Yale University: Suppression of Pro-War Speech

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Yale University

Campus administrators reversed course on their removal of a sign, which read "Kill ‘em all, Let God sort ‘em out," after some officials believed it to be offensive to Muslims and South Asians. One counselor noted that while he believed in free speech, the banner could be hostile to ethnic minorities. Shortly after two op-eds in the Yale Daily News spoke out against the censorship effort, Yale administrators admitted the situation could have been handled in a more proper manner, and reiterated their support for freedom of speech. According to the Yale Daily News, Dean Richard Brodhead said freedom of expression is an important principle to uphold. "When we allow the suppression of speech in cases when it is found objectionable, we implicitly authorize restrictions that could harm free expression on other occasions," Brodhead said. "The right thing would have been to explain why the banner was objectionable and to leave its author to decide: in other words, to have made this an occasion for persuasion and education, not for censorship however well-intended."