heterodox: the blog
Praising the UC Berkeley Chancellor Statement on Free Speech
New UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ issued a powerful statement on the value of free speech on campus to students, faculty, and staff. Many points echo both the mission of Heterodox Academy and the sources we use as inspiration.
After the events in Charlottesville, free speech is again in the news. Chancellor Christ cites its importance to both those on and off campus in saying, “The public expression of many sharply divergent points of view is fundamental both to our democracy and to our mission as a university.” She then quotes John Stuart Mill for justification. As we write this, we are in the final stages of preparing an illustrated version of Chapter 2 from On Libertythat we believe will help forward both Chancellor Christ and Heterodox Academy’s shared vision for dialogue as an antidote to current discord.
What makes the Chancellor’s essay of particular note is her strong defense of the need to hear views with which you disagree:
Nonetheless, defending the right of free speech for those whose ideas we find offensive is not easy. It often conflicts with the values we hold as a community — tolerance, inclusion, reason and diversity. Some constitutionally protected speech attacks the very identity of particular groups of individuals in ways that are deeply hurtful. However, the right response is not the heckler’s veto, or what some call platform denial. Call toxic speech out for what it is, don’t shout it down, for in shouting it down, you collude in the narrative that universities are not open to all speech. Respond to hate speech with more speech.
May her words ring out on every campus.
Get heterodox: the blog delivered to your inbox!
Love this essay? Take it!
All HxA blog content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, No-Derivatives 4.0 International License. See our syndication guidelines.
About heterodox: the blog
We want to publish your heterodox perspectives on higher education, academic research, teaching and learning. The HxA Blog is a platform for contributors to advance our mission, share ideas, and model constructive dialogue on higher education relevant issues.
We welcome original submissions from authors across disciplines and from a range of perspectives through our submission form. All published content must follow the HxA Way, a set of values that fosters robust and constructive engagement across lines of difference. Contributors are compensated for accepted pieces.
Interested in contributing? Please see our submission guidelines. We encourage readers to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn — and to join in the conversation on those forums — to weigh in on this or other posts.