08 March 2005

Freedom at Florida's universities is under attack

The Florida Legislature begins its annual session today, and for the next 60-days, they will address the issues that they think matter to the people. Thousands of bill have already been filed for the 2005 session - many of them ... good; many of them ... not-so-good. One bill that falls into the latter category is the so-called "Student and Faculty Academic Freedom in Postsecondary Education" bill, filed by Representative Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala). The bill stands little chance of passage, but it does serve one great purpose. It provides encouragement to those who hate freedom and lets them know that they have a friend in the Florida Legislature.

The Baxley bill, HB 837, opposes freedom. The bill would require that state universities, under control of the state government, monitor what professors teach their students and mandate that conservative points of view also be taught in the classroom. For instance, if the subject matter of a course is the Civil Rights Movement and the professor states that this event was good for America, then the government would require that this same professor also lecture the minority view that the Civil Rights Movement was bad for America and discuss the reasons why this argument is made. Another example - if a professor discusses the Vietnam War and mentions that our soldiers fought bravely, the Baxley bill would then require that the professor also teach subjects that would demean our nation's veterans. Additionally, if a student is upset that civil rights are only being discussed in a positive light, the Baxley bill provides the means for the student to file a formal complaint against the professor. Essentially, the bill intends to create politically correctness for those outside of the American mainstream.

Representative Baxley claims that state universities are being overrun by "liberals" and that these Americans are harming our academic institutions. In an article published by the Palm Beach Post (the only Florida newspaper to report on this issue), Baxley derides those with whom he disagrees. He rants and raves about how professors are force-feeding college students propaganda, but offers no proof. Baxley's paranoia is unfounded and somewhat psychotic. He claims that "leftists" have taken control of the state's universities, but fails to mention that right-leaning groups, like the College Republicans and Young Americans for Freedom, are much more prominent on Florida campuses than their progressive counterparts. In Baxley's world, the liberals have taken over and conservative students are too weak to defend themselves. No need to worry - "big government" is here to save them.

The Baxley bill is still filed in the Florida Legislature, and its fate will not be known for sure until session concludes on May 6th. If the bill dies, we can all rejoice that liberty and our American values will have prevailed in Florida. Perhaps on that day, college students throughout the state will raise purple-dyed fingers to celebrate their freedom from government oppression.


Blogger Kurt Kaletka said...

That is one of the most insane things I've ever heard! Doesn't Rep. Baxley have anything better to do with his time?

The precedent that a bill like this sets is unthinkable. If this bill passes, the state of Florida would likely set itself up for another bill which would mandate that for every moron elected to the state legislature, you'll have to elect an intelligent person, too. And vice versa. This will double the size of government, but it would be worth it, in order to balance out Rep. Baxley's influence.

Seriously, if this sort of mandating of thought can happen in a university, then wouldn't Baxley be mandated to speak up for a liberal idea for every one of his conservative ones? Where do these idiots come from?

10:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

You know, the Nazi's (another harmless, right-wing, pro-nationalist/milataristic political group), tried very hard to rid their culture of left-wing influence. They started by burning books deemed "impure", and intimidating members of the educated class who voiced dissent. Eventually they started purging the susected leaders and put them in camps where they were denied due process. Most were singled out because of their religion, sexuality, or ethnic/racial background.

When all was said and done, tens of millions had perished, and great cities were sacked on both sides, for the sake of a narrow and hateful political ideology.

Wake up America...this is how fascism takes hold. If freedom of political thought does not exist on college campuses, then freedom can no longer truly exist in America.

Be afraid...be very afraid...

3:26:00 PM  

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