Tuesday August 27, 2019
We have been discussing the rising attacks on free speech across the country, including students and faculty who support the silencing of speakers who hold opposing views. What is most concerning is that these attacks are working. The latest example can be found in New Jersey where the Broadway Theater in Pitman cancelled an event because anti-free speech organizations and individuals threatened protests and some even threatened to burn down the theater.
Among the speakers was journalist Andy Ngo, who suffered a brain hemorrhage after being beaten by Antifa supporters at an event in Oregon. My concern is not with planned protests but the coordinated effort to have the event cancelled to prevent others from hearing opposing views.
The one-day conference was set to discuss “combating racism, violence, and authoritarianism.” Sponsored by Minds.com, there were 20 speakers planning to discuss a variety of issues. They included speakers who had once support but later became disillusioned with some leftist groups. This included im Tim Pool, who calls himself a “disaffected liberal” and Josephine Mathias, who has opposed sexual orientation as not equal to race or ethnicity. Mathias was the only black speaker in the line up. It also included Lauren Chen, a conservative blogger.