It is not news to anyone that pays any attention that college campuses in America are politically correct cesspools where your opinion is welcome in the classroom, on campus, in the school paper, or even online on your own social media page ONLY if it agrees with what we’ve all been told is “acceptable.” Dissenting opinions are not only not welcomed, they are shouted down and silenced.
If you want to storm into the library at Dartmouth while dozens of students are preparing for exams and begin shouting racial epithets and chant “Black Lives Matter,” you will be allowed and later praised for your courage by everyone up to and including the administration.
How do you think a reverse scenario would be handled? If a group of white students walked around chanting “White Lives Matter,” and directed racial slurs at African Americans, do you think that would be praised by fellow students and supported by the Administration? Or do you think maybe a few young adults would be kicked out of school faster than you could say “double standard?”
As we look towards the future, we see a very scary picture beginning to develop:
In a nation already obsessed with the notion that you are entitled to your opinion as long as your opinion mirrors mine and if it doesn’t I will destroy your life, livelihood, and future, the future of what is left of our “free speech,” is on life-support.
To be clear, Free Speech is not something we can hide blindly behind. It is true that the Constitution simply says that “Congress (the government) shall make no law…restricting free speech.” This is why, for, example, I can tell you what you can and can’t say in my home or the business I run. If you don’t like it, leave. You can express your opinion on the street corner all you want, but not in my living room.
College campuses are not necessarily a free speech issue, although in cases where the school is state run or funded it gets a little more murky.
In either case, this isn’t about “free speech,” it’s about a free nation that was once built and founded on wildly loud and public debate on the issues of our time. Most notably, school is where we once learned how to formulate and then express our opinions and welcome those who saw things differently. An America where peoples’ viewpoints are silenced and punished by people rather than government is a lost America. It’s one thing to boycott a business owner who says he is against gay marriage; that’s the free marketplace at work. It’s another thing to intentionally organize a campaign to ruin his business, his family life, and any ability he has to ever work again by publicly making him into a pariah. That’s a lynch mob.
According to a new report, by a margin of 51 percent to 36 percent, American college students favor their school having speech codes to regulate speech for students and faculty. Sixty-three percent favor requiring professors to employ “trigger warnings” to alert students to material that might be discomfiting.
What are such “trigger warnings?” Don’t ask questions you don’t really want the answers to:
Universities hold faculty training sessions to familiarize them with new anti-harassment policies, such as the University of California’s micro-aggression training seminars for faculty leaders. In these sessions, professors were taught that saying “America is the land of opportunity” is an offensive “microaggression.”
Or take the faculty training session at Marquette University – a Catholic institution – which included a slide about peers Becky and Maria talking about their opposition to same-sex marriage. A hypothetical listener, Hans, overhears the conversation and reports the two women for harassment on the grounds that he found their speech offensive. Hans’ action as an informant is condoned in a subsequent slide, and suggest the women are guilty of harassment.
Speech restrictions at college these days are often done via speech codes or anti-harassment rules, policies prohibiting speech on campus that would otherwise be permitted in the public square. Moreover, schools and universities can suspend students for violating speech codes without notice or a hearing, substantially violating their Fifth Amendment right to due process. the University of South Carolina’s speech code “discourages bigotry” and requires everyone to “demonstrate concern for others and their feelings.” The University of Connecticut requires students to “refrain from actions that intimidate, humiliate, or demean persons or groups, or that undermine their security or self-esteem.” Policies such as this have been used against countless students who choose to express, for example, an opinion against affirmative action, in a civics class. IMAGINE!
As one writer summed it up so beautifully:
A university education is supposed to accomplish two things: expose you to a wide variety of ideas and help you navigate through them; and turn you into an adult, which is to say, someone who can cope with people, and ideas, they don’t like. If the schools abdicate both functions, then the only remaining function of an education is the credential. But how much will the credential be worth when the education behind it no longer prepares you for the real world?