UT Knoxville Defends First Amendment in Tweet, Then Deletes After Backlash

University of Tennessee, Caves-ville.

For decades at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville has stood a large boulder that has been used as the campus message board. According to The College Fix, UT’s “Rock” has served “as a sort of de facto free speech wall.” There have been all kinds of messages left on the rock over the years — marriage proposals, political protests, campus events — and it’s typically self-policed by students. But recently, “white pride” was painted on it and the campus imploded.

The university responded to the above tweet and defended the free speech wall:

“Hi McKinley, While we sometimes disagree with what appears on the Rock, those who paint it are protected by the First Amendment. We trust that the Volunteer community will take care of this quickly.”

McKinley was unsatisfied and further expressed her outrage on social media:

“This is the reason why people continue to feel unsafe in the world. Don’t be indifferent.”

Others joined in with allegations that UT staff have been seen painting over negative messages aimed at the athletic department while leaving up “messages that empower racism.” As more and more complaints poured in, the decision was made by the university to delete its perfectly acceptable defense of students’ constitutional rights, saying, “It didn’t convey our position about racism… There’s no place at the University of Tennessee for racism, bigotry and prejudice.”

Of course, if "black pride" were found on the Rock, we wouldn't even be writing this story.