Skip to main content

tv   Keith Whittington Speak Freely  CSPAN  April 30, 2018 6:33am-8:01am EDT

6:33 am
6:34 am
6:35 am
6:36 am
6:37 am
6:38 am
6:39 am
6:40 am
6:41 am
6:42 am
6:43 am
6:44 am
6:45 am
6:46 am
6:47 am
6:48 am
6:49 am
6:50 am
6:51 am
6:52 am
6:53 am
6:54 am
6:55 am
6:56 am
. .
6:57 am
6:58 am
6:59 am
7:00 am
ba from amhurst which we could get inside of what it was in those days and political science from harvard and jd from yale law. welcome back, elliot and we look forward to your comments. [applause] >> i'd like to start by thanking the cato institute for organizing this event and congratulating keith on an outstanding book in extremely
7:01 am
topic which might say it's been great made again and very important topic for many years so it's not entire a new issue by any means. normally i regard and take issue some of the things the author says and in this case i agree with 95% about what keith says in the book so somewhat tough to do that n. the first part of my presentation i'm going to amplify keith's argument in a number of ways and suggest that in some ways the problem that he identifies, maybe even worse than he suggested that it is. then, i will in fact, take issue to a limited degree with some of keith's analysis of the problem of faculty hiring. here i think principles more
7:02 am
important and more difficult in the book. finally, at at the end of my presentation we will talk about what we can do about the problem, strengthen protection for free speech on campus. so keith both in the book and in presentation, he explains the nature of the problem and why we should be concerned about it. in some ways, however, there's more reason for concern that perhaps keith suggests. one reason is that if you develop a kind of idea idealogicalorthodoxy is important. research at harvard they feed on each other and become extreme over time and more invol rant of opposing views and i think we have seen this happen in sock --
7:03 am
some academic field. once you get started down the path, it's difficult to start. closely related is the phenomena of what the economist team work calls preference falsification and if you think it'll do dangerous, it'll lead to social sanctions and damage your career, you're likely ho hide those views and i think we see some of this certainly among some scholars and also among students on campus as well according to surveys, when people hide views that makes it seems like there's a refuses quality debate and this fen nominal too feeds on itself in that if most of the others of your viewpoint are hardening true preferences that makes it
7:04 am
more incentive for you hide yours as well. i think to the extent to which there's a problem, i'm certainly not suggesting that all campus are completely amoginous but clearly problem in some fields and in some campuses more than others. another factor that developed in recan i not years is the growth of ideological and partisan polarization and hatred in many surveys taken in recent years, we have data indicating that hostility towards supporters of the opposite political party is stronger and more deeply rooted even than racial or ethnic or
7:05 am
religious hostility. recent survey data indicates that 30 or 40% of people are angry with relative if member marries opposing political party, this is higher that say would be unhappy if somebody married different race or ethnicity, much higher if they are angry if somebody married from different religion. the numbers are grown strikingly and obviously and the more we have hostility, the more difficult it is for us to tolerate their speech, to supply free speech principles to them equally and so forth and i think we see this phenomenal in both the right and the west growing hostility to the other side, obviously on campus this manifests itself more often in the form of attempt to suppress
7:06 am
speech because in most campuses political left is in dominant position but not to say that the right would be better in situations where they could be similar. the rise of trump makes it worse. during 2016 election, i wrote how trump strengths political correctness, it's strange how possibly we can be doing that and many people say that what hi represents is backlash against it but the way he strengths is given the things he says and the way that he says them, he reinforce it is perception of the pc that the only alternative to their viewpoint is racism, sexism, xenophobia and as the most prominent representative of political right in american
7:07 am
society today, he makes it easy for people to feel that the political right is not serious, they don't actually have ideas worth considering oh so very little will be lost if we, in fact, don't tolerate speech on campus and the only way to prevent rise of sexism and other prejudices for which trump is associated. some people argue really the political correct themselves are at fault for rise of trump be it his election represents reaction of their excesses, i think this argument is overblown but in this particular presentation i'm not actually answering the question of who started it, all i'm saying the way -- what trump does reinforces political correctness and some extent what they do reinforce his position as well and so this problem has become a cycle which has made the situation worse not only on campus but certainly on campus
7:08 am
in particular. so i think these forces coming together ideological polarization, the rise of trump, preference falsification and so forth, they all make the problems in some way even worse than keith's book's suggest, now, throughout most of the book, keith argues and i agree that what we need to do on campus is apply spree speech principles not suppress free speech based on content or viewpoint or offensiveness and the like, but keith recognizes that we may not be able to completely do that when it comes to the area of faculty hiring and keith noted in hi presentation, when faculty are hired, they have to be judged by disciplinary standards, whether they meet -- whether quality of work is up to snuff in various ways and at least in some cases, this may involve judging the substance of viewpoints, for
7:09 am
example, if you see a candidate for a position in a geography department who is exponent of flatter theory, no matter how good his qualification and other respect, the fact that he's a flat-earth enthusiastic will be a deal-breaker. if you're hiring a world war ii historian and turns out he's a holocaust denier, again, no matter what the quality of his other qualifications, you probably can't hire that person being holocaust denier is in and of itself indicater of professional incompetence in that particular field. so keith says the way we address this is we should leave disciplinary hiring decisions and promotion decision to experts in the field than let bureaucrats decide, we want people judging faculty candidates who are qualified in the relevant field, however, even for such people it is often
7:10 am
difficult to draw the line between situations of holocaust denial where expounding a particular vow point is indicater of professional incompetence versus other cases where we simply don't like or disagree with the viewpoint expounded by the scholar and we know both from studies which have systematic data and also from a great deal of anecdotal evidence that often particularly in some discipline scholars don't do a good job of drawing a distinction between the two things and so you get ideological discrimination in hiring which, i think, quite significant phenomena which contributes to the ideological hamaginety and other factors that i mentioned earlier. notice this could be self-perpetuating if you don't hire people with views, the
7:11 am
faculty in your department will become more hamagenous and harder to hire people that disagree. it is not my claim that the underrepresentation of conservatives an libertarian is solely due from discrimination of hiring, far from it. other factors as well. it is a contributing factor and one that it's difficult to break because we can't simply say we are going to hire faculty complete without regard to viewpoint, we have to draw the fine line cases where expounding a viewpoint really is an indicater of incompetence and cases where we have a perfectly legitimate contribution to debate but the person being discriminated against in hiring because the people doing the hiring don't like his ideas or her ideas and often those people who are guilty of making this mistake are, in fact, other faculty members who are the experts who are supposed to be doing the hiring, it is not primarily the fault of the
7:12 am
bureaucrats or politicians, rather kinds of forces. i don't think there's any easy solution to this problem other than perhaps for people to be more aware of it and to try to be more conscious of the need to check their own thinking and if your own department is ideologically homogenous, maybe you want to make more use of outside experts who are more idealogically diverse, i think usually they don't make an effort to get ideological diversity among the outside referees which would be desirable to do that more often. so what can we do to alifeuate this problem? keith's book offers well-taken recommendations which i certainly agree with which is enforcing free speech rules on campus. also when stuintsz or outside people try to disrupt speakers
7:13 am
or use violoans from prevent them from speaking, that should be prevented. i mentioned earlier already trying to promote nondiscrimination and faculty hiring, also when universities hold panels or events on politically controversial subjects, at least in many cases they should try to have an ideologically balanced panel, certainly not suggesting that should always be done, there's sometimes good reasons to have a more homogenou sc one but they should have significant proportion of their events. in the last minute of my talks what can free advocates of free speech do to promote cause better in particular and what can conservatives and
7:14 am
libertarian do on campus but they are the group most victimized by campus policies that may be hostile to free speech and biggest recommendation you should not behave in the way i describe trump is behaving earlier, dismiss as blow-hard and highly intolerant yourself, when you decide who to invite on campus, you should make sure that you should not be inviting people simply because they anger or offend the other side, therefore you should not be inviting the anne coulter and milo yonopolous. that mines it's probably a bad
7:15 am
people. they should not be met with violence and the school should not suppress speech but the fact that speech should not be su presdz it's not indicating it's valuable contribution to intellectual discourse, what you should be doing is inviting the sorts of people who have valuable contribution to make and the sorts of people who at least potentially can appeal to those who don't already agree with their viewpoint. it is by behaving in a serious way and by engaging outreach for those who don't already agree, this is how the civil rights movement succeeded, more recently the gay rights movement and other examples and campus conservatives, libertarian should take the lesson from
7:16 am
those examples rather than from milo yonopolous and ann coulter andories in that field. in addition conservative, libertarian groups would do well rest from free speech from the right as well as from the left, they could condemn things like trump's encouragement of violence by his supporters during the 2016 presidential campaign, if you condemn press to free speech you are more credible when you condemn them on the other side. so more can be said on these topics but for now i conclude and i very much look forward to discussion, thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much, ilya. can someone get that particular question? thank you very much.
7:17 am
and also, again, on quitter -- titter, #cato 1a it's in your questions. let me begin by saying, posing a question to keith that i think we've actually talked about and many people do about this issue, is it the case as far as you can tell that the issues about free speech, liberalism, some are antiliberal, antifree speech. those seem to correlate highly with not perhaps the entire university but parts of the university in particular departments and here i would say one way to think about this would be you're more likely to have those opinions of view if your -- your one of the children and you're a post modern kind of department, if you're in english department, this is the notion that all knowledge is power and
7:18 am
therefore that it's directly contrary to your vision of the university and so i guess the question i'm asking, these are new, they seem to be most glamorous in some ways, the most heard from in departments and they also seem to be departments that administrators are very reluctant to respond to forcefully i would say. given all of that, first of all, is what i've described do you think true, and to what extent does it describe more general issue, in other words, are these departments quite small or marginalized or are they, in fact, important, one of the departments if you read the chronical seems to be department of english which is an older department, same kinds of ideas, i guess the question is to what extent the notion has gotten into the faculty that everything is about power and that truth is just kind of near for power and therefore your conception and
7:19 am
ideal of the university is held by some but really not by the dominant group so either of you can answer to this but keith first. >> sure, and this goes to some degree, concern that i'm underselling the problem that actually exists on campus today which may be true to some degree, my instinct is to in general counsel, not to panic and to be relative optimistic about what things can do but may be that the best way of selling the book is to tell you it's a crisis, you should panic and the only way to solve solve the problem is to buy the book. [laughter] >> let me say that. but i do think it's it's a genuine problem and tendency that you highlight are not randomly distributed. you don't find equal numbers of students and faculty in say the
7:20 am
chemistry department who have views that are quite liberal and hostile to the value of free speech and tolerance of opposing viewpoints that you might find in some other departments on campus. so i think that's true. there are people on campus, one reason that i was motivated to write the book was we are confronting internal battle about what the future of universities are going to look like and what are going to be the predominance of ideas that are going to be heard on college campuses in the future and i think it's critically important not only for universities but for the united states and western civilization more generally that it be liberal ideas, their dominant on campus and the future, the same kinds of ideas that have been articulated by university leadership for the last 100 years and more. and i'm optimistic that will be
7:21 am
true and that it's true now and i think it will be true in the future, a small minority who are hostile on college campuses and they should be countered in part by trying to, one, emphasize the fact they remain small minority, that's not representative of what college campuses are like more generally. that's important for the outside world to know but also important for those of us on college campuses to recognize the fact that the very loud voices are very loud but also unless relatively small group and treated as such with much broader group of students and faculty that either are already committed to liberal values or persuadable to liberal values and we ought to be trying to appeal to them to appreciate the importance of toleration and civil discourse. >> do you have points on that?
7:22 am
>> it's not my claim that we should panic and i think it is possible to overestimate, some on the right do just that. it's true that it various a lot by department and university and every time you see a speaker disrupted, there's dozens or even hundreds of instances where myself actually speak without problems or disruption, so you can regard the glass is half full rather than half empty. indeed, it's more than half full, that said in some departments and universities there is a serious problem and in some ways i think it is growing over time and therefore it should be dealt with where possible before it becomes a crisis and i do agree also that on the faculty side in terms of ideological discrimination and the like it is much worse in some departments than others. i think as a general rule, tends to be worse in humanities than in the social sciences or hard sciences and it probably is true that those fields.
7:23 am
>> post modern ideology and probably worse and that counsels suppression in some instances partly because these fields under the influence of these -- of these kind of ideologies lack rigor and the less intellectual rigor you can fall to prejudices but it's easier when they do not, so once a department or a field has been heavily captured by this kind of approach, it's not tease -- easy to figure out what you want to do with it, adhere to other methodologies so it can be one to more serious intellectual discourse by doing this in an aggressive way would require violating the autonomy of the faculty in the field as
7:24 am
oppose to hiring and once a problem goes beyond a certain point, it's difficult to deal with it. i think the problem is somewhat less severe in those fields and it's actually more important the political discourse, social sciences, law, economics and so forth and therefore there we can probably address the problem without having to resort to really drastic means. >> so to the twitter feed, question, is the problem of free speech crisis or is that it or a crisis of identity in higher education, maybe the marketplace of ideas doesn't work as well anymore because universities and students see their mission as more of credentially and less about discovering truth, what do you think? >> yeah, i think it's a real concern and that's not -- so the question mixes a couple of things, in fact, both are important.
7:25 am
one is that identity politics might be particularly important on campus and that may run core commitment of university in pursuit of truth but also universities might be perceived assort of a consumer-driven credentialing service which the pursuit of truth isn't important either. what you should be encouraging in college campuses is the ability for students to move smoothly through the process, get the credentials that will set them on the road to higher incomes and preferably nothing that will put dirt on the brand. and so then quashing controversy might very well be in your interest, a lot of senior administrators on college campuses think exactly that, right that the worst thing that could happen on college campus is somebody says something controversial because they will
7:26 am
get public attention and will hurt the brand and credentialed students would be good employees and i think that's self-defeating, i think in the long-term what makes university valuable and those going through them and getting degrees from them is that they are learning something and in part of what their learning is that ability to grapple with ideas to think seriously and carefully and to think independently and conventionally and if we suppress that in the name of credentialing, then at the end of the day the credentials we will give out are not as particularly value and worth defending. >> so i think the issue of credentialism is important one, recently the economist brian publisheddia case against education where he argues that we invest too much in higher education where often people either learn relatively little
7:27 am
or, very little useful to future lives but get additional education anyway to improve credentials and there's a lot of waste there. i think i have disagreements with argument, there's definitely something to it but i'm skeptical that threat to free speech on campus comes from the direction. you look at the people suppress free speech, those are indifferent to speech or indifferent to search for truth rather people who do, in fact, care deeply about political issues, many of themselves left-wing critics and the like and so the problem is not that they are indifferent to truth, they believe they have the truth and ideas that are -- they see as hostile and need to be suppressed. we have multiple different problems on campus, one, is, indeed, credentials and waste and the problem of free speech i
7:28 am
think is largely separate from that one. >> what role do rising costs around free speech events play in the role universities have in protecting free speech? we had this incident recently where a student group i believe in florida was asked to pay these additional security costs. is this a big issue? >> i think it's becoming a very big issue. universities are starting to take very seriously the potential need for security for some events and that security is expensive and universities are trying to figure out how to grapple with that expense and one way of dealing with it is push expense off on the students which will have the consequence of effectively suppressing speech that might take place because it can't be affordable for the student themselves. it's going to be a challenge for universities to figure out how to navigate that current situation. i think the correct answer cannot be we are going to tell you there's speakers you can't bring to campus because they are
7:29 am
too expensive and particular because that's going to cut in very particular ways, so universities i think very to be cautious about how to figure out how to deal with this problem in a way that's relatively neutral across the range of speakers that might be brought to campus and they need to deal with it in part by trying to address the security needs from a different perspective which is don't necessarily take for granted that students and others can be on your campus and be extraordinarily disruptive and therefore you have to hire police to deal with immediate disruption but there's no long-term consequences, you need to create a campus in which that kind of thing is discouraged in the first place. >> if we agree that free speech should be suspended for drawing violence, how do we make it a line that everyone wants to move in preferred direction and i would add to this question, what about the view we hear that seems to be fairly common that speech itself equals violence, is that correct that you do hear
7:30 am
that quite often and that, of course, the ultimate softening of the line, isn't it? >> i think it's the softening of the line. it's a powerful metaphor that in some contexts and literatures started off really being a metaphor and people sort of understood it in a metaphorical way and people are now weponizedding it in order to use that idea that speech is violence, therefore of justifying not only shutting down speech but maybe using violence to oppose speech and should be rejected and we should reemphasize that there's a different between speech and violence in general even speech that we may think it's relevant. .. ..
7:31 am
to suppress that speech on the claim that it was potentially dangerous point the lesson we learned from that is we shouldn't trust those government officials to suppress it because they would sweep much too widely and suppress far more speech than was necessary in order to prevent violence itself. across the last century with major gradual march toward tightening at those restrictions so we suppress less and less speech in order to draw the line as narrowly as possible to prevent actual violence. we've got to reasonably good place from a legal perspective and i think part of is culturally we need to come to the defense of that basic legal position we have now reached.
7:32 am
>> i largely agree. with any rule or legal doctrine there would be difficult borderline questions but as keith mentioned, we have decades of constitutional law and legal decisions on these cases, and for the most part they have been done erisa good job of separate out the rare cases from cases which is not insightful to violence or violence can be prevented by means other than suppressing speech. i think as a practical matter institutions committed to protecting speech can simply make use of these legal doctrines. it may be there some details which have to be tweaked a little bit for the campus environment, but overall i think where there's a will to protect freedom of speech you can generally find a way while simultaneously preventing violence. i would add further one of the better ways to preventing violence is deterrence. if, in fact, you credibly commit to punishing people who disrupt
7:33 am
speakers or otherwise engage in violence you should see less of that sort of activity to begin with and, therefore, your security cost might actually be lower in the way you really prevent it is not so much having lots of our regards all over the place, making clear for example, people engage in violence it that our staff there will be fired. their students there will be expelled or suspended, and if they're outsiders they will be turned over to the police and prosecutors, so this may not deter a small number of highly motivated terrorist or whatever but most campus disruptors on the people are really willing to suffer enormous costs in order to engage in the disruption and those kinds of people are deterrable. >> back to twitter pic these tendencies of involvement universities will hurt the students after the graduate and into the real world. in the real world problems to not get resolved with violence,
7:34 am
shutting people dumping of raises the question, why isn't there more resistance or unhappiness about all of these things from the students themselves? can you give us some insight as to how students view these kind of things works are they in different? this comment suggests that this is harming their education and, of course, it may well be harming the people, the students who are involved. >> so i am a little bit optimistic actually that i think students and a think also for that matter campus administrators and faculty are having their eyes opened a little bit as to what the situation might be like on college campuses if you don't push back on some of these. i i think students themselves ae starting to appreciate that they prefer to be on a college campus in which it's possible for people to disagree with one another, possible for people to say things are controversial,
7:35 am
possible to attend a class or attend a lecture without disruptions and having it be shut down. i think the students themselves are beginning begin to push bas and embrace more of the values. i think it's important to arm them with a better understanding of those principles and commitments and why we have been and what the implications of them might be. and i think it's also important to remind students that that is in some ways the silent majority, that there is a very noisy minority students who want to be disruptive, want to shut and speech. it's easy for students to start thinking all the students think this way, i'm the outlier in thinking we should behave that way, and campuses have made some progress on things like binge drinking, for example, by emphasizing that, in fact, not all your peers behave in those particular ways. you do not have to emulate them or follow along. just because you think everybody is doing it because, in fact, that everybody is doing it.
7:36 am
i think the same thing has to be true in the speech context as well. not everybody's doing it and it's okay to push back. >> i basically agree. i would also reinforce his caution from this talk that we shouldn't overgeneralize about students and painted with a broad brush, both server did a lot of other evidence reveals there's a wide diversity of attitudes among students adding only a small priority undine -- small minded students engage in violence or support such activity but that minority can have disproportionate clout. i do think also while students and others have come to the attention and in many cases dislike and oppose sort of visible forcible destruction of speakers, i think they may be more likely to be a oblivious to more subtle problems like the issue of discrimination and faculty hiring and the like where it's not that there's violence going on, it's
7:37 am
decisions are made calmly, seemingly normally behind closed doors but the result is you do end up with a great deal of ideological homogenate he and -- within the number of academic fields. it may not be primary the response of students to try to combat this. it is first and foremost that the faculty and administrators but if more students were aware of the problem and we spoke about it, that would help at the margin to try to address this. >> to go to the cards now. thank you very much. everyone is coming up with great questions now. this is for all panelists and isolate relates to the university situation. should hate speech be tolerated? should we allow hate speech that marginalizes minorities, religious or otherwise and may threaten the rights of minorities? before keith answers i have to say on may 7 seventh cato is gg
7:38 am
to have another book forum with nadine strossen and she is a book on this very topic, so please keep your eyes on the kid a website and sign up and come back on may 7 and we will talk about this further, but for now, professor whittington. >> there's a section in my book on hate speech. it's true there's a lot of people thinking about it because it's a serious problem that calls for some serious thinking, in part because the conflicts here are real. there are some retentions and the values that we want to recognize. briefly, we should be very cautious about the label of hate speech. huge number of things can fly under that label and it's often unclear what exactly people are talking about when you want to use the label and sometimes it sweeps very broadly and sometimes it sweeps much more narrowly. i think we should be particularly cautious about a sweeping broadly. when some people talk about hate
7:39 am
speech, what they really are wanting to suppress or a set of ideas they find particularly disagreeable, and that they think might lead to particular kind of social and political consequences. that necessarily have to be resisted. the universities are all about hearing controversial ideas, skeptically examining them, and expressing the disagreements. not simply suppressing and censoring them. and so on the one hand, we want to emphasize the universities or inclusive communities that we want lots of people with a wide range of views and experiences and backgrounds on college campuses. that's critically important, but what you're getting when you come to college campus is an environment in which people are willing to think seriously about difficult ideas. you should recognize that is part of what you do on a college campus and we don't want to either accidentally or on purpose designed a speech code that will try to suppress the latter, even at it is trying to
7:40 am
prevent the former. >> again i largely agree. i understand some of the motivation for the effort to suppress racist and of the prejudice speech. if you write publicly in defense of things like open borders, immigration as i do you will get hate e-mail and the like, which is from people saying ugly anti-semitic and of the kinds of things. so i do understand how it can be painful to hear that kind of stuff because i third in my own life and it's very unpleasant and annoying, and in some cases like i want to suppress these people and lock them up. but that impulse should be resisted for a couple reasons. people who say hateful things to have right to freedom of speech for inherent reasons. it's part of the freedom that we should all be able to enjoy, but also because as keith explained in his book we cannot trust either government officials or in most cases university
7:41 am
authority to draw the line in the right place. if you do draw it narrowly you will get the experience that actually some european countries have had with a van racist speech and anti-semitic speech, but then you still have the come for instance, of the afd neofascist party winning 13% of vote and the german election. how does of the afd operate? what they do is they have symbols which are slightly different from the officially banned nazi symbol and they engage in rhetoric which is just slightly different from the officially banned nazi rhetoric and, therefore, they're able to propagate their ideas anyway. if you respond to these kinds of circumvention by casting your network broadly, banning more stuff, then pretty soon you have a much more robust and severe censorship regime out there and it will ban a lot of ideas that are not racism in the narrow
7:42 am
sense or anti-semitism in the near sense or whatnot and, therefore, i think the vast majority of cases at least the way to prevent this problem is not to start down the path of censorship in the first place. even though it does mean we will suffer some pain from people who really are racist, neo-nazis and so forth. >> to what extent do you think this interpretation of federal civil rights statutes like title vi and title ix has contributed to campus intolerance? do use legal solutions? this question is for either panelist. >> do you want to start with that? >> so i'm naturally an expert in the field. my wife was in the audience actually has written about this. i think there have been some problems with broad interpretations of what counts of sexual harassment under title ix which in some cases you wind up suppressing speech, sure
7:43 am
there has been much of her public title vi, though i could be wrong about that. my general sense of things is these over broad interpretations should be cut back. one of the few good things the new administration is doing is they are, in fact, taking a look at this and probably will cut back some of the guidance of memos that were issued in the obama administration on this. at the same time i think this sort of phenomenon accounts are only a small proportion of the free speech problems that we see on campus. the are other aspects of it such as due to a sexual assault cases or sexual assault charges where in some cases there's insufficient due process given to those accused. that's a problem separate from issue of free speech. i think the title ix thing does contribute to the free speech problem on campus but it's probably at least my sense sens a fairly modest contribution. >> that's where i land as well.
7:44 am
>> so want to combine a couple questions from twitter. to what extent is campus censorship to driven by a culte of extreme risk aversion among administrators which is exported by minorities rather than any administered hostility? if so, what can we do about it? the second question connected to that is, does this explain why there are so few students being expelled or band as for the banning of outsiders who cause many of these problems? >> i think risk avoiding administered are part of the problem. in part because they're willing to tolerate things they shouldn't tolerate, such as bad student behavior in some cases but in other cases because they are willing to act in ways to suppress speech they should be doing. for example, it's very common as ilya mentioned that faculty whose comments get picked up by the public meaty and attract
7:45 am
attention and broader political landscape wind up generating controversy and any ministers think this would deal with the fact that some other factly said something controversial is to fire them as soon as possible. or do other things to try to suppress their speech. that's often a function of risk avoidance rather than the administered themselves are intrinsically ideologically motivated or concern is that their vision of what universities ought to be doing is to have a sterling brand that parents find very comfortable, and that that controversial professors or controversial speakers on campus or controversial students run contrary to that image. i i think it's important then fr example, parents and alumni and donors to understand what universities actually are to exist that universities not be pursuing a brand in which everything looks very shiny and
7:46 am
personal controversy by consent to pursue a brain which people are intellectually serious and willing to have controversy and willing to disagree with one another. the assistant administrator respect those thousand try to promote them. it's hard for them to do it on their own. we need to create a larger culture that insist on that as well. >> i think it's easy to blame administrators and in some cases they do deserve the blame but it's worth also remembering there's a lot of variation in the behavior of some universities like the university of chicago, for example, have taken a strong stance in favor of freedom of speech. uc berkeley which is often seen as this bastion of leftism, nonetheless they have ensure that people like milo yiannopoulos and others can speak there and if it picked up the secured cost themselves. the dean of the new dean of the uc berkeley law school, a very prominent left of center legal scholar has been very outspoken in defense of campus of free
7:47 am
speech. he is co-authored a book about the subject which is, recently. i think there is variation, and we should try to build on the good developments and to the extent that people risk averse it's worth conveying to them that there's risk and 11 speech suppression as well. that doesn't create a good public image for the school and i think we could work on it that way, would not want to try to achieve a situation where we have like really big risk takers as college administrators. i think there's good reason for administrators particularly of well-established universities to not be people who are constantly taking huge risks because they are administering big complicated institutions that have a lot of moving parts and a good high-ranking administered has to be aware of that. >> i should note that i own president at princeton university very good on these issues. he's vocal and free speech matters and i think that's important you have university
7:48 am
leadership that understands and appreciates the principles and is willing to defend them with particular controversies arise. it makes a difference on a college campus if you have administered to stand up for that. i should note that my sometimes go author howard gilman who is now the chancellor at uc irvine is the co-author on a free-speech book. howard has been very good at uc irvine enjoying to insight these issues and is speaking out on them as well and there's is a perfectly good book, although it takes more of a common-law angled in my does. if you want -- >> rate this one first. >> you get extra money you should buy theirs. especially if you have an interest in constitutional law. >> a question that goes to i think, suggest may people have or suspicion and people have. you make a point in a book that is been a number of different prices at various times, there's been donors and then sometimes
7:49 am
that there is . and even today conservatives or outsiders particularly conservative have some effect on speech. is it the case that really there is no crisis of free-speech? this is just something relatively few very extreme conservative provocateurs have caused these kinds of events? and then it's all been played out by the conservative press and individuals and so on, even the tv channel may be. so there's nothing really here. it's just, it's not all politics of the left, rather all politics of the right x what do you think? >> i think it would be simultaneous the case of both things are true. there are people who want to play it up, and they are and have their own reasons for trying to play up and exploit these problems when they arise and even great the problems on akiba being provocative on campus in a way that it is precisely designed to generate
7:50 am
clashes that will put people on campus in a bad light. i think that's true. it's also true that some of these things are just much more visible than they might once have been. when charles murray way shouted down at middlebury, for example, part of what got a lot of attention was the fact it was recorded in the video went viral. that would not up into ten or 15 years ago. we are much more aware things that happen on college campuses now than we used to be. that may make it look like it's happening a lot more often but also makes it feel like it's happening a lot more often than it used to happen. it's not completely evident that that is necessary happening a lot more often than it used to although i think there are particular elements of it. having said all that it is true that are genuine problems on some college campuses. there are places within universities that are very hostile to free speech. there are some particular colleges and universities with a got a very particular problem in
7:51 am
their own immediate campus culture, and it's important to address those problems when they arise. it's important to try to fix those problems and it is constantly born to try to push back against those that advocate the other side. when we think about what exactly should we draw the line legally on suppressing speech that we might think it's dangerous or where should we think the lineup to get hate speech and is hate speech constitutional protected? if you do not fight this fight on the college campus students in the faculty, don't be surprised ten or 20 or so now see courts making decisions that move that line on dangerous speech or don't embrace the view that hate speech is not constitutional protected. the debates were seeing on college campuses now could be a foreshadowing of debate we will see in the legal arena down the road and so it's important to fight these now. >> again i largely agree. it is true that are sort of white -- right-wing providers
7:52 am
ago one campus for the very purpose of generating a violent reaction. if ann coulter speaks and her speech goes off without a hitch, that's actually bad for her brand-name or as it's not a good would be if her speech gets disrupted and that she can promote it on twitter. this is true to some extent, though if you're an opponent up and call that you should realize that this is what she wants and, therefore, even aside from free-speech principles it's not in your interest of your movement to violently disrupt her. it's better that it doesn't happen here at the same time disruption is not limited to these cases, the and culture of the world. there's been a case involving west wing figures like peter singer, the famous political philosopher, speakers representing the aclu and the number of other cases. there are enough cases involving people who can be placed in the same category as ann coulter or my logan opelousas, that it is a
7:53 am
problem and there's more subtle problems of ideological discrimination -- milo yiannopoulos. and other such matters which are quite significant and, therefore, while it's important not to paint with a broad brush, we have nazism or gulags on campus or whatnot taking over, it's also important not to go to the opposite extreme and say well, there really is no problem except whatever has been jammed up by some right wing provocateurs for the purpose of getting more retweets. >> a couple of questions about high schools. this last week and we saw a really large march here in washington, march for our lives, which featured several high school students exercising free speech and political participation rights. to what extent do you think on the students side of thing that issues of freedom of speech, issues of tolerance when the
7:54 am
students arrive? i don't know if you teach freshman at princeton or not, but when they arrived they are all sort of, they've been there because in high schools freedom of speech itself is not very protected or perhaps taught is it the issues before the university that really are crucial? >> that's true that students arrive with a set of experiences and expectations based on what they've seen growing up in plenty what they've seen in the particular institutional environment of primary and secondary schools and its natural within to carry that over to the university environment. those goals somewhat appropriately are not as free-speech oriented as universities are, although students to have some free-speech rights in secondary schools as well. and part of what's important as
7:55 am
we orient students to campus and bring them into college campuses is to get them to appreciate that they are not small children anymore, that they're not in the same cut institutional education environment that they once were in, and that they have had brot her rights to free speech and moreover, they are in an environment in which free-speech will be valued and protected inn the way that they might not have been familiar with and they should understand what they're getting into when they get, , wn you come into higher education and with graduating from high school. >> so the whole issue of free speech in high school and the way students lies are managed in high school or earlier in school, perhaps requires a whole book of its own and there is some literature on this. if you think about what happens in average high school is that your time is highly regimented by the school authorities. you have to go to the classes they say you to go to, and you get taught for the most part of these state-mandated curriculum
7:56 am
which in many states includes some elements of indoctrination, and some of this is perhaps inevitable given the age and relative immaturity of the students but someone -- instead at least quite a lot of schools things have been getting worse, particularly the age of zero-tolerance policies and the like, and i don't have a complete answer to this chemical mind. even if i get i could sketch it all out here but i think the problem bears serious consideration, not just for even primarily because of its impact on free-speech and college campuses. i think there is broader problems caused by having disorder model of education. >> so for our final question, what role does first-year student education and training, first year at university, education and training on free-speech, civil debate, and so on, what role does all that play in better educating students on civil debate and even with some of these issues?
7:57 am
to colleges and universities do enough of this now, this kind of education? >> i don't think they do anything they should. colleges have taken for granted that students had an interest in investment free-speech. they are taken for granted that students understood what they were getting into and coming into an educational environment in which they will be tested and their ideas will be pushed and it would be exposed to unsettling ideas. and universities should not have taken for granted and we should stop taking for granted. we should recognize students don't nest or understand what to get into. they are not necessarily socialize and educated into what it would need to be a responsible member of the campus community and a productive and could you between member of that community. universities need to more subconsciously try to explain to students including prospective students that only two that really great jams and really nice dorms, but also they really
7:58 am
want a virtual people on campus export ideas and really serious way. if you are coming to college campuses you should expect your ideas to be tested, and that if you have the lease you regard as very dear to you, and unquestioned beliefs of your own, you should recognize that some are on the college campus there are people to question those beliefs and don't hold them dearly, and that's fine and appropriate and you should expect there's going to encounter those people when you get to a college campus. i think it's important to explain to the larger society but exposure to incoming students that that's we universities are and that's what makes them great. they may not be right for everybody but if you come to college you should expect to encounter some unsettling ideas. >> i agree. >> ilia mention preference falsification was a very powerful idea of social science. accordingly he merely for the first time that there's actually a
7:59 am
a phrase for that. it's called knowing what's good for you. it actually exists on many campuses. this has been great. this is been great. i want to thank our speaker today, keith whittington and ilya somin. i'd like to thank you for coming, and i'd like to invite you to go upstairs for the second for now for our traditional lunch after the event. thanks very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
8:00 am
>> you are watching booktv on c-span2 with top nonfiction books and authors every weekend. tv, television for serious readers. next "the communicators" and the conversation with telecommunications analyst craig moffett. after that a forum on, and sexual harassment. live coverage of discussion on future of u.s. space policy and later we will be live with former fbi director james comey talking about his book, "a higher loyalty." >> c-span, where history unfold daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable-television companies and today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington, d.c. and around
8:01 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on