Posted by kallahar on Nov.13.01 at 09:02 am PST.
writes WASHINGTON, DC -- Public colleges that force patriotic students to remove American flags because they are potentially "offensive" and threaten to expel students who scold terrorist-cheering foreign students should immediately lose their government funding, the Libertarian Party said today. Read More for the rest of the article
"There's only one way to deal with taxpayer-funded college administrators who think displaying the American flag is indecent, and who try to deny First Amendment protection to people who speak out against advocates of terrorism: Take away their money," said Steve Dasbach, the party's national director.
"Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize colleges and their out-of- touch administrators who try to make heartfelt patriotism a crime, and who worship political correctness more than they respect fundamental civil liberties."
Over the past few weeks, there has been a flurry of PC-inspired disciplinary actions at government-run colleges, targeted at students and professors in the wake of the bloody September 11 terrorist attack.
* At Central Michigan University, a school administrator told several students to remove patriotic posters and an American flag from their dormitory. A Residential Advisor said the pro-American items were "offensive."
* At San Diego State University, Ethiopian student Zewdalem Kebede overheard four Saudi Arabian students speak approvingly of the terrorist attacks. When Kebede scolded the students in Arabic, they complained to the school. In response, a university judicial officer threatened to suspend or expel Kebede.
* At Pennsylvania State University, a professor was told that his website -- which advocated military action against terrorists -- was "insensitive and perhaps even intimidating." Under Penn State speech codes, "intimidating" language is grounds for dismissal.
* At Florida Gulf Coast University, Dean of Library Services Kathleen Hoeth demanded that employees remove "Proud to be an American" stickers from their work areas, on the grounds they might offend international students.
* At the University of North Carolina (Wilmington) a professor is under investigation for "harassment" after he told a female student that he supported U.S. military action in Afghanistan. The student said that position made her "uncomfortable."
On the other side of the issue, professors and college employees have also been suspended or threatened with dismissal for making inappropriate jokes about the terrorist attacks, or for criticizing past U.S. foreign policy.
The real problem, said Dasbach, is that about two-thirds of government- run colleges have speech codes that prohibit "offensive" language.
Those codes, designed to eliminate racial, sexual, or ethnic harassment, are now being used to suppress political speech -- including patriotic speech, he said.
"Since when did patriotism become a crime? Since when did the American flag become offensive? Since when did it become wrong to be proud to be an American?" he asked. "And, more importantly, why are U.S. taxpayers being forced to subsidize colleges and universities that suppress patriotism?"
Taking away those colleges' tax funding would not only send a message that Americans don't support such policies, said Dasbach, but would also turn government-run schools into private schools that would be controlled by their customers -- students and their parents.
"The problem with government-run colleges is that they are managed by tax-funded bureaucrats, not by employees eager to best serve their customers," he said. "And parents are forced to pay taxes to support those schools, even if they strongly object to such anti-patriotic policies.
"Private colleges, on the other hand, must compete not only on the basis of price and quality, but also on the basis of values and regulations. In a free-market system, parents have the choice of sending their children to a school that respects patriotism and free expression -- or one that kowtows to political correctness and censorship, and thinks the American flag is indecent."