Purdue University and my 'hate speech'
A colleague of mine at Purdue University, Professor Yahya Kamalipour, promotes himself in the public domain, speaks and writes prolifically for public consumption. Last year, I wrote a blog piece about him criticizing his actions and ideas. I am not generally known for subtlety; I call it as I see it. In response to my criticism, Professor Kamalipour, along with Professor Fewer, have decided that my speech is "hate" speech and that I am a "bully."
In other words, in response to my perfectly legal and American use of my freedom of speech, two of my colleagues -- Professors Fewer and Kamalipour -- have decided to wage an all-out campaign to not just counter my speech with their own speech (perfectly legitimate) but to try to drive me from my employment, and if that does not work to at least marginalize my involvement on campus, to get students to stop taking my courses, and otherwise make it difficult for me to function in my position. In short, they want me fired for exercising my freedom of speech, but have no problem with their exercise of speech. Gee, I'm shocked. But I digress.
My point here is, Kamalipour and Fewer, on numerous occasions have used Purdue's electronic email system, and in particular the "Open Forum" distribution list at Purdue University Calumet, to promote their general dislike of and disgust with me. Both Fewer and Kamalipour link to personal non-University blogs. (Examples of such are attached to this website.)
Now, I would respond on the "Open Forum" of Purdue -- I might even point individuals within my campus community to my personal blog. But, alas, Purdue University has decided that if I tell the campus community about my blog, or practice freedom of speech using the University email system, I am in violation of Purdue's policy. (See FIRE letter attached to this website.) But, Kamalipour and Fewer have no such restrictions. Despite FIRE's letter detailing to Purdue the serious breach of law that their action represents, Purdue has issued no response to FIRE (despite Purdue's chief legal counsel, Steve Schultz, telling FIRE he would do just that).
Freedom of speech is not just for the speech you or I or anyone else agrees with; it is meant to protect exactly that speech that you, me or anyone else dislikes. Purdue's selective determination of who can use the University email system to promote their speech and personal blogs and who cannot, is illegal and unconstitutional. This, in part, is why I must continue to pursue legal action against Purdue University so that the unconstitutional prohibition that has been placed on me, while my detractors have no such prohibitions placed against them, is remedied
For copies of all items and information referenced in this blog, please see here.
Maurice M. Eisenstein is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Purdue University Calumet. He blogs at Higher Education Comical Politics. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.