Speech Righter: Trump Tackles College Censorship
Going to college is tough for any teenager. But for conservatives, it can be downright dangerous. These days, parents are sending their kids off to six-figure war zones, where even moderate speakers need armies of protection — if they’re allowed to speak at all. Christians brave enough to talk about their views are stigmatized if they’re lucky, and physically attacked if they’re not. We’ve wiped campuses clean of so many words, ideas, and values that an entire generation is leaving college completely unprepared for the cruel world from which higher education is “sparing” them.
Like a lot of parents, Donald Trump is fed up. College campuses are so toxically liberal today that conservatives have gotten everything from death threats to docked grades. We’ve watched Christians like Isabella Chow lose her student government sponsorship. Even a simple act like recruiting for a college club is an excuse to throw punches. That’s not education — it’s state-sponsored hazing. And this administration has decided to do something about it.
Yesterday, the president had a warning for liberal incubators like Berkeley: shut down free speech and the government will shut down your federal funding. Under a new executive order, the penalties for schools censoring students will be, in Trump’s words “very costly.” “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view — NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” the president tweeted. So far, no one has had the nerve to hit higher education where it hurts. But then, not everyone is President Trump.
Charlie Kirk, who heads the group Hayden Williams was attacked for promoting, thinks it’s about time someone stepped in and stopped the First Amendment’s death spiral on college campuses. But how, he wonders, will the liberal media take it? After all, they’re “an ideologically homogeneous group, need to thread the needle of wanting to appear to be in favor of free speech while arguing that the president requiring free speech is somehow dangerous. That isn’t easy…” After all, he points out:
“Burn an American flag on campus or stand on a bench and decry the Constitution as racist and you will be allowed to speak. Wear an American flag on your shirt or hand out copies of the Constitution and you will be accused of triggering and sent off to the campus equivalent of the broom closet, called ‘Free Speech Zones,’ in order to continue to express your thoughts.”
And that intolerance has never cut both ways. Liberals used to care about the free exchange of ideas — until theirs became impossible to defend. Now, they’ve decided they don’t want to try to win the debate. They want to stop the debate from taking place. After years of policing speech and punishing speakers, the Left’s brainwashing is paying off. Thirty-percent of college students think shouting down people like Ben Shapiro is acceptable. Another 10 percent said it was okay to use violence to stop students like Hayden. And where did these extremists-in-training learn how to bully conservatives? From their adult counterparts, of course. They’re just mirroring what they’ve seen from the leaders of “get-up-in-their-face,” “tell-them-they’re-not-welcome,” “we-kick-them” liberalism.
This new army of young radicals thinks they’re on the “morally righteous side” in this culture war, Hayden says, “and in order to win, they must silence any form of dissent.” Now, thanks to President Trump, that silence will hurt any college who encourages it. “For an industry that loves to preach against capitalism, they sure do love their money,” Kirk points out. “This will hopefully start to get their attention. Unlike their students, if they don’t like it, they are certainly free to speak out.”
Originally published here.
The Sinister Side of the Gender War
“But it’s just a phase!” How many parents have made that same desperate plea to a teacher, a counselor, or doctor? Deep down, they know their children weren’t born in the wrong body. They know the confusion about their teenager’s identity is coming from somewhere else — a struggle that doesn’t have to be permanent. But in a culture that’s determined to indulge this fantasy, at any cost, who will believe them?
The stories from parents are real-life nightmares. On a panel about gender ideology at the Heritage Foundation, attorneys shared one heart-wrenching testimony after another. Jennifer Chavez, a liberal with liberal clients, explained that she may disagree with conservatives on abortion or taxes, but the transgender movement is a place where every Americans can come together. Why? Because this ideology is no respecter of persons. It will haunt families — and rob futures — on both sides.
Chavez told the story of a 13-year-old girl, who came home and told her parents she was “transgender” after watching a presentation about it at school. “Without evaluation or therapy, the mother was told by a ‘gender therapist’ to buy her child a breast binder and put her on puberty-blocking drugs. If she didn’t comply, she was told, her child would face a high risk of suicide. She only realized later how inaccurate and baseless this clinical advice had been.” Furious, the liberal mom wrote, “Why are physicians medicalizing children in the name of an unproven, malleable gender identity? Why are lawmakers enshrining gender identity into state and federal laws?”
National Review’s Madeleine Kearns horrified people with the testimony of a family, whose 14-year-old girl accused her parents of “child abuse” because they wouldn’t use her male name. “Without my knowledge, a pediatric endocrinologist taught my daughter, a minor, to inject herself with testosterone. She then ran away to Oregon where state law at the age of 17 allowed her… to undergo a double mastectomy and radical hysterectomy… The level of outrage and rage I’m experiencing as a mother is indescribable. Why does Oregon law allow children to make life-altering medical decisions? …Why are doctors who took an oath to first do no harm allowed to sterilize and surgically mutilate mentally ill, delusional children?”
Why? Because America is being hijacked by an aggressive, take-no-prisoners LGBT agenda that doesn’t care about your rights as parents — or your children’s wellbeing. If they did, they’d know that “98 percent of gender-confused boys and 88 percent of gender-confused girls accept their biological sex after puberty.” Suggesting that these kids are anything other than their biological gender, the American College of Pediatricians argues, is “child abuse” that will scar them for life.
Fortunately, a brave group of young adults is coming forward to make that case themselves. As teenagers, they identified as transgender. Now, they want the world to know what a mistake that was. The founders of the Pique Resilience Project talk about their journeys in an interview with NRO, each drawing the same conclusion: transgenderism is a false and dangerous ideology.
“Helena had a history of not fitting in and feeling uncomfortable with her body. She had been badly bullied and was feeling very low when she turned to transgenderism. She took high doses of testosterone, which has altered her voice. At the age of 18, she wasn’t thinking about her long-term future. She wasn’t thinking about the serious risks and possible infertility. Now, she has some advice for other young people who think they might be transgender:
‘Step back from the activism, the ideology, the community — think about the reasons why you might feel this way about your body. Because there’s just a lot of people with just glaringly obvious reasons why they don’t like their body…’”
Read Helena’s story and powerful testimonies at National Review. Then, make sure you download FRC’s “A Parent’s Guide to the Transgender Movement in Education.”
Originally published here.
A Day to Celebrate Life
No child is perfect. And after three years of loving a special needs daughter, no one could be happier about that than Courtney Baker. There was a time when she, like so many women around the world, wondered if she should even go through with her pregnancy. Looking back, her heart wrenches at the thought. Little Emersyn Faith, diagnosed with Down syndrome, has been one of the most unexpected joys of her life.
There are thousands of moms like Courtney, who couldn’t imagine life without the blessing of these smiling happy kids. In places like Iceland, most families will never know that joy. Instead, the country is intentionally targeting these innocent little lives for abortion. Close to 100 percent of the country’s women are choosing to end their pregnancy, thanks in large part to the pressure they feel from doctors. CBS covered the story in 2017 as if it were a national triumph, insisting that Iceland was leading the world in “eradicating Down syndrome birth.”
But Iceland isn’t eradicating a disease — it’s eradicating a people. And a growing number of Americans realize it. In states like Kentucky, leaders are doing everything they can to stop this new form of genocide from making its way to America. After Iceland’s radical approach started making headlines a couple of years ago, there’s been a surge in bills that would outlaw abortion “solely” because the baby has Down syndrome. The Washington Post has called the idea “controversial” — a view it shares with the abortion lobbyists at Planned Parenthood. As far as they’re concerned, targeting a baby because of its race, gender, or even disability is just another “personal decision.”
Governor Matt Bevin (R-Ky.) doesn’t agree. Earlier this week, he signed a measure into law that would make it illegal to destroy a baby because of a diagnosis like Down Syndrome. He talked about why the proposal was necessary on Tuesday’s “Washington Watch.” The ACLU filed suit against the law taking the astonishing position that women should be able to weed out the “imperfect” children like Emersyn. Together with the state’s only abortion facility, they’re suing to stop the law from taking effect. As LifeNews points out, Bevin’s legal team couldn’t believe it.
“EMW and its abortionists have responded with a novel claim: Women have a constitutional right to undergo race-based abortions, gender-based abortions, and disability-based abortions,” they said. “In (the) plaintiffs’ view, somewhere in the Fourteenth Amendment’s penumbra lies a secret protection of eugenics.”
On Twitter, the governor talked about how ironic is it that the ACLU is even involved. “People that are supposedly defending the civic rights of people in this country nonetheless think it’s appropriate that you can kill a child based on its race or kill a child based on its gender. The people in Kentucky … fortunately don’t agree with that.”
Some people have been led to believe that children or parents like Courtney will have a poor quality of life. But most polling finds quite the opposite. Adolescent children with Down syndrome are actually very happy — off-the-charts happy compared to the average teenager. And of all those parents who followed through and had their children, 79 percent have said their outlook on life was more positive because of their child with Down Syndrome. They understand what more people should: there are no special needs — only special gifts.
For FRC’s take, check out Patrina Mosley’s “Let’s Celebrate the Love Chromosome on World Down Syndrome Day” in the Daily Caller.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.