David Brooks, the somewhat conservative columnist at the New York Times, has offered his take on the pro-censorship, anti-free speech movement at Williams College.
In a tweet on Saturday, Brooks references the student statement opposing the faculty effort to adopt a version of the Chicago Statement and writes: “This is a statement signed by 363 censorship advocates at Williams College. A perfect encapsulation of the fundamentalism sweeping America’s elite colleges.” Most of the comments on Brooks’ tweet were supportive.
What an embarrassment to Williams. No reflection on, or even awareness of, their own false premises. And they actually argue that their speech “rights” are violated if they are not permitted to stop others from speaking! Humpty Dumpty “logic”.
— Carolina Curmudgeon (@carolinacurmudg) December 9, 2018
— Tony Lima (@TonyLimaPOL) December 8, 2018
1 9 8 4 was a warning, not a guidebook.
— Apollo Fuhriman (@ApolloJamnJelly) December 10, 2018
What’s terrifying is that students are the ones demanding to censor speakers. Students who have no real life experience whatsoever. This is not a good sign of things to come that young people think they know it all.
— E.B. (@EB00717082) December 10, 2018
Makes one wonder why a parent would pay the exorbitant tuition at Williams if this is what it produces.
— Jack Garner (@Joe_Aleksandr) December 10, 2018
There was also the predictable leftist responses as follows.
A range of things can happen, and, sure, people get carried away. However, this frenzy of ‘censorship’ isnt happening in a vacuum. We’re seeing hate on the rise, and people are doing what they can to stand up to it. They’re defending the most vulnerable among us, while you shrug.
— Mike G. (@MikeG85997709) December 9, 2018
Do you think all of the student who signed fully read the statement? Is this really a movement, or a Fox News boogeyman? I’m MUCH more concerned about the 40+% of Americans who think Trump is doing a bang up job.
— Alex Menter (@Alexmenter) December 9, 2018
In my view, the fight for freedom of speech is the most important issue in our nation. The left cannot win if we argue about their policy ideas. When we do argue policy it is too easy for conservatives to point to the real world examples of leftist ideology in action including Cuba and Venezuela. The only way the left can win is by silencing conservatives. It is good that establishment figures like David Brooks are waking up to the censorship running wild at places like Williams.
David Brooks has been writing for the New York Times since September 2003. He appears as a commentator on “PBS NewsHour,” NPR’s “All Things Considered” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.”