In recent years, certain American colleges and universities have shown contempt for the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech, assembly and religion. Some of our institutions of higher learning employ “trigger warnings” to protect youth from errant words. Speech codes are designed to protect students from nonpolitically correct ideas and are used to shield youngsters from open debate.
The result is the shut down of speech that fails to conform to the conventional orthodoxy, which usually leans to the political left. This mono-thought results in the failure to consider opposing political and economic positions. The left-wing bias is a decades-old tradition in academia. However, the lack of tolerance and restrictions on free speech in college is a practice that emerged in recent years.
As a student at Miami-Dade College and FIU, I encountered many liberal and leftist professors who permitted and welcomed vigorous debate, and free speech. Unfortunately, we now are seeing the deterioration of respect for free speech.
At Middlebury College in Vermont, a Libertarian speaker was recently shouted down by students. At the University of California at Berkeley, a riot ensued because of the appearance of a controversial speaker.
These incidents are not isolated. The constitutionally guaranteed right of free speech needs to be protected by American colleges for all students and speakers, including those with diverse viewpoints.
Tim Seale, Miami