Over the past couple of months, Greg has written about his efforts to unearth the Oklahoma state legislature’s investigation of a speech given by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins at the University of Oklahoma. He revisits the Dawkins investigation in The Huffington Post this week, discussing FIRE’s decision to write the entire Oklahoma House of Representatives in an effort to engage them in fighting the threat of speech codes on the state’s public campuses. As Greg says, this is an ambitious but warranted approach:
One may wonder why I am bothering to try to recruit a legislature that was willing to investigate clearly protected speech because they did not like the message to join FIRE in the battle for free speech on college campuses. I will admit it may be an extremely optimistic approach, but honestly, it would be very difficult for me to fight the bizarre abuses I see on campus if I were not an optimist. Some may also say it’s naive, and they may have a point. But in my experience, while such educational letters may not always turn an opponent into an ally, I have seen many a fierce critic of unfettered campus free speech reconsider their stance, or, at least, choose to hold back the next time they are faced with the impulse to silence opinions they don’t like. It is hard to argue with the idea that everyone should be allowed to argue their ideas.