By Tim VanHouten
Where does the line between censorship and free speech exist for you? The website (media.okstate) defines censorship as the “Official prohibition or restriction of any type of expression believed to threaten the political, social, or moral order. It may be imposed by governmental authority local or national, by a religious body, or occasionally by a powerful group.
These are my questions: Are we getting denied the chance to expand our skills of analytical thinking to keep from being offended or offending others or fear of being wrong, and how can we be expected to grow as individuals and be leaders if we are not allowed to think for ourselves.
Free speech in speaking and writing is imperative to increasing our analytical thinking skills in addition to the development of new ideas. Consider censorship as being force-fed information. You will only know what you are allowed to know. That does not help us advance as a species. We are hard-wired to be thinkers, to overcome obstacles and to be innovative.
In the United States there are campuses that uninvite speakers, refuse comedian acts, and silence their students when they question the acts of the status quo. At Rutgers, Condoleezza Rice was protested till she withdrew; comedians have to “sell” their acts at NACA (National Association of Campus Activities) before being accepted on the college circuit and Hayden Barnes at Valdosta State University was threatened with expulsion for protesting the building of a parking garage with student fees.
Do not allow yourself to fall prey to these circumstances. Read something you find offensive, watch a movie that you find disturbing or listen to a person who doesn’t share your ideology. Without the freedom of free speech, technology will become stagnant, social causes will not to be fought, and groundbreaking discoveries will go unfounded.
We can’t allow that kind of oppression to go on unchallenged.