In recent years there has been growing concern for the future of free speech in America, especially in light of crackdowns on whistleblowers, and aggressive police reactions toward protestors. However, what most people don’t realize is that the end of free speech won’t come from our government. No matter what kind of political system you live under, the government won’t get away with anything unless the people fail to resist, or give their tacit support by remaining apathetic toward basic human rights.
The truth is, free speech won’t be completely dismantled through law or executive order, until the people do it themselves with self censorship, political correctness, and outright condemnation of any opposing opinion. A right that is not respected and defended will always face the chopping block.
One conservative writer recently had the opportunity to witness the slow death of free speech, when she spoke at a college earlier this week. Keep in mind that if this is how our college students are taught to react to different opinions, what does it say about the future of our rights?
The Ohio liberal arts college was abuzz with “trigger warnings,” intended to caution attendees that Ms. Sommers‘ lecture — or even her presence on campus — could be traumatizing. Just in case, students created a “safe space” for people to gather during and after her talk.
Most conservative speakers who show up at colleges risk getting shouted down or disinvited, but those like Ms. Sommers who run afoul of campus feminists can also expect to be accused of being a “trigger,” someone whose views make students “feel unsafe.”
So what is this radical ideology that Ms. Sommers adheres to? What is this opinion that is so offensive that the students have equated it with a form of violence, that requires them to provide warnings and safe spaces?
She doesn’t believe there is a rape culture on college campuses.
Mind you, she isn’t even taking an extreme stance. She still believes that rape is a serious problem in colleges, it’s just not as widespread as everyone believes. She claims the oft quoted statistic that 1 out of 5 college girls are raped, is more like 1 out of 40. She’s concerned that the misguided belief in rape culture is causing false accusations, and is diverting attention away from real rape cases.
I’m not even sure if you could classify her as a conservative. Sommers is just a feminist of a slightly different variety than the ones in that audience, who was invited to speak by a conservative group on campus. For this, she is being called a “rape denialist” while the rest of the students show her what real hostility looks like.
Even though she was cast as the victimizer and not the victim, Ms. Sommers said the college assigned her two police escorts, just in case. Those students brave enough to stick around for her lecture were also courageous enough to hold up protest signs, tape their mouths shut and interrupt her talk.
“Fascinating time speaking at Oberlin yesterday. Police escorts. Huge crowd. Protest signs. Dozens of women taped their mouths shut with red tape. Students in the audience yelled and jeered throughout my talk,” said Ms. Sommers in a Tuesday Facebook post.
Isn’t that ironic? While these kids (and they really should be considered children since no mature adult would act like this) were busy freaking out over her opinions and protecting themselves with safe zones, it was Ms. Sommers who had to be protected with two police escorts. For having an opinion. I can’t emphasize that enough, and I’m still struggling to believe the overwhelming stupidity of the situation.
I feel like a senior citizen who just learned that calling someone “colored” is inappropriate. It’s as if the culture I’ve grown up in has left me behind, and taken off into some baffling trajectory that I’ll never adapt to. When did this happen? When did words become synonymous with violence, and when did everyone become so pathetic and sensitive, that they turn into a cackling herd of self-righteous morons at the mere mention of anything that challenges their world view.
Brace yourselves America. If these kids are our future, and they don’t grow the hell up after they leave college, then we have no future worth living in. If their hostility towards different opinions ever becomes mainstream, then there will be no one left in their generation who has the character and fortitude to stand up for our rights. When that happens, we will cease to have any rights.
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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .