Fear and Intimidation on University Campuses

Jonathan Turley

“Jonathan Turley, Constitutional Law Professor at George Washington University, issued a dire warning at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday: ‘If you go through their antifa handbook and look at their literature, it’s quite express, they, as stated in the handbook, they reject the premise of what they call a classical liberal view of free speech,’ Turley said. ‘They believe that free speech itself is a tool of oppression. And that has been the message on campuses. What I thought was disturbing about these statements that antifa is a myth is that many of us on campus have been dealing with antifa for years. And antifa is winning,’ Turley continued. ‘I’ve been teaching for 30 years. I have never seen the level of fear and intimidation on campuses that we see today. Faculty are afraid to speak out about issues. We can’t have a dialogue about the important issues occurring today because there’s a fear that you might be accused of being reactionary or racist. We’ve had law professors who have been physically attacked, have required police protection. That’s the environment that we’re developing,’ Turley continued. ‘And for people that think that antifa and groups like it can be allies, they don’t know antifa. Those of us who have been teaching on campuses can tell you about these groups. And the alarm that I have is because I’m watching my profession, the teaching profession, die, with free speech. We’re seeing, many of these speakers are being prevented from speaking on campus under various theories. The message is clear to faculty and to students: There’s a new orthodoxy that you should not confront and certainly shouldn’t disagree with. There are some Democratic politicians that have not only failed to denounce antifa but in that case seemed to give it a shout out,’ Turley concluded. ‘If you go to campuses today you’ll find more advocates for limiting speech than protecting it. They’re winning. It’s very disturbing because antifa is not coming after Democrats, they’re coming after Republicans, conservatives, and those of us in the free speech community. They’re coming after us. But don’t think we’ll be the last ones. That’s not how this works.”

“Law Professor Testifies,” The Daily Wire, Aug. 5, 2020