Julia Mahoney
Paul G. Mahoney
Jason S. Johnston

Letter: Free speech is a fundamental U.Va. value

Cavalier Daily


As faculty members at the University, we are writing to object to The Cavalier Daily’s recent editorial arguing that former vice president Mike Pence is “not entitled to a platform” at the University. We are not interested in either defending or attacking Pence and whatever he might say. We are more concerned that The Cavalier Daily believes that his speech constitutes “violence” that “threatens the well-being and safety of students on Grounds.” This speech-is-violence argument is not only wrong — no calls for violence will be issued April 12 — but also contradicts the letter and the spirit of the First Amendment, which generally creates space for a wide range of views to be expressed so long as the relevant speech does not incite violence. It is also a disservice to those who are the victims of actual physical violence — whether those injured and killed during the many civil rights struggles in American history, those who fought and died for our constitutional rights as members of our armed services or the brave people of Ukraine who are fighting and dying for their freedoms, including free speech...


Julia D. Mahoney et al., Letter: Free speech is a fundamental U.Va. value, Cavalier Daily (April 5, 2022).

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