Tufts, a Massachusetts University, is the hotbed of fanatical Leftism that you would expect. So it is no surprise that FIRE recently named it one of the worst American colleges for speech restrictions.
Pleasingly, that seems to have riled Tufts people a bit -- perhaps because it was reported in the Puffington Host. They are so encased in their own little mental cocoon that they think their speech codes are fair and free!
Reality is a little pesky, however. A few years ago the university ruled that two articles in a student newspaper (about blacks and Muslims) made the newspaper "guilty of harassment and creating a hostile environment", which is an offense at Tufts.
Below is the completely dishonest way a Tufts spokesman tries to wriggle out of the situation.
Dean of Student Affairs Bruce Reitman thoroughly disagreed with FIRE's branding of Tufts and believed the organization has exaggerated a lack of free speech on campus.
According to Reitman, it is just as essential to acknowledge offensive material as it is to allow that material to exist. "That's the purpose of community learning — so that we have those conversations that at times include the voice in the community that says, ‘they don't have the right to say that,'" Reitman said.
"I think that's an ingredient of that conversation. It always will be. I will always support a person's right to say, ‘they don't have the right to say that,' because that's their opinion." Reitman said that FIRE itself is guilty of not truly respecting the freedom of expression.
"If FIRE is saying we are at fault because we are restricting people from having an opinion that can be voiced, aren't they doing exactly that by saying a group of people doesn't have the right to call something harassing behavior?" he said. "I think they're hypocritical even in making this argument. So they're saying that people don't have the right to call something what they think it is. So they're the ones in my mind who are talking about censoring."
Brucie might make a good theologian but he is no logician. Neither FIRE nor anyone else is critical of anybody disagreeing with anything. It is using the weight of the university to condemn particular utterances that is the issue. For an individual student to call something harassment is fine. It is when the university tries to suppress the "harassment" that there is a problem.
In logic, Brucie's defense is what is known as a "straw man" argument. He can't answer the actual charge put to him so he makes up another argument to answer. But I am sure Tufts is proud of him. I guess they don't teach logic there. Or is it just that Leftism routinely rots the brain?
While I am having fun with Brucie, let me note this little bit of dialogue with him: "But what does the dean of student affairs do on the Hill? "Besides warning people to be careful in Mexico?" Reitman asked jokingly, referring to this past spring break."
If a conservative had said that he would run a fair risk of having "racism" shrieked at him. It would be claimed that he is "stereotyping" Mexicans or some such. Using his own standard of logic, I therefore find him "guilty of harassment and creating a hostile environment" for Hispanics