I think the problem is more of one where today we have mega-institutions like universities and corporations that are essentially states unto themselves, and yet are considered legally exempt from constitutional restrictions intended to restrain state conduct. Originally, when the Constitution was written, it only applied to the feds and not the states and localities. However, as the power of the feds has expanded and the states and localities have become more like administrative units the Supreme Court has established jurisprudence that has expanded the Bill of Rights to the states and localities as well. Today, we have a situation where corporations are merely the economic arm of the state and universities (along with the media) are the educational/ideological arm and yet these de facto states or state institutions claim exemption from the Constitution. Therefore, we need a new jurisprudence that extends the constitution to the corporations and universities.
By Sophia A. McClennen
One of the most disturbing and most predictable outcomes of the Charlottesville, Va., attacks earlier this month was that rather than lead to a reasoned and careful conversation about the rise of hate groups in our nation, it led to debates about whether the white supremacist neo-Nazis on display were the victims of discrimination. In Trumpland everything is on its head. Thus we have become desensitized to its dangerous combination of absurdity and malice.
But Charlottesville is not only a story about the mainstreaming of hate and fascism in the Trump era; it’s also a story about how the right has engaged in an all-out war to dismantle our public universities. As we have watched the rising public displays of fascism and bigotry sweep across the nation, it has been easy to overlook the fact that many of these rallies have been purposefully staged on college campuses. The decision to hold these rallies on campuses and to thereby provoke counter-protests also on campuses is a deliberate move by the right: one designed to allow them to further their narrative that college campuses are places that are hostile to free speech.