Besides, while some white men may feel culturally beleaguered, they can often get away with saying things that women and people of color cannot. On Tuesday, around the same time that Jarrar posted her ill-advised tweets, Trump confidant Roger Stone took to Instagram to call Barbara Bush a “nasty drunk,” quoting himself saying she was so soaked with alcohol that, if cremated, “her body would burn for three days!” Stone is, by any measure, a more powerful figure than Jarrar, but she caused by far the bigger backlash.
In comparing left-wing and right-wing transgressions against free speech, there’s a danger of getting into an escalating cycle of whataboutism, in which the silencing of one side becomes an excuse for silencing the other. This is a mistake. Ultimately, if the power of the First Amendment is eroded on college campuses, it’s the people with the least power who have the most to lose.