MPI’s Indoctrinate U premiered in 2007, and since then has been screened thousands of times at hundreds of college campuses across the country. Six years after its release, student groups are still requesting the film — and expressing how much the film’s message resonates with them.
Indoctrinate U takes a humorous look at the state of free speech and free thought on American campuses, revealing a national campus culture in which speech codes rule the day and First Amendment rights are not necessarily afforded to all.
In a recent article in the Daily Nebraskan, one graduate student talks about how this culture is not only well established, but increasingly getting worse:
“What is happening on our campuses in the name of progress and social engineering is the enemy of liberty and it’s also the enemy of American progress,” Alan Kors, the founder of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) said, in a documentary by Penn Jillette and Teller.
Unfortunately, and somewhat astonishingly, most institutions of higher education in the nation suffer from bureaucracy that limits self-expression, freedom of speech and ideas in the name of “tolerance” and “diversity.”
“These absurdities upon absurdities are teaching people that not just common sense, but any semblance of freedom of expression is to be sacrificed on this alter of ‘do not offend,’” Kors says.
For example, Harvard University, obviously regarded as one of the top institutions in the world, has multiple policies that seem acceptable on its face, but could violate the First Amendment on further inspection.
“Behavior evidently intended to dishonor such characteristics as race, gender, ethnic group, religious belief, or sexual orientation is contrary to the pursuit of inquiry and education,” reads Harvard’s “Free Speech Guidelines.” Similarly, its “Handbook for Students” continues: “The ability to express one’s views regarding religion is a significant freedom of speech that the College upholds. In some instances, this type of expression becomes an avenue for persuasion to affiliate with a particular religion. Discussion in this vein is prohibited when the educational and work environment of an individual or the community is jeopardized.”
For example, if someone whose moral beliefs conflicted with the concept of gay marriage, that person is permitted by the First Amendment to counter-protest a LGBT rally. This action would violate a policy similar to Harvard’s, however, and perpetrators could face repercussions from the university, all for simply expressing their opinions.
While undoubtedly well-intentioned, the guidelines Harvard sets forth are both unconstitutional and subjective under the First Amendment, which protects the unabridged freedom of speech. Similar policies plague 62 percent of the 409 campuses examined by FIRE, and many others’ were questionable.
Read more at DailyNebraksan.com.
Write to us at MPI and sign up for a FREE screening of Indoctrinate U on your campus! We’ll send you a DVD and some other materials to set up a great screening night for your student group. Email Stacie at Stacie[at]theMPI[dot]org.