Friday, September 9, 2016

The Speech Cocoons Being Created by Our Universities

Increasingly, political speakers and other controversial speakers are being uninvited by universities as a result of pressure from certain students and faculty members who feel that their very presence on campus is a personal encroachment of their own rights.  Interestingly, most of those being uninvited are from the political right; demonstrating how politically left colleges and universities have moved.

Campuses are also promoting the concept of "trigger warnings" when a professor who is about to discuss a subject that might be offensive or uncomfortable to even one person in the class must announce it beforehand.  In other words, it is like saying "children leave the room".

However, the control of speech doesn't stop there.  We now have the inconsistent concept of "safe spaces".  At some universities, a "safe space" is an area where you can freely speak you mind.  On other campuses, it's like the "trigger warnings" when you can not freely speak about anything that may make someone else uncomfortable.

The problem here, is that American universities are sheltering students from real life.  The shock that is awaiting them when they emerge from the cocoon the university has placed them in will be great.  To me, a university or college should not just be a place of learning, but a place of discussion of ideas and debate.  That's always been part of the college experience that will ultimately make someone a stronger person when they meet real life head on.


Nationwide: Colleges Across the Country Disinvite Commencement Speakers:

List of disinvited speakers at colleges - Business Insider:

Disinvitation Attempts:

U. of C. [University of Chicago] tells incoming freshmen it does not support 'trigger warnings' or 'safe spaces':

Brown University president: A safe space for freedom of expression:

Definition of Safe-Space:

In College and Hiding From Scary Ideas - The New York Times:

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