Heritage Scholars Join Forces With Prominent Leaders to Defend Free Speech

Heritage Scholars Join Forces With Prominent Leaders to Defend Free Speech

Aug 11, 2020 2 min read

WASHINGTON – Heritage Foundation scholars joined a group of more than 40 prominent leaders in academia, law, and policy in denouncing the rise of mob rule, speech policing, and cancel culture that has stifled freedom of speech and undermined the core values of freedom and liberty on which America was founded.

Heritage signatories include Senior Fellow Mike Gonzalez and Visiting Fellows Dr. Allen C. Guelzo, Dr. Samuel Gregg, Dr. Melissa Moschella, and Dr. Wilfred M. McClay. Heritage Trustee Dr. Robert P. George is also a signatory.

The joint declaration, officially titled “The Philadelphia Statement,” states: “If we seek to change our country’s trajectory; if we desire unity rather than division; if we want a political life that is productive and inspiring; if we aspire to be a society that is pluralistic and free, one in which we can forge our own paths and live according to our own consciences, then we must renounce ideological blacklisting and recommit ourselves to steadfastly defending freedom of speech and passionately promoting robust civil discourse.”

The Philadelphia Statement is a result of continuous meetings and working groups among leaders who recognize the danger cancer culture poses to America’s unique commitment to freedom of speech. It is intended to be the beginning of an ongoing dialogue that will work to restore Americans’ respect for and adherence to the First Amendment.

Angela Sailor, vice president of Heritage’s Feulner Institute, said:

“Freedom is a core tenet of America’s identity as a nation. As members of a civil society, we must reclaim this identity. The signatories of this letter reject the actions of those who only allow speech they agree with and attempt to shame and dismantle anyone who strays from their beliefs. This is not the American way. Cancel culture must be canceled. Forgiveness must be our pillar of justice.”

Mike Gonzalez, Heritage’s Angeles T. Arredondo E Pluribus Unum senior fellow and author of “The Plot to Change America,” added:

“Freedom of speech is one of the most important natural rights because our self-preservation requires that we use our reason to decide right from wrong, and that we be able to advocate the side that we choose. Suppressing this right renders us unable to express our choices. No society or individual can be said to be free even partially without this most fundamental right to say something is wrong.”

Read the full statement, HERE.

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