Thursday, January 23, 2020
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Nonsense from both ends of the political spectrum

College stories last week surfaced from two distinct points of view in this age of free speech and fake news: one involves liberals running right off a cliff on immigration and free speech, and the other involves white supremacists taking things too far.

U Md Professor David Mount, keynote at ALGO, Vienna (Flickr CC)

First, in College Park, Maryland, where the state’s flagship university is located, city officials voted to extend the right to vote in municipal elections to non-citizens, including immigrants who are in the country illegally.

Maybe that’s a cause worth fighting for, but when the council voted on it, they got a majority but not the super-majority required for passage of such an ordinance.

They apparently got so excited that non-citizens were going to be able to cast a vote in municipal elections that they forgot all about that law that makes it necessary to get more votes than a simple majority for any motion that requires a charter amendment, James F Hollan, a past vice president at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, explains in the Baltimore Sun.

And halfway across the country, on the campus of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, white supremacists managed to let the law that bans speech that incites violence slip their minds.

They’ve been making threats, in the form of literature that says, for example, “We must secure the existence of our race and a future for white children. Make America White Again.”

Not only has racist speech in Ann Arbor gone off the deep end, but reports from at least 120 college campuses say racist fliers have been widely distributed. Buzzfeed has the story.

Free speech is one thing; this is just plain dumb, and it is happening on both the white supremacy and liberalism sidelines—the fringe of those sidelines, anyway. No lasting damage has resulted in the two ridiculous incidents reported above, as the situation was corrected quickly. It’s just so easy to forget what “freedom” actually means when all you care about is making America white again.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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