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Georgetown Law Faculty and Students Take a Knee Outside Jeff Sessions Speech

28 September 2017, 12:22 | Nellie George

Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to blast PC culture at a university speech Tuesday

Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to blast PC culture at a university speech Tuesday

Attorney General Jeff Sessions condemned US colleges for limiting provocative speeches on campuses even as he defended President Donald Trump's attacks on NFL players for protesting during the national anthem.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks about free speech at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017.

Sessions, whose remarks were followed by a question-and-answer session with constitutional law professor and Center for the Constitution Director Randy Barnett, warned that freedom of expression is in "retreat" on college campuses. The university is about the search for truth, not the imposition of truth by a government censor.

As he lamented what he sees as a lack of tolerance for unpopular views on campus, Sessions condemned the NFL players who have been kneeling during the national anthem before games, largely in protest of police brutality.

They have all kinds of ways to express their own opinions, but I think every American, no matter what their views on the issues, should stand for America, should salute the flag.

"

"An opportunity to express our freedom of speech today was taken from us."

". He then added, "it's not a contradiction".

Sessions said it's clear there is a bias against conservative speech on college campuses.

After activists prevented people who were scheduled to debate from doing so, and they tried to move to another location, he said, "the protesters, many wearing masks, a common tactic used by the detestable Ku Klux Klan, pulled fire alarms, surrounded the speakers and began physically assaulting them".


In his speech, Sessions lamented American universities "transforming into an echo chamber of political correctness and homogenous thought, a shelter for fragile egos".

Sessions made his remarks about the National Football League protests following a speech he gave on free speech, in which he said the Justice Department is going to start taking greater steps to protect the rights of speakers on college campuses whom he fears are being censored by student protesters.

Despite dozens of empty seats in the auditorium, some students protesting outside the McDonough Hall said they had been denied entry. According to the Washington Post, a group of more than 130 students had initially applied from the school to sit in on Sessions' speech, only to be told later that the would not be allowed to attend as they were not part of the invited list of guests.

Sessions said colleges too often fail to stand up to protests that are meant to suppress unpopular views.

"We acknowledge our colleague's right to invite Attorney General Sessions to speak on campus". Sessions blamed administrators, saying they "coddle and encourage" by caving to protesters' demands.

The attorney general-or perhaps the law school administration-has a somewhat picayune concept of that notion, however, as over 100 student protesters were barred from attending the event.

In March, a Middlebury College professor was hospitalized after protests outside the speech of a conservative political scientist. But organizers canceled the week's events. Not one about the merits of free speech but about how far we are willing to go to protect it. Sessions has put the nation's academic institutions on notice.



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