Chicago’s DePaul University recently banned its College Republican chapter from hanging a series of posters with the pro-life message “Unborn Lives Matter.”
The Catholic university defended its decision in a statement to Inside Higher Ed. The posters, DePaul president Reverend Dennis H. Holtschneider explained, could “provoke the Black Lives Matter movement.”
“Some people will say that DePaul’s stance unfairly silences speech to appease a crowd. Nothing can be further from the truth,” he continued. “As we experienced last spring, it’s not difficult to agree that there is a difference between a thoughtful discussion about immigration and a profane remark about Mexicans scrawled in the quad, or between a panel on racial climate and a noose — a powerful symbol of violence and hatred — outside a residence hall.”
DePaul has been at the center of several free speech and academic freedom controversies in the past year. Both alt-right firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos and conservative commentator Ben Shapiro have been banned from appearing on campus, with DePaul citing “security concerns” as the reason.
As a private organization, DePaul is not required to abide by First Amendment protections of free speech. But its guiding principles state that it is ” committed to fostering a community that welcomes open discourse. We believe that intellectual inquiry is enriched immeasurably by robust debate and exposure to differing points of view.”
[Image via DePaul College Republicans]
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