Thursday, August 9, 2018
Vox, Data Shows a Surprising Campus Free Speech Problem: Left-wingers Being Fired for Their Opinions:
The American college campus, we are led to believe, is a dangerous place: If you say what you really think, particularly as a conservative, a mob of young social justice warriors will come for your faculty position or invitation to speak on campus. Entire books and online magazines are premised on the idea that political correctness is sweeping the American university, threatening both higher education and the broader right to free speech.
But a brand new data analysis from Georgetown University’s Free Speech Project suggests that this “crisis” is more than a little overblown. There have been relatively few incidents of speech being squelched on college campuses, and there’s in fact limited evidence that conservatives are being unfairly targeted.
The Free Speech Project’s researchers have cataloged more than 90 incidents since 2016 that fit their criteria for a person’s free speech rights being threatened. Of those 90, about two-thirds took place on college campuses. These incidents range from a speaker being disinvited to a faculty member being fired over allegedly offensive comments to a student-run play being canceled over concerns it would offend. ...
Jeffrey Sachs, a political scientist at Canada’s Acadia University, put together a database of all incidents where a professor was dismissed for political speech in the United States between 2015 and 2017. Sachs’s results, published by the left-libertarian Niskanen Center, actually found that left-wing professors were more likely to be dismissed for their speech than conservative ones:
The pro-free speech Foundation for Individual Rights in Education keeps a database of speaker disinvitations from campuses. It finds only a handful of disinvitations — somewhere between 20 and 42 — in every year between 2011 and 2017. The highest single-year spike, from 21 in 2015 to 42 in 2016, is mostly the work of one provocateur launching an intentionally inflammatory college tour.