Our nation’s protection of free speech and free expression of political activity is a wonderful thing. However, as many know, it is not without limitations. Conspire to murder someone and that is not “free speech,” that is conspiracy. Make a threat against someone’s life, and that is not “free speech,” that is a crime. And, despite what the left would like people to believe, burning down and looting towns in the name of supposed racial justice is not free expression of political ideas, it is just rioting.
Though academia could use a healthy refresher on what speech is allowable per our Constitution, there are still limits on college campuses as well. One such limitation that most should be able to understand is that ISIS should not be allowed to recruit on college campuses.
Alas, there are some who believe that the freedom of speech should extend to Islamic State recruiters.
Wrapped in a well-intentioned bill in Tennessee’s House of Representatives is a protection of all speech- including the protection of recruitment efforts for a terrorist organization that hopes to exterminate all non-Muslims.
Tennessee State Rep. Martin Daniel has pushed a bill labeled the “Tennessee Student Free Speech Protection Act.” This bill seeks to remedy the remarkable intolerance seen on college campuses of any perspectives that deviate from the liberal dogma and indoctrination so readily pushed upon young adults. The bill augments the protections for students on campus and its goal seems largely laudable.
However, when fielding a question from fellow State Rep. John DeBerry Jr. about whether this bill would protect ISIS recruiting efforts, Daniel replied,
“Yes. So long as it doesn’t disrupt the proceedings on that campus. Yes sir. They can recruit people for any other organization or any other cause. I think it’s just part of being exposed to differing viewpoints.”
Differing viewpoints is fine; it’s practically the whole point of college. But providing to bloodthirsty killers a target-rich environment of impressionable young minds is something that far extends the limitations already placed on free speech.
As noted above, conspiring with other to orchestrate a murder is not considered free speech; in this view, why should conspiring to murder millions be afforded a higher level of protection?
DeBerry blasted the bill.
“There are young people who are not ready yet — they’re half-baked, half-cooked — who are recruited to work against their own parents, their own nation, and I would be concerned as a parent and as a citizen,” DeBerry said. “Free speech is one thing; being stupid is another.”
Needless to say, after the exchange, the bill was taken off notice.
We must view our resistance to Islamic terrorism not as a free speech issue, but as a war. We must take this threat seriously and declare unequivocally that we, as a nation, are dedicated to eradicating those who threaten America and our allies.
Daniel’s bill should be considered an example of a good idea with poor execution. We must reclaim academia and further an agenda of tolerance and diversity of opinions. In this endeavor, however, we are not obliged to offer a podium to the bloodthirsty savages of the world who are not merely supporting such carnage, but are actively recruiting to augment it.