Censored: The right to NOT remain silent

by Caleb McCullough | Class of 2018 | February 16, 2017

   Freedom of thought and speech is one of the most basic, fundamental rights of an individual. Censorship is usually done by the government, but what if the censorship is not done by government, but by the individuals themselves?

 

   Cultural censorship appears when someone in power, or culture as a whole, denies freedom of speech to someone who has opposing views. A world where ideas are not allowed an equal playing field is a censored world. There seems to be a growing idea that the correct response to a view that one finds repulsive, and even dangerous, is to silence and censor people.

 

   This often happens to people accused of being racist or hateful in some form. Here’s a perfect example: Milo Yiannopoulos, a popular conservative commentator, was stopped from hosting an event at University of California Davis in January because protesters, calling him fascist, racist, sexist, and worse, blocked access to the hall and stopped the event from happening.

 

  As the protestors were celebrating the success of their blockade, many more were mourning a tragic loss for free 

Speech.

   Everyone, even those whose views you find horrible and dangerous, deserves to have a voice. The contribution of these people is important to the overall discussion.

 

   There is a constant battle raging in Twitter feeds and coffee shops, in classrooms and chat rooms. It is the battle of ideas. It has existed forever, and it will never end. The key to the success of this battle of ideas is that every idea, every assertion, every outrageous statement, is given an equal playing field.

 

   Ideas rise and fall based on their validity and influence. This ideological stew is what allowed us to progress to where we are today.

 

   Freedom of speech, and by extension the equality of ideas, is the most basic necessity of a free society. It should be a key concern for everyone. Whether you agree with someone or not, you should always support their right to say what they believe. If not, your deepest convictions could be next on the chopping block.