By KEVIN FREKING
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump announced Saturday he would soon sign an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal resources.
Trump is highlighting concerns from some conservatives that their voices were being censored, whether on social media or at the nation’s universities. He did not go into more detail about what the order would say, but his comments immediately drew scrutiny from those who noted that public research universities already have a constitutional obligation to protect free speech.
“An executive order is unnecessary as public research universities are already bound by the First Amendment, which they deeply respect and honor,” said Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. “It is core to their academic mission.”
Trump invited Hayden Williams to join him Saturday while he addressed activists attending the Conservative Political Action Conference. Williams was punched Feb. 19 while on the campus of University of California, Berkeley. He was recruiting for the conservative group Talking Points USA.Two men approached and one punched him during a confrontation captured on student cellphones. University of California, Berkeley police arrested a suspect, Zachary Greenberg, on Friday.Williams, who had a black eye, told Fox News that the men objected to a sign that said “Hate Crime Hoaxes Hurt Real Victims.”
Neither Williams nor Greenberg are affiliated with UC Berkeley.Trump told the audience Saturday that Williams “took a hard punch in the face for all of us.” Meanwhile, Williams said many conservative students face “discrimination, harassment or worse if they dare speak up on campus.”
Trump offered no details about what the executive order might say about what has become a thorny issue on college campuses…
HWH COMMENT: It’s unfortunate that one would need to use an Executive Order to establish and maintain a climate of free speech in any institution in the USA. But that’s an example of how the Constitution is being trampled on by those who can’t and won’t tolerate opposing views. It happens all over social media. People are not only abused and intimidated but the perpetrators are encouraged by Facebook employees by turning a blind eye to offenders and in many cases Facebook employees are the perpetrators of hateful actions toward the people whose opinions they disagree with.
It appears that the very people who preach tolerance to everybody else are the most intolerant of everybody else’s views, unless they’re the same as theirs.
If they even suspect that someone is a Trump supporter or a supporter of any of his policies, the target gets brutally threatened, verbally assaulted and gutted by Facebook trolls. Facebook knows who these trolls are and lets them operate with impunity, siding with the bullies and the deniers of free speech, while punishing the victims with threats of hate crime prosecution when they defend themselves against the perpetrators.
When Facebook calls your response hate speech, which is a hate crime, that implies prosecutorial action, which suggests that Facebook is impersonating law enforcement to silence opposing views. Facebook should not have a view. It is not the place of Facebook computer programmers and workers to be punishing anybody for their political and social views – or any views – on anything.