Monday, August 06, 2007

Extracurricular lesson in free speech

Free speech vs. college students. Free speech tends to take a back seat:

In my Politics of American Government class last winter, I learned that there are limitations on our right of free speech, limits delineated by terms such as "fighting words," "clear and present danger" and libel. During that same term, I also discovered just how restrictive many college students' idea of free speech really is.

In an editorial for a school newspaper, I criticized how the school's four ethnic theme dorms (African-American, American Indian, Asian and Latino) stereotyped minorities by categorizing individuals by race rather than considering broader personal experiences and values. The response: How dare I condemn the established multicultural institutions on campus! Didn't I know that I had no business commenting on the issue since, as one student stated on a campus forum, I was just a "white, libertarian girl from the O.C." Considering how often students refer to their right of free speech when they criticize the school or presidential administration, their reactions to my article were stunning. Read More.

3 comments:

Ray said...

Don't know whether to laugh or cry.

The anecdote really points out the "failure to communicate" in today's society. Whether the topic is race, sex, religion, etc. al, peoples' emotional shields come up far to quickly and needlessly.

Ray said...

Here's an interesting quote from Robert Jackson, former US Supreme Court Justice: "The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with a good deal of rubbish."

We need to learn to better relegate the rubbish to the heap where it belongs and not allow it to influence our sensibility and sanity.

Ron Ballew said...

Isn't that the truth. I find it interesting that it is University students who are the worst about freedom of expression. Actually, thinking about it I am not surprised. They have become indoctrinated.