The Fight for Free Speech, by Walter Williams

There’s almost always at least a grain of truth in the speech you try to shut down. From Walter Williams at

The violence, looting and mayhem that this nation has seen over the last several months has much of its roots in academia, where leftist faculty teach immature young people all manner of nonsense that contradicts commonsense and the principles of liberty. Chief among their lessons is a need to attack free speech in the form of prohibitions against so-called hate speech and microaggressions. Here are examples of microaggressions: “You are a credit to your race.” “Wow! How did you become so good in math?” “There is only one race, the human race.” “I’m not racist. I have several black friends.” “As a woman, I know what you go through as a racial minority.”

It is a tragic state of affairs when free speech and inquiry require protection at institutions of higher learning. Indeed, freedom in the marketplace of ideas has made the United States, as well as other Western nations, a leader in virtually every area of human endeavor. A monopoly of ideas is just as dangerous as a monopoly in political power or a monopoly in the production of goods and services.

We might ask what is the true test of a person’s commitment to free speech? The true test does not come when he permits people to say those things he deems acceptable. The true test comes when he permits people to say those things that he deems offensive. The identical principle applies to freedom of association; its true test comes when someone permits others to voluntarily associate in ways that he deems offensive.

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One response to “The Fight for Free Speech, by Walter Williams

  1. Dr. Bruce A. Wineman

    Dr. Williams, you have done it again. I get discouraged by the lack of understanding and the serious advancement of “Divide and Conquer”. I am old enough to have been in college when Martin Luther King (1962-1966 as an undergraduate) made all the progress in uniting our country. I was the ‘Token White’ in a black neighborhood in Chicago, while in Medical School, and felt loved and respected by my landlord and neighbors. That went both ways. I am furious at what has been done. Thanks for your ongoing attempt to get back to a FREE SOCIETY!


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