Radhika Sainath's Op-Ed in Jacobin

University of California-Berkeley. Steve McClanahan/Flickr

University of California-Berkeley. Steve McClanahan/Flickr

The following piece was published in Jacobin on April 6, 2017. Click here to view the full article. 

The Real Free-Speech Threat

By Radhika Sainath

There’s a lot of writing these days about the Left being oversensitive crybabies that can’t handle free speech. Students shutting down racists like Milo Yiannopoulos and Charles Murray at the University of California Berkeley and Middlebury in Vermont made headlines in the New York TimesLos Angeles Times, CNN, and Fox News.

At the same time, liberals are also quick to (rightly) point their fingers at the Trump administration’s authoritarian tendencies — from threatening journalists with meritless libel suits to banning them from White House press conferences.

But liberal institutions have hardly been open to those who challenge established orthodoxies. While universities often decry protests by their own students, they’ve shown an uncanny openness to certain outside third parties influencing hiring decisions and classroom curricula.

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