Censoring Thought is a forum for open, honest discussion on the
meaning and boundaries of academic freedom and independent
thought. It is meant to encourage intelligent discourse on recent
developments in academia in the United States as well as to
facilitate a richer understanding of the notion of what academic
freedom means today. However, this forum is not limited to the
university campus, as it will include discussion on freedom of
expression outside academia as well.
Censoring Thought will also serve as a locus for activism in
defense of the right of individuals to voice their opinions without
fear of reprisal from either the government, private organizations,
Censoring Thought is committed to a robust understanding of free
thought, on campus and off. We are thus strenuously opposed to
recent attempts by the United States government, private
organizations, as well as individuals in the media and elsewhere
to silence the free expression of ideas.
Organizations such as Campus Watch, Students for Academic
Freedom, and the David Project, among others, seek to impose a
conservative ideology on dissenting voices by means of intimidation
and harassment. Though they couch their ideologically-driven
crusade in terms of academic freedom and diversity of opinion,
their goals are anathema to such principles. By encouraging
students to report on their professors, by demonizing individuals
who dare speak out against U.S. and Israeli government policy, and
by using the language of patriotism to browbeat nonconforming
voices, these McCarthyist movements are a threat to the intellectual
health of a democratic society. They have sought to stifle debate
on the key issues of our time by misinformation, threats, and racist
appeals, attempting to achieve through lies and bullying what they
have been unable to secure through honest intellectual exchange.
Such actions are unacceptable in any society. We are therefore
committed to exposing the true nature and purposes of such groups
in a defense of the right to independent thought and freedom of
expression. And in so doing, we hope to provide a space for
the development of a more robust understanding of the meaning
of concepts such as academic freedom and freedom of expression,
which today lie emptied of their meaning.
|A forum for empowerment
|"What is freedom of expression?
Without the freedom to offend, it
ceases to exist."