Left-wing university president says suppressing diversity of speech promotes “intellectual diversity”

Thursday, September 26, 2019
By Paul Martin

by: Vicki Batts
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Censorship on college campuses is a national phenomenon here in the United States. But suppressing independent thought is no longer enough for the radical left — now, university leaders are proclaiming that censorship and “safe spaces” will promote “intellectual diversity” in the long run. “Censorship protects free speech” is the left-wing’s latest doublethink propaganda, and this time they are practically parroting George Orwell’s 1984 word for word. Indeed, it seems American universities are positioning themselves as a real-life Ministry of Truth; what they say goes — or else.

In a recent op-ed for The New York Times, Wesleyan University President Michael S. Roth defended college “safe spaces” as necessary for promoting “intellectual diversity.” Yes, a college university president is now advocating for thought suppression and censorship as a means to promote “diversity.”

As Orwell wrote in 1984:

War is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength.

And now, censorship is free speech.

Censorship kills diversity

“We must promote intellectual diversity in a context in which people can feel safe enough to challenge one another. Students should be able to participate in argument and inquiry without the threat of harassment or intimidation,” Roth writes. Like many members of the intolerant Left, it appears the university professor is suffering from cognitive dissonance.

It is impossible to create a “safe space” without policing or impugning select points of view, especially under liberal victim culture. Recall the time college students signed a petition to ban Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” from the airwaves because “racism.” Or when Yale students tried to manipulate the college into giving them $8 million as “payback” for the school’s “intolerable racism.”

Under current liberal dogma, anything a white person says or does can be misconstrued as “racist” or “hateful” or whatever the term du jour may be — and there is literally zero recourse. Once an accusation of this kind has been launched, there is no turning back — a la Covington Catholic.

This is why “safe spaces” are dangerous: A select group of people is being given the power to not only police what others say and do, but to punish them for it. College “safe spaces” are a farce; these spaces serve only to protect one specific ideology — and if you deviate from it, you will almost certainly be made to pay. Even if the college administration itself does not take action against a student for expressing a divergent thought, you can be certain that student will probably be shunned and shamed on social media by their peers.

The totalitarian way

Universities around the United States are actively suppressing and silencing dissenting opinions. How does that promote diversity? The “safe space” mantra does nothing to prevent harassment or intimidation. Instead, it creates an environment in which harassment and intimidation is permissible, provided you are targeting the right people (those who disagree with the party line).

While the president of Wesleyan agrees that coddling students instead of giving them tools to deal with their issues is problematic, he believes that safe spaces are “valuable” to college society. According to Roth, safe spaces are necessary to “promote intellectual diversity,” even in spite of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

College safe space policies are not being used to fight actual instances of injustice or racism. Instead, students are using these “policies” to put themselves in a position of power over their political opponents. As Breitbart recalls, in 2017, a barista at a college coffee shop summoned the school’s “safe space” policy in order to remove a group of conservative students wearing MAGA hats from the premises.

No rational person would say that this kind of harassment encourages “intellectual diversity” as Roth so incongruously claims. “Safe space” policies are a way for college campuses to become totalitarian training camps, where liberal students can practice suppressing the voices of their defiant peers.

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