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The Campus Speech Police Come to Fresno State

On campuses across the country, the same illiberal attitude toward disagreeable speech is growing, and the broader public must take notice.

There is certainly no shortage of examples of progressive attempts to silence “unacceptable” political speech. From Charles Murray to Ann Coulter to David Horowitz, the Left has upped its game when it comes to censoring, and in some cases even silencing, its political opponents. Some Yale students have even gone so far as to “petition” for a repeal of the First Amendment in its entirety.

Nobody, however, has done more to reveal the true nature of modern progressives’ illiberalism than Fresno State professor Gregory Thatcher. Thanks to cell-phone video and a timely complaint filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom, Thatcher’s utter contempt for contrary political thought was exposed after he directed students to scrub pro-life messages that had been scrawled on campus sidewalks by the Fresno State chapter of Students for Life. This sort of mentality is endemic in American academia — and increasingly in society at large.

A month prior to the incident, Students for Life e-mailed the appropriate authorities at the University, asking for permission to move forward with their “chalking” plans. Their request made clear that the plan would aim to convey “different facts about development in the womb” and “celebrat[e] pregnant and parenting students’ hard work as they pursued their education” with messages such as “Support Pregnant and Parenting Students,” “Pregnant on Campus Initiative,” and “Know Your Title IX Rights.” Ultimately, Fresno State’s Event Review Committee approved the request, just as it had approved many other similar requests in the past.

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