MIT Goes Against the Grain, Releases a Stunning Statement Endorsing Free Speech

Surprise — the Massachusetts Institute of Technology endorses students’ liberty to engage in offensive speech…officially.

In contrast to castigations of “hate speech” and the increasingly common notion that “hate speech isn’t free speech,” MIT is siding with the Constitution.

On December 21st, the Cambridge private land-grant research university released a Free Expression Statement.

From the document:

Free expression is a necessary, though not sufficient, condition of a diverse and inclusive community. We cannot have a truly free community of expression if some perspectives can be heard and others cannot. Learning from a diversity of viewpoints, and from the deliberation, debate, and dissent that accompany them, are essential ingredients of academic excellence.

Free expression promotes creativity by affirming the ability to exchange ideas without constraints. It not only facilitates individual autonomy and self-fulfillment, it provides for participation in collective decision-making and is essential to the search for truth and justice. … Academic freedom promotes scholarly rigor and the testing of ideas by protecting research, publication, and teaching from interference.

That principle means on-campus guests can’t be relegated to a single perspective:

A commitment to free expression includes hearing and hosting speakers, including those whose views or opinions may not be shared by many members of the MIT community and may be harmful to some. This commitment includes the freedom to criticize and peacefully protest speakers to whom one may object, but it does not extend to suppressing or restricting such speakers from expressing their views. Debate and deliberation of controversial ideas are hallmarks of the Institute’s educational and research missions and are essential to the pursuit of truth, knowledge, equity, and justice.

The school makes clear things such as “direct threats, harassment, plagiarism, or other speech that falls outside the boundaries of the First Amendment” won’t be protected. Furthermore, it expects “a collegial and respectful learning and working environment.”

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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