New conservative student newspaper at Univ. of Chicago, The Chicago Thinker, raises hackles among free speech opponents there
Until Evita Duffy, one of its founders, wrote at The Federalist about the controversy at the University of Chicago over continuing that school’s commitment to free speech, I had never heard of The Chicago Thinker. It is a conservative student newspaper that Duffy and a few others created last year. I have no idea if it took inspiration from this online journal but would be highly pleased if that were the case. Free speech and free thought are two sides of the same coin.
What moved Ms. Duffy to write for a national audience in The Federalist was this:
An article titled "Instructing Insurrections: How UChicago Can Avoid Creating the Next Ted Cruz" was published on Sunday in "The Chicago Maroon," a nearly 130-year-old left-wing student newspaper at the University of Chicago.
Replete with obnoxious Ivy League elitism, the article reads like an instruction guide on how to undermine the university's renowned "Chicago Principles," which guarantee free speech and open discourse on campus, and how to gaslight conservative students in the classroom. It is also a direct attack on the "Chicago Thinker," an opposing conservative student newspaper I co-founded this summer, which is the sole voice on campus deviating from its woke orthodoxy.
Here is what the author of the attack on free speech, Kelly Hui, wrote about The Chicago Thinker:
The Chicago Thinker, UChicago's new conservative paper, was founded to create a space that "challenges the mob's crusade against free speech," as "some things are too sacred to surrender to the mob, and the free exchange of ideas is one of them." My peers at the Thinker may think me hypocritical, then, for wanting to reimagine free speech on campus. It is, after all, these very principles that affirm my ability to openly criticize the administration, or, say, call for the abolition of the University. But my words — radical as they may be, disagreeable as they certainly are to some — do not do any harm. They do not inspire hate or fear. In short, they have no capacity for violence. And now, more than ever, we are seeing how the latent violence wrought in language can speak (or tweet) violence and death into the world.
Ms. Duffy does an excellent job of exposing the problems with Hui's and others' efforts a censorship, and she recounts her own travails as an out and proud conservative on campus:'
From the inception of our launch, we received aggressive pushback on social media from the leftist student body. The hate is persistent and increasing. Our commitment to "defend[ing] both limited government and the Jeffersonian notions of life, liberty, and property," has been smeared by leftist buzzwords.
Fellow writers at the "Thinker" and I are used to labels such as racist, white supremacist, bigot, xenophobe, and transphobe, which leftists routinely use to silence anyone who challenges their worldview. Now, taking cues from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Big Tech, and the corporate media, Hui has added "insurrectionists" to the ever-growing list.
The students at the University of Chicago are reflecting the larger battle over free speech in the nation, but at one of the few remaining bastions of free expression in higher education.
I wish the students in Chicago well, and I hope they continue to use reason to battle the repressive forces that seek to have only one side heard — because it cannot bear critical scrutiny.