from the not-in-my-safe-space dept.
Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard
With Governor Roy Cooper (D) taking no action on the bill, the state of North Carolina has enacted the Restore Campus Free Speech Act, the first comprehensive campus free-speech legislation based on the Goldwater proposal. That proposal, which I [Stanley Kurtz (Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center)] co-authored along with Jim Manley and Jonathan Butcher of Arizona's Goldwater Institute, was released on January 31 and is now under consideration in several states. It's fitting that North Carolina should be the first state to enact a Goldwater-inspired law.
[...] The North Carolina Restore Campus Free Speech Act achieves most of what the Goldwater proposal sets out to do. It ensures that University of North Carolina policy will strongly affirm the importance of free expression. It prevents administrators from disinviting speakers whom members of the campus community wish to hear from. It establishes a system of disciplinary sanctions for students and anyone else who interferes with the free-speech rights of others, and ensures that students will be informed of those sanctions at freshman orientation. It reaffirms the principle that universities, at the official institutional level, ought to remain neutral on issues of public controversy to encourage the widest possible range of opinion and dialogue within the university itself. And it authorizes a special committee created by the Board of Regents to issue a yearly report to the public, the regents, the governor, and the legislature on the administrative handling of free-speech issues.
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The President of the University of Texas at Austin released a letter regarding the removal of statues on the campus.
[...] The University of Texas at Austin is a public educational and research institution, first and foremost. The historical and cultural significance of the Confederate statues on our campus — and the connections that individuals have with them — are severely compromised by what they symbolize. Erected during the period of Jim Crow laws and segregation, the statues represent the subjugation of African Americans. That remains true today for white supremacists who use them to symbolize hatred and bigotry.
The University of Texas at Austin has a duty to preserve and study history. But our duty also compels us to acknowledge that those parts of our history that run counter to the university's core values, the values of our state and the enduring values of our nation do not belong on pedestals in the heart of the Forty Acres.
The issue isn't a new one, they first looked into the issue in 2015, and had a wide range of options including effectively turning the mall into an open air museum, which they eventually decided against. Should the statues be relocated from their historical context just because of the attitudes and behaviour of noisy minorities? (Your humble editor cannot forget the local riots when a historical but hostile-themed statue was relocated.)