Students in Minnesota and around the nation are repeatedly attempting to deny freedom of speech on their campuses by trying to block conservatives from speaking at their schools. Recently, Breitbart writer and editor Milo Yiannopoulos was interrupted several times by protesters with Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Minnesota. The students posted flyers throughout the campus urging the school to “not fund hate speech” and not bring Yiannopoulos to speak. Yiannopoulos faced even more condemnation the week prior at Rutgers University, where students smeared red paint all over themselves and the auditorium in an attempt to prevent him from speaking.
Yiannopoulos told Alpha News that the free speech culture on campuses is changing, explaining, “there’s a culture now where simply having your ideas challenged or having your point of view contradicted, or having alternative facts presented to you is repackaged as hate speech. This is completely absurd.”
Yiannopoulos presented alongside author Christina Hoff Sommers, who has also faced students trying to prevent her from speaking on campuses. Sommers told Alpha News that universities are more frequently being used for “indoctrination.” Sommers is a professor and explains students need to see all sides of an argument, stating, “you must teach all sides of the argument and let the student decide. Give them the means, give them the tools to evaluate arguments and they’ll take different positions.”
Conservative editor and writer Ben Shapiro was originally blocked from speaking on a campus last week. Townhall reports:
Conservative writer Ben Shapiro’s planned lecture at California State University-Los Angeles was canceled on Monday, but the Young America’s Foundation, who sponsored the event, insisting it was going to go on as planned. On Thursday, CSULA reversed the decision and permitted Shapiro to speak. Unfortunately, liberal activists at the school weren’t so willing to play nice, and repeatedly disrupted the lecture by blocking entrances and exits, and by pulling the fire alarm.
According to The Daily Signal the students protesting are now calling for the resignation of California State University-Los Angeles’ president. At the same event a Breitbart reporter was assaulted three times by protesters.
Charles Kesler, a prominent conservative professor and a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, tells The Daily Signal that free speech and thought are “under assault” on campuses around the country. Kesler tells The Daily Signal that today’s liberal campus protesters “have a sort of psychological fragility which the old ’60s left didn’t exhibit” going on to say “I’m offended” is the mantra of student protesters today, arguing that is different from saying, “I disagree.”
The example set by dozens of universities may be contributing to the problem, as many univeristies have even made it difficult for those wanting to protest. Several campuses around the country have implemented “free speech zones.” These zones (which exist at publicly funded universities as well) are areas where speech and protests are “allowed” to take place without prior permission from the schools. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) states that “1 in 6 of America’s 400 top colleges have ‘free speech zones.'”
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