The Danger of Anti-Free Speech Views in Higher Education Considers the Case of Xi Van Fleet, Who Was Prohibited From Speaking on Campus.
The Students of Whitworth University did not allow a Chinese dissident named Xi Van Fleet to give a speech on the Whitworth University campus. As a Maoist China survivor, Van Fleet’s position as a critic of “woke” culture in the United States is unbearable because of the experiences she has had.
The students felt that her tweets on topics such as diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI), Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ community, and “environmental justice” were inappropriate and damaging.Arrested for Singing “Kung Fu Fighting”: Another Blow to Free Speech in England
The Whitworth University administration has articulated its unwavering dedication to protecting students’ right to free expression on campus. Nevertheless, the fact that Van Fleet was prohibited from certain points of view is considered to be too damaging to be heard.
On college campuses, anti-free speech ideas pose a risk because they give staff and students the green light to stifle competing viewpoints without the obligation to defend their own. In the garden of “fragrant flowers” that represent acceptable points of view in higher education, conservative, religious, and libertarian beliefs are deemed “poisonous weeds” that need to be eliminated.
The language that Mao employed during the Cultural Revolution is quite similar to that which is utilized by many individuals who are against free speech on our campuses today. Mao said that words and acts should help to unify rather than divide, be constructive rather than damaging to the creation of a communist society, and assist in the consolidation of democratic centralism. However, the idea that free speech may be detrimental is currently widespread throughout higher education institutions, and both students and faculty members claim that they have the right to silence individuals who engage in destructive speech.
Websites that allowed for free speech have been taken down as part of a crackdown on “hate speech” by the administration of Joe Biden
Views that oppose free speech pose a risk because they might give people the impression that they have carte blanche to engage in violent behavior. Even going so far as to rally behind colleagues who physically assaulted pro-life demonstrators and tore down their exhibit, a number of academics have done so. This mentality is fostering the development of a new generation of people who are speech-phobic and who feel they have the authority to stifle the voices of others. As a direct consequence of this, speech codes, cancel campaigns, and colleges that have been cleansed of conservative or libertarian teachers have emerged, leaving behind just the “fragrant” odor of academic orthodoxy.
In conclusion, the decision to prevent Van Fleet from delivering a lecture on campus serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of harboring anti-free speech attitudes in institutions of higher learning. The right to free speech should be protected in educational institutions, and efforts should be made to give voice to dissenting opinions. The attempt to stifle these points of view is producing a new generation of people who are afraid of free expression, which will have negative repercussions for our society.
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