Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, June 03, 2016

No ‘Safe Spaces’ for Free Speech

Liberals are imposing censorship on college campuses today, constantly inventing new phrases to justify their actions. A “safe space” is an area on campus where conservatives are not allowed to speak freely, and a “trigger warning” is an alert that something politically incorrect is about to follow. The Department of Education is partly responsible for the vanishing amount of free speech on campus. Under the George W. Bush Administration, a federal standard protected free speech by proclaiming that “the mere expression of views, words, symbols, or thoughts that some person finds offensive” could not alone constitute harassment.

But in 2013 Obama changed that standard to expand the concept of sexual harassment to include words that are merely “unwelcome.” Liberal colleges then widened this further to prohibit anything that might be offensive in any of the vast categories of gender, race, veteran status, and religion. The test of what constitutes harassment is no longer objective, but is subjective based on how the listener views the words. If a professor or even another student says something that is unwelcome, then it could constitute harassment under the Obama rule. The result has been a paralysis in discussion and debate at many colleges. Far from being a dynamic environment encouraging independent thinking, colleges have become mental straight-jackets that suffocate the minds of students.

While college costs have skyrocketed, the value of college has declined. For example, free speech has become an endangered species at most colleges, and conservative commencement speakers are almost unheard of at public universities. Liberal Hollywood actors and Democratic politicians are usual speakers on Commencement Day. A study last year found that liberal speakers outnumbered conservatives by six-to-one for commencement addresses at the top 100 universities.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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