The recent controversy surrounding the de facto censoring of conservative provocateur Ann Coulter at U.C. Berkley has me thinking we should carefully consider what we say before we lose the right to say it. Berkley canceled the speaking appearance for "safety concerns" after receiving threats from the mostly progressive left leaning student body.
In my house, three of six are graduating high school this spring. I am nostalgically clinging to the idea that colleges and universities still teach students to think critically and promote enlightenment of their minds. Students must be challenged to question their own unexamined beliefs, as well as, encouraged to tolerate different ideas from others without being offended. We need our children – all of them – regardless of political ideology to understand, support and fight for the idea of free expression.
It's ok to be uncomfortable. It's ok to disagree. We are raising young adults who ought not to have their hurt feelings and insecurity complexes pandered to. None of us possess the "definitive understanding" and if we abandon tolerance we're going to get a lot wrong. I have seen vignettes of the censoring little control freaks in my own family, and I try to correct them, but they assuredly know better. It's not politically correct, but it's the hateful and offensive speech that needs protected and the reason for the First Amendment.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be "cured" against one's will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals."
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