Do you take offense?

While we have the first amendment in place, there is a movement going across college campuses that is working to silence certain opinions and voices, namely, the ones they don’t agree with. It’s leading to the creation of “safe spaces” where college students can go and feel safe expressing their opinion if it doesn’t offend anyone. My thought was that the whole campus was a safe space, but I guess I’m wrong.

There were incidents on the Mizzou campus where there was a swastika written in feces on the bathroom wall by some crazy kid (I say kid because unless you’re a publically known skinhead, you wouldn’t do that). First, that is part of what is being used to justify protesting that their being threatened and oppressed. Second, the Nazi use of the swastika and fascism deserves just that: feces. The days of Mussolini and Hitler are over, but there are still people out there that believe these ludicrous things, and because of them, these college students want to eliminate freedom of speech altogether. There was also report of somebody making threats and the KKK showing up, and all this does is fuel the fire. While I agree the threat was a bit much, there are very very few people who believe in “white supremacy” and slavery. But that doesn’t matter. Even as those tensions die down, those students, and many others on college campuses, what to create safe spaces so they can’t be offended by someone who disagrees with them. With this I have many problems.

  1. Who’s paying for their college? I have a strong feeling that most if not all of them are getting their college paid for by their parents with government assistance, maybe some scholarships. Their parents aren’t paying for them to go to school to complain about being offended. The world isn’t so merciful as a college campus. And for college Presidents to fall to their knees and give in saying that these spaces are a necessity, it’s a waste of the student’s’ parent’s money. College is where student learn from one another, solidify who they are as a person, and learn to be an adult in the real world. They are not going to college to complain and whine about getting their feelings hurt.
  2. These safe spaces they want to create aren’t really safe. Their a hotbed for narrow-minded people who all think alike. If anyone steps in with even the slightest difference about someone’s appearance, idea, decision, or life, they’re kicked out. That doesn’t exactly create a solution to the problem, it just makes the problem flourish and have a permanent spot in students’ lives.
  3. You don’t have the right to be offended and try to separate yourself from the opinions of others. Who told you that you’re entitled to circumvent the ideology of certain people because it isn’t yours? No one did. America, because of the first amendment, was designed to be the free-market of ideas, not the silencing of all opinions that aren’t yours. Stifling ideas is stifling creativity, individuality, and making those who defy the enemy. Safe spaces don’t encourage the free-market exchange of ideas, it encourages the stifling of differences and conformity to an ideology that appeases only a portion of the populace.
  4. I especially have a problem with the professors and administrators getting involved in the protests. Even though it is proven that most college professors are liberal, the only role they should play in a student’s life is an educator, a mentor, and a guide. They need to look down upon the “safe space” because it isn’t encourages a free exchange of ideas. But by joining them, it isn’t showing how “together” they are with the student, it just shows how intolerant they really are.

How can students claim that they have the right not to be offended? If my opinion or something I wear offends you, chances are, you’re just intolerant of my view. The American public, college campuses, and your house are all safe spaces for you to believe what you believe. Adults would encounter someone they don’t agree with and simply just say “I agree to disagree” and if the other person won’t have that, it’s their problem. But demanding people not to speak if it’s “offensive” is quite offensive in itself, so really, they need to stop. But no, I welcome their idea with open arms, because I believe in individualism and the right to a person’s opinion. I don’t agree with a lot of people on an issue, and neither one of us can persuade the other. We don’t call for the other’s view to be destroyed, but we tolerate it and move on with our lives so we don’t waste valuable time and resources.

Even the most despicable views have their place in this free-market country of ideas. They won’t get much traction at all, like fascism, white supremacy, communism – oh wait…but still! All of these ideas have a place. It’s up to us to let the KKK chant what they want while telling our loved ones and those close to you how wrong and disgusting it is while noting the fat white guys wearing sheets with various stains over them while claiming to be supreme. Just because they’re wrong in almost every way, it does not mean they don’t have a voice. If you can’t handle free speech, don’t leave your house, don’t watch TV, don’t do anything that might result in being offended. And if you can’t live with doing that, then you have to do what everyone is doing and just deal with what you hear.

You have no right to declare someone unable to speak their mind. You’re entitled to nothing. You earn everything you get and say, and when you can be persuasive about why you are right, you will be respected more as a person, versus demanding respect by protesting, rioting, and chanting hateful things are contradict what you chant.

I would like to see college professors more focused on objective teaching rather than with any bias, whether it be liberal or conservative. I want the Presidents of these colleges to tell students and faculty alike that all ideas are welcome and the moment they turn threatening or violent, they will be dealt with in an appropriate manner (expulsion). Don’t tip-toe around the sensitive, give it to them straight. Make them earn your respect. Don’t back down from the students protesting on their parent’s dime, because in the end, you’re still getting paid. And if teachers would rather join the students instead of encouraging learning and free-speech, then take their pay away. They aren’t doing their job while in the ranks of students, are they?

If this is offensive, then disagree and move on. That’s what you do in life. That’s what we do in America.

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