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Cancel Culture Wins With Republican Silence

We are sick of the cancel culture and we bet you are too.  The cancel culture has now been aided by four Republican state Senators on the Education Committee!

Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro) went to the Education Committee and presented his bill, SB191, to restore free speech at Arkansas’ state supported colleges. His bill would limit the restrictions state supported colleges can impose on free expression and to expand the areas that constitute a public forum for members of the campus community. Click HERE for the full text of the bill as presented in committee.

A motion to approve Sullivan’s bill was made by Senator Charles Beckham (R- McNeil).

But, none of the other four Republican Senators on the committee would second Senator Beckham’s motion. That means there was no debate, no discussion of possible amendments, just silence and with that silence they stopped the bill without a vote.

Just to refresh your memory, at college campuses around the country liberal college administrators have worked to eliminate free speech, especially if it is conservative speech.  Some colleges refused to let conservative student groups have meetings on campus while liberal groups were welcomed.  Some universities also canceled student events when the student groups invited conservative speakers.

Have you heard about some colleges creating a campus “designated free speech zone.” It means there is no free speech on campus except in some tiny out of the way place where no one will notice. We are not talking about the policy of some college out in California.  The University of Central Arkansas, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and Arkansas State University had already created designated free speech zones on their campuses when the Arkansas Gazette reported on it in 2003.[i]

The Senate Education Committee has eight members. Five members are Republicans and only three are Democrats.  With Republicans having enough votes on the committee to approve any bill, you might have thought freedom loving Republicans would have approved the bill and sent it to the full Senate for debate, but that did not happen. Instead, they sat silent and let the cancel culture continue to rule over the public owned lands of our state supported colleges.

When Senator Beckham made his motion to approve SB191 the following four Republican Senators sat on their hands and let the bill die without a second:

  • Senator Missy Irvin (R-Mountain View)
  • Senator Lance Eads (R-Springdale)
  • Senator Jane English (R-North Little Rock)
  • Senator James Sturch (R-Batesville)

Note: Although Senator Irvin was chairing the meeting it would not have prevented her from seconding the motion. It is not uncommon for a chair to temporarily relinquish the gavel when the chair wishes to present a bill or make a motion.

Do you agree with Senator Sullivan that it is time curb the cancel culture by bringing back free speech to our supposed institutions of higher learning?


Sen. Irvin Sen. Eads
Sen. English Sen. Sturch


[i] Campuses put limits on speech, Democrat Gazette, July 13, 2003

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