Without debate, the Assembly of the State of California has passed a bill making it illegal on a state university campus to say certain negative things about Israeli politics. To say such things is designated as a mark of anti-Semitism, and therefore can get you expelled or fired.
Once again, we see the problem of tax-funded education. Special-interest groups pressure the politicians to prohibit certain ideas on campus. Free speech is always the victim of tax funding.
The academic beneficiaries of tax funding claim rights of free speech. But subsidized speech is not free. It is expensive. When some taxpayers are forced to subsidize ideas they do not like, they are going to fight back.
There is no neutrality.
Illustrating this principle are a pair of Jews. One of them, a state legislator, has introduced a bill reversing this new policy in the name of free speech. Another has taken a public stand with a pro-Palestinian group that is the target of the Assembly’s bill. He teaches at one of the campuses of the California State University (CSU). He has issued a statement.
“If implemented by the California State University system, California’s Assembly House Resolution 35 would prohibit on any CSU campus criticisms of the government of Israel. The CSU administration’s support of HR-35 is not only a direct assault against academic freedom and the First Amendment, it reveals a deep-seated anti-Arab racism and antipathy toward the Palestinian people, who are the victims of Israel’s ethnic cleansing and apartheid system of laws.”
One of the things the bill says a professor may not say and still hold his job is that the State of Israel has adopted apartheid-like policies with respect to resident Arabs. Another is that the authorities conduct policies of ethnic cleansing. This professor is probably tenured. Otherwise, he would soon be looking for a job.
And so it goes. One group is taxed to promote the worldview of some other group. Any complaints on campus are prohibited in the name of hate speech or some equivalent slogan of politically correct liberal academia.
This problem is easily solved. Abolish all tax funding of education.
The defenders of academic freedom have not publicly admitted an obvious fact: academic freedom is not free of charge. Someone has to pay.
Academic freedom has always rested on this claim: “Once hired, I can say what I want at taxpayers’ expense.” When one or another taxpayers’ group gets the politicians’ collective ear, the old law is enforced: “Different strokes for different folks.” Think: “Six-day creationist geology department.” Think: “Pro-Confederacy history department.” Think: “Pro-gold standard economics department.” Think: “Pro-Second Amendment political science department.” It’s not going to happen.