As members of the Higher Education Council of San Antonio, we — the presidents of colleges and universities throughout this community, and supporters — feel it is important to speak out and make a distinction between diversity of thought and disingenuous misrepresentation of free speech. We further attest that hate speech has no place at our colleges and universities. Inappropriate messages, such as banners and flyers that are meant to provoke, spread hate or create animosity and hostility, are not welcome or accepted.
Dr. Ric N. Baser, President
Higher Education Council of San Antonio
Northwest Vista College – Alamo Colleges District
Dr. Bruce Leslie, Chancellor
Alamo Colleges District
Dr. Veronica R. Garcia, President
Northeast Lakeview College – Alamo Colleges District
Dr. Scott Woodward
VP for Academic Affairs and Dean
Oblate School of Theology
Dr. Diane Melby, President
Our Lady of the Lake University
Dr. Mike Flores, President
Palo Alto College – Alamo Colleges District
Dr. Robert Vela, President
San Antonio College – Alamo Colleges District
Dr. Adena Loston, President
St. Philip’s College – Alamo Colleges District
Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, President
Texas A&M University-San Antonio
Dr. Taylor Eighmy, President
University of Texas at San Antonio
Dr. Jim Antenen, Executive Director/Dean
Wayland Baptist University – San Antonio
Marise McDermott, President and CEO
Dr. Danny Anderson, President
[San Antonio] Mayor Ron Nirenberg
It would be one thing to say that they are against “hate speech,” whatever that means. Who isn’t against hate speech, given that it’s a phrase calculated to convey a negative without conveying any actual meaning. There is language I find offensive, that I refuse to use (and refuse to let anyone else use here, for example, because I can). But these are the words I deem to be hate speech, and while I am the dictator of SJ, my idea of what’s too awful to allow is mine alone. I can’t stop you from using those words anywhere but here.
The difference is that these folks are trying to impose their sensibilities on others by wrapping them up in the pretty pink ribbon of disingenuousness. Hate speech is unwelcome? Fair enough. Nobody has to embrace language or ideas they find offensive. I don’t. You don’t. They shouldn’t have to either.
But to claim there is “a distinction between diversity of thought and disingenuous misrepresentation of free speech” is to be disingenuous. It’s bullshit. It’s not the law, it’s not rational, it’s not true. And when academics spew nonsense designed to undermine thought, even en banc, it shouldn’t go unnoticed.
Teaching, research and critical thinking are the founding pillars of higher education. Each and every day, we witness incredible learning opportunities for our students, faculty, staff and community members.
This is certainly true, and it’s for that reason Baser’s warm and fuzzy, and facially false, words need to be subject to critical scrutiny using the language most appropriately non-disingenuous as possible. Baser is full of shit.