Apparently, at American University, “freedom of expression” means you are free to express an opinion as long as it is in line with what everyone else thinks.  They are in the middle of a controversy, started when a student wrote an editorial for the student newspaper on date rape.

The administration responded with a letter that included the following :

AU also has a commitment to freedom of expression. Consistent with that commitment, individuals have the right to express their opinions — even opinions we find offensive. In this instance, The Eagle editors exercised their independent judgment about what to place in print, and they are responsible to the community for the decision they made. The community holds the editors accountable through the complaint procedures outlined in The Eagle’s constitution. We are ensuring that these procedures are being followed.

Translated from newspeak to English, they are saying that, while everyone is free to express there opinions, the unpopular ones will have dire consequences.  Look at the non-judgmental language they use later in the letter :

In this challenging moment, when many are searching for what they can do to address the breach that has occurred in the fabric of our community, we invite you to familiarize yourself with the university’s position on sexual misconduct and renew your personal commitment to live up to our community values.

In other words, freedom of expression means you can only express what we have already told you.

The truly frightening thing about this is the responses of students, both to the original article and to the administration response.  It appears that most are in favor of administration making sure only approved feminist viewpoints are represented.


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