Comments about ‘Censorship on college campuses has left some uneasy’

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Published: Friday, May 16 2014 8:00 a.m. MDT

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patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

if a public university won't allow conservatives to speak then I refuse to give my tax dollars to that university. Let's put it on the ballot.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

When a person of religion makes a statement like " Yet this mob exists to enforce conformity of thought and to delegitimize any dissent from its sanctioned worldview. Intolerance is its calling card”, I am temped to remind them that religions are probably the most intolerant organizations in the world.

When my posts or letters are rejected by the news paper, it is mostly because I have stepped over the line of toleration of decent as set by the owners and editors of the news paper.

I don't know if the right to express an opinion in someone else's venue, a news paper, is Constitutional or not as freedom of speech or freedom of the press but it seems like it should be. Freedom of speech doesn't mean much in our current world situation if your voice is free as the sound of your voice.

Other than all that, I prefer to listen to my enemies rather than my friends.

Eliot
Genola, UT

Condoleeza Rice spoke at BYU a few years ago and did a marvelous job. She was witty and insightful. It is a shame that students at Rutgers are denied the opportunity to hear her speak. I attended Dick Cheney's commencement speech at BYU which was loudly protested by a few. Thankfully, BYU did not cave to pressure and let him come. His speech was very bland and filled with graduation cliches. He went out of his way to keep politics out of what he had to say. Finally, I attended the speech given by Harry Reid at BYU. Of the three I mention here, his was the most political but also the most personal. I appreciated hearing from all three, even though I may not agree with what they do or have done.

Hemlock
Salt Lake City, UT

It has been impossible to schedule conservative speakers in most universities because of leftist demonstrations and interruptions. This is not a new phenomenon and highlights the tyranny of those on the left who champion free speech, but refuse to practice it.

jamsenior
SANTAQUIN, UT

Why is this even a topic of discussion? Back in the 70's the ALCU went to court in support of Neo Nazi and KKK right to march and spew their hate in Jewish communities and down south! We've come full circle now? It's sad that those who preach tolarence are now the intolerant! We haven't learned from our past history as those who led the Civil Rights movement are quoted and worshipped as patriots are the excuse for intlolerence today!

Concinnity
Richfield, UT

There was once a time when liberal universities claimed a high tolerance and even a liking for various ways of thinking and opinions. Those times are long gone. The only diversity left on these left-wing liberal universities is skin color.

They make it more than obvious that any ideas, values or even opinions that reflect anything conservative is totally unwelcome and even abhorred. Sadly, they have become the epitome of intolerance, and consequently graduate students who are narrow and single minded. They are the last places I would send any of my children for a quality education.

It's sad and even frightening to realize some of our future leaders and judges are being taught in these institutions of intolerance. That doesn't bode well for the future of America.

Sasha Pachev
Provo, UT

patriot makes a good point. We say we have a representative democracy, but it does not amount to much. We get taxed a good amount, but have no direct control of how the money gets spent. I think we would benefit from a system where for at least a portion of your taxes you get to decide where they go. In the past this was not feasible, but today we have the technology to do this as a low cost. Unfortunately, what we lack the gumption to move forward and make it happen. Or perhaps there is resistance from special interest groups that do nothing for the people while getting generously funded by the government.

JLindow
St George, UT

Judging by the difficulty of getting comments onto Deseret News articles, I'd say this paper is a strong supporter of censorship.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Speaking as a liberal, I'm uncomfortable about the "dis-inviting" of these speakers. It reminds me of the blacklists of McCarthy's day or the reaction to von Papen's Marburg speech. We liberals need to back off and let people talk. It's the best of our tradition.

mcdugall
Murray, UT

First of all, these issues are in no way a form on censorship. Protests of speakers happens all the time, it just seems that the threshold for which individuals will withdraw from speaking seems to be dramatically lower than in years past. Most importantly, lets keep things in perspective. this is not censorship since all of the nominated speakers personally withdrew.

Manzanita
Las Vegas, NV

How awful that a university of all places would cave to such pressure and insulate itself from speakers that might espouse unpopular beliefs. More universities should be like BYU was in its treatment of professor Jeffrey Nielsen. In 2006, he penned on op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune that urged acceptance of same-sex marriage. Instead of firing him, BYU . . . oh wait, BYU did fire him for it.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

McDugall makes a great point.

If Condoleeza Rice went ahead and did the commencement speech at Rutgers, nobody would have cared, but because she decided to withdraw, it scores her huge political points with conservatives and reinforces that everyone should stay in their respective political echo chambers.

Rice is a professor at Stanford. She encounters liberals all day, every day. But backing out of the speech at Rutgers scores points for her side, without having to do anything.

Mark B
Eureka, CA

The "loud protests" at BYU against Dick Cheney mentioned by Eliot were in fact tightly controlled, limited to times and places where Cheney would not be near. The VEEP by then had pretty much stopped giving speeches to public audiences.

Bob K
portland, OR

This is not the right way to think about it, in my view.

What in the world is the point of telling students that they must listen to a graduation speaker they do not respect?

To have to sit through a speech by Dick Cheney or Condoleza Rice, who represent the terrible, unnecessary, and disastrous Iraq war to many Americans, should not be required of students, except at BYU and other schools which follow a right wing agenda.

If the DN wants liberal students to listen to someone who represents the Bush Administration in their minds, it would be only fair for you to suggest that Dan Savage should speak at BYU.

Do you see my point?

Michael Matthews
Omaha, NE

Ironyguy,

What a great example. Thank you for calling out the extremists in your party that are responsible for the majority of the recent calls. Republicans need to do the same. Here in Nebraska, we resisted some guy who had old ties with a radical liberal group (some professor from Univ. of Chicago a few years back). Anyway, he also didn't come. It was a shame. Free speech is vital to our way of life. You learn so much from those you do not agree with. Listen to them. Then they might listen to you!

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I'll remember some of these comments when repubs complain about Uvu inviting Michael Moore to speak. Interesting how censorship is suddenly bad when a few years ago it was good!

Students didn't want her to speak because she's a conservative.

Students didn't want her to speak because she's a war criminal.

Schools have a right to invite and disinvite whoever they want. Or do repubs want compulsion?

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Cancelling due to student opposition doesn't quite sound the same as censorship. But it does get articles like this written, and gives traction to those claiming victimhood.

samhill
Salt Lake City, UT

I've always been bothered when people will object to someone else because of their "intolerance". Particularly when they simultaneously shout the other person down, thus demonstrating their own intolerance AND hypocrisy.

Everyone is both tolerant and intolerant.

To condemn someone for their intolerance is meaningless since all one is truly saying is that the other person has tolerances that are different than one's own. To make objections to the things tolerated by the other person meaningful one must actually argue for the reasons tolerating something, or not, is the way thing should be. To merely state that the other person tolerates or does not tolerate something that you think they should't or should is like insisting that someone should like a certain kind of art, or not. Pointless.

Ironically, the political correctness that has been growing in the last few decades was, in many ways, a reaction to what the PC crowd regarded as puritanical obsessions to which they took exception. The result is that we've simply traded on puritanism for another.

My hope is the **freedom** of thought and expression will someday, once again, become puritanically and politically correct.

Mark B
Eureka, CA

Young (or un-young) people shouldn't object to other opinions being expressed. That doesn't, however, mean that there is a "right" to speak to large audiences - and be paid for it.

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

Who has been censored? If it's censorship to not be invited to talk anywhere I want, then I have been irrevocably censored everywhere.

The students have the right to speak up and the people inviting guests have the right to uninvite if they want to. I think we have lost touch with the dictionary to tell the truth.

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