On college campuses, victories for conservative students and faculty are few and far between. Although there is no doubt that conservatives are fighting an uphill battle on campus, we should all take solace in the fact that not every attempt from the left to silence dissenting opinion and conservative values has been successful. Here are five cases in which conservatives were the victors in the fight against leftist intolerance, or at least where the left lost.
1. Professor Bret Weinstein at Evergreen State College (Seattle, Washington)
After expressing vehement disagreement with minority students’ proposed “Day of Absence” during which white students were urged to stay off of the campus, Evergreen State College professor and self-described liberal Bret Weinstein was met with charges of racism and bigotry from students. In addition to being confronted and screamed at by a mob of angry students for expressing a differing opinion; students also called for Weinstein to be fired.
Unlike a vast majority of similar cases in which students have gotten their way, the administration of Evergreen refused to fire Weinstein and he and his wife continued teaching, despite threats of violence and repeated harassment. In September of 2017, Weinstein and his wife reached a settlement in a tort lawsuit against Evergreen for failing to protect him against student-led mobs. Weinstein and his wife resigned on their own terms, without being forced by a leftist mob, and also received $500,000 as part of the settlement.
Protestors confront Weinstein: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTnDpoQLNaY
2. UMass Ditches Restricted “Free Speech Zone” (Amherst, Massachusetts)
If not outright censorship, campus “Free Speech Zones” have been used repeatedly to silence conservative voices on campus. First Amendment adherents were outraged when UMass Amherst put in place an extremely restrictive “Free Speech Zone” in late 2017. The zone comprised a mere 1% of the campus property and limited student demonstrations to one hour a day (it is important to note that UMass Amherst is a public university, and thus any restrictions on free speech, so long as those restrictions are not in reaction to interruptions of the functioning of the school, are not permissible under Tinker v. Des Moines).
Students, led by YAL Chapter President and Lone Conservative’s own Nick Consolini, took action-suing their school for infringing on their First Amendment rights. After a few months of dragging its feet, the UMass Amherst administration reversed the “Free Speech Zone” policy and Consolini dropped the case, a massive victory for conservatives and free speech advocates across Massachusetts.
3. Marquette Prof. Wins Breach of Contract/Free Speech Case (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
As reported by Campus Reform, former Professor John McAdams recently won a wrongful termination lawsuit against his former employer, Marquette University. McAdams was put on unpaid leave by the private Wisconsin university after he penned a blog post criticizing his colleague for telling students “not to question the propriety of gay marriage.” Although Marquette is a private university and thus has the right to hire, suspend, or fire whomever it pleases, McAdams’s suspension violated the contract he signed with the school, which included a clause that protected him from firing based on Free Speech. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the he be immediately reinstated, and as of now, the University is complying with the order.
4. Shapiro Speaks at Berkeley Despite Protests, Administration (Berkeley, California)
Conservative columnist and activist Ben Shapiro has experienced his fair share of leftists attempting to shut down his speaking appearances. Most notably, a Shapiro speech at the University of California at Berkeley was swarmed by hundreds of protestors when his lecture was scheduled to take place. Threats of violence, property destruction, and repeated calls for the speech to be shut down from protestors prompted the Berkeley Police Department to deploy hundreds of officers to provide security for the event. Despite the threats against him and the speech, Shapiro delivered his lecture which decried the anti-free speech, leftist protestors along with identity politics.
Shapiro’s Speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aP_9cRUzqMw
5. Students Get Conceal Carry on Campus, Prove Gun-Grabbers Wrong (Austin, Texas)
Protests met the enactment of a new law allowing the public (including students) to conceal carry handguns on the University of Texas at Austin campus in 2016. Students who felt that the new policy “put students’ lives in danger” protested the policy not with well put together counter-arguments, but instead with dildos.
Yes, students protested law-abiding Texans choosing to protect themselves with sex toys. If there is one thing the protestors could be credited for, creativity would be it.
As usual, the fears of the campus gun-grabbers were proven wrong. After one year of concealed carry on the UT campus, no incident on campus has involved a concealed-carried firearm.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.