Silencing Free Speech on Campus

By Nicole Neily, President of Speech First
Originally published in Inside Sources

The recent D-Day anniversary celebrations provided a good opportunity to consider what happened after World War II ended. Half of Europe was liberated and rebuilt — while half fell behind the Iron Curtain for the next 44 years. Many Eastern bloc nations built out highly effective surveillance states to enforce order, enlisting people to report on their fellow citizens for perceived disloyalty and infractions of the law.

In the German Democratic Republic — East Germany — the system was particularly brutal; the 2006 film “The Lives of Others” dramatized the agony of average citizens who knew they were being monitored at all times, which led to tremendous mistrust among neighbors and colleagues. Fortunately, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dismantling of the Stasi apparatus brought this shameful period to an end.

As it turns out, however, these policies aren’t completely gone — they’ve just migrated west, operating on hundreds of American college campuses under the modern-day guise of a “bias response team …”

To read more, click HERE.

Due to COVID-19, we know that college students across the country are dealing with canceled classes, student housing complications, and an uncertain reality of what higher education will look like moving forward. Our thoughts and well wishes are with our Speech First members during this difficult time. We stand ready to support students as we figure out together what speech will look like on campuses after we move past this health crisis.
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