When Indiana State University student Nathan Mutchler saw Army recruiters at Dede Plaza last week, he decided to distribute some fliers of his own to give students another perspective.Foolish boy. He may as well start understanding now that so-called "free speech" isn't a right; it's a privilege, granted to those whose speech is Imperially responsible.
His fliers had photos of Abu Ghraib, the infamous Iraqi prison in which members of the U.S. military allegedly abused Iraqi detainees.
The 20-year-old ISU freshman didn’t believe the recruiters’ message gave students a complete picture of what it might mean to join the military.
When people stood in line at a table for free dog tags, “I made no attempt to block people or discourage them. I told them to take a moment to consider the pictures and then make their own choice if they wanted dog tags,” he said.
Mutchler ultimately had to abandon his effort on Dede Plaza. Campus authorities informed him that while he could speak his views at the plaza or any other outdoor area on campus, he could not distribute fliers unless he was sponsored by a student group or other campus organization. That process involves making a reservation through the events services office in Hulman Memorial Student Union.
Since he had no such affiliation, Mutchler was told he would have to move to a sidewalk along a city street, such as Fifth or Sixth streets. “I was disappointed that ISU’s campus was not a truly public space,” said Mutchler, a theater major from Terre Haute.
He views it as an issue of freedom of speech.
Remember: freedom is a precious gift given to us by the U.S. Army. (God's got nothing to do with it, you know.) And to actually use our freedom is ... is ... well, let's just say that we're not supposed to use it. We're just supposed to be grateful for it, in a highly-theoretical way. Then we're supposed to go home, turn on the TV -- to FOX news, of course -- and sort of let our minds go blank. Or maybe practice singing:
Well, I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free ...