Georgetown has apparently programmed its victims of a liberal education to not only believe in the suppression of free speech and dissent from the majority, but to engage in it. Nice.
By the way, Georgetown, the backs of Harvard’s diplomas are much more attractive than the backs of yours.
Georgetown University junior Billy Torgerson received a formal condemnation from the Georgetown University Student Association as well as a call for the college to investigate him for “bias” based on a column, “A Nation Of Virtuous Individuals,” that he authored and posted on his own website.
That’s all you need to know, really. It is none of the Student Association’s business what a Georgetown student posts online on his own forum. The principle articulated in the recent Supreme Court case B.L v. Mahanoy Area School District holds even if the action of a student group doesn’t strictly constitute what the opinion prohibits. This is chilling free speech.
Torgerson’s primary “crime” seems to be that he opposes another recent SCOTUS ruling, Bostock v. Clayton County, which extended protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to transgender individuals. I think he’s wrong, but Torgerson’s position is similar to that of the three dissenting judges and many conservative analysts. And it doesn’t matter if he’s wrong. He has every right to state his opinion without being punished.
Torgerson also dared to criticized Black Lives Matter, though far more mildly than others have, including me. This simple act of perception—the group is self-evidently Marxist, racist, and dishonest—has gotten others far less vulnerable than a student “cancelled,” so his article was an act of bravery.
The student government decided that fellow student daring to oppose the George Floyd mob’s agenda mandated censure and perhaps investigation. The approved resolution was adopted with only two dissenting votes. It attacks Torgerson’s article for employing a “vocabulary [that] invalidates the experiences of BIPOC individuals in and outside of the Georgetown community,” and expresses outrage that Torgerson opines that “The United States of America is not systemically racist today, by which the author negates the existence of institutional racism.” The resolution holds that “the rhetoric in this article is racist, ignorant, discriminatory, demeaning, and hateful”—-it is not— and calls for “the Senate body and the campus community to file bias reports in response to the article and journal entries.”
Meanwhile, Georgetown University has done nothing to protect its student from organized intimidation and bullying. The school’s Speech and Expression Policy specifically directs the student body “to judge the value of ideas, and to act on those judgments not by seeking to suppress speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting those arguments and ideas that they oppose.” Never mind! Most campuses and college administrators now regard such constraints as quaint and inconvenient as its resident proto-totalitarians seek to create a progressive utopia by any means necessary.
Professor Turley, who as a professor at Georgetown’s rival George Washington might be a bit biased, wrote,
“Not a word about how the university must remain a place for diverse opinions and viewpoints. Outside of a couple conservative sites, there has also been virtually no coverage, let alone a defense, of this student columnist by the media in the interests of free speech….The message from this incident is clear for conservative, libertarian, or just contrarian students: if you voice dissenting views, you will be formally denounced as a racist and your views treated as a “bias incident.” These students know that such action could have a harmful impact on future applications or prospects for students like Torgerson. The intended chilling effect is glacial on any others who want to engage in a good-faith debate over the issues that will be defining our nation for generations.”
So far, Torgerson is not backing down, and has not issued the kind of pathetic mea culpa we have seen too often. He writes,
Nobody matters more than anyone else, just like nobody else’s opinion matters more than anyone else. If you don’t like my opinion, draw your own. I established this website to give my opinion.
I will never bow to a mob. I have no obligation to prove my character to people who do not know me. I am improving every single day, and this feedback is only going to make my arguments stronger. I have looked at every single comment and I will continue to do so. There are flaws in everything of this world, and there always will be.
I’ve done a lot of thinking since March 2020. Through all of the conflicting ideas running through my head, one idea remains true over all of them:
I love the United States of America.