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  • Corey Lee Wilson

The Intersectionality of Viewpoint Suppression Equals Disinvitations

"There are serious implications for what is going on here; universities are becoming havens of the closed minded," said Anne Neal, president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), which says it promotes academic standards and accountability. "What we are beginning to see is a heckler's veto."

"I call it disinvitation season," said Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), a free-speech advocacy group. "Not everyone gets disinvited, but there is such consistent effort to get rid of people."

Lukianoff said the trend is clearly growing. According to a tally by his group, between 1987 and 2008, there were 48 protests of planned speeches, not all for graduations, that led to 21 incidents of an invited guest not speaking. Since 2009 there have been 95 protests, resulting in 39 cancellations, according to FIRE.

Student activism has long been ingrained in the culture of college campuses, but protests about perceived discrimination over the past decade have been, especially tense.

Diversity is fought for and encouraged most everywhere in regard to human demographics, but does viewpoint diversity apply with the same equal opportunity on our high school and college campuses? It doesn’t! In fact, a multiple of negative factors conspire against most viewpoints that fit outside the liberal and leftist mind set silo.

These issues have been so pervasive at colleges that Barack Obama, Clarence Thomas, and Michael Bloomberg all warned about political correctness gone awry and the dangers of limiting free speech during their respective commencement speeches.

The FIRE agrees and tracks these "disinvitation attempts" at colleges and publishes them in a database with details surrounding the revocation. "One worrisome trend undermining open discourse in the academy is the increased push by some students and faculty to 'disinvite' speakers with whom they disagree from campus appearances," the FIRE wrote on its website.

"While most noticeable around commencement season due to the high-profile status of many commencement speakers, disinvitations occur all year — and have been steadily increasing over the past 15 years," the FIRE continued.

The FIRE tracks these "disinvitation attempts" at colleges and publishes them in a database with details surrounding the revocation. "While most noticeable around commencement season due to the high-profile status of many commencement speakers, disinvitations occur all year — and have been steadily increasing over the past 15 years," the FIRE continued.

However, since Trump’s executive order in March 2019 that he would make federal funding for universities contingent on assurances of free speech the number of disinvitations has dropped. Trump said he was taking “historic action to defend American students and American values that have been under siege.”



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