At the Daily Caller, Charles C. Johnson (the “good” Charles Johnson) writes of Obama’s past support for campus speech codes:
At the height of early-1990s conservative backlash over political correctness and “speech codes” on U.S. college campuses, Barack Obama participated in a panel event geared toward denying that restrictions on free expression were problematic, or happening at all.
The 1991 Harvard Law School yearbook quoted the future President of the United States virtually shrugging his shoulders at the thought that non-liberal white students might take offense at restrictions on speech that minority students found objectionable. “I don’t see a lot of conservatives getting upset if minorities feel silenced,” Obama said, flipping the argument around.
This is no great surprise, and yet, it’s important to bear in mind. Obama comes from an intellectual tradition where it is acceptable to put un-American restraints on speech if doing so makes minorities feel more comfortable. And he argues that, sure, we’re silencing people . . . but they do it to us. Accusing others (often falsely) of engaging in oppression, to justify doing the same thing in response, is, of course, the classic argument of anyone rationalizing a thuggish tactic.