Students and faculty tell administration Farage is a bigot, should not be debated: College says debate fights bigotry

Professor Brett Hendrickson has been protesting the college’s decision to host former UKIP leader Nigel Farage. Photo by Claire Grunewald ’20

As the debate to be held on April 6 approaches between former UKIP leader Nigel Farage and former President of Mexico Vicente Fox, students and faculty are voicing their concerns about Farage and what they see as his anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic and overall bigoted beliefs.

“Bigotry is not up for debate,” said a sign that religious studies professor Brett Hendrickson held outside Farinon from about 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday. He was joined by biology professor Elaine Reynolds on Tuesday, who held up a paper reading “Free Speech Not Hate Speech.”

They were protesting the fact that the college is hosting Farage, a political figure who orchestrated the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union and has been in the spotlight in the past for his controversial, and what some call hateful, remarks. Reynolds and Hendrickson said they plan to protest during every free lunch hour they have until the event.

Elaine Reynolds (right) discusses why she’s protesting Nigel Farage’s visit with students outside Farinon.

Lafayette is the last stop on the “Nationalism vs. Globalism” debate’s Campus Liberty Tour, sponsored by the Steamboat Institute, a conservative organization which promotes the “defense of liberty,” according to its website. Government and law professor Brandon Van Dyck first brought this idea to President Alison Byerly as a Mill Series idea, and Byerly and her cabinet then decided to sponsor the event with the Lafayette Symposium.

In 2016, Farage said that the Jewish lobby in the United States had disproportionate power. The CEO of the Anti-Defamation League called the remarks “fuel for white supremacists who exploit and spread conspiracy theories about ‘evil, controlling Jews,'” according to an article in Newsweek.

As leader of UKIP from 2006-2009 and 2010-2016, he racked up many controversies. During the referendum for the U.K. to leave the E.U., he unveiled a poster entitled “Breaking Point,” showing a large crowd of non-white refugees, seemingly traveling somewhere into Europe. The sign declared that “the EU has failed us all,” and was criticized for promoting xenophobia, according to the Guardian. Users on Twitter likened it to Nazi propaganda.

Hendrickson said the debate is something that “should not have happened” at Lafayette.

“Nigel Farage [is] not the sort of person that a liberal arts college or anywhere for that matter that has values that we have of inclusion and diversity would want to have on campus, even in the name of free speech,” he said. He said he and other faculty told President Alison Byerly that Farage’s positions are not ones that they consider to be “debatable.”

Byerly said she agrees that “bigotry isn’t a legitimate point of view.” However, she went on to say that it can only be debunked through debate.

“I wish [bigotry] was a view that had no currency and no constituency in the world or in our country,” Byerly said, “but…I feel that there’s enough evidence both in our nation and in our world as a whole that some of the views that [Farage is] concerned about in fact do still carry some influence and are worth debating because only debate shows the weaknesses of those views.”

Byerly declined, however, to label Farage a bigot.

“In inviting someone here, it’s not my role to label an individual. I can certainly say that I understand the concerns about statements he’s made that have been widely viewed as showing bigotry. Our hope in holding this event is to allow those views to be challenged and debated in a way that I think is very different from endorsement,” she said.

Gabrielle Tropp, president of Hillel Society, and Ayat Husseini, president of Muslim Students Association, decided to take action together. They wrote a letter to Byerly detailing their concerns and were able to discuss them with her in a face-to-face meeting.

The meeting, Husseini said, began with concerns faculty brought up at the first faculty meeting after the debate was announced, after which she said Provost Abu Rizvi wanted to meet directly with students. Rizvi declined to comment on the meeting, saying he had nothing to add. Husseini and Tropp were first invited, but then decided they wanted leaders of other groups there as well.

On Monday, Byerly and Rizvi met with student leaders of organizations that represent minority groups, such as Association of Black Collegians, Hillel Society, the Muslim Students Association, the International Student Association and the Hispanic Society of Lafayette. Chaplain Alex Hendrickson, Dean of Equity and Inclusion Chris Hunt and some faculty members were also in attendance.

At this meeting, the student leaders were able to voice their concerns directly to Byerly and Rizvi about why they believe Farage should not be allowed to come to campus, and how they think his presence will create a hostile environment to “the emotional and spiritual well-being of students,” as well as their safety, Husseini said.

Husseini, Tropp and president of the International Student Association Austin Botelho agreed that Byerly was more than willing to listen to their concerns, but all three said that it did not feel like they would be able to change her mind about inviting Farage to campus.

Botelho took issue with the fact that both speakers are considered conservative and the moderator, Mary Kissel, is from the Wall Street Journal, which has a more conservative slant. He doesn’t think this debate is necessary to revive free speech on campus, since it is “alive and well.”

Tropp, Husseini, Botelho, Brett Hendrickson and Reynolds all agreed that the nationalism versus globalism debate is one worth having, but it is not necessary to have someone who espouses bigoted views be a part of that debate.

Tropp and Husseini had concerns when the original bulletin advertising the event described it as being open to the general public, as they feared that Farage may attract groups and individuals which also hold his bigoted views. Tropp mentioned her fear of attracting a white nationalist group in Phillipsburg. That group, the Aryan Strikeforce, had five of its members indicted last year on charges for “conspiring to transport methamphetamine, firearms, and machine gun parts to generate money to fund the activities of the Aryan Strikeforce, including the acquisition of firearms,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. This month, those in custody were charged with conspiring to set off a suicide-bomb at opposing demonstrations in Harrisburg in 2016, according to Lehigh Valley Live.

All three said that at the meeting, Byerly said security measures would be upped around campus during the event in response to these concerns.

Byerly did not respond for comment on upping security measures in time for print, but she did say she emphasized to the student leaders that the event will be open only to the Lafayette community. In a an email to the campus yesterday, she wrote that other than the Lafayette community, “access will be limited…to guests invited by the college.”

Byerly declined to reveal how much the visit cost to the college. The event is co-sponsored by the Steamboat Institute, a free speech organization which Byerly said is fair to call conservative.

“We don’t disclose speaker fees, but I can say that because this appearance is part of a coordinated tour of four campuses, the cost to Lafayette is significantly lower than for other major political figures who have spoken here over the last decade,” she wrote in an email.

About Kathryn Kelly

Kathryn Kelly '19 is the editor-in-chief of The Lafayette. She studies government & law and Classics.

49 comments

The very definition of free speech is allowing speech you may disagree with. A liberal arts college that has its head on straight would be able to easily debate speech that has flaws. Only allowing speech you agree with or tolerate is not free speech. Come on people!! I’m sure Mr. Fox is able to present his views in a persuasive way. Don’t disappoint me Lafayette!!!

Of course we can debate speech that has flaws (look at me do it right now!). That’s not the issue. The issue is that we were not, are not, and will not be in need of paying Mr. Farage to come to campus merely so that we can show him how faulty his views are. It’s a charade meant to appease the likes of you. You also underestimate the harm that hate speech does to the people—including many of our students—who are the objects of that hate.

You clearly have never discovered the power of free speech in a democracy. Someday it may be you who are denied the right to speak! I’ll refer you to the wise comments of professor Heavey. I do not need to have someone police what I may hear, thankfully because of the power my fine education has given me the ability to discern between two point of view. We. do not need self appointed thought police, even in a liberal arts college to tell us what we me hear or watch.

“You also underestimate the harm that hate speech does to the people—including many of our students—who are the objects of that hate.”

This is so important. Speakers who show up with demonstrably false positions don’t do so because they think they’ll “win a debate.” They do so to radicalize centrists in the audience. Even if they speak in Pig Latin, there will be impressionable minds in the audience who see these viewpoints being granted legitimacy and will seriously consider them. This has a very real effect on the members of the student body that are targeted by these policies.

Dear Acid Mouthwash, you are trying to hard. If you really did your own research? You will see that Lafayette College is the perfect forum for the invited speakers. You don’t need to look far; just study the case of Uz vs Lafayette College, Case #: 5:17-cv-01091 ; you will understand how horribly Lafayette College treats it’s internationally known NASA scientist professors and their families. I support this forum, just so Lafayette College can learn to learn and reflect when they look into their mirrors !

Dear Brett and Elaine, I respect you both, and I am puzzled by your opposition to allowing Mr. Farage to speak. Brett, you are quoted as saying that you, and other faculty, do not consider Farage’s positions to be debatable. That ‘s about the same as saying that your own positions in opposition to his are not debatable. Will you accept that characterization? A wise judge told me to remember that a debate is not an opportunity to convince your opponent, but to educate the audience. Enough said. Don’t blow the opportunity. Jerry Heavey, Professor Emeritus of Economics

“A wise judge told me to remember that a debate is not an opportunity to convince your opponent, but to educate the audience.”

I can’t wait for Farage to come to Lafayette and educate the audience about the “Jewish lobby.” I’m sure it will be an enriching conversation, akin to a seminar from Socrates himself.

There is no obligation to give people whose entire philosophy is grounded on provably false information with racist implications the time of day. Brett is very in favor of allowing nationalists to speak and debate at Lafayette, but maybe not one with such a consistent track record of insanity.

Alum, my dude, and former member of the Lafayette Debate team, in case you’re concerned that I’ve never considered viewpoints other than my own.

Very encouraging that the college is sponsoring this debate in conjunction with The Steamboat Institute – this should be a great and informative exchange. However, it is unfortunate that some people like professor Brett Hendrickson choose to protest the event and one of the guest speakers in advance of the debate, exhibiting, in my opinion, both arrogance and ignorance. He uses terms like ‘inclusion’ and ‘diversity’, but thinks Nigel Farage has no right to be included in a diverse Lafayette debate. This is the same professor who went around campus tearing down Mills Series posters before speaker events. Leftists often use terms like ‘racist’, ‘bigot’, ‘islamophobe’, etc. to label and marginalize those with whom they disagree. It seems to me that the ‘hostile’ and ‘unsafe’ environment that the protesters fear becomes a self fulfilling prophecy – their very actions could create such an environment on our campus, which most of us hope will never be the case. One student was also quoted in the article, saying that he doesn’t think this debate is necessary to revive free speech on campus, since it is “alive and well”. Well I would say that that perception is quite selective – please re-read the 2017 Student Government Ad Hoc Report. Hopefully the campus will look to someone like Provost Abu Rizvi for calm, fair-minded guidance and leadership.

You understand the 2017 Ad-Hoc report was almost universally condemned by the student population, right? It was a 2-page list followed by an 8-page narrative from four frustrated students among a campus of thousands. I hope you understand that the marginalization these conservative students felt from being told the had “white privilege” is quite different than the marginalization muslim, lgbtq, and students of color feel in everyday life.

People like Farage don’t represent a threat of “hurt feelings,” they represent a very real threat of deportation, hate crime, and murder against marginalized bodies. This is especially true when they (from the above article) have been known to attract violent Aryan supremacy groups to their events.

From the photo of Professor Brett Hendrickson picketing in front of Farinon with a sign “Bigotry is not up for Debate No to Nigel” in opposition to UKIP leader Nigel Farage even being allowed on campus to debate Vincente Fox, it should be clear that Hendrickson is the only bigot in this episode. Sadly, there are many more of his colleagues who are political zealots, completely out of touch with the ‘world outside their bubble’, expressing a politically polarizing viewpoint with the precise purpose to squelch speech.

This comments section is absolutely nutty.

There is no obligation to provide a platform to people spouting literal lies. The right to free speech is the right to not be arrested for what you say, not the “right” to be paid a brilliant sum of money from student’s tuition in order to get on a podium and tell the school that the Jews control the world. You’d all be mad if your donations went to subsidize a debate between Flat-Earthers, why are you beaming with pride that they’re supporting someone just as idiotic?

The college has hosted fantastic debates, even during my time there – but hosting a debate between someone whose comments are lies at best and subtle calls for white nationalism at worst is reprehensible. It’s not a giant leap to understand why a college where immigrants and Jewish people rank among the students might be concerned about bringing a figure to campus literally calling for their deportation.

An entire nation, and the United States’ closest ally, followed the lead of Nigel Farage and voted to leave the EU. To suggest that his views are not debatable is sheer ignorance. His views are real and shared by millions of people in the U.S., the U.K. and around the world. If ever there was a topic worthy of debate, this is it! Alternatively, we can do as Professor Hendrickson is proposing…suppress free speech, engage in censorship…you know, the kinds of things they do in countries like China. Ask the citizens of that country how that’s working out for them!

Art, you can’t play whataboutism all day. China’s foreign policy is increasingly xenophobic and aligns pretty well with Farage’s – should we blame HIM for that, then?

The alternative that Hendrickson is proposing isn’t to silence Farage’s ideas, it’s to prevent someone who has been condemned for hate speech repeatedly from expressing them. If you’d read the article:

“Tropp, Husseini, Botelho, Brett Hendrickson and Reynolds all agreed that the nationalism versus globalism debate is one worth having, but it is not necessary to have someone who espouses bigoted views be a part of that debate.”

Nigel Farage is not David Duke. Whether or not you believe he’s a bigot, his role in Brexit showed that his ideas were much more mainstream. He has been a key player in the globalism vs. nationalism debate. So, if the debate is worthwhile having, why not have him represent his views on the topic? Unfortunately, there is an increasing tendency for so many of us to try and squelch and dismiss as “idiotic” ideas and beliefs that differ from our own.

I don’t understand. Because he was a Brexit leader, his antisemitism and anti-immigrant comments are immune from criticism?

Once more, no one is trying to stop this debate from happening. No one is trying to squelch a sane ideological viewpoint. Individuals, myself included, disagree with the SPECIFIC PERSON representing those ideas.

You seem to discount his role in Brexit as if it was some marginalized movement in a third world country. He helped persuade more than 17 million people in the UK to vote in favor of leaving the EU! He had mass appeal in his own country and, whether you agree with him or not, his views resonate with millions of people in the U.S. That’s a fact that can’t be ignored. By all means, criticize him all you want! But simply because you and others “disagree with the SPECIFIC PERSON representing those ideas” is hardly a reason to exclude him from the debate.

He, after Dominic Cummings, and Boris Johnson, after which he immediately stood down.

More importantly, I’m not saying he wasn’t influential. He definitely was. I’m saying his antisemitism sort of disqualifies him from being taken seriously. If you want someone to represent nationalism, fine, but certainly there’s someone better to espouse those values than a dude who loves to whinge about the Jewish Global Elite?™

Those in the comments here accusing Profs. Hendrickson and Reynolds of being the real bigots are using a classic tactic: appealing to the literal definition of the word “inclusion” while ignoring the underlying context, ideas, and principles that gave rise to “inclusion” as a core principal of academia.

Inclusion on college campuses exists in a well-known context: the long and storied history of exclusion in campuses across America. This past is not particularly distant. Lafayette became coeducation in 1970 – easily within living memory. Although Lafayette enrolled the black student Aaron Hoff in it’s very first class, it enrolled no black students between the years of 1847 and 1947 – for exactly 100 years. Lafayette, of course, was not alone in systemic exclusion of women and minorities.

Even though Lafayette ultimately became coeducational and integrated, and now holds inclusion and diversity as core ideals, the struggle to get from “no minorities allowed” to “we try to include everyone” has not been easy, and it continues to not be easy. One key element of this struggle is what I’ll call atmosphere or campus climate. It is one thing to have a policy on paper that tries to include everyone, but it’s another thing entirely to actually craft a community where people feel welcomed, accepted, safe, and truly and sincerely included. It’s vital that those who once upon a time would have been violently and clearly excluded feel not only that they are allowed to exist on campus, but that their presence there is not always in question, that they won’t come under attack, and that they really are valued by the community. They must not feel as if there very being and existence is a question up for debate. An environment where that is the case is not welcoming, and it is not effective inclusion.

This is why we must disagree with the invitation of Nigel Farage. The issue at question here is not whether or not it is worth debating him. It is whether or not the idea that he should debated instead of rejected is creating an atmosphere where people don’t feel safe. Remember that this article reports that the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League has disparaged Farage for antisemitic comments. Remember that Farage has encouraged xenophobia and racism. What kind of message is the college sending by paying to have such a man debated? This debate cannot be exclusively thought of as a pure exchange of ideas. Farage’s ideas and opinions have a real impact on the people on the campus. How might a Muslim immigrant student feel knowing that Farage’s ideas, even when presented in debate form, have any place on campus?

Of course I hear the objection that you could apply similar arguments to conservative students. The difference here, though, is context. There is no long and storied history of the violent exclusion of conservatives from access to higher education. There is no historic tradition of discrimination directed at conservative students. Conservative students at Lafayette have always existed, and they continue to exist. They continue to graduate and find jobs where they can espouse conservative opinions and advance conservative policy. Consider that William E. Simon graduated from Lafayette and went on to become Secretary of the Treasury under Nixon.

So when we measure the importance of the two, we should prioritize the safety of historically excluded student populations over the elevation of conservative voices for the sake of it. If I may be so bold, I’d go farther by saying that it is truly intellectually lazy to call Farage any kind of respectable conservative. Surely conservatism is about more than coded racism, and we should hold ourselves to higher standards as Leopards than to accept him, his opinions, and even his presence on our campus.

Sources

Kathleen McFadden. “Race and diversity in Lafayette’s history: Looking back at the history of Lafayette’s black students.” The Lafayette. February 26, 2016.

“William E. Simon.” Wikipedia. Accessed March 26, 2018.

Rather than succumbing to paragraphs of social science gobbledegook, I continue to urge Lafayette to adopt the “University of Chicago Principals,” which. many other high ranking schools have done such as Princeton , Baylor and scores of other institutions. I don’t see any special insight on these pages that would convince most serious educated people from doing otherwise. I urge the readers to google it and read it for themselves and then maybe we can have and intelligent debate.
I see nothing unique in Lafayette’s history or some wikipedia source that would prevent its adoption.

I of course meant “principles” not “principals” as spell check did me in. Anyway I think highly of our students and have great faith in their ultimate ability to reason without someone telling them what to hear or see. That I would hope is the ultimate goal of four years at Lafayette.

I have erred in that Baylor has not adopted the Chicago Principles. As of. Jan 30 34 schools has adopted them including Princeton, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, and American U.

There’s really nothing I can engage/argue with about the phrase “social science gobbledegook.” It’s not like it pays any attention to any of my arguments or offers any sort of argument beyond “well I disagree because I dislike social science.” It’s about as weak of an objection as one can make.

I just wanted to say about the Wikipedia source that I thought people would find it fairly obvious that I only used that page for biographical information regarding William E. Simon. You could find information about William E. Simon in many, many places. It’s a well-established fact that he was the Secretary of the Treasury under Nixon and went to Lafayette – so much so that I was considering not citing it in the first place, but I wanted to at least offer a paper trail to anyone reading.

You obviously don’t know the definition of gobbledegook, a perfectly legitimate english word. Then again I had the benefit of “Willie” Watt as a professor of English at Lafayette. As to the efficacy of that esteemed academic source “wikipedia” it did leave out the fact that Bill Simon severed his relationship with the school over the college’s reneging of an invitation for Jeanne Kirkpatrick ( then ambassador to the UN) to speak at graduation because she was too conservative. Happily Mr. Simon’s son has reconnected. So your reference to Sec. Simon was more appropriate than you could have imagined, your research from Wikipedia not withstanding!!
By the way I do not disrespect social science since I am economics major and went to graduate school at Columbia in international business. In physical science and social science it’s the ability to communicate without gobbledegook that is more impressive.
I continue to urge the school to adopt the Chicago Principles. Please look it up. I am pondering what the faculty and administration at Chicago, Princeton, Columbia, Purdue, and Amherst et.al knows that a liberal arts college on the banks of the Delaware doesn’t.

Bill, it’s not that she doesn’t UNDERSTAND the word. It’s that it completely ignores the entirety of her arguments. Seriously, if you’re going to praise social science’s “ability to communicate,” it might be wise to do some communication of your own.

There’s an article from Tom Lindsay in Forbes that explains the issue with the Chicago Principles. From the article: “Once freedom ceases to be deemed a means to human virtue, once it becomes an end in itself, it no longer has a basis on which to defend itself.” It’s exactly the reason why it doesn’t make sense to invite someone who makes provably false statements about Jews, immigrants, and Muslims – if the speech isn’t serving an exercise in truth-seeking or willfully misleads, why endorse it?

Dear Mr. Mouthwash
I commend you to the actual Report of the Committee of Freedom of Expression from the University of Chicago rather than the Forbes article. So from the source:

“More recently, President Hanna Holborn Gray observed that ” education should not be intended to make people comfortable, it is meant to make them think.” …..Because the University is committed to free and open inquiry in all matters, it guarantees all members of the University community the broadest possible latitude to speak, write , listen , challenge and learn. Except insofar as limitations on freedom that freedom are necessary to the functioning of the University, the University of Chicago fully respects and supports the freedom of all members of the University to “discuss any problem that presents itself.”
Of course , the ideas of different members of the University community will often and quite naturally conflict. But it is to the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive….

The university may restrict expression that violates the law, that falsely defames a specific individual, that constitutes a genuine threat or harassment, that unjustifiably invades substantial privacy or confidentiality interests……

My Caps:

IN A WORD , THE UNIVERSITY’S FUNDAMENTAL COMMITMENT IS TO THE PRINCIPAL THAT DEBATE OR DELIBERATION MAY NOT BE SUPPRESSED BECAUSE THE IDEAS PUT FORTH ARE THOUGHT BY SOME OR EVEN BY MOST MEMBERS OF THE UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY TO BE OFFENSIVE, UNWISE, IMMORAL, OR WRONG HEADED.

Finally,

“Although members of the University community are free to criticize and contest the views expressed on campus , and to criticize and contest speakers who are invited to express their views on campus , they may not obstruct or otherwise interfere with the freedom of others to express views they reject or even LOATHE. To this this end, the University has a solemn responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation, but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict.

To my friend Acid….always better to go the source than a cherry picked article. I say again the College should adopt the Chicago Principles and I might urge President Byerly to invite the president of the University of Chicago to address the Lafayette community.

That is my response to Leah!!!!

One correction…. the committee said ” But is NOT at the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome , disagreeable, OR EVEN DEEPLY OFFENSIVE.”

I mean, they can write all the wordy prose they want, unless it manifests into an implement-able policy, it’s going to be ceremonial. Re-stating the text of the principles doesn’t change how they are implemented or what effect they have on students.

This also isn’t interactive with the Forbes piece I’m referring to, which specifically decries the principles for giving a platform to speech that is knowingly false. The author of that article is a hardline conservative “free speech warrior,” I might add.

It’s ALSO not interactive to Leah’s argument that the principles are fundamentally flawed because a safe campus for marginalized students is more important than a dorky Brit’s right to make money off Laf.

It’s ALSO not interactive with Hendrickson’s argument that, you can engage with Farage’s ideas as long as they’re not coming from an individual that’s repeatedly make comments about how awful the Jews are. I promise there are tons of people who can represent nationalism without the baggage.

Hilarious – for an individual so excited for there to be a debate on campus, here you are in the comments section shrinking away from one!

There’s already an intelligent debate happening right above you, but it looks like you’ve decided not to engage with the thoughtful, well-reasoned arguments above in favor of quoting a list of principles you’re obviously not familiar with (you don’t even know where they’ve been implemented). I encourage you to critically think about what Leah’s saying instead of trying to wipe it away with the phrase “social science gobbledegook” and a request to use Google.

Actually I do know who adopted the Principles and I did correct myself. I’ll restate for clarity there are 34 schools who have adopted the Chicago Principles ( in case you missed it!). I let you do the research but it includes some of the finest names in education. So for Lafayette. “Cur Non?” That was my question which should be answered first then, I will address Ms. Wasssacz. I think the Principles answer the question posed. I stand on that.

Why does your question take priority? Leah’s was posted first.

As for an answer, the Forbes article above does a good job responding to them. They attempt to re-conceptualize Freedom, period, as a justifiable end goal instead of a means by which to find Truth. At an institute of higher learning it’s probably not in the best interest of those involved to adopt a set of principles which have been repeatedly used to give literal lies a welcome ear.

I get a headache when people decide to give bullying a platform. I get a headache when people decide to give hate and fear a platform. I get a headache when people decide to give oppression a platform. The decision to bring Farage to campus leaves us scratching our heads, and the idea that his coming to campus is being defended while the actions of Hendrickson and Reynolds are so severely criticized leaves us digging our hair out. To what end do people pick on the actions of these professors? To defend the freedom of speech? To claim that these people are the “True” evildoers, trying to put infringements and limitations on what ideas can and cannot be discussed on campus? Freedom of Speech has no place in a discussion about oppression. We’re tired and frustrated with people using the concept of Free Speech to defend their archaic, harmful ideas. Everyone needs to understand that words, ideas, and beliefs (about people and groups of people) have the power to damage and be destructive, and don’t give me any of that sticks and stones garbage, because it’s about scale here; we aren’t talking about a single person being bullied for looking a certain way, we’re talking about an entire group of people being dehumanized for the identity they possess or the part of the world they hail from. So while Farage may play a big role in the Nationalism vs. Globalism debate, his particular brand of Nationalism uses divisive fear mongering to push a xenophobic agenda, and has absolutely no place on the stage of intellectual debate. Letting people with racist, anti-semitic, xenophobic ideas like Farage have a seat at the discussion pushes the Overton Window further in the direction of allowing that sort of discourse to be acceptable. I don’t know, we didn’t seem to have much trouble in the past identifying leaders who spout anti-semitic propaganda as, not the best quality of people, what happened?

For those who would like to join the debate I urge you to read the “Report of the Committee on Free Expression” convened in 2014 at the University Chicago. It is enlightening. When Purdue adopted the Principles they said it couldn’t be written any better….I agree! QED

I performed a Google search! Praise my rationality! QED!

I guarantee everyone demonstrating against Farage is intimately familiar with the intentionally-vague and largely ceremonial “principles” from UChicago. It’s possible to have read the report and disagree, I promise.

To Mr. Mouthwash:
By the way, why not disclose your full name..I have??? We should use our name to stand behind our ideas. Go for it!!
I’ll even by you a cup of coffee at a nearby location!!!

Bill Rappolt ’67

Sorry, fam, I’ve got a job and don’t want my boss getting calls about my opinions.

If it helps, you can pretend I’m a guy named Bill who graduated in the 60’s. The sure are a lot of them in this comments section already.

WOW! Interesting chain of comments! So who gets to define free speech? Complain all you want about Nigel Farage (BTW Vicente Fox is no box of chocolates) or repeal/change the first amendment.

Bill Messick, ’68

Vincente Fox sucks, too. Send ’em both back.

No one’s complaining or excited to censor ideas. Hendrickson has no problem with a nationalism debate on-campus, but surely there’s someone better equipped to navigate it than an individual who thinks the Jews control the world?

Professor Hendrickson should be fired!!!! This is a disgusting display of forcing liberal views in the classroom. This seems to me like he would be biased against conservative students in his grading! Many religious studies classes have open discussions. How are studies supposed to feel comfortable in an open class discussion without feeling like they will be penalized for having an opposing view as the professor. If professors want to protest, go ahead, but do it off college grounds.

Exactly right! Professors should not be allowed to protest during school hours. If they were in corporate America their employers would not put up with them protesting on the job!

This is really an excellent and related point. As a parent who pays the nearly $70k annual cost for my student to attend Lafayette, I would prefer to see professors focus on teaching students to analyze facts, think critically and form their own opinions, rather than organizing and/or participating in student protests and espousing their political views. If students choose to protest on campus, more power to them! But politically active professors should keep their views out of the classroom and off campus for precisely the reasons cited in the comments above. And, you’re right, in the real world, employees would be fired for protesting at your place of employment during business hours. But I guess that doesn’t happen in the sheltered world of academia.

He’s not demonstrating instead of teaching class, he’s demonstrating on his own time. I think it’s hilarious that we’re claiming “I would prefer to see professors focus on teaching students to analyze facts, think critically and form their own opinions.” Protesting is a pretty important part of your civil rights, and represents a significant part of a student’s larger analytic experience.

I guess I’d conclude by asking the following: why is it that Hendrickson claiming nationalism is bad is an abhorrent display of bias but Farage claiming nationalism is good is a beautiful exercise in freedom of speech?

“ I gave my heart to the Americans and thought of nothing else but raising my banner and adding my colors to theirs. “- Marquis de Lafayette

“took issue with the fact that both speakers are considered conservative.” So because both speakers are conservative you have a problem with them speaking?? Whole campus would throw a tantrum if someone was upset for a any talk with liberal bias. Grow up people

Three conservatives patting each other on the back is not a “debate.”

And isn’t the Mill’s series a tantrum about liberal bias among speakers and professors already?

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