This week we’ve had a lot of dialogue about rights. Some of the messaging has gone afield of the core issues.

The band members who protested did so with a venue to reach 50,000 people live and thousands more on television coverage. They had a privilege that the average American citizen does not have. They do have a right to free speech – just as we all do – and they could exercise that right by distributing flyers, participating in lawful protests, speaking for their beliefs – as individuals. Not as representatives of ECU.

The band members who protested knowingly broke numerous codes of conduct to which they had agreed. Again, yes – we have rights to free speech guaranteed to us by the First Amendment. But we also have to respect the contracts we agree to – and these students broke that contract and suggested that their protest against our nation was endorsed by the university.

My message is that our university should support ALL OF OUR RIGHTS under the constitution. The rights were not listed in order of priority. They all have value and they should all be supported. One person wrote to me suggesting that we organize a campaign across campuses nationwide with the hashtag #allrightsmatter. I agree.

I have had many threats since the story broke that I support ALL rights. Some people believe that I am a threat – even though my stand is to support all rights and to be able to defend my own safety – and theirs if necessary. I’m saddened that there are people in our country who do not understand that no one should be a victim at the hands of the unlawful. I carry in defense. And I have a right to do so.

We must demonstrate our commitment to the constitution – and all of the rights it bestows upon America’s citizens.

2 thoughts on “#AllRightsMatter

  1. Michael Tinsley

    I agree completely and couldn’t have said it better! Your willingness to stand for your beliefs is a testament to your fortitude and determination. As one who served my country for over twenty years in the Marine Corps, I salute your integrity and perseverance in the face of opposition. Well Done.

  2. Lori Butterfield

    Dr. Tuten, I am an (early) retiree living in Colorado. I read the Bearing Arms article about you today. I wanted to thank you for being a calm, educated voice who speaks simply and clearly about our Constitution amongst all this noisy chaos. You said it so well…all of our rights are equally important and they should be equally appreciated. Thank you, again, for speaking up. You give me hope for our country’s future in this world of “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings.”

Leave a Reply to Michael Tinsley Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *