Free Speech Groups Decry University of Iowa’s Response To Art

December 17, 2014

By The Associated Press at

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Two free speech groups are criticizing the University of Iowa’s response to a visiting professor’s art display that angered some students.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the National Coalition Against Censorship called on the school Wednesday to affirm the First Amendment rights of the artist, Serhat Tanyolacar.

Tanyolacar displayed a 7-foot-tall piece depicting a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood emblazoned with newspaper clippings of racial violence in the United States. He said he wanted to raise awareness about racism.

But some students were disturbed by the imagery. The university ordered the display removed, noting the artist didn’t have permission, and denounced the art as intolerant.

The free speech groups sent a letter calling the university’s response “an unacceptable abdication of its duty to uphold” constitutional rights.

Schools: University of Iowa