Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Explorations in free speech: the shut up edition 

I've been invited to speak in a panel on the swastika story, so I'm looking for examples of where the school says one thing and does another with speech it decides is hateful. I'm pretty sure I will use the latest St. Thomas example of denying Star Parker permission to speak on campus, as Scott Johnson has reported succinctly.

St. Thomas Vice President for Student Affairs Jane Canney recently explained the school's denial of permission for the event in a meeting with Katie Kieffer ...and her sister Annie ...

According to Ms. Kieffer's account of the meeting, Canney articulated a "'Shut up,' he explained" rationale for the school's denial of permisson for Parker to appear: �As long as I am vice president here [at St. Thomas], the Young America�s Foundation will not be allowed on campus." Ms. Kieffer reports that Canney stated she did not want another event like Coulter's speech on campus.

Canney's petty tyranny cannot easily be reconciled with the St. Thomas speaker policy. And Star Parker's prolife message is itself consistent with St. Thomas's professed convictions.

Not just censorship, but prior censorship based on the funding organization. Is this what they mean when they say one of their convictions is "We respect the dignity of each person and value the unique contributions that each brings to the greater mosaic of the university community"?