Harvard student calls for an end to free speech


SAN DIEGO, February 27, 2014 — Where can freedom of speech and the mutual exchange of ideas find a better home than our college campuses? And what better place to champion such values than America’s most venerable institution of higher learning, Harvard University? In these prestigious corridors, varying viewpoints are cherished and protected.


Sometimes professors get fired over their expressed viewpoints, and not all of Harvard’s students even like the idea of academic freedom.

Sandra Korn, for instance, is not particularly enamored with the notion of free speech. A senior and columnist for the Harvard Crimson, Korn recently wrote:

“If our university community opposes racism, sexism, and heterosexism, why should we put up with research that counters our goals?”

Korn may be a mere undergrad, but her words have garnered national attention. Her comments contain fallacious conclusions and coded words.

Every decent person is against racism and in favor of women’s rights. But when litmus tests are given, definitions tend to change.

These days the designation “racist” may mean nothing more than being a Tea Party member or admitting that you did not vote for President Obama.

People who expressed solidarity with the first wave of feminism, where women obtained the vote, learned that if they do not also accept lesbianism and abortion, they are not truly in favor of women’s rights. Indeed, they are on a war against women.

The term “heterosexism” offers a sledgehammer hint about the view academia is expected to embrace regarding homosexuality. The university must have zero tolerance toward those who oppose the gay lifestyle even if their reasons are phrased with the kind of skepticism that is supposed to be part of the learning process.

Some are not convinced that every single homosexual is born that way. They  point to Dr. Charles Socarides and other psychiatrists who challenged the APA’s 1973 decision to declassify homosexuality as a disorder.

Their challenge is promptly met with a rebuke reminiscent of the Global Warming discussion: “The debate is over.”

Debates should not be over so quickly at an institution of higher learning. And therein lies the biggest problem with Korn’s comments. They seek to strip away the very reason for having universities.

Many parents send their kids off to college for the purpose of career preparation and the guarantee of a higher paying job upon graduation. Certainly that’s part of it, but the original idea behind a university education, an idea with roots in ancient Greece, was that knowledge and wisdom were noble goals worth pursuing in their own rights.

The university is supposed to teach people how to think, not what to think.

One would not know this if they read the subtitle to Sandra Korn’s column:

“Let’s give up on academic freedom in favor of justice.”

This clever usage of Orwellian Newspeak seeks to rationalize the erosion of free speech by pointing to a cause  greater than freedom, justice. Who isn’t in favor of justice?

It isn’t really justice, of course, unless it’s a cause Sandra believes in. She offered a few examples of justice so as not to leave anybody hanging or confused.

She zealously articulates an opinion of Harvard economics professor Subramanian Swamy, whose summer lectures were discontinued after he wrote a column in the Indian Daily News and Analyses newspaper which was offensive to Muslims.

Swamy suggested the removal of a mosque in “Kashi Vishwanath temple and the 300 masjids at other temple sites.”

As a result, Swamy no longer teaches at Harvard. This was justice according to Sandra Korn.

Swarmy has his own view of justice, inasmuch as his column was written in response to a  terrorist bombing in the city of Mumbai, India.

Korn also calls for a just academic boycott of Israel.

Some might reply that Israel is itself the victim of injustice and historical revision. They oppose the popular lie that Israel has no legal and ancient claim to the Holy Land. They are disgusted when Israel is forced to make deals with the very people who call for her complete annihilation.

Korn disagrees and sees Israel as a suppressor of Palestinian rights. She’s entitled to her opinion. Unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to believe that others are just as entitled.

If it bothers Korn that people may disagree with her well-informed thoughts, perhaps she should make her arguments more persuasive instead of calling for a silence of all opposition.

Many media pundits have dismissed Sandra Korn as a lot of hot air not to be taken seriously. After all, what difference does the writing of one student in a college newspaper make?

Unfortunately, the problem is much bigger. Korn’s comments were not created in a vacuum. We live in a country whose president publicly loathes Fox News for keeping stories about Benghazi and the IRS scandal alive. He seems irritated that they don’t get in step with the other major news outlets, which take him at his word.

We also have judges who rule that the Establishment Clause can’t be applied if a Christian photographer prefers not to photograph a lesbian wedding.

America is just part of a bigger world, where the United Nations seems on a course to make it an international crime to speak against Islam.

College campuses often reflect the world in microcosm. Korn herself may be harmless — she personally does not have the power to silence speech — but the very fact that a student at Harvard University can talk as if she has more in common with a dictator than our American Constitution and be taken seriously ought to send chills up Massachusetts Bay.

At the moment, America remains a free nation. While the window of opportunity still exists, citizens on both sides of the aisle need to wake up. You may disagree with others on a host of subjects from religion, to politics, to same-sex marriage, to matching pottery. Whichever side we find ourselves on, maintaining freedom of speech must be embraced by all. If not, you will be caught off guard when the winds change direction.

Next time Sandra, a conservative student may call for an end to your opinions. That would be just as wrong. Ironically, even your call to silence free speech is also free speech. You might not want to work so hard against the very Constitution which allows you to write such drivel.

This is Bob Siegel, making the obvious obvious.


Bob Siegel is a radio talk show host and columnist. Information about his radio show can be found at bobsiegel.net.

The Daily Caller  contributed to some of the news portions of this article.

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Bob Siegel
A graduate of Denver Seminary and San Jose State University, Bob Siegel is a radio talk show host and popular guest speaker at churches and college campuses across the country, using a variety of media including, seminars, formal debates, outdoor open forums, and one man drama presentations. In addition to his own weekly radio show (KCBQ 1170, San Diego) Bob has been a guest on many other programs, including The 700 Club, Washington Times Radio's Inside the Story, The Rick Amato Show, KUSI Television's Good Morning San Diego, and the world popular Jonathan Parkradio drama series, for which Bob guest starred in two episodes and wrote one episode, The Clue From Ninevah. In addition to CDN, Bob is a regular contributor for San Diego Rostra. Bob does a good deal of playwriting as well (14 plays & 5 collaborations), including the award winning, Eternal Reach. Bob has also published books of both fiction and non-fiction including; I'd Like to Believe In Jesus, But...and a fantasy novel, The Dangerous Christmas Ornament.
  • thinkingabovemypaygrade

    Pres. O graduated from Harvard Law School….Sandra Korn is from Harvard U. Same basic source.

    (Remind me…again…why someone should pay a couple hundred thousand dollars to go to supposedly prestigious Harvard University to learn

    “Silk Shirt Socialism To be Imposed on… the Masses…”???)

  • Domenick

    Miss Korn’s Harvard education, appears to have distorted her beliefs. Free speech was never free, it came with a price. We can see it’s cost while visiting at our cemeteries, here and abroad.

  • Reiki-ology Master Healing

    She is at Harvard, yet she shows a complete lack of intelligence and education. What she is showing us is that, because she can not play well with others, the other’s must go and have no voice.

  • dude76

    this show the elietest school program the kids into socialism. kinda of sad and scary

    • Billie Jacobs

      Harvard has graduated some of most famous and highly important people in our nations history.

      • dude76

        that makes my point a majority of them have socialist tendacies liberalism on stereriods

        • Billie Jacobs

          On any apple tree, there’s bound to be a few rotten apples!!!!

  • Jon Weiss

    Harvard…No longer among the best educational choices in the country.

  • Who Weber

    People like this need to practice what they preach. Keep their mouths shut because the have NO freedom to speak!

  • Persuasive

    The march toward modernity and free-thinking liberalism has lead the nation away from any foundation steeped in right reason based on full and free acceptance of certain moral precepts. Reasonableness has become the mantra for putting those certain Americans who do not fully agree with everything said to be unjust, in the back seat of a car which is steadily gaining speed. These uncooperative Americans of old standing are without seatbelts and the vehicles back doors have been purposely removed; and an added measure of insecurity has been devised in which the heal of the boot of the majority’s collective social consciousness is held high against the very chest of anyone who dare speak their freely arrived at opinions of life, how it should be lived, and how best to insure it has a future existence.

  • Bill Snyder

    Korn is closer to Nazi-think that she realizes.

  • Liz

    What a brilliant analysis!!!!!

  • Billie Jacobs

    Higher education is a microcosm of our society! What has always distinguished our society from many others is our commitment to those rights enshrined in our constitution!! The person in the article is exercising her right of freely expressing her opinion while, at the same time, attempting to deny it to those who disagree their right to disagree!!! While she is attempting to silence those whose opinions oppose hers, she fails to realize that this right is what allows her to voice her opinions. Without the first amendment, our nation would not have achieved its status as the bastion of freedom that it became!!! The 1st 10 amendments are the backbone of our of our society!!!!

  • Fred Marsico

    As I read the comments here it seems apparent that the socialists are winning. You are divided in opinion and ideology. Let’s see if I can articulate the error in the rebuttal.

    The Constitution is not a document from which We receive rights. It is an agreement by We the People, to establish a limited system of representative republican governance, with specific and defined duties and responsibilities to provide protection to the many sovereign States and the sovereign individuals residing within their borders.

    The Constitution is to limit what legislation the Congress may address, coining currency, setting standards of weights and measures, passing laws necessary and proper for commerce and trade, protecting our borders and seas from invasion. It also allows laws to address acts of piracy.

    The Constitution does not provide Congress with permissions to enact laws that deal with health, education, or welfare. It was never intended to regulate medicine or plants from which many medicines were derived. The Constitution was and is a method by which, We the People can keep a form of governance in check, not to rue over us, but to be our servant, providing for us the protection of our rights and the security of our lives and property from plunder.

    When Lincoln became President, he faced a monumental crisis of debt. There was a seventy year note that came due and after the added costs of war with Great Britain in 1812, the nation was broke. Congress could not find a solution and adjourned, sine die. Lincoln then wrote what was to become the executive order that destroyed the union, promising to the banks of Europe, the property rights of the Southern plantation States as either collateral or payment for the debt. Naturally, the south rebelled, and under General Order 100 (see Leiber Code) Lincoln as commander-in-chief declared martial law against the “rebellion’ beginning the Civil War.

    In 1871 by an act of Congress, a ‘government’ was established in the District of Columbia, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INC. That new government has a Constitution that looks very much like the one we started with but with a few omissions and additions.

    They don[‘t teach this stuff in public schools!

    • notislam

      Savage said this afternoon that places like Harvard are now “cess-pools of liberalism” and going to a state college or university would be better. The only way the halls of higher learning would be better is if they taught history and the CONSTITUTION so that students would again have their roots to freedom’s branches of higher learning.

  • Libertarian

    “Heterosexism?” Wow, the left is inventing new “isms” every day.

  • AlexisJaime

    Korn is a fine example of an ostrich with its head buried in the sand. A person who’s beliefs and values are guided by good sense and rational backed-up by facts, does not fear opposing views. Korn fears free speech because her beliefs cannot be backed-up by facts or rational thought.