CAL STATE’S IDEA OF FREE SPEECH
This year Cal State, San Bernardino, is featuring the work of Humberto Reynoso, a student in desperate need of attention, as well as professional counseling. His ceramic figure, “Self Portrait,” depicts a man lying on his back with a red cross inserted in his anus. This beauty was first displayed on June 15 and will be on display until July 31.
There is a WARNING posted in the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art that houses this “art.” It says, “This exhibition contains explicit adult content and works that may be disturbing to some. Viewer discretion is advised.” I think we know who wouldn’t be disturbed.
Perhaps most telling is the statement below the WARNING: “Art is about many things, including—and especially—ideas; and a university is precisely the place for the free expression of ideas, especially controversial ones. CSUSB supports students’ rights to free expression.” (Italics in the original.)
This statement is factually incorrect. The university is not about “the free expression of ideas”: it is about the pursuit of truth. Those who believe the earth is flat, or deny the existence of the Holocaust, should not be welcome at any college or university: such ideas have been fully discredited. Thus, to give their proponents a platform in higher education is to say that the pursuit of truth no longer matters. Should such crackpots be censored from speaking? Not at all—they belong in a public park, or in a private venue, e.g., an arena known for hosting the circus.
It would be interesting if the campus newspaper were to ask Mr. Reynoso why he didn’t choose to insert a crescent and star.
Contact Natasha Hemmings: firstname.lastname@example.org