Opinion

[VIDEO] Do College Students Hate Free Speech?

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What is free speech?

Is free speech worth protecting in the 21st Century?

Do students on college and university campuses still respect the first amendment?

Those questions are being put to the test more and more by the environment on college and university campuses across the country.

Here is a short list of some of the most recent examples of free speech rights being infringed upon by students on campuses across the United States:

  • On Feb. 1st, 2017, a violent left-wing riot happened at UC Berkeley in opposition to a scheduled speech by social provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. The rioters committed over $100,000 in property damage to the campus before Mr. Yiannopoulos’ appearance was terminated.
  • On March 2nd, 2017 over 400 students at Middlebury College in Vermont shouted down controversial social scientist Charles Murray when he rose to speak at a scheduled lecture on the campus. When Mr. Murray and a faculty member attempted to leave the venue, they were physically attacked by some of the students and individuals who attended the speech.
  • On April 26th, 2017, conservative firebrand Ann Coulter cancelled a planned speech on the UC Berkeley campus after administration officials threatened to shut down the event because of safety concerns.

Now, the faculty council at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California is reviewing a decision to set up a system for students to report “microaggressions” committed against them by faculty members or other students.

“Microaggressions” are alleged to be common verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults – intentional or unintentional – which communicate negative or hostile messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

But, many students who hold liberal viewpoints struggled to explain what microaggressions are in relationship to free speech. Some students endorsed the concept of free speech in theory, if not in practice.

One student contended that the government should be allowed to curtail the speech of President Donald Trump.

One thing that should be remembered is its easy to defend speech one agrees with. But the concept of free speech is that all views, even some you strongly disagree with, should all be defended.

One famous quote that sums this up is “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Another quote which has been attributed to Tom Stoppard, the writer of the movie Brazil

“That I have the right to express myself freely at all times in all circumstances entails the idea that free speech is a ‘basic human right’ possessed by each individual, and, as such, trumps the interests of the society or group, including my neighbour.”

 

Source : brainyquote.com

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