Middlebury College’s decision to discipline 67 students who participated in a raucous and violent demonstration against conservative author Charles Murray brings closure to one of several disturbing incidents that took place on college campuses this semester. But larger disputes about the state of free speech on campus–and in public life–remain unresolved.
Many critics have used the incident at Middlebury, as well as violent protests at the University of California Berkeley, to argue that free speech is under assault. To these critics, liberal activists who respond aggressively to ideas they dislike are hypocrites who care little about the liberal values of tolerance and free speech.
“The left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down,” Milo Yiannopoulos posted on Facebook after protesters stormed a building at Berkeley where he was scheduled to speak in February.
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