During a December 8 meeting, the U.S. Department of Education announced a new national free speech hotline email where individuals can report First Amendment violations occurring at colleges and universities. The email address to submit violations is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The hybrid in-person and virtual event titled “What Is to Be Done? Confronting a Culture of Censorship on Campus” featured a panel of free speech advocates and academics who spoke about the booming trend of “cancel culture” and how it affects the higher education community.
“Any abridgment of free speech on a college campus can and should be reported to this new hotline,” Robert King, assistant secretary at the Office of Postsecondary Education said during the meeting.
King also stated that censorship on college campuses is a “growing cancer” advocated for by progressive left students and “incredibly short-sighted faculty.”
“Cancel culture is a very old poison. Today, the bottle reads wokeness, anti-racism, safety,” Reed Rubinstein, principal deputy for the Office of the General Counsel — a leg of the Education Department — said during the meeting. “Those who cancel ideas, who burn books, end up canceling people and burning them as well. This is not hyperbole. This is the truth.”
Rubinstein and King praised Trump’s policies on free speech and the administration’s recent suppression of critical race theory education, calling such teachings like the San Diego Unified School District’s mandatory White privilege training “Communist-style reeducation camps.”
Also during the meeting, King argued that land acknowledgments — statements often said at the beginning of events and meetings to acknowledge Indigenous peoples — that mention the U.S. sits on stolen land is “part of the shaming central to the cancel culture strategy.”