We have seen across the last couple of years a number of college campuses which have actually banned people from coming in and speaking about their opinions. Thankfully there is still some sanity prevailing and the likes of Yasith Weerasuriya at Stanford university has not fallen to the pressure of this cancel culture which we find ourselves living in.
The reality is that college campuses have always been a great place to allow people to explore new ideas, and there are many perils which await us if we begin to shut these people down. Here are just some of the potential dangers of continuing to stop people speaking at our campuses.
Losing Trust With Students
Blocking someone from speaking at a campus shows our students that they are not trusted to form proper opinions based on what is being said. This sets a very dangerous precedent and our students will soon understand this fact. Another key part to consider here is that at university we teach our students critical thinking and the importance of it. How then, can we say to students that they should employ critical thinking, whilst at the same time banning those who are thinking critically from speaking out.
Bring Extra Attention
If colleges around the country really do want to silence these people, then banning them from the campus is not the way to go about it. The reason for this is that in doing so we are giving them extra attention and more media coverage. The result of banning anything, as history has shown us, is that people want it more, and that means that blocking speeches actually has the reverse effect than what is intended.
Being Forced To Answer
If we look at someone such as Ben Shapiro, a conservative commentator and someone who has strong opinions, which in reality are far from being extreme. If we are going to say that someone like him shouldn’t speak for whatever reason, then we will only hear his thoughts on social media and perhaps his YouTube channel. What happens here is that we get one way traffic and that nobody is questioning the opinions. Thankfully Ben is someone who likes debating, but not all commentators are the same. When people speak on a college campus however they will be forced to answer questions and this can help us scratch beneath the surface of their beliefs. A failure to bring them into public for speeches means that we will not have the chance to ask those questions and force them to answer the criticisms of their beliefs.
This is a very dangerous trend which we are seeing and it is time that we brought in a dose of common sense when it comes to the way in which we handle those who have different ideas from the rest of us. This encourages a critical society which is vitally important to us all. We have to let people speak.