A professor at Fresno State University has erased over two hundred years of U.S. law by declaring that free speech is not allowed in public places.
Today, college campuses utilize pre-designated areas called “free speech zones” and they are usually confined to a small square in some remote part of campus. Special permission is needed to exercise your First Amendment rights outside of the pre-approved area. But despite a pro-life student group acquiring the proper permission to chalk messages outside of that zone, Professor Gregory Thatcher encouraged pro-abortion students to wipe the messages away.
“The whole idea of free speech is that we have a free speech area on campus, kay?” Thatcher said in video recorded by a member of Students for Life. “Free speech is free speech in the free speech area. It’s a pretty simple concept, okay? This does not constitute a free speech area, okay?”
When it was explained to Thatcher that Students for Life had permission for the activity, he defiantly stated, “No you don’t.” He was instructed to seek verification and call off the other students from wiping off the messages. But he suddenly changed his tune and asked what his students were doing that was not a part of free speech. Then he went over and started rubbing away the messages himself.
“You see, you had permission to put it down. I have permission to get rid of it. This is our part of free speech. Do you disagree with our part of free speech?”
He went on to say that he was “perfectly fine” with free speech staying in the free speech area, just not there. The pro-life student had to remind him of his hypocrisy: “But you’re exercising your free speech in a non-free speech area.”
“College campuses are not free speech areas. Do you understand? Obviously you don’t understand,” the professor concluded, taking full advantage of his free speech rights in a self-declared non-free speech area. But that’s liberal privilege for you.
Campus Reform reports that a lawsuit was filed against Professor Thatcher by the Alliance Defending Freedom:
“Fresno State Students for Life received full permission to chalk pro-life messages near the library. Rather than countering with his own message, Dr. Thatcher took the illegal approach of censoring speech and inciting students to help in this,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, remarked in a press release, claiming that no student “should have to endure this kind of intimidation and harassment for simply expressing their views.”
The lawsuit, filed Thursday, also asks the court to prohibit Thatcher and “any other persons acting on his behalf or at his direction from interfering, disrupting, or altering any future lawful expressive activities that [Fresno State Students for Life and its members] conduct.”
For now, Thatcher is exercising his right to remain silent on the controversy. Let’s hope he is in the proper Fifth Amendment zone on campus.