Professor Brian Levin, a court-certified expert on extremism, has strong words for academia: if it is in favor of diversity, then conservative students and speakers should have their say on campus, too.
Levin is the director of Cal State University at San Bernardino’s nonpartisan Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism, and he speaks against the political correctness that dominates most college campuses.
As a professor of criminal law, hate crime law, and policy and terrorism in the 21st century, Levin has witnessed how students and faculty respond to dissenting opinions. Hypersensitivity and an unwillingness to hear contradictory opinions runs rampant on campuses, but Levin says that conservative voices are silenced the most.
“We can’t just give lip service to diversity of ideas,” Levin told the College Fix. “Academia has to realize that there are people of goodwill on both sides, and they have an obligation to respect the entire spectrum of viewpoints.”
According to Levin, efforts to silence conservative arguments contradict the principles of academia and trample First Amendment rights.
Levin has put himself in harm’s way to defend the free speech rights of others, regardless of the content. In February, he used his own body to shield a KKK protestor when counter-protestors attacked him at a rally. The assailants wielded a metal rod and a wooden plank, but Levin, who is Jewish, crouched over the KKK demonstrator and said, “Do not hit this man.”
Levin is no fan of the KKK, but he holds a strong conviction that free speech should be defended, “even if it’s hateful.”
In regards to conservative speakers being banned from campuses and right-wing students silenced, Levin said that “conservatives are thoroughly well positioned with their contention that there is both passive and active discrimination against them, and that has no place in the academia.”
Open hostility toward conservatism is not only unprofessional, but hypocritical, if college administrators value “diversity” as much as they claim.