Today, March 2nd, President Donald Trump announced his intention to issue an Executive Order mandating colleges and universities take steps to guarantee free speech to attain federal research grants.
The announcement came after he brought Hayden Williams on stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Williams is a conservative activist who was punched in the face at the University of California at Berkeley last month while assisting the university’s chapter of the right-wing group Turning Point USA, an affiliate of the Koch Network.
The Executive Order is primarily based on model bills we've discussed before like the “Campus Free Speech Act,” developed by two organizations affiliated with the Koch network; the Goldwater Institute and the Ethics and Public Policy Center. These bills bend the definition of free speech to favor corporate funded speech (campus speakers sponsored by outside groups, or corporate funded student groups), even going as far as to penalize protestors.
Similar to the Koch-backed free speech bills we've tracked in legislatures across the country, this executive order would give a mandatory platform to extremists and the alt-right, igniting the flame of already growing racial tension on campuses. Whose free speech is he truly protecting?
Trump continues to show his priorities. He seeks to protect the homophobic, misogynistic, anti-Black racists from the Koch Network “talent pipeline”.
We're calling on you to take action and tell your U.S Senators to BLOCK Trump's executive order.
Jasmine Banks, Executive Director UnKoch My Campus