A survey by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) released on Jan. 30th shows that college students now favor inclusivity over Free Speech.
We’ve all heard it: the argument that everyone’s political views are accepted on campus— if they conform to what everyone else thinks. This notion is plaguing higher education and proves to be costly to the development of young adults.
Much like participation trophies, the idea that opposing political views are not welcome coddles young adults and doesn’t teach valuable life lessons based on the idea of opposition.
Unfortunately, much of the survey conducted by FIRE should not come as a surprise, especially in the current political climate. Higher education facilities generally have policies in place prohibiting “Free Speech” in certain areas of campus.
Thankfully, state legislators across the nation are proposing campus Free Speech bills. In the 2018 session, the West Virginia Legislature proposed their own bill in support of Free Speech on college campuses. However, in the survey by FIRE, 60% of students think that inclusive policies are more important than protecting Free Speech.
But is this idea of “inclusivity” actually inclusive?
Inclusivity, as defined by the Oxford Dictionary, is “the practice or policy of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized.”
The people who are choosing inclusivity over Free Speech are excluding those with opposing viewpoints. Clearly, this directly contradicts the principle of inclusivity.
In the FIRE survey, 96% of students “think it is important that their civil rights or liberties are protected,” with the largest chunk, 30 percent, saying that Freedom of Speech is the most important.
Yet again, the hypocrisy from the left is astounding. The tweets practically write themselves.
Inclusivity is all or nothing; it is immoral and against the basic principles of inclusivity to pick and choose what can be included.
College is meant to broaden horizons of young adults and to expose them to different ideas and viewpoints. It’s a hallmark of higher education that has been around for hundreds of years.
In Ben Sasse’s book, “The Vanishing American Adult,” he warns readers of this phenomenon that he refers to as “perpetual adolescence.” This is the idea that young adults are relying on their parents and others to take care of them for longer periods of time instead of being independent.
The idea of extended adolescence has become more and more noticeable; more young adults are choosing to live at home, not find jobs, and live off their parents.
If we as a generation choose to hear only what we want to hear, it will take us far longer to reach adulthood and tolerate other viewpoints. We cannot depend on others to censor what we hear because we don’t want to hear it. In the real world, opposing viewpoints cannot be censored.
While politics tends to bring out the worst in people, why are we insulating ourselves from the real world?
One of the best ways of control is to control speech and the information those people can consume. This “inclusive” policy that is discussed in the article provides for more control of students by school administrators.
The most alarming part about this article is that students are actively pursuing ways to surrender their rights. People all over the world are dying in the fight for Freedom of Speech, but our generation is threatening to take it away.
We should all be concerned and alarmed by the findings in this survey. This is a call to action to all college students to protect Free Speech on campuses.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.