It really seems like the world is being turned upside down to me. Just about every day I read or hear something that boggles my mind, like Glamour magazine naming Jenner ‘Woman of the Year’, or that college students favor speech codes. Let’s talk a little about the latter.
When I was in high school, my teachers always played devil’s advocate. They would initiate a conversation in the classroom, and then usually argue the opinion that was in the minority. I specifically remember Brother John in my private Catholic high school debating pro-life students. Here he was a Catholic brother, in a Catholic school, giving arguments in favor of abortion. It wasn’t just Brother John either, most of my teachers did the same thing. They taught both sides of issues, and encouraged intelligent, civil debate. This not only taught me the benefits of listening to other people’s views, but it hammered home the notion of the First Amendment and it’s importance to our free society.
Fast forward to 2015, and we have college students in favor “trigger warnings” being given by professors when students are in “danger” of being offended. I don’t even know what to say. People actually believe they have some sort of “right” to “not be offended”. They have been indoctrinated into believing that if what someone else has to say “hurts your feelings”, then you have a “right” not to hear it. It really boggles my mind. From the Wall Street Journal:
To put some numbers behind that perception, The William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale recently commissioned a survey from McLaughlin & Associates about attitudes towards free speech on campus. Some 800 students at a variety of colleges across the country were surveyed. The results, though not surprising, are nevertheless alarming. By a margin of 51 percent to 36 percent, 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. One-third of the students polled could not identify the First Amendment as the part of the Constitution that dealt with free speech. Thirty-five percent said that the First Amendment does not protect “hate speech,” while 30 percent of self-identified liberal students say the First Amendment is outdated. With the assault on free speech and the First Amendment proceeding apace in institutions once dedicated to robust intellectual debate, it is no wonder that there are more and more calls to criminalize speech that dissents from the party line on any number of issues, from climate change to race relations, to feminism and sex.
This is what is being taught in many colleges today, and it’s frightening. The notion that you can not speak your mind or your heart because what you have to say offends people, for me, goes against what I believe to be one of the fundamental rights of American citizens: free speech. You send your child to college, and they get initiated into the “Political Correctness Club”. One-third of students couldn’t even identify free speech as a Constitutional amendment, and they are in college! Simply amazing, and very disheartening. But hey, I’m just a cop.
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