I appreciate the firewall and its limitations, but if anyone has access and is interested...this is a really well-constructed discussion of wokeness, free-speech, and the state of the discourse on college campuses.
Why Critics of Angry Woke College Kids Are Missing the Point
Here's one section of the Q&A format (the section before the Bold question is part of the prior answer, but sets up the next question):
Little episodes about cancel culture make great tidbits in newspapers
and talk shows, but they donât represent this larger and deeper project
of the right of mobilizing state power and corporations for their agenda
in schools. They also donât represent the deeper problem with
which we began: the confusions and the loss of boundaries between
something like academic freedom and free speech. That boundary is just
totally messed up.
Where should that boundary be?
Academic freedom needs to be appreciated as a collective right of the
faculty to be free of interference in determining what we research and
teach. Weâre accountable to our disciplines, our peers. We canât just do
anything and have it called quality scholarship or teaching. But the
idea of academic freedom is that we are free of external interference.
Free speech is different. Itâs an individual right for the civic and
public sphere. Itâs not about research and teaching. Itâs not even about
the classroom. Itâs what you can say in public without infringement by
others or the state. Now, whatâs the mess-up? The right today is
mobilizing state power and using corporate money to attempt to constrain
academic freedom in the name of free speech. Theyâre attempting to say
what canât be taught in primary and secondary schools, and theyâd like
to get their hands on the public universities. They donât say weâre
trying to constrict academic freedom. They bring free speech in as the
rubric for these constraints or censorship and often bring parental
rights as well. Now letâs go to the left. The left has permitted a
certain moral, political strain to gain a foothold in classrooms where
things ought to be more open and contestatory. Thatâs where I think
thereâs confusion on the part of the left and the right about whether
the classroom is that civic space for free speech or whether it ought to
be governed by something more like academic freedom, which is, again, a
faculty right. Then the question is, What can and should students be
able to do there? My own view is that they ought to be able to try out
their ideas but not simply have them presented as a political broadside.
Thatâs not what class is for. Thatâs for civic space.