Suzanne Nossel Reports on How Banning Critical Race Theory Threatens Free Speech

Suzanne Nossel (’97), Executive Director or PEN America, was quoted in The New York Times discussing her organization’s recent report surveying more than 50 bills proposed across the country banning critical race theory (“Bans on Critical Race Theory Threaten Free Speech, Advocacy Group Says,” Nov. 8, Updated Nov. 9). The report states, “These bills appear designed to chill academic and educational discussions and impose government dictates on teaching and learning. In short: They are educational gag orders. . . . Taken together, the efforts amount to a sweeping crusade for content- and viewpoint-based state censorship.” Suzanne noted, “We’re not asking people to fall silent in terms of deliberation over how this racial reckoning is transpiring. But the speed of the resort to censorship, without any apparent awareness of the contradictions, is part of the broader erosion of free speech in our society.”