Brock Benson | Civil Patriot
Remember, back in the olden days, when American colleges encouraged the free exchange of ideas? Remember when everyone could bring their beliefs and ideologies to the table, even the divisive ones? It was part of the process, to hear everyone out.
Those days are long gone, especially on U.S. college campuses. We’ve entered a vicious new season of censorship, where conservatives are being forced into hiding. Or, worse yet, beaten into submission for not going along with the narrative of the day.
For the politically conservative student, there’s no more dangerous place to be than a university campus.
Don’t believe it?
According to a Fox News article, “Surprising percentage of college students find violent censorship ‘acceptable’ to some degree. The poll found conservative students overwhelmingly felt the need to self-censor.” The article goes on to say “that students who identify as Conservative are more likely to report self-censorship than Liberal students (72% vs. 55%). Moderate students fell between the two, with 62% reporting self- censorship.”
Let’s pause to think about that for a moment, shall we? Violent censorship. . .because your point of view doesn’t line up with the narrative espoused by your peers? Because what you think—between your ears—doesn’t match the politically correct discourse of the day, you’re going to be shut down, possibly using force to quiet you into submission?
Well, that sounds like fun.
It’s getting easier to see why so many conservatives are shutting up and keeping their opinions to themselves.
A recent survey of student attitudes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — a selective public university in a reddish-purple battleground state — reveals that conservative-leaning students are the likeliest ideological group to self-censor their beliefs, for fear of social and other reprisals, and that conservatives are by far the most disparaged cohort on campus. (townhall)
Some schools are coming at this from a different angle: They’re simply not allowing conservatives to speak to their students at all. Consider the story of Ben Shapiro, who was invited to speak at California State University and then, later, uninvited. There’s no room in the Inn for a different point of view, I guess. At least, not in California.
Oh, let’s face it: Not just California. It’s happening on campuses across this nation.
And, lest you think it’s the students causing all the trouble, think again. Consider this story from the Cornellreview.org:
When is censorship actually censorship? You could ask Professor Paul Zachary “PZ” Myers, a biology professor and an award-winning scholar and blogger at the University of Minnesota Morris (UMM). Or, you could ask John Geiger, a sophomore majoring in German and Global Business Management and co-founder of the conservative student newspaper, the Morris NorthStar. Several reports have recently surfaced alleging that, in several posts on his blog Pharyngula, Myers incited students at UMM to trash and vandalize copies of the NorthStar all together worth nearly 2,000 dollars because he disagreed with the student’s conservative politics and satire-driven publication.
So, cutting off the conservative voice is the answer? The big guy (professor) beats up the little guy (student) in the hopes that he will learn his lesson. Is that how it goes?
Whatever happened to civil discourse? If anything, we need to be teaching our college-aged kids how to engage in heartfelt conversation with their political opponents, not encouraging them to avoid it.
According to an article in The Atlantic, “an intolerant faction of roughly a quarter of students believe it is okay to silence or suppress some widely held views that they deem wrong.” The piece goes on to say that “students harbor divisive stereotypes about classmates with different beliefs, and a substantial minority are not open to engaging socially with classmates who don’t share their views” and “Disparaging comments about political conservatives are common.”
Lest you think this is specific to college campuses, think again.
“A Utah high schooler was spit on and slapped by his fellow classmates for wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat. At another incident in Washington D.C., a college girl was beaten in the street for holding a Trump flag by people claiming they were advancing the freedoms of women. Even if we turned a blind eye to these acts of physical violence, there are still hundreds of instances of censorship and self-censorship of conservative speech in schools due to a fear of retribution.” (Young Americans Foundation)
We’ve got to turn this thing around before it’s too late, folks. If we don’t take control of this now, our kiddos will lose their rights altogether. It’s got to start at home and in the local high schools. These kids of ours can grow thick skin before they face those university campuses so that they don’t feel the need to self-censor once they arrive.
There’s another reason to tackle this now. Many previously-hearty conservatives come out of those liberal universities with a completely different/skewed mindset because they’re sucked in by the leftist agenda. That’s the ultimate goal of many of these professors, after all. . .not just to fill their heads with knowledge, but to fill their hearts with animosity toward conservative values.
We need to prep them, (going in), so that they know what they will be up against. They need to have a solid understanding of conservative principles so that they have a ready-answer, should a civil (or uncivil) discourse be allowed to take place. And they need to know that conservativism, no matter how unpopular amongst their peers, is still the better answer than socialism.
In my humble opinion, anyway.