Interesting editorial in the Globe and Mail regarding free speech on university campuses, and the troubling trend toward intellectual cowardice, which seems to be the ultimate goal of such extreme, absurd political correctness.
I have discussed this sort of thing before, although this takes on a bit of a different tenor, in combination with the story about the Student Union at Carleton making racist decisions in an attempt not to appear racist. What is different about the most recent examples, in my opinion, is the fact that the response, or pre-judging, of opinions, attitudes and theories is more institutional in nature – it iseems to be the job of the student administration to protect other students from opposing discourses. Aren’t universities supposed to be the crucible of ideas, where open debate on uncomfortable topics with people with opposing views helps people develop their critical thinking, research and speaking skills?
I have definite views on abortion – I support fully a woman’s right to choose what happens to her body. In that light, I disagree with the viewpoint of the student organization cited in the article – however, they have the right to express those views, as long as they are doing so in a civilized manner and not infringing upon anyone’s rights to their own opinions.
Young people in universities don’t need protection, they need challenges. They don’t need calming silence, they need controversy and argument. If silencing opposing views is the only way university students can feel safe, then we are doing them a disservice, and our once-proud schools of higher learning are failing to prepare the next generation of leaders to lead, and are preparing them only to follow.
I shudder to contemplate the consequences.
It’s a Fatal Flash Fact