Trump calls out left-wing campuses over free-speech rights

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
 | 
Chris Woodward, Bob Kellogg (OneNewsNow.com)

Berkeley assaultPresident Donald Trump has announced he is getting tough on colleges and universities that censor speech, and a religious liberty attorney says it’s pushback that is long overdue.

Trump used his March 2 appearance at CPAC to announce he was signing an executive order that put campus officials on notice: their research funding will be in jeopardy if they fail to protect free speech.

Groups such as The Campus Fix regularly report on left-wing campuses restricting the First Amendment rights of conservatives, and watchdog group FIRE maintains a list of campuses designated with a “red light” for their controversial policies.  

YAF free speech signTrump made the announcement after recognizing a Berkeley student, Hayden Williams, who was punched in the face (pictured above) by a left-wing activist Feb. 19.

“If they want our dollars, and we give it to them by the billions, they’ve got to allow people like Hayden and many other great young people and old people, to speak, free speech,” Trump told the crowd. “If they don’t, it will be very costly.

Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel tells OneNewsNow the executive order will address the growing number of complaints about the suppression of conservative speech on college campuses.

The biggest violators, he says, are those benefitting the most from federal funds.

"These college campuses receive millions and millions of dollars of federal funds,” he complains. “In fact, most college campuses exist because of federal loans."

Regardless of how the regulation is drafted, Staver says it “shines a light” on an ongoing problem that has been documented and that dates back many years.

Ben Shapiro poster“If they want our dollars, and we give it to them by the billions, they’ve got to allow people like Hayden and many other great young people and old people, to speak, free speech,” said Trump. “If they don’t, it will be very costly.”

But the day Trump leaves office a future Democratic president can easily roll back that executive order, Jameson Taylor of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy tells OneNewsNow.

“The Left is at war right now with the Right,” he says, “especially with conservative organizations, and they believe that their enemies do not have rights.”

What the state of Mississippi and other states should do, says Taylor, is pass similar laws to defend free speech, and protect conservative views, on campuses.

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