Free speech seems to be at a crossroads today. On campus speakers are frequently prevented from plying their trade as protests on the streets turn toward violence. So where is free speech today? Anne-France Goldwater, Samantha Goldwater-Adler, and Daniel Goldwater debate whether free speech is under threat or alive and well. On this episode of the podcast, the three focus on free speech on campus, cultural appropriation, and whether it’s okay to punch a Nazi.
Samantha Goldwater-Adler: Fully Appreciating Culture Without Appropriation: A Guide in 15 Steps, by Latisha Jones—“A lot of us get the idea that we’re trying to entirely stifle people from being able to appreciate or be able to comment on other cultures. Cultural sharing, cultural appreciation are still important things, and I think we need to introduce a little bit of nuance,” Goldwater-Adler said. “And I think in this article gets some very nice rules of thumb for people that are trying to figure out how to appreciate other cultures without, you know, being a jerk.”
Daniel Goldwater: The People vs. Larry Flynt—“Part of the core of that story was about the boundaries of obscenity laws. This was in the 1980s when Jerry Falwell had sued Hustler Magazine for publishing an obscene column about him and he claimed defamation,” Daniel said. In this case, it came down to a debate on whether it’s a right to have bad taste, he said. So when it comes to free speech, Daniel said, “I think that film comes to mind and it’s a great film for all sorts of reasons, including the great performances.”
Anne-France Goldwater: Religion is Immoral & Other Interventions, by Christopher Hitchens—This is the first of two of Anne-France’s recommendations this week. “I’m recommending [this book] mostly because I miss the Hitch so much,” she said. “It goes to show you that even for people who started out left-wing, they can acquire wisdom and come into the light. Reading him can only elevate your understanding of the issues.”
For her second recommendation, Anne-France recommends Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter, by Carmen Aguirre It’s the memoir of a guerrilla fighter against Chile’s Augusto Pinochet. “It’s very fascinating, certainly if you fancy yourself a little bit on the right, to read the memoir of an avowed left-wing terrorist” Anne-France said. “And recognize that something good came of it and something was accomplished by terrorist resistance which challenges many people’s way of thinking.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy Brooks/Flickr