College and university students can now report free speech violations on campus after the Education Department launched a “Free Speech Hotline.” Cancel culture has found its way into institutions of higher education. There have been more than a few cases where students and lecturers have been criticized and punished for expressing unpopular opinions.
The free speech hotline was launched during an event held by the education department to discuss cancel culture and political correctness in campuses. Those who attended the virtual event feel that in the recent past political correctness has hampered humor in the quad and lecture halls.
“We’re announcing today the creation of the free speech hotline, so any abridgment of free speech on a college campus can and should be reported to this new hotline,” said Robert King, the Assistant Secretary of Education for Postsecondary Education.
Some attendees of the event titled “What is to be done? Confronting a culture of Censorship on Campuses” were recent victims of cancel culture in campuses. They shared their stories highlighting the consequences they faced for being politically incorrect.
“Eventually, someone is going to get hurt. Because it started with one student, it just started with me, but then other students started getting targeted,” said Justine Murray, a Syracuse University student. She was criticized for wearing a Melania Trump costume during Halloween.
“Other professors started getting targeted, and when, God forbid, if someone gets physically hurt, the university is just going to pretend that they didn’t even see it coming. And I fear for that day, and I hope that this panel can help raise some light on that issue, and send a warning out to other universities and administrations that this is a real problem,” Murray added.
Another notable victim of cancel culture who attended the event was Professor Joshua Katz, who got canceled for criticizing the demands of the Black Lives Matter movement. Katz said he was not apologetic for his opinions by saying, “I do not regret the events that have brought me here today.”
Others who attended the two-hour virtual event pointed out there was a need to address cancel culture in institutions urgently, as it poses a significant threat to democracy.
Kristina Arriaga of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom said that the country would not have made some of its most outstanding achievements, such as the emancipation of slaves, if unpopular opinions were not heard.
“We are in a space where culturally we are being told that being offensive, being in the center, is actually a threat to the tribe, a threat to our way of life,” she explained. “Imagine what would have happened had that thinking prevailed before many offensive ideas became some of the greatest successes we have had as our nation.”
The Free Speech Hotline is an email address; [email protected]
The education department will monitor it, and all complaints will be reviewed. The department will open investigations, “where it is appropriate to do so.”
The department has already launched seven investigations into free speech violations.
“During the last few months, we’ve begun seven investigations into university free speech policies pursuant to Title 20 in the United States Code section 1094. There were many more situations which could have been investigated, but these were the most egregious,” said Paul Moore, the Department of Education’s Chief Investigative Counsel.