Excerpt: One of the glaring ironies involving America’s response to 9/11 attacks is how the events, which were immediately and unequivocally described as assaults on freedom, also prompted demands for censorship and governmental oversight that have since been broadly recognized as unconstitutional. As news of the attacks reverberated on college campuses across the county, University of New Mexico Professor Richard Berthold joked that “anyone who can blow up the Pentagon has my vote.” In response to public outcry, UNM announced an investigation and removed Berthold from the classroom.
Every year since has seen more of the same, and this year is no different. The internet, now driven by social media, teems with calls for students and professors to be censored and punished for expressing their opinions on the attacks. In a welcome shift, administrators seem (at least somewhat) more willing to defend student and faculty rights to express divergent opinions on this contentious issue.