WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY in St. Louis does nothing to punish an America-hating Muslim student who removed 2977 American flags put up in commemoration of 9/11 and threw them in the garbage
Whether or not one agrees or disagrees with a particular expression or display does not give one license to deface or destroy such an expression or display. You can’t just go into a museum and deface or destroy a work of art because you find it offensive or just simply repulsive. It is the same principle here. If the college gave permission for the display, then it is a legitimate display. The display is private property. That is someone’s expression. You can disagree with it all you want, and even create a counter display, but not deface someone’s property or work.
That guy could have put up a counter display if he disagreed with the content of the 9/11 display. That is his right.
But many people think that free speech only extends to opinions they like or agree with, but not to dissenting or contrary opinions. Many people think that free speech applies only to expressions that are not offensive to people. But herein lies the problem, if you ban all offensive speech or expressions, you ban free expression altogether. ALL ideas and expressions are offensive to somebody. You could post a picture of kittens and puppy dogs, and someone somewhere will find it offensive, despite how innocuous most other people will find it. Free expression must apply to all or it applies to none.