The hypocrisy of the right-wing’s “free speech” mantra reached an all-time low after Trump attacked professional sports players this weekend, provoking a nationwide backlash. One may have concluded the Trump administration had finally reached the bottom and could not go any lower, but as has become the painful reality, they continue to descend to depths lower than any reasonable person might have thought possible.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a speech today on the subject of “free speech” at Georgetown University – but in a truly outrageous move over 130 Georgetown University law students found their invitations to Sessions’ speech revoked. Free speech indeed.
A source close to Sessions said the topic of his speech was to be about the “echo chambers of political correctness.” The source said:
Whereas the American university was once the center of academic freedom — a place of robust debate, a forum for the competition of ideas — it is transforming into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogenous thought, a shelter for fragile egos.
The students who were uninvited to attend the speech had intended to protest the event, which implies the administration of Georgetown University intentionally revoked their tickets so that Sessions would have a captive audience who were not hostile towards his views. How magnanimous of Sessions to bravely give a speech about the freedom of speech while locking out those who might disagree with him.
The president for the constitution society of Georgetown University, Daniel Blauser, decried Sessions’ obtuse behavior:
It is extraordinarily hypocritical that AG Sessions wants to lecture future attorneys about the importance of free speech on campus while excluding the wider student body from his very own ‘safe space.’ We welcomed the debate, but sadly the school seems to want to limit attendance to help ensure a sympathetic audience.
Those students who were uninvited were notified through an email which claimed they should never have been invited in the first place and that their invitation was only originally sent because of a clerical “error.” It is, however, convenient according to Daniel Blauser that the same students who were uninvited happened to coincidentally be involved in open online discussions about protesting Sessions’ speech.
By taking this tactic of silencing opposition Sessions opened the floodgates and over 30 Georgetown University professors signed a letter which described Sessions as:
A man who fails to recognize paradigmatic violations of the First Amendment is a poor choice to speak about free speech on campuses.
The full damning letter may be read below:
INBOX: Statement from members of the Georgetown Law faculty regarding Jeff Sessions’ address tomorrow on “free speech on college campuses.” pic.twitter.com/276l4EHokJ
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) September 26, 2017
Not only did 30 professors sign the letter, but they also kneeled outside of the building in protest of students who were uninvited.
The cowardly Sessions is unable to stand in a public place and answer questions from the citizens who he ostensibly serves. Instead, he prefers to silence their voices, all the while having the gall to speak about the fragility of one’s ego as it relates to free speech. The entire situation is to bizarrely hypocritical one would not believe it to be true, but with Trump and his sychophants, the bizarre is now commonplace.
This action by Sessions is exceptionally troubling as he moves to openly bar individuals from participating, as it is a signal of greater sanctions of free speech to come in the future. Throughout all of recorded history, when individuals in places of power seek to consolidate their power they do so by silencing and casting out academics and intellectuals with whom they disagree. This creates an echo chamber, which is precisely what Sessions sought to decry, but the reality is Sessions prefers echo chambers — just as long as they agree with him.