NEW Op-Ed: Yale’s Case Study in Free-Speech Hypocrisy
On Tuesday, October 18, Buckley Institute Founder and Executive Director Lauren Noble ’11 published an op-ed in National Review on Yale’s quick defense of associate professor Zareena Grewal’s free speech rights following her disgusting comments on the atrocities committed by Hamas in Israel and contrasted Yale’s newfound support for free speech with the university’s past record:
Even at Yale, it is not every day that a faculty member expresses “solidarity” — and apparent glee — over the murder, rape, and kidnapping of civilians.
The university responded quickly, declining to discipline Grewal based on its commitment to freedom of speech.
Anyone who has followed headlines about Yale over the past decade may be understandably surprised to learn that the university has such principles.
Yale recently ranked No. 234 for free speech out of 248 schools by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE). Last year, students at Yale Law School disrupted a panel on free speech because one of the speakers was from advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom, with no consequences for doing so. In fall 2021, a Native-American student was pressured by the administration to apologize for a Constitution Day party invite.
The best-known example of Yale failing on free speech came in October 2015 with the infamous Halloween-costume incident.
The irony is that Grewal herself has cheered on Yale’s retreat from free-speech principles. She defended the students who sought to punish the Christakises as seeking “respect.” Elsewhere, she dismissed “hand wringing over free speech on college campuses” as a “manufactured crisis.”
The truth is that Yale’s — like Grewal’s — approach to free speech has been inconsistent all along, too often predicated on the speech in question.
Yale’s response lays bare its hypocrisy on free speech on campus. Challenge the campus orthodoxy? Be left to the mob. Align with a radical left-wing cause? The university will jump to your defense. Support murder, rape, and crimes against humanity? That’s okay as long as you’re woke.