By Sebastian Godinez,
Before I write anything further: Trigger alert. A few years ago, I wrote a series of articles on the freedom of speech. However, beyond mentioning that to ban phrases such as “motherhood” and “American,” (both of which are absolutely unconstitutional, not to mention questionable as to why they need to be banned in the first place), I have only hardened my belief that we need to protect and exercise this right. And herein lies my point.
Liberals are actively engaging in the suppression of free speech. They do this in a myriad of ways. First is the way mentioned above: banning certain words. Second, they do not, with few exceptions, invite speakers with a diverse set of political views. If you need an example, the UC system tried to invite Ann Coulter, a controversial conservative talking head, to give a speech. What did students and faculty do? Shut it down. So much for freedom of speech. And, perhaps, the most inadvertent way they do it is simply shutting someone down or calling someone who holds a sincere belief contrary to theirs, particularly on controversial issues of race, gender and politics, “bigot,” “racist,” “sexist,” etc. We all have done it, yours truly as well. The problem with doing that is two-fold. First, it’s rude, not to mention, infringing on that person’s right to that belief and to express it as such. Second, it creates an echo chamber. How many of us actively read things, whether it’s on Facebook, newsletters or print, that oppose our own views? I may be wrong, but I doubt it’s many of us. I’m not claiming to be immune from this myself either. I still trend towards certain news sources. But I’m more open to hearing criticisms and opposing views than many people my own age or older.
I also want to address a somewhat, but not necessarily related, issue I have with liberals. Many liberals are socially progressive and advocate for gender equality. And largely, I’m in step with them. I too want equal pay, equal representation in government and the end of sexual harassment in the workplace and everywhere else. But there are, and this is my conservative upbringing speaking, specific ways that we have to refer to men and women. It’s perfectly fine to call a man a fat if he’s overweight, but I was always told that’s a rude thing to say to women. Ditto for asking a woman her weight and height. Of course, there are perfectly legitimate privacy concerns, but those aside, why is it not rude for men but is for women? I could address the same issue related to race, such as why it’s totally fine to call white people “crackers” and “white trash,” but when reversed its racist. But I think I’ve largely made my point and I have to be within a word limit. If you’d like to respond and explain these things to me (maybe I’m totally wrong), send me an email? But please keep it civil.
Sebastian is a senior Political Science major.
Graphic by David Giacomini.