A Real-Life Lesson in Liberty

The lessons taught on campus usually come out of textbooks. But in recent weeks Cal State Fullerton President Jewell Plummer Cobb has been giving her students and the community a real-life lesson about the U.S. Constitution.

Cobb has been under siege by students and others because she has refused to run former Ku Klux Klan leader Thomas Metzger off campus. Metzger, through a contract with Group W cable television, has been using campus equipment provided by Group W to record cable-television tapes that advocate the separation of races worldwide.

That’s a contemptible goal. Cobb, who is black and active and vocal against discrimination of any kind, finds it personally outrageous. She is as offended by Metzger’s activities as the protesters.


But she’s not letting them, or her personal distaste, stampede her into suspending the Constitution and its First Amendment guarantee of free speech simply because they don’t like what’s being said, or who is saying it.

Our way of life gives people the right to express ideas, no matter how unpopular. Jewell Plummer Cobb deserves support, not scorn, from the campus and community for defending that right.