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Political Correctness and Free Speech Restrictions

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As the popular Ron Paul gif says: “It’s happening!” But not in a good way. All across the nation, the rise of political correctness and free speech restrictions have hampered our campuses.

Now, at Paradise Valley Community College, a lawsuit has erupted from the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Young Americans for Liberty over free speech zones. The lawsuit states that PVCC’s free speech zone was unconstitutional and they’re absolutely correct.

The lawsuit continues by saying that the policy of having speech only from 9 a.m to 4 p.m Monday through Friday, “disables the ability of students to speak freely on campus about recent and unfolding events.” And that’s only if the zone wasn’t ‘fully reserved’ by other groups, the lawsuit claims.

Brittanny Miralez, the person in the center of the lawsuit, had placed her YAL table in the zone to recruit and hand out Constitutions on October 7th. An administrator told her she had to leave because she didn’t receive permission forty-eight hours prior. “So you can move inside or I can have you leave – you can take your choice at this point,” the man said to her in a video provided by Campus Reform.

In addition to this, the administrator offered Miralez the option of setting up at the cafeteria, but made it clear it was only for one time. In the future, he warned, Miralez must abide by the school guidelines.

Those guidelines contain the words,”The College reserves the right to relocate or suspend any assembly that violates College or District policy or regulation.”

Imagine if the government said that to Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street protesters. This is what is happening at our college campuses.

The lawsuit claims that the administrators can essentially end any discussion in the free speech zone because only they have the right to approve or disapprove of the groups using the zone. They can “consider the content and viewpoint” of the requesting student group to ensure that the students’ message “will not violate PVCC’s harassment or other policies,” the lawsuit says. (You can read more on the lawsuit here.)

College activists need their First Amendment rights. But just like they need their First Amendment rights, they need to respect the rights of others. The freedom of the press must be respected, unlike in Missouri when the protesters pushed back members of the media and a journalism professor yelled for more ‘muscle’ in order to remove a photographer. Or regulating Yik-Yak.

Not to mention that 40% of millennials think that government should regulate speech offensive to minorities.

Political correctness squashes free speech and doesn’t stop there. When did raising money for cancer become a racist microaggression? Why is mandatory cultural sensitivity training even a thing? If there is one thing Donald Trump is right about, it is that political correctness is tearing this country apart. We cannot allow this to continue.

The unusual partnership between a religious-liberty law firm and libertarians is showing that fights against political correctness and free speech restrictions have strange bed fellows. From comedians such as Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfield to Ben Shapiro and Bill Maher, political correctness is attracting the ire of America. It is showing that the assaults on our First Amendment rights will not go unopposed.

Political correctness must not take over this country. We have rights for a reason.

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