Friday, February 24, 2017 by Jayson Veley
One of the biggest lies told in America today is that colleges stand for tolerance and inclusiveness. Despite all of the colorful diversity posters that hang in virtually every academic building on campuses across the country, colleges really don’t stand for diversity; they stand for liberalism and the suppression of conservative speech.
During my senior year of college, I published an article in the school newspaper debunking the myth of white privilege. I put hours of research into the piece, and furthermore, I really didn’t write it with the intent of stirring up controversy. I knew that white privilege was a concept that was generally accepted by the students, so I simply decided to put the truth out there in a factual yet civil manner. As soon as I sent the article off to the editor, however, all hell broke loose. The article came extremely close to not being published because as the editor told me, it was “very offensive” and controversial. In the end, they decided to publish it, but just the fact that they were considering excluding it from the paper speaks volumes.
Many other conservative students at other colleges don’t get as lucky as I did. All too often, right-of-center speech is shunned, discouraged, or even silenced. This is the battle that conservative millennials fight each and every day.
According to a report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, over 230 American Universities are encouraging their students to use bias-report systems to report language that they feel is hurtful or offensive. The Washington Examiner’s Adam Steinbaugh, who initially reported the findings, said that basically any speech can now we defined as offensive, whether that was the original intent or not. (RELATED: Publishers want offensive language in books to be flagged).
“What I found is detailed in a new report describing how universities broadly define ‘bias’ to include virtually any speech, protected or not, that subjectively offends anyone,” Steinbaugh said. “On many campuses, administrators are called up to referee whether speech is polite.”
This is an example of what many people consider the “wussification” of America. These schools are essentially mandating that all speech needs to be “polite,” and if it’s not, then students have a right to report it to school administrators. The problem with this (in addition to blatant constitutional issues which we’ll address shortly) is that young people are growing up without knowing how to deal with criticism or opposing viewpoints. Students aren’t taught to think critically and embrace differing opinions; instead, they are taught to run to their safe spaces and then report what was said to their professors.
What happened just a few weeks ago at UC Berkeley is a prime example of students not knowing how to handle opposing points of view. When Milo Yiannopoulos tried to deliver a speech on campus, students responded not by peacefully protesting or by engaging Mr. Yiannopoulos in a rational debate, but by smashing windows and lighting things on fire.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech. The right to openly voice our opinions and challenge those with whom we disagree is part of what makes America unlike any other country on earth. Yet what these 230 universities are basically doing is throwing the Constitution out the window and making the school administrators the supreme authority. Whether they are aware of it or not, the schools are placing themselves above the Constitution by making students answer to them and only them.
Lastly, nowhere in the Constitution does it say “you have the freedom of speech, unless that speech offends someone.” That would, of course, destroy the entire purpose, considering the fact that the term “offensive” is subjective. And yet, that’s exactly what is taking place on college campuses across the country.
Free speech is for everyone. If it offends you, then with all due respect, put on your big boy pants and suck it up.