Scott Tibbs

A Stalinist response

Bloomington Herald-Times, May 1, 2001

To the editor:

When our founding Fathers enshrined our right to free speech in the First Amendment, they specifically had political speech in mind. Unfortunately, extremists have been attempting to severely limit our constitutional and moral right to free speech. We have seen this at the national level with "campaign finance reform", and at the local level with attempts to regulate political yard signs.

Now, a small band of rabid Leftists on the IU campus are proposing an attack on free speech just as outrageous as the previous two. According to the April 27 Herald-Times, 20 protesters demanded "diversity training" for the staff of the Indiana Daily Student, and that the IDS run future advertisements that could be deemed "offensive" by diversity offices within IU.

Both the IDS and the diversity offices must immediately and soundly dismiss these frightening demands. To suggest that the staff of a newspaper be forced to undergo "diversity training" for allowing someone else to exercise his right to free speech smacks of a Stalinist re-education camp and is completely un-American.

In addition, forcing the IDS to screen potentially "offensive" ads before the campus diversity police is a horrifying assault on the right of the press to publish all sides of various issues and serve as a community forum.

Sadly, the Left has been unable or unwilling to learn that the proper response to speech you dislike is more speech, not censorship. Americans who value freedom and respect the Constitution must never allow these totalitarian proposals to be implemented.

Scott Tibbs.

Note: For the sake of clarity, the following statement: should have been: I have often heard statements like "you should run this by X," meaning that X should either approve or give feedback on something before an action is taken. (Or, in this case, before something is published.) But for the purpose of my letter, it was awkward and easily misinterpreted.

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