Patrick Samples, a graduate student at the University of Alabama, has a great article in today’s edition of UA’s student newspaper, The Crimson White. In it, he responds to an attempt by UA’s student government to assert control over the paper in response to its alleged liberal bias. As Samples, who acknowledges that he disagrees with the paper’s viewpoint, aptly summarizes the situation, “This is a clear violation of freedom of the press. This resolution should be rescinded immediately.” He continues:
I ask my fellow conservatives and libertarians this question: Do we want the left-liberal nuts on this campus to try to regulate us? I don’t. And we should not try to regulate them either.
Therefore, fight back against the bias by writing your own articles to [The Crimson White]—not absurd resolutions like the one passed last Thursday.
This is precisely the right response. Samples is giving voice here to an argument that FIRE makes all the time: when you are confronted with speech you don’t like, respond with more speech, not censorship. And it’s not surprising that he’s done so—as FIRE announced at the time, last year Samples bravely fought an attempt by UA’s Faculty Senate to enact a speech code by proposing a free speech resolution of his own in the Student Senate. It was passed unanimously. He also distributed many copies of FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus on campus last fall.
Our campuses need more warriors like Patrick Samples. Kudos to him—and if you are a student and would like to do what he is doing on your campus, contact us. We will help.