Dr. Keith Whittington never expected to write on the topic of free speech. As Whittington introduced himself before his lecture on his new book, “Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech,” on Thursday afternoon, he explained that he set aside projects more related to his specialty in constitutional interpretation to focus on an issue he could no longer ignore.“I think it’s critically important that we collectively think seriously about what it is we want universities to do and what that implies about how we ought to conduct ourselves on campuses and what we ought to tolerate and engage in on college campuses,” Whittington said.Whittington spoke as part of the Constitutional Studies’ effort to delve into American society’s conflicted attitude toward free speech and how it affects the conversations on college campuses. Whittington said that the issue of free speech is not a new one but that the American people have been grappling with its implications for as long as public opinion surveys have been used in research.“Regardless of what kind of audience you ask, whether it’s the mass public or lawyers or college students or the like, overwhelmingly Americans tend to say that they value free speech, they value the First Amendment, they value tolerance, they think all those things are very important,” he said. “But then when you start pressing them on, ‘Well, what about this particular example of speech that you find particularly repellent?’ well, then they start trying to carve out exceptions.”This dilemma, Whittington said, is part of the challenge of living in a liberal democracy, and it requires us to accept that supporting free speech means tolerating speech that is at times troubling. Whittington said this tolerance is especially important on college campuses, where the pursuit of knowledge is tantamount.“In the context of a university in particular, we’re particularly concerned with trying to press forward to better understand the world,” he said. “And pressing forward to better understand the world means leaving lots of space open for people to make mistakes, for people to ask hard questions, for people to come to uncomfortable answers in response to those hard questions. Universities lose a lot of their value if they can’t get to that anymore.”Throughout his lecture, Whittington discussed the importance of having an open environment conducive to what he called “robust intellectual inquiry,” which means issues of free speech and universities are intimately connected both for that reason and for the danger of allowing universities any power that could be used to suppress speech.“I think campus officials will do what they’ve always done, which is try to suppress speech they find particularly embarrassing and that they think might provoke public controversy and might draw unwanted news attention,” Whittington said. “That will stretch across a wide range of different conversations. That will sometimes mean silencing speakers on the right but also mean silencing speakers on the left. It will sometimes mean silencing minority speakers and sometimes it will mean silencing other kinds of speakers.”An attack on any kind of free speech, Whittington said, is an attack on all free speech; a speaker with views outside the norm can still have something to contribute to the conversation. Yet controversy for controversy’s sake, Whittington said, should never be the goal of inviting a speaker to campus.“When we’re making decisions about whom to invite to campus to speak, the goal should be neither to stack the deck with our closest allies nor to sprinkle in the most extreme provocateurs,” Whittington said. “The goal should be to make available to the campus community at large thoughtful representatives of serious ideas.”That responsibility to choose speakers wisely lies with both faculty and students since students deserve to have power over the debates in which they engage. Whittington said protest is a form of intellectual exploration and advocacy and that students have a right to protest, as long as their efforts do not destroy the free speech of others.“It’s perfectly reasonable to protest those ideas, to complain about those ideas, to have a public conversation about whether or not the given speaker has good ideas or bad ideas, whether or not it’s a good idea to invite a given speaker to campus and the like,” Whittington said. “But disruptions, disinvitations, tearing down signs, throwing out papers are all efforts to quash the communication of ideas and shut down the free exchange of ideas among students and others on the college campus rather than to advance that free exchange of ideas by advancing better ideas in their stead.”Ultimately, Whittington argued, university administration, faculty and students must allow themselves to be challenged in order to continue the debates integral to the purpose of the university.“If students are to prepare themselves to critically engage the wide range of perspectives and problems they will encounter in the world across their lifetimes, they must learn to grapple with and critically examine ideas they find difficult and offensive,” Whittington said. “ … Recognizing and respecting the principles of free speech is challenging, but there is no alternative if we are dedicated to pursue truth. And ultimately, to pursue truth is the noble and important mission of the modern American university.”Tags: Free speech, keith whittington
RelatedPosts Mammoth crowd as APC chieftain and Governor’s Adviser Lanre Rasak goes home FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers postponed Osun bids Fasanmi farewell, hands body over to Ekiti The Enugu State Football Association says the burial ceremony of its late Chairman, Chidi Ofo-Okenwa, has been shifted from June 10 to July 24 to accommodate members of the state’s football family.The Enugu FA Secretary, Francis Ugwu, who disclosed this to newsmen in Enugu on Monday, said the shift in date was communicated to the FA by the diseased’s family. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ofo-Okenwa died on May 5 after a brief illness.Ofo-Okenwa was also the Chairman of the Nigeria National League and a board member of the Nigeria Football Federation before his death.He hailed from Akpugo Town in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State.He will be buried in Akpugo.According to Ugwu: I wish to inform you that the family of the late Chidi Ofo-Okenwa has shifted the burial date to July and it is no longer June 10 as earlier scheduled. “The shift in date is due to the appeal from members of the state’s football family within and outside the country asking to be given the opportunity to participate in the burial ceremony.“There is hope that the inter-state movement or lockdown will be over before the new date.”Tags: burialChidi Ofo OkenwaEnugu State Football AssociationPostponement
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that it has cancelled the DAPA program (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) (“DAPA”) which President Obama had enacted through an Executive Order in 2014.However, this cancellation will have no real affect for Immigrant Parents, since Obama’s DAPA program was never allowed to go into effect. On the eve of its implementation date in 2015, the State of Texas sued the Obama administration in order to stop the measure from being instituted. Since that time, it has been tied up in the courts.Under President Obama’s DAPA program, Immigrants who entered the U.S. on or before January 1, 2010, who were Parents of U.S. Citizens and Residents on or before November 20, 2014, would have been eligible to obtain DAPA status and a work permit.Now that the DHS has cancelled the program entirely, DAPA is dead and will never be revived under a Trump Administration.The good news is that at least for now, Trump has allowed the 2012 DACA program (Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals) for Dreamers to continue. Under DACA, children who entered the U.S. before age 16 on or before June 15, 2007 and who were under the age of 31 on June 15, 2012 are eligible to obtain DACA status and a work permit as long as they don’t have any serious criminal convictions and have either graduated from High School, obtained a GED or are currently enrolled in school at the time of application.
Ivan Scott finished in third place at the World Speed Shear competition at the World Shearing Championships in New Zealand. Over 100 of the world’s fastest shearers had competed in the first heat of the competition.Ivan made it to the semi-final before being knocked out by Kiwi shearers Jack Fagan and Paerata Abraham who battled it out in the final. The Kilmacrennan native missed out on the final by hair’s breadth, finishing outside the top two by less than half a second with a time of 21.24 seconds, 0.43 of a second after Fagan’s time of 20.81.Ivan also took part in the All-Nations Open Shearing and World Machine Shearing events.On Thursday, he finished sixth in the All-Nations Open Shearing event and came fifth in the World Machine Shearing competition, the semi-final of which takes place this weekend.Ivan hit headlines last summer for setting a new world record for the fastest sheep shearing after fleecing 867 strong wool lambs in only nine hours. The previous world record was held by New Zealand shearer Dion King, who shaved 866 crossbred lambs in nine hours. King’s record remained unbeaten for almost a decade.In order to beat King’s record, he had to shear 97 sheep per hour, meaning he had just over thirty seconds per sheep.Ivan is no stranger to competitive sheep shearing, having smashed the Irish record last June. He fleeced 820 Irish ewes in nine hours in Mayo, beating the previous record of 483 held by Wexford man, George Graham in 1997.Ivan Scott finishes third in World Speed Shear competition was last modified: February 11th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Ivan ScottNew Zealandsheep shearingworld shearing championshipsworld speed shear