To the editor:
I find it fascinating to see the School of Journalism and the anthropology department support David Guth claiming freedom of speech and academic freedom. This makes me wonder if they really understand these concepts.
The First Amendment does not shelter someone from all consequences of speech. If I don’t like what this paper publishes, I have the right not to buy it. Spokesmen are fired for their comments. A legislator has the right not to support Kansas University funding given Professor Guth’s Tweet. And a university should have the right to protect its reputation. Yes, we have freedom of speech, but speech has consequences.
What about academic freedom? Should academic freedom really extend to areas that have nothing to do academics? OK, I’m sure someone somewhere teaches something about gun control. but Professor Guth does not. So how is this an academic freedom issue? Perhaps the anthropology department wants academic freedom to also apply to parking tickets.
This was simply hate-filled drivel. I was personally offended by the “GD” reference. Speech does have consequences; especially inflammatory speech. A journalism professor should know better. Professors should not be able to hide their mistakes behind noble ideas such as academic freedom when the issue has nothing to do with academics.