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Betsy Devos and DOJ Slam University for Attacking Free Speech

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The Department of Justice and Education Secretary Betsy Devos have accused a Mississippi community college of behaving like a “police state” and infringing on the free speech rights of students.

Back in September, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education filed a lawsuit against Jones College after the school threatened to arrest student members of Young Americans for Liberty for their marijuana legalization advocacy on campus.

Campus police originally kept YAL members from tabling to promote this issue. FIRE decided to represent YAL and student Michael Brown in a lawsuit against the school.

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The Department of Justice also stepped in to give its take on the matter, releasing a statement insisting that “College campuses should not be mini police states.”

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“The United States of America is not a police state,” declared assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division Eric Dreiband, adding “Repressive speech codes are the indecent hallmark of despotic, totalitarian regimes. They have absolutely no place in our country.”

Devos chimed in as well, describing the situation as “yet another concerning example of students encountering limits on what, when, where, and how they learn.”

“This is happening far too often on our nation’s campuses. This Administration won’t let students be silenced. We stand with their right to speak and with their right to learn truth through the free exchange of ideas—particularly those with which they might disagree,” DeVos continued.

According to Campus Reform, Jones County Junior College told them that it “has reviewed the statement of interest filed by the federal government on this matter,” and that “At this time a preliminary motion to dismiss certain claims against certain defendants is pending before the court.”

The school pushed back against these allegations, telling Campus Reform that “the only alleged facts in the record come from the unproven statements contained in the plaintiffs’ complaint,” and took issue with DOJ’s statement by stating that it “broadly accepts those allegations and the merits of plaintiffs’ claims. The College looks forward to the Court’s ruling on the motion to dismiss and to developing the facts of this case through the discovery process.”

The college insisted that its “goal has always been to ensure that all students have equal and safe access to an environment free from hate speech; racial, gender, national origin, religious affiliation; and disability discrimination.”

“The plaintiffs’ allegations require the College to actively defend itself, its employees, and the Trustees from the position that no harm was done to the plaintiff by the College. Our mission is to teach the ideals of a democratic society. We focus every effort to ensure our students have access to their future through advanced affordable education that stands not only on free inquiry but promotes learning, advances knowledge, and promotes economic growth for the American family,” the college opined.

This case shows how free speech, a time-honored civil liberty in America, is still under threat by campus administrators.

Making sure that college campuses remain free speech zones is one fight that the Right should enthusiastically take on.

Big League Guns

Black Rifle Coffee Does Not Support Second Amendment Hero Kyle Rittenhouse

At this Time, Cons

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Black Rifle Coffee, a coffee company based in Salt Lake City, is not defending 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse.

The company said that it was against a tweet that Blaze Media reporter, Elijah Schaeffer,  posted that featured Rittenhouse wearing a Black Rifle Coffee Company shirt captioned “Kyle Rittenhouse drinks the best coffee in America.” Rittenhouse was released on November 20, 2020 after supporters were able to raise $2 million for his bail. 

In the tweet, Schaeffer posted a discount code for the coffee. Sara Tabin of The Salt Lake Tribune noted that online Twitter users “questioned whether the coffee company had a sponsorship deal with Rittenhouse and accused it of supporting murder and hate.”

This prompted Black Rifle Coffee, the sponsor of the Slightly Offens*ve podcast, to release a statement on November 21 declaring that it is not sponsoring or supporting Rittenhouse.

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Initially, there was a misunderstanding about the company withdrawing its sponsorship of Slightly Offens*ve. However, a spokesperson for the company told the Salt Lake Tribune on November 21 that “We are not fluctuating our ad spend.” The coffee spokesperson added “We did have a conversation with Schaffer, and he understands that the post was a mistake.”

She stressed, “We don’t traffic in national tragedy and to us, that’s what this is. We are not legal experts or members of law enforcement. We fully support all law enforcement officials and believe in the integrity of the legal system.”

The spokesperson reiterated that the company will maintain its sponsorship of Blaze Media. She explained: “Our concern is that use of the discount code in the post did not reflect our values. That’s a concern we’ve addressed with the journalist and that he understands.”

Blaze employees “make decisions about how to allocate ad dollars within the Blaze,” she remarked. Although the spokesperson did not go into further detail about the company’s status as a podcast sponsor, it noted that the coffee company and the Blaze are in talks about “how to move forward with the allocation of ad dollars.”

Black Rifle Coffee positions itself as a pro-Second Amendment, conservative company that was founded by veterans. Black Rifle Coffee co-founder Evan Hafer released a statement on November 21 declaring that “We do not support legal advocacy efforts. We do not sponsor nor do we have a relationship with the 17-year-old facing charges in Kenosha, WI.”

At the moment, Rittenhouse is facing two counts of first-degree murder for shooting and killing Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber during a Black Lives Matter riot back in August. In addition, he’s being charged with one count of being a minor in possession of a firearm. During the riots, Rittenhouse was attacked by Rosenbaum. Rittenhouse was carrying an AR-style rifle as he was walking down the street to protect private property from looters.

It is disappointing to see supposedly pro-Second Amendment businesses fold to the mob. Although the Left is very effective at mass politics and causing certain businesses to get cancelled, some businesses will have to take a stand. Submission to these radicals only encourages them to become bolder in their attacks. 

Can Americans actually grow a spine for once?

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