Precinct 333

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Illegal Immigrant Supporters Seek Speech Suppression At University Of North Texas

As a form of political protest, "Catch an Illegal Immigrant Day" might have been a poorly thought out act of guerilla theater. But the issue it raised was an important one. The border/sieve between the US and Mexico is a threat to national security, and the presence of 10 million lawbreakers in this country is a threat to the economic well-being and cultural identity of the nation.

What concerns me more is that there are folks who are more offended by the demonstration than by the flaunting of our nation's laws. Even more offensive is their demand that UNT officials be forced to attend brainwashing sensitivity sessions so that they can teach "tolerance" to students. Excuse me, but since when is it a legitimate objective for a university to try to force certain political and social beliefs on its students?

And then there is this even more frightening demand by one of the advocates for foreign invaders.

Emma Guzman Ramon, president of Denton’s LULAC chapter, said she appreciated Jackson’s statement, though it could have come sooner and been more powerful.

"I think whenever an incident like this happens, UNT should have spoken up a lot earlier and said they don’t condone the message," she said.

She said her group wants the university to preview content to be presented in the free-speech zones.

"There should have to be some kind of a review before it goes to a free-speech area because they’re [UNT] using that as a crutch," she said.

So, lest criminals and their supporters be offended, the university should actively censor student speech, not merely pen it up in a couple of sharply limited "free speech zones" which require permission for use. If this woman had even half a concept of what was in the United States and Texas Constitutions, she would realize that the entire campus is, by rights, a free speech zone, and that no public official has any right to censor the political speech of any citizen.

How much longer are Americans going to sit back and accept the notion that one's rights are limited by the most overly-sensitive member of the community? We are guaranteed freedom OF speech, not freedom FROM speech, and freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. There is no such thing as an "I'm offended" exception to civil liberties.


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