Foxx: Political Speech Must be Protected on College Campuses
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 9, 2022
Today, Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC) spoke on the House Floor in support of George Washington University's decision to reverse its censorship of political posters criticizing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), created by a Chinese dissident known as Badiucao.
Republican Leader Foxx's Remarks:
“I was encouraged to see George Washington University (GW) reverse its decision to censor posters highlighting the human rights abuses of the Chinese Communist Party.
“The Olympic themed posters bring attention to the CCP for its oppression of Tibetans and Uyghurs; they also denounce China for undermining democracy in Hong Kong, implementing an authoritarian surveillance system over its own people, and for its dishonesty and handling of COVID-19.
“Calling these posters racist is absurd and a dishonest attempt to pander to an authoritarian regime housing ethnic minorities in modern day concentration camps. They aren’t promoting racism but decrying it.
“Allowing students to stand up for human rights and democratic values on college campuses should not be a point of controversy.
“Condemning ethnic cleansing and genocide is not controversial.
“Condemning the erosion of privacy is not controversial.
“Condemning the destruction of democratic values is not controversial.
“In fact, condemning these crimes should be something that unites all Americans.
“The individuals who hung these posters are braver than many pundits and politicians, who are turning a blind eye to the CCP’s atrocities. We should celebrate their courage, not punish it.
“Too many universities tout free speech policies but punish those with different viewpoints for simply speaking their mind.
“We must allow our college and university campuses to be places that welcome free speech and an open exchange of ideas.
“Speech meant to incite violence is never acceptable and I condemn racism in all its forms.
“Yet we must ensure that we aren’t letting politically motivated groups cry wolf whenever someone says something they may not want to hear or speaks up for the millions who cannot do so for themselves.
“If cries of racism can be weaponized to silence political opponents then our country will be ruled by the diktats of political correctness and a fear of censorship instead of rational freethought.
“If we want to stay a self-governed and free country, we must protect our most fundamental rights – this includes the freedom of speech.
“Colleges and universities must protect the free and open exchange of ideas.
“Silencing students and professors for challenging the status quo makes university officials no better than the Communist Chinese Party.
“In the end, GW made the right decision and should be commended for it. I hope other schools will learn from this and support free speech from the start.”
Watch her full speech here.