I remember the happier days of GoFundMe. You know, when it was just for those “inspiring” stories of kindergartners raising money after some insurance company cut off their classmate’s cancer treatment. The crowdfunding site always brought out the best in profit-driven pediatric death sentences! Alas, there’s now a new beneficiary for the site’s services: law professors hoping to live in a consequence-free society.
Penn’s Amy Wax faces “major sanction” after years of troubling public and private behavior, dragging the school’s reputation through the mud while she railed about the importance of building an America with “fewer nonwhites.” For most of that time, the school protected her either through inaction or platitudes about academic freedom. But after remarks in January targeting Asian-Americans, the administration finally lodged a formal complaint and hired Quinn Emanuel to look into Wax.
From her GoFundMe:
Penn Law Dean Ruger’s latest steps are part of a longstanding campaign at Penn Law School against me based on my stated positions, opinions, and speech, and despite my stellar performance as an award-winning teacher and academic during my decades-long career as a law professor.
By “longstanding campaign” she means “decades of inaction.” Which is the real nut of these “academic freedom” complaints — it’s all a terrorist negotiation. Schools look the other way or extend compromise solutions hoping to quietly stanch the institutional bleeding. But they aren’t negotiating with good faith actors. Whatever compromise the administration offers gets abused and when it finally accepts the need for some kind of sanction, all those years of complacency transform into “a longstanding campaign.” There’s zero value in trying to work with these people — they want the spectacle.
Penn’s actions represent an unprecedented and deeply destructive threat to the practice and traditions of free expression on campus and the tenure protections afforded to professors who express unpopular views. They are further evidence of the “woke” takeover of our university system, which seeks to stifle and punish dissent and purge our campuses of any deviation from a narrow set of progressive dogmas.
Remember that the “free expression” here is her “right” to compel speech from a private institution. If it weren’t for the labor protections provided by the tenure system (the sort of protections conservatives routinely seek to deny other Americans, by the way), Penn Law could’ve fired her long ago.
There is no right to make private employers hand you money to embarrass them.
Yet Wax is gearing up to fight this anyway, seeking $300K in tax free money for the Amy Wax Legal Defense Fund. She’s already gotten over $125K from over 800 donors that she’s managed to dupe into putting their money where their bigotry is.
And while many are open about their prejudices, backing Wax for “speaking truth” for saying easily debunked stuff like Black students don’t regularly graduate in the top half Penn Law, the saddest phenomenon are the naive donors leaning into the latest First Amendment rewrite Wax’s ilk are riding.
My donation, however, is to support your right to free (not hate!) speech
What was once a protection against persecution is portrayed as an entitlement you unlock if your views are sufficiently “unpopular.” These are the people that think the ACLU thought everyone should hear from Nazis as opposed to thinking governments shouldn’t be able to play favorites with speech. That’s a fundamental framing issue that gets used and abused by disingenuous actors: the freedom to speak means the government can’t throw someone in prison for their views.
But individuals can’t force private entities to underwrite their nonsense.
Facing sanctions, Penn Law professor Amy Wax is crowdfunding her legal defense [Reuters]
Earlier: Law School Seeking ‘Major Sanction’ Against Amy Wax… Cue The Whining About Academic Freedom
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.
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