Students aren’t supposed to be expelled for speech, but the president of the University of Oklahoma is doing it anyway.
Racism is odious. Chanting racist rhymes is odious. People who willingly participate in such chants deserve the contempt of society at large.
Some students at University of Oklahoma were caught chanting racist and exclusionary words related to their membership in the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
So the university president, David Boren, kicked two of the students out. He expelled them.
That is a problem.
You see, the University of Oklahoma is a public institute of higher education. It is not a private college. It can’t argue for the freedom to expel students on the basis of a right of free association. Those expelled students, if they remain in Oklahoma, will be paying for the maintenance of the University of Oklahoma for as long as they work for a living. Their taxes support the school. Their parents’ probably paid taxes to go to that school (assuming the students are not from out of state).
In other words, this isn’t just a private group saying that they don’t want a couple of people as students anymore. This is an arm of the government.
The government just punished two people for things that they said.
Do you not see a problem with this?
Colleges have tried to impose speech codes time and again but the courts have struck them down. So how does the University have the authority to expel students for things they say.
It doesn’t. But it did it anyway.
All of the issues are covered thoroughly in a Washington Post column by Eugene Volokh, “No, it’s not constitutional for the University of Oklahoma to expel students for racist speech.”
The university president wrote that the students are being expelled for “your leadership role in leading a racist and exclusionary chant which has created a hostile educational environment for others.” But there is no First Amendment exception for racist speech, or exclusionary speech, or — as the cases I mentioned above — for speech by university students that “has created a hostile educational environment for others.”
What are the chances that the University of Oklahoma is going to get away with the unconstitutional act of punishing students for things that they say?
I don’t know. But as much as I think their chant is contemptible, I also think conservatives should be watching what happens to this expulsion with some interest.
Why? Because everything that is done in the name of fighting racism is about to be done, or is already being done, to punish Christians for not supporting the redefinition of marriage as a relationship between two persons rather than between a man and a woman.
Face it: no matter how much those stupid students disgust you, the current regime is just as much disgusted by your belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, or that homosexual behavior is wrong and should be abstained from.
They are just waiting for their chance to make an example out of you.
Don’t be surprised. It is going to happen. If the University can get away with this they will try to do it again. And the next time the issue might not be racism.