Obama: Stop Shutting Down Free Speech, Kids

Matt Vespa
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Posted: May 08, 2016 5:45 PM
Obama: Stop Shutting Down Free Speech, Kids

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg went after political correctness culture last week at the University of Michigan, where he said that the “safe space” is the most dangerous area on a college campus since it gives the impression that you can shut out differing opinions and views. We’re not North Korea. The free flow of ideas, good and bad, makes our society stronger. Policing that with an authoritarian anti-conservative ethos isn’t good for politics at home or abroad, argued Bloomberg. He drew boos and jeers from the precious snowflakes in the crowd, who will soon learn that differing opinions do exist. There are no safe spaces—and that reality is going to hit them like a sledgehammer to the face. Now, President Obama gave the commencement address at Howard University, where he also reiterated that shutting down free speech isn’t good (via the Hill):

"There's been a trend around the country of trying to get colleges to disinvite speakers with a different point of view or disrupt a political rally," Obama said at his commencement addresses at Howard University.

"Don't do that, no matter how ridiculous or offensive you might find the things that come out of their mouths," the president said. "Because as my grandmother used to tell me, every time a fool speaks, they are just advertising their own ignorance. Let them talk.

"Listen, engage, if the other side has a point, learn from them. If they're wrong, rebut them, teach them, beat them on the battlefield of ideas."

I disagree with the president on everything, as I do with Bloomberg, but this is something that every rational, non-precious snowflake can get behind. Liberal students may dismiss this, and if they do—they’re cowards. Is it really triggering that you debate a conservative in an open forum or on social media? Triggering—that’s another term that’s part of the left-wing orthodoxy that leads to the shutting down free speech. All I can say is that on this front, the president is right. Bravo, sir.