Pittsburg Univ. Students Demand School End Free Speech Protections

P. Gardner Goldsmith | July 10, 2020

It’s not as if Americans haven’t been warned.

In 1987, writer Allan Bloom argued in his best-selling book, “The Closing of The American Mind” that “higher education” had failed the U.S. political system by fostering the leftist, anti-free speech mentality, pushing intellectual uniformity, and promoting “truth” as dictated by the hectoring Cultural Marxist mob.

Sounds familiar.

And Bloom’s observations seem particularly salient when one looks at the latest news from the University of Pittsburg, where, notes journalist Chrissy Clark, for The Washington Free Beacon, a group of black students is now demanding that the school fire any faculty member whose speech they subjectively deem "racist."

Black Pitt, a coalition of black student groups, is demanding that the university fire any employee dubbed 'racist' by a black-only student council and end employee speech immunity, a core principle of academic freedom and First Amendment protections for academics at public universities.

And, in addition to this looking “oh-so untroubling,” and appearing “just peachy” to anyone who’s seen how college students in the US and Canada have literally attacked conservative and libertarian speakers ranging from Milo Yiannopoulos to Charles Murray, the attempt to remove free-speech protection from Pitt professors runs afoul of another big factor…

Pitt is, as the quote mentions, a tax-funded institution. It’s “public.”

Clark writes:

Katlyn Patton, spokeswoman for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, told the Washington Free Beacon that Pitt is bound by the First Amendment when disciplining professors for their commentary.

How peculiar! Once more, the left’s drive to take taxpayer cash to fund things like “education” is causing the left problems because this drive to make everyone pay is forcing the left to have to be open to every professor’s speech!

As a public institution, the University of Pittsburgh is bound by the First Amendment in its decisions concerning when to discipline a professor," Patton said. "While these students are free to express their concerns and propose ideas, Pitt, like any public college or university, must consider the protections afforded to professors by the First Amendment and the principles of academic freedom in evaluating allegations of racial bias based on speech.

What a quandary. The left wants to force people to pay for the university, but by doing so, they have to “accept” free speech.

Of course, that hasn’t stopped most public institutions from “claiming” they embrace freedom of speech and thought, even as they restrict it. This is one of the major problems in government-run K-12 schools, where even the basics, like phonics-based reading and traditional math – not to mention history and science -- are kicked around like political soccer balls at the Collectivist World Cup.

Here’s an idea for the leftists at Pitt. If they want to tailor their education to a certain worldview, want to restrict speech and learning in order to promote a particular ideology, that’s fine – if they do so without forcing others to pay for it. Just enter the private market, and ask people to pay.

Of course, this is not part of the collectivist lexicon. In fact, the entire playbook of Cultural Marxism, collectivism, progressivism, and the American Left is to engage in force – be it to fund what they say is “good” or to “correct” a problem of imbalance in history. And, as a result, there will never be a tide sweeping over collectivists to suddenly eschew collectivism in education, the very process by which they work to indoctrinate new generations into despising individualism.

Don’t count on the Pitt Administration holding firm on this. In fact, the collectivists have already gotten their way by the mere fact that Pitt takes tax cash to fund it, so freedom of speech for the taxpayer has already been destroyed.

Something to remember as this plays out, as people shout and yell – and the average citizen is kept silent, and has to pay, regardless of what he or she thinks of the content provided.

Perhaps the average citizen might want to contact Pitt, and the Governor's office, and news stations in PA, to offer his or her views about this cash for Pitt.