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Week in Review: Cancel Culture Crisis

August 22, 2020

Cancel culture is all around us, but it seems that there’s nowhere worse than on college campuses, where those who fail to toe the politically correct line have been met with violence and shut down from speaking. These threats to the First Amendment haven’t waned amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and neither has the Goldwater Institute’s resolve to protect this fundamental freedom.

Last week, the Goldwater Institute joined a set of leading academics and representatives of liberty-protecting organizations in releasing the “Philadelphia Statement,” a restatement of basic truths, including that freedom of expression on college campuses and elsewhere remains in crisis. It’s also a clarion call for action: “Dissenting and unpopular voices—be they of the left or the right—must be afforded the opportunity to be heard.”

The Philadelphia Statement’s ideas serve as a prompt for state policymakers and university officials to recommit their schools to the protection of free speech. Indeed, many states are already taking action thanks to the Goldwater Institute’s nationwide leadership. Public universities in Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Wisconsin adopted the Goldwater Institute’s reform to protect everyone’s freedom of expression on college campuses.

An incident in Wisconsin shows how those policies are already protecting speech. Protesters at the University of Wisconsin-Madison marched outside a building where invited lecturer Katie Pavlich, a conservative political commentator, was speaking. Reports of the protest said the students did not disrupt the event or try to shout down the speaker because of the new Wisconsin university policy that includes discipline for such actions. That’s good news for the freedom of speech, and hopefully a sign of things to come.

VIDEO: The Government Stole this Man’s Jeep—and Is Demanding $1,900 to Return It

When the government steals an innocent man’s Jeep and demands $1,900 to return it, you can’t call it anything but government theft. That’s what Arizona’s civil asset forfeiture scheme is all about—and the Goldwater Institute is taking action to end the injustice. 

This week, the Institute launched a new case on behalf of Tucson handyman Kevin McBride who was left stranded when the government seized his Jeep—his only mode of transportation and his means of earning a living—without even charging him with a crime. Read about the case from Goldwater Senior Attorney Matt Miller and watch a new video about our client here.

Watch Online Now: America’s Socialist Future

Could America be on the same track to a socialist future that has left Venezuela’s economy decimated, its people starving, and individual freedoms on the brink of eradication? Jorge Galicia is in a unique position to answer that question. 

Just 24 years old, Jorge, a native of Venezuela, experienced that nightmarish transformation firsthand in his home country. He escaped Venezuela and moved to the United States—and today, he’s a vocal advocate and activist for freedom. 

This week, Jorge joined Goldwater Institute Vice President for Litigation Timothy Sandefur to give his own firsthand account of the ravages of socialism and what America must do to avoid such a fate. You can watch a video of the event here.



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