In Response to: Limits to Free Speech

I can’t help but comment on Marie McDaniel ’01’s suggested limitation of free speech at Princeton, particularly speech coming from “odious speakers” (Inbox, Sept. 13). That suggestion invites the unavoidable question of who decides what is odious, and how. To highlight the point, consider that many people believe the very notion of limiting free speech to be odious. Should they have an ability to censor Ms. McDaniel’s letter to PAW?

I’m on the side of Madison, Jefferson, Washington — and Eisgruber — in protecting free speech, aspiring to a Princeton that constructively airs differences rather than censoring, suppressing, or prohibiting them. After all, inevitable human differences don’t magically disappear with suppression or avoidance; they fester, ferment, and boil over in unhealthy ways.

Instead of limiting free speech, perhaps we should expand the practice of respectfully listening and processing differing views.

Bill Sawch ’76
Weston, Conn.