Originally posted by ACLU of Massachusetts Executive Director Carol Rose, on Boston.com's "On Liberty" blog.
Great breaking news! Colombian journalist Hollman Morris has been granted a visa after initially being denied entry into the United States to begin a fellowship at the prestigious Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.
Like dozens of journalists, writers, poets and activitists before him (see my recent post on this), Morris was turned away because of something he wrote -- namely, his reporting on the Colombian civil war. Such bans are knowns as called "ideological exclusion," and they have a long and sad history of being used to silence dissent in our nation.
Kudos to the many free speech groups that banned together to advocate for Morris' entry into the U.S. and to the State Department officials who decided to lift their ban on Morris' entry into the U.S.
Wouldn't it be great if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would announce that the State Department was abandoning the practice of ideological exclusion as antithetical to a democracy? It would be a historic wedding present for Chelsea, Marc and the rest of the nation: the gift of free exchange of ideas.
And if you are on the Vineyard this week, don't miss: "An Evening Without" performance, at which such free speech defenders as Anthony Lewis and others will read from the works of the excluded throughout American history.