Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism
In October, the New York Times ran an op-ed titled, “Free Speech Is Killing Us.”
Now the same paper has dashed off half a dozen pieces attacking President Trump’s executive order extending the civil rights protections of Title VI to Jewish college students as a threat to free speech.
“Anti-Semitism or Free Speech?” one of these asks.
The headline is accurate by Timesian standards. The only free speech, especially on campus, that the Old Gray Lady of Eight Avenue supports is the anti-Semitic kind. The paper’s new love affair with free speech is the worst kind of ideological adultery. This is the same paper that ran an op-ed titled, “When Is Speech Violence?” which argued that bad speech should be banned because it causes health problems.
“Student advocates have protested vigorously, even violently, against invited speakers whose views they consider not just offensive but harmful,” the op-ed claimed. “We must also halt speech that bullies and torments. From the perspective of our brain cells, the latter is literally a form of violence.”
But Students for Justice in Palestine’s support for terrorists like Rasmeah Odeh, who was literally involved in the murder of two Jewish college students, isn’t violence, it’s free speech. So is disrupting Holocaust memorials, physically assaulting Jewish students, and threatening violence on social media.
In March, President Trump signed an executive order protecting free speech on college campuses. And the New York Times and the rest of the media were against it. They dismissed free speech on campus as the agenda of “conservative students” who wanted to be free to spread hate.
But after Trump signed an executive order extending Title VI protections to Jewish students, the New York Times and the rest of the media are now suddenly worried about its impact on free speech.
There is an obvious and easy solution. If Title VI is a threat to freedom of speech, let’s get rid of it.
Now that the media has come around to realizing that Title VI is a threat to freedom of speech on campuses, dying papers around the country should be calling for the elimination of Title VI. A march of furious ex-snowflakes waving banners should demand that Congress immediately repeal Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and restore the right of everyone to be incredibly racist on the campuses of the country.
But the march isn’t materializing.
The odd thing is that Title VI when applied to any and every other minority group isn’t a threat to free speech. There isn’t a damn thing wrong with preventing frat boys from wearing sombreros to Halloween parties. Bias response teams on campuses that exist entirely for the purpose of stifling free speech aren’t the problem. Even when the bias emergency they’re responding to, as at Emory U, is someone chalking “Trump 2016” on the sidewalk and the college’s president promising to hunt down the chalker.
These are not free speech violations.
There is nothing in the Bill of Rights protecting the rights of students to support one of the two political parties in the nation. But it’s a sacred right of Students for Justice in Palestine to dress up as terrorists and put up posters celebrating Islamic terrorists while calling for the destruction of Israel.
Just as the Founding Fathers intended.
Or as the New York Times editorial board on Trump’s executive order put it, “The solution to these worries isn’t to stifle conversation. It’s to allow a healthy discourse about the country’s policies.” That’s a great idea. But why can’t we also have a healthy discourse on campuses with the Klan? Or least allow students to mildly dissent from the paper’s political orthodoxy without being sanctioned or assaulted?
Under Obama, campus Title VI enforcement investigations included, “University fraternity members hosting an off-campus party advertised as a celebration of Black History Month using African-American stereotypes.” Racist idiocy is still speech. But the Times didn’t take issue with it. It does take issue when the government threatens to object to persistent harassment of Jewish students by its allies on campus.
The New York Times puts on its liberal mask when it comes to a “healthy discourse” about destroying Israel, but not when it comes to students wearing war paint and geisha girl outfits on Halloween.
It’s not Title VI that the moldy newspaper hates. It’s Jews.
A healthy discourse on the subject would be a lot more helpful than the Times’ early efforts to spread lies about the extension of Title VI being the second coming of the Nuremberg laws. Instead of apologizing for its lies, the paper doubled down with a torrent of more lies about the executive order.
By now, the Times has spent more time attacking Trump’s executive order on anti-Semitism than it did reporting on the Holocaust while it was going on. After claiming that it was saving Jews from Trump’s anti-Semitism, it doubled around to saving anti-Semites from the Jews and President Trump.
Like a Saudi husband cheating on all his four wives, the New York Times is lost in a maze of its own lies.
The New York Times can’t decide if it’s for free speech or against it on any given day of the week. It’s not sure if it’s fighting anti-Semitism or defending anti-Semitism depending on its free speech position today. And all these crazy lies, convoluted excuses, and contorted smears cover up one simple fact.
The paper supports Title VI on campus unless it’s applied to Jews.
Saying it that way would get you kicked out of every New York Times cocktail party. The truth usually does. But it’s the beginning of a healthy discourse about what the media really believes and why.
The New York Times doesn’t have a position on free speech. It has a position on power.
It used to support free speech on campus only to aid of its radical political allies against conservative administrations and legislatures. Now that its radical allies control campuses and local governments in college towns and big cities, it opposes free speech because it would undermine their agenda.
“I champion civil liberty as the best of the non-violent means of building the power on which workers rule must be based,” Roger Nash Baldwin, the co-founder of the ACLU, once wrote. “When that power of the working class is once achieved, as it has been only in the Soviet Union, I am for maintaining it by any means whatever. Dictatorship is the obvious means.”
It’s the obvious means on campuses.
Once the power of the $73,900 tuition a year working class has been achieved at Harvard and Yale, then the former free speech defenders are for maintaining it by any means, including Bias Response Teams, costume bans, and using security camera footage to find out who chalked, “Trump 2016” at Emory.
But when their habit of shouting, “Intifada”, “Khaybar Ya Yahood”, or other such threats of mass murder of Jews is threatened on campuses, then the radical dictators once again champion civil liberties.
Title VI is useful most of the time. It comes in handy for activists who are on the same political page as the New York Times. But if Title VI were to cover Jewish students, it would cut against those same intersectional activists who conflate the civil rights movement with suicide bombings, burning bras with blowing up buses, and Stonewall with Gaza. And suddenly Title VI is extremely inconvenient.
The media can’t actually say that it supports Title VI for everyone except Jews. Progressives can’t come out and admit that they are for censoring everyone except themselves. So, they have to lie like crazy.
That’s why the New York Times began its campaign with, “Trump Order’s Wider Definition of Judaism Aids Crackdown on Colleges”. Every single word in that headline was a lie.
And a distraction.
The New York Times launched a racist attack on Jewishness, and falsely attributed it to the Trump administration, all in the service of fighting to stop Title VI protections from applying to Jews. After that lie fell apart, the paper of “Free Speech is Killing Us” and “When Is Speech Violence?” claimed that it cared so much about free speech. The Times cares as much about free speech as it does about Jews.
That’s why the only free speech it will fight for is hating Jews.