A Victory for Free Speech

And Other News

June 23rd, 2021


Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Students Free Speech Rights

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion siding with high school cheerleader Brandi Levy. After Levy posted on social media stating, “Fuck school fuck softball fuck cheer fuck everything,” she was subjected to disciplinary action by her school. In an 8-1 decision issued this morning, the Supreme Court declared Levy's post is indeed protected by the First Amendment and not subject to disciplinary action by the school.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) covered the case in depth.

“The rights of students at institutions across the country, from K-12 schools to graduate schools, are more secure because Brandi Levy had the courage to take a public stand to defend her First Amendment rights — even if it was just for a Snapchat post with a few four-letter words.”


Read the full article here.


More Lawsuits Filed Against Federal Farm Debt Relief Plan

Last week, FAIR covered developments in the Faust v. Vilsack case from our Profiles in Courage.

Earlier this year, the federal government enacted the American Rescue Plan, which provides debt relief for American farmers. However, the program grants relief only to non-white farmers. Adam Faust and several other farmers filed suit to challenge this program. Recently, the district court issued an order which stated that the program likely violates the equal protection guarantee of the 14th Amendment, and called for the program to be halted nationwide. 

Since then, two other challenges to the federal farm debt relief plan have been filed by the Southeastern Legal Foundation and the Mountain States Legal Fund. 


Read more under our Profiles in Courage.


Other News

As a part of the FAIR Virtual Film Festival, FAIR Advisor Daryl Davis hosted a Q&A with John Wood Jr., FAIR volunteer Takyrica Kokoszka, and filmmaker and FAIR Advisor Eli Steele.

The four discussed the importance of reaching across the political and racial divides to inspire Pro-human nonpartisanship while discussing Eli's film How Jack Became Black


Watch the Q&A here.

Register for the last two days of the film festival here.


For the Wall Street Journal, Gerard Baker penned an insightful narrative piece in which he reflects on being taught by a Marxist who, despite his own beliefs, offered a wide array of ideological perspectives in the classroom. Baker contrasts this with the stifling of varied viewpoints characteristic of Critical Race Theory (CRT).

“I learned economics from a Marxist. But the most important thing he taught me was that open inquiry was the antidote to ruinous extremism. It’s a lesson we may finally be relearning.”


Read the full article here.


For NY Daily News, Chris Ferguson wrote an op-ed unraveling the disingenuous motte-and-bailey tactics of proponents of CRT. Ferguson brings attention to the fact that it is not just conservatives who are opposed to the employment of race-essentialist pedagogy and curriculum in the classroom, but also centrists and liberals.

“My perception is that CRT suffers from several weaknesses that limit it as a teaching foundation. First, it’s not a theory in any scientific sense, as it offers no criteria by which it might be falsified as a scientific theory should. Indeed, CRT proponents often appear largely incurious of data that conflicts with their worldview.”


Read the full article here.


As the pushback against neo-racism in education garners national attention, many proponents of CRT are claiming that its detractors don’t understand what it is. In Newsweek, Angel Eduardo debunked this fallacy.

“Despite its academic origins, critical race theory no longer lives in the university. Nearly every invocation of the term, favorable or not, is now in the zeitgeist.”


Read the full article here.


For Persuasion, Seth Moskowitz wrote an insightful essay detailing how social media has tainted political discourse and allowed simplistic narratives to spread like wildfire.

“In place of a well-reasoned argument, political activists can lean on pithy memes to demonstrate their political allegiances. But when people use memes as a shortcut, they sacrifice the process of testing and inspecting their opinions. Insight comes from challenging ideas, and memes allow people to skirt this process.”


Read the full article here.


To mark the occasion of Father's Day, FAIR Advisor Ian Rowe and Brad Wilcox wrote an op-ed for USA Today discussing how a fatherless home can impact children. Rowe and Wilcox also debunk the attempts from social justice scholars to suggest the impacts of fatherlessness on the Black community are negligible.  

“There’s only one problem with this revisionist effort that relies on cherry picking a few findings to fit its narrative: it obscures the full truth from the sciences about the importance of two-parent families for kids.”


Read the full article here


For his Substack The Weekly Dish, FAIR Advisor Andrew Sullivan wrote an essay unpacking the media discourse around CRT and making the case against banning CRT in the classroom, despite the havoc it's wrought on education and other institutions. 

“The question is: what can a liberal society do when almost all of its educational, media, business and cultural elites have adopted an ideology that believes that liberal society needs to be dismantled? And the answer is: not much. Liberalism assumes that bad and noxious ideas will eventually be driven out by better ones.”


Read the full article here.


Contrasting Sullivan's piece, FAIR Advisor Zaid Jilani wrote an article for Inquire arguing that banning the race-essentialist practices rooted in CRT from the classroom is not a free speech issue. To illustrate his point, Jilani draws a comparison between the current CRT debate and the banning of teaching creationism in public schools.

“In the early 2000s, one of the main culture wars in the area was how science classrooms in public school should teach students about the creation of the U.S. The local school board voted to put stickers in all biology textbooks warning that ‘evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things,’ and that ‘this material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.’” 


Read the full article here.


FAIR Advisor Ayaan Hirsi Ali was joined by Yale Law professor Amy Chua on her podcast The Ayaan Hirsi Ali Podcast. The two discussed how America has always demonstrated a poor understanding of tribal relations in other cultures, a weakness that makes this country ill-prepared to navigate the increasing tribalism of its own domestic politics.

“It is a gift that this country, for all of its terrible mistakes, our founding identity was ethnically neutral. Not the way we applied it. But these principles, in our Constitution, were - no one race, no one religion, no one ethnicity owns this country.”


Listen to the podcast here.


Upcoming Events

In one week, FAIR Advisor Coleman Hughes will be partaking in a conversation hosted by Braver Angles featuring John Wood Jr. of Braver Angles and Rakim Brooks of the ACLU, discussing race, rights, and Black America.


Learn more and register here.


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