TO THE RAMPARTS!

Based on a gross mischaracterization of statements he made in support of a single-state solution for Israel and Palestine, knives are coming out for Temple professor Marc Lamont Hill. After being fired from CNN, Hill seemed willing to accept responsibility for his role in the reaction; like most of us most of the time, in hindsight there are always better ways we can express ourselves. At the same time, Haaretz notes that Hill is being subsumed by the reality that in the U.S. there seem to be distinct rules for discussing Israel-Palestine that vary considerably from how any other international conflict is handled.

Now Temple is trying to fire him, with the chair of the university's board taking the highly unusual (and inappropriate) step of leading a kind of public charge against Hill.

My question is not how best to litigate whether his comments were Right or Wrong, Offensive or Not Offensive. Rather, where are all the valiant defenders of Campus Free Speech? Invite some hack like Charles Murray to campus to hawks rebranded eugenics – or some pandering shithead with no academic credentials like Ben Shapiro or Milo to yell inflammatory shock-jock nonsense in front of an audience – and we end up subjected to a week full of nothing but Hot Takes about campus liberal snowflakes. Bari Weiss and Jordan Peterson and Charlie Kirk are suddenly on every talk show bemoaning the "crisis" of free speech on campus.

Isn't this, like, an actual example of a free speech issue on campus? If what these people really care about is the core concept of free expression itself, in a content-neutral way, then they should all be foaming at the mouth to speak up in defense of Marc Lamont Hill. As they frame it in defense of others, he should get to say whatever he wants and he shouldn't be sanctioned just because he said something controversial.

Far from defending his previously very important Free Speech rights, right-wing mega-hacks like Seth Mandel are busy engaged in grossly misleading characterizations of what was said and falling back on a very old, extremely tired "You criticized Israel so you hate Jews" fallacy to inflame sentiment against Hill. Which is pretty weird given that as recently as a week ago all of the writers and media figures in that circle were entering their second year of whining about voices being silenced (overlooking the irony of delivering that message in highly visible media outlets and on shows that continually invite them on to share their views).

It's almost too easy to point out the hypocrisy among the "zomg free speech on campus" grifters. We know they don't actually give a shit about Free Speech; they simply want their own worldview given legitimacy that it does not deserve on its merits. They say "Campuses should consider all ideas" but they mean "Invite more right wing hacks to campus so it will seem like they have legitimate ideas worth discussing." It's plenty obvious. Regardless, it's still shocking to see them show their proverbial asses so blatantly with Hill. You'd think that people with even a shred of integrity could offer a feeble "I disagree but defend his right to say it" defense. The next one of these truth warriors to speak up will be the first.

23 thoughts on “TO THE RAMPARTS!”

  • Nobody on the right cares about hypocrisy anymore. Not since Gingrich and Rove proved that accusing your opponents of all your own worst behaviors is a winning strategy.
    Feigned outrage is all they have, and it's been that way for twenty years now.

  • No, Temple should not be trying to fire him. Academic freedom and all that. But the media portrayal wasn't a gross mischaracterization. Lamont Hill ought to know the origins of the "from the river to the sea" phrase. And frankly, a lot of Jews, including me, are really sick of African-Americans getting a free pass on this stuff. Just saying.

  • "Academic freedom" isn't just an ideal in Hill's case, either, because of the way his union's (the TAUP) contract is written. I suppose someone might take a look at article 12 and see if they can get just cause out of Para. B.3:

    "As used in this Agreement, 'just cause' means dereliction of duties, professional incompetence, grave misconduct or academic dishonesty or continued patterns of misconduct in cases of dismissal. "

    Doesn't mean there won't be a lot of noise, though.

  • It's good to know that AIPAC still holds absolute control over speech in American news media. I keep thinking that eventually the public will be so disgusted with the Israeli occupation that we'll be able to discuss the very frank and obvious solution to the conflict.

    Then I'm reminded that they don't actually want the conflict to end, because then the reckoning for their war crimes would come.

    So they go after Hill.

  • anori says: "Lamont Hill ought to know the origins of the "from the river to the sea" phrase."

    As a response to the phrase "from the brook of Egypt to the Euphrates"? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  • @anori: assuming for the sake of argument that Hill's remarks were in any way offensive (which, to this Jew, they were not), in what sense do you suppose he (or, for that matter, any other African-American) has received a "free pass"? Since when do African-Americans get free passes for anything?

  • Come on Gator….the fact that there is a firestorm of commentary and his very career is at risk is a perfect example of an African American getting a free pass!

  • Jesus Christ, Ed. You've finalky graduated from the seminary of Our Lady of Perpetual Wokeness.

    "It's OK when we do it but look at them!" Is your new rallying cry. I think this is the last I'll be reading of your work and it truly saddens me to see a brilliant mind like yours become possessed by ideology. You're a lot more capable than that.

  • Wading into the minefield of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict I’ll leave to others. I recognize an orthodoxy to uphold on this topic and that any dissent from that dogma immediately invokes charges of … whatever. The distinction between Campus Free Speech and more simply free speech is lost on me unless one is thinking of academic freedom (including the radical sorts) purportedly held out to tenured professors but not (yet) to other faculty (and maybe not really to tenured profs, either, when it comes down to it). I’m for academic freedom and free speech, but I know that in any political climate, those are not equivalent to freedom w/o consequences. In today’s charged outrage and callout culture, consequences ensure rather quickly and vehemently. All of us now have to weigh risks when walking across any of a number of minefields.

  • Emerson Dameron says:

    Charitably, I could imagine starting a career as a free-speech ACLU lawyer-liberal and then getting hooked on that sweet, sweet AEI money.

    The existence of Charlie Kirk proves that the right has an unlimited marketing budget and doesn't give a shit how they spend it.

    The right saw that South Park cultural libertarianism was a good hustle and decided to buy it out, around the same time the left got more interested in mental health and intersectionality.

    I imagine a few people started as loudmouthed, pot-smoking atheists and aren't quite sure how they ended up sharing a dais with the likes of Ben Shapiro.

  • Do you realize how many new administrators they would have to add, to widen the campus free speech scope to cover faculty? Why, they would have to put up whole new buildings to have enough space for all of the offices and meeting rooms. This isn't something that can be just be tucked into the Campus Free Speech for Right Wing Bell Ends wing of Student Services.

  • I can’t believe this blog writer is allowed teach at university in political social sciences.
    this blatant bias has no business in a classroom. This blogger should knit himself a pvssy hat, lobby for a law stating that every Christian church must put in the third bathroom for transgenders who were kicked out of the military because of hormone therapy affecting disposition and rationale. Oh, and riot in the streets. That sounds like more his style.

  • Joe lichtblau says:

    I’d be defending Hill’s right to speak without being fired by either CNN or Temple, even though I think his speech was in fact a call to violence, but you, Ed, wouldn’t know what I said, because you blocked me. And my friends, just for good measure. Please spare us your false pieties about the First Amendment. In post after post, you’ve shown that you despise the First Amendment, and only trot it out when convenient to shame other “progressives” who, like yourself, also despise free speech. It’s a form of self-loathing.

  • Comrad Luigi, you may want to read a little more and think a little more. Surprised no one on this comment section ripped you a new one.

  • @ Satrap:
    **
    You, sir, are correct.

    Acknowledgig Luigilichentehbaugh*'s flappig oral sphincter IS a complete waste of time. Otoh, if there are people you care about and you don't want to go off on them, it's nice to have a commenturd like Luigiborg** to vent on.

    Mr. Lickingballz:

    Does your solution involve DRP*** by some parties?

    * I assume that the two commenters are sockpuppets of each other

    ** I don't even know I read his commets since he's been banned by Ed.

    *** Dead Role Playing

  • My daughter goes to Temple. She joined a small protest (20 students?) who marched in support of Hill's right to speak on an issue without being fired.

    Their group was met by self-described Zionist counter protesters. Who called my daughter (and her fellow students) terrorists.

  • People who want ONLY for the stuff that works for them to be allowed are ALL assholes, regardless their faith/lack of same; politics; sexual identity or sexuality or other differences.

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