College is a time of growth, and of learning. A time where ideas are supposed to be shared, varied, challenged, and discussed. However, the college landscape has changed. On college campuses, the thought of diversity is more important than anything else. Our society would rather see an image of equality, with an equal number of black students on campus to white students, than having the best students available. Diversity of the individual is a huge plus. Unless that diversity is intellectual.
Let’s be honest. Blacks, Asians, Whites, Hispanics, Native Americans -- are all capable of doing the same things. Of having the same kind of success. Colleges place a major emphasis on having students from all backgrounds. It is essential to show the rest of the world that they are not racist, homophobic, or prejudiced in any way by allowing everyone on campus. And everyone should be allowed on campus. But they all shouldn’t think the same, regardless of the college model being a society where all students have to think alike.
As a college student, I have first hand experience of the liberal mindsets in classrooms. As a communications studies major, we focus at the communication we see in real world situations, with major political and social issues being a perennial focus. The teacher expresses his or her viewpoints from a left leaning viewpoint. Everyone is entitled to their freedom of speech and I have zero problem with the expression of viewpoints. However it is only fair to hear multiple viewpoints on controversial issues.
There are no efforts to show both viewpoints. You do not have to sit in on a class to understand this.
We hear daily about the “advancements” of developing safe spaces. Restricting our speech by labeling anything that disagrees with the Social Justice Warrior agenda as “hate speech.” Protesting certain events because the speakers do not agree with.
When we place restrictions on speech just because it does not agree with our own viewpoints, there is a lack of intellectual diversity. Before my time, college was about the exchanging of ideas. Being challenged taught you firstly to respect the diversified opinions of others. When you heard other viewpoints you would listen to them instead of demand that they not speak. Secondly, when students are trying to remove differing opinions, they remove learning tools that will help them learn to face problems. When people demand to be babied, when they demand that people do not think differently than them, they are not setting themselves up for the real world. If a boss wants you to do something differently than the way you are, if you don’t like it, that’s fine. You can maybe get away with doing the work your own way still. If you refuse to listen to your boss, and tell the boss to do things your way, you will find yourself without a job. Maybe that’s why we don’t hear from Kevin Willette anymore?
There are certain rules to society, and one, the First Amendment, is being violated every time a safe space is brought up and every time a speaker is told that they cannot speak. Freedom of Speech, what the greatest country in the world was founded on, is in danger. The youth of today, the millennials of America, want this taken away. An extreme comparison to this could be what we see in North Korea. If people speak against the Kim regime, they are killed. If people speak against the social justice warriors, they are threatened and have college kids trying to ruin their careers.
These people, generally leftists, complain as much as they can about the right. They say conservatives are the ones who need to open their minds. Yes, I will agree that some conservatives are closed-minded. However, how can you say other people are closed minded, and then literally create places where they are not open to other ideas? The idea of safe spaces, of refusing to listen to people who think differently from you, is highly hypocritical. Is it really productive for establishments of higher education to condone this? To say it’s acceptable to close yourself off from ideas that differ from your own?
For centuries, people have learned about the Socratic Method. Through questioning, people learn about critical thinking. When they have to think about how to raise valid arguments to the other side, that is healthy. Not all leftist protests are meaningful, however I have no problem with people exercising their first amendment rights for a legitimate reason. If our society, if the children of America, are raised to not even listen to the other side of issues though, where do we get the questioning? This is the problem. Safe spaces, refusing to allow speakers on campus, shaming students for thinking differently... preventing the differing of opinions on college campuses is an attempt to create a society that does not need to think critically.
Think about a society without the ability to think critically. When we do not question what is going on, when we give our government one hundred percent of the power, we are distancing ourselves from the democracy that our ancestors fought for. Critical thinking is essential to our growth. As stated above, my problem is with the suppression of ideas. When people close themselves off, they are not learning. They talk about change, about making progress. Censoring half of the country because they do not agree with your ideas is not progress.
I see this societal regression in college life every day. I am not alone in my way of thinking, you would be surprised how many students are actually conservative. Despite it being in Rhode Island, it feels as if fifty-percent of students voted for Trump. They openly admit it. The liberal bias on campus makes it so those students are mostly afraid to speak up. They will be told that their political beliefs are wrong. Teachers essentially preach that the right is the problem. Problem or not, the lack of a presence of intellectual diversity is too big of a problem on college campuses. One that we must solve.
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