diversity by bringing people with different perspectives together. Second, we want to make sure that no one is ever offended.
Make no mistake about it; if we bring people together who have different ideas and perspectives, some will be offended. There is simply no constitutional right to “freedom from offense.” And there is certainly no compatibility between the real provisions of the First Amendment and the “speech codes” that universities such as UNC-Chapel Hill are beginning to employ, presumably to thwart the inevitable tension between the two incompatible goals of the diversity movement.
Our speech code at UNC-Wilmington prohibits “offensive speech or behavior of a biased or prejudiced nature related to oneís personal characteristics, such as race, color, national origin, sex, religion, handicap, age or sexual orientation.”
To take seriously such an absurd code would place even mild expressions on either side of debates involving sexual orientation in jeopardy. It is far better that such debates take place where people are offended than that they never take place at all.
I can think of no idea more destructive to higher education than the belief that students have a right to be sheltered from ideas they find offensive.