Commentary: Free Speech Is under Threat on College Campuses. Here’s How to Fight Back

Keith E. Whittington
National Review

Excerpt: Last week, I helped launch the Academic Freedom Alliance (AFA), a nonprofit organization comprising college and university faculty members from across the ideological spectrum who are committed to defending each other’s free speech. I am a right-of-center libertarian in my own political views. Although conservative faculty are a minority on college campuses, theirs is not the only speech under threat in our current political environment. Suppression of controversial ideas runs rampant on all sides. Liberal and moderate academics are deeply affected by the erosion of tolerance for dissent on our college campuses. Many of them decline to speak out on controversial subjects precisely because of the fierce intimidation that they face from their own side — and, to be frank, that they all too often face from politicians and activists on the political right. The sense of fear in modern academia is pervasive and the threats to free speech are widespread.