By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Harvey Silverglate’s latest free-speech campaign

Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh writes about friend of Media Nation Harvey Silverglate‘s bid to be elected to Harvard’s Board of Overseers.

Silverglate, a celebrated civil-rights lawyer, and an ally, Philadelphia lawyer Robert Freedman, are pushing a free-speech, anti-PC agenda that would, among other things, bring ROTC back to the Harvard campus.

Best of luck to Silverglate, a staunch and principled defender of free speech.


A liberal president


Counting the days for Globe regional sections


  1. Ron Newman

    I like most of what he has to say, except for ROTC. That issue has nothing whatsoever to do with free speech.

  2. Dan Kennedy

    ROTC has plenty to do with free choice, free association.

  3. Ron Newman

    But it also has to do with non-discrimination; no other program at Harvard excludes gay people as a matter of policy. Until President Obama and Congress change this policy, I don’t think ROTC belongs on a college campus.

  4. Dan Kennedy

    Ron: Freedom of association is a kissing cousin of freedom of expression. I think the best solution is to allow ROTC on campus, allow people to protest, and allow everyone to make his or her own decision.

  5. Ron Newman

    But how would you feel if Harvard had a (hypothetical) program on campus that excluded blacks or Jews?

  6. Dan Kennedy

    Ron: As long as it wasn’t getting any university money, how would you stop such a thing?

  7. Ron Newman

    But usually ROTC programs do get university facilities and academic credit. It’s not like an off-campus final club.

  8. O-FISH-L

    Does ROTC have a higher standard than the rest of the military, where gays have been allowed to serve since 1993? I believe it’s homosexual conduct that’s banned, not gays themselves.

  9. Dan Kennedy

    Fish: The policy is “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Presumably if a solider — or an ROTC student — told his commanding officer that he’s gay, then he’s out. Therefore, gays are banned.

  10. O-FISH-L

    Why would a ROTC student have any need to mention his sexual preference? Such information is nobody’s business, unless the gay soldier is acting out. “Don’t ask, don’t tell was a compromise to permit gay men and lesbians to serve without fear of harassment or expulsion as long as they kept their sexual orientation to themselves.”–NY Times, December 10, 2003

  11. nosepail

    Once again, I am simply flabbergasted at how gay activists view the entire world as essentially a stage on which to act out their (minor) drama. The Church is meaningless except as a place to push for the ordination of gay bishops. Obama’s inauguration is only meaningful in so far as it sends the proper message to the gay demographic. The military is nothing more than a frontier in the civil rights battle. It goes on and on. It amazes me that the Don’t-Ask / Don’t-Tell policy is more offensive to the sensibilities of today’s misguided college students, than the fact that the military spreads indiscriminate death from the sky in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. It makes me yearn for the old-fashioned pacifist hippie. Today’s youth are desperately in need of a real cause instead of homosexual rights It would be embarassing if it wasnt so scary. God Bless Harvey Silverglate.

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