Democracy in Peril
Open Letter to English-Department Professors, Lecturers,
and Adjunctors of the University of Florida:
[N.B: Not one English professor contacted deigned to respond to this open letter. The student newspaper editor did not respond. The dean of students and assistant dean of students did not respond. The University of Florida is a PUBLIC university.]
This open letter, published on The American Dissident blogsite, constitutes a plea for you to become responsible citizens by removing your heads from the sands of comfortable, conformist oblivion, then by educating yourselves as to the unconstitutional policies or speech codes in effect at your very own university (see http://thefire.org/article/14053.html), and finally by activating yourselves to vigorously protest against them in the name of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, vigorous debate, and democracy. Those enacting such policies and codes should be openly lampooned, if not demoted or even discharged. Yet they seem instead to be congratulated and promoted. Because they rescind a policy here or there does not necessarily mean they have changed their way of thinking.
Such speech-restricting policies and codes clearly serve the university established order by reinforcing a generalized state of self-censorship (often referred to as collegiality and civility) and thus radically reducing the free and open expression of ideas, as opposed to encouraging it.
This open letter is a plea for you to consider inserting an instructional component of democracy and dissidence into your writing and literature courses. Likely, you’ve already been obligated to include a diversity-multiculti component. So why not do the same for democracy? If you would like to constitute an entire course on the subject, see my attached proposal for an idea of what such a course might comprise. It was created several years ago for Tufts Experimental College, which sadly is not very experimental at all. The course was rejected without reason, though evidently due to the fact that freedom of speech and expression do not mix well with authoritarianism.
Finally, students should be made aware that criticism of the established order (including and especially those who created UF’s speech codes) can constitute valid literature in the form of poetry, essays, and novels. Let students, professors, lecturers, and adjunctors, poets and writers make waves of democracy, buck the system of self-censorship, and go against the grain of speech-stifling civility!
Thank you for your attention.