Where did free speech go to die?


Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr, for whom WCD has a certain admiration, said a really famous thing. It is easy to understand. Also largely ignored in American colleges and universities these days -- not just in open areas or the streets or quads, but in classrooms, department meetings, administrative offices, and almost everywhere else where anything alive is moving about. (Well, maybe not squirrels, but maybe squirrels too. One would have to take the squirrel case to the Office of Trigger Warnings and Safe Spaces.) Here, in person, is O.W. Holmes, Jr:


Here is what, poor deluded fellow, he said in a once-famous Supreme Court opinion:

If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought, not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.

And here is a poster someone sent us, without, unfortunately, telling us in a dormitory of what college or university it was publicly displayed. Some have suggested Evergreen State College or Yale, others UCLA, Oberlin, Northwestern, Michigan, Wellesley, Middlebury, Clemson, Berkeley, Northern Arizona University, or Wellesley. No one has yet suggested the University of Chicago. Our guess is that no one will.

Many old students and friends in the U.S. and abroad have been kind enough to ask WCD over the last ten or twelve months how he is finding retirement. The answer is: blissful. And, given the increasing dominance in higher education of the retrograde mentality represented by posters like this, just in the nick of time.

Oh. The title. The answer is: to virtually every institution of higher education in America. With the possible exception of the University of Chicago.