Sliding Speech

Do Some People Deserve More Free Speech than Others?

If I were teaching at Cornell or some of those other campuses where offensive ideas are set on fire, I would often read aloud the following excerpt from Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons.

During the play, Sir Thomas More says he would give the Devil the benefit of the law--due process. More's assistant, William Roper, is stunned and says he would cut down every law in England to get the Devil.

"Oh," says Thomas More. "And when the last law was down and the Devil turned round on you--where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast--man's laws, not God's, and if you cut them down--and you're just the man to do it--do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?

"Yes," concluded Thomas More, "I'd give the Devil the benefit of law, for my own safety's sake."

Where is the Thomas More on the faculty at Cornell, at Boston College, at Amherst, and all those other campuses where the right to publish and the right to read have been ground flat by the stealing and burning of newspapers?

Are the faculty and the administration discriminating against certain black students and feminists by implying they are chronically immature? That too is racism and sexism!

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