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Free speech

Sophomore Kaitlyn Mullen engages fellow students outside the Nebraska Union last August, sharing the message of Turning Point USA, a conservative nonprofit organization that advocates for fiscal responsibility, free markets and limited government.

If one of the functions of a great university is to seek the truth and provide the freedom of speech to do it, despite brash youthful incivility, the decision to terminate UNL personnel is disconcerting.

If you Google Turning Point USA, the group for which the conservative UNL student was recruiting members, you will find a "watch list" of American universities whose professors are deemed "too liberal." If this seems similar to McCarthyism, it is.

The "watch list" of Turning Point USA rings a memory bell. If you know history or have thankfully lived long enough, you will recall the the rise of fascism under Mussolini and Hitler prior to World War II.

A driven purpose of these dictators was to get rid of the free press, the intellectuals, the thinkers. The defenders of free speech and free inquiry had to flee Europe to escape internment and death.

If there were enough T-shirts facetiously labeled "Put Me On Your Watch List," we as citizens of Lincoln and Nebraska -- and the entire staff at UNL -- should be protesting and wearing them.

Elly Hart, Lincoln


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