Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Return to American Free Speech

There's a tendency to believe that high school students graduate into the adult world but anyone who is a parent knows better.  Today the exposure to mass culture is saturating and a large part of that saturation is an exposure to the most exotic and raw aspects of human nature and behavior.

But the victim mentality has crept into every aspect of life and the easiest way to deny free speech these days is to claim that the speech of another is offensive to just one. And if the one happens to have the resources to threaten lawsuits the silence is absolute.

It is blissful to hear that the University of Chicago is making an attempt to steer America back to its cultural soul.

The University of Chicago recently made it clear to its crop of incoming students that academic freedom and inquiry remain pillars at the institution, and that the university does not support "so-called" trigger warnings or offer safe spaces that allow students "to retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own. Here is how the university welcomed its incoming class of 2020:
Welcome and congratulations on your acceptance to the college at the University of Chicago. Earning a place in our community of scholars is no small achievement and we are delighted that you selected Chicago to continue your intellectual journey.
Once here you will discover that one of the University of Chicago’s defining characteristics is our commitment to freedom of inquiry and expression. … Members of our community are encouraged to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn, without fear of censorship. Civility and mutual respect are vital to all of us, and freedom of expression does not mean the freedom to harass or threaten others. You will find that we expect members of our community to be engaged in rigorous debate, discussion, and even disagreement. At times this may challenge you and even cause discomfort.
And then, the coup de grace:
Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.
You can read the entire letter below. (CLICK HERE to see how students and alumni responded.)

Love it!.

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