What freedom of speech means

Does no one find it hypocritical and a bit odd that an employee of the University of North Texas had to resign her position for exercising her right to freedom of speech — and at a conference on freedom of speech yet!

Would it not have made more sense to use it as a teaching moment to show students that life is not easy and that they will run into hateful speech? How about teaching them how to deal with it instead of hiding their heads and looking for a safe space? Hard to believe that a university that does not understand freedom of speech plans to open a law school where they will no doubt teach the subject, or will that portion of constitutional law simply be ignored and bypassed?

I am sure the young lady is now happy to know she no longer represents a university where freedom of speech is not respected.

Edward Barnett,


Taking offense when it's not intended

“UNT attorney resigns after using racial slur” — huh? The definition of “slur” is to speak slightingly of, disparage. It surprised me that a speaker addressing the limits of free speech would say something personally offensive enough to an individual to justify a resignation.

After reading the story, I was sick to my stomach. How on earth could the poor woman make her point without offending someone? Maybe the fault lies with a society that is teaching students to take offense even when it’s not intended.

What makes me sick is that, in the ’70s, students fought for the right to free speech, civil discourse and civil rights. Now, in universities all over the country, they are fighting and terrorizing speakers any time that speaker doesn’t march to their idea of free speech.

Maybe universities should take a good, hard look at how they are implementing diversity. Instead, they encouraged a student body to look for insults where none was intended. They should have been encouraging the students to see the comment for what it was, an example, not allowing a resignation. Diversity should mean true free speech even if we feel the words are heinous.

How are they ever going to learn that if they don’t ever hear it?

Danna Zoltner,


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