Trump Says He Will Sign Free Speech Order for College Campuses – The New York Times

The president has raised a similar threat before, implying he would withhold federal funds from Berkeley after it canceled a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, a conservative speaker and professional provocateur.

Students at multiple campuses threatened to boycott events where Mr. Yiannopoulos was to speak, forcing them to cancel the appearances.

In 2017, at Claremont McKenna College, a private liberal arts school in Southern California, about 250 people blocked entrances to an auditorium where Heather Mac Donald, a conservative writer who has criticized the Black Lives Matter movement, was speaking.

That same year, students at Middlebury College in Vermont disrupted a speech by Charles Murray, a scholar known for his 1994 book, “The Bell Curve,” which links socioeconomic status with race and intelligence. Protesters chanted, “racist, sexist, anti-gay, Charles Murray, go away!”

It is unclear how Mr. Trump’s executive order would change that dynamic, though he hinted that universities and colleges would have to do more to prevent such demonstrations or risk the loss of grant money that the institutions receive from the federal government to support research.

He said the executive order would “require colleges to support free speech if they want federal research” funding.

It is not clear how long the idea has been under consideration at the White House or whether the president decided to pursue an executive order because of the episode involving Mr. Williams, which Fox News and other conservative outlets covered extensively.


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