The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of speech to all Americans. Yet, liberal students on numerous college campuses continue to silence conservative speakers.
The latest situation happened on the Claremont McKenna College campus as reported by James Rogers at The Daily Signal. A group of protesters from various Claremont Colleges blocked the entrances to the building where a conservative was scheduled to speak. Heather Mac Donald, representing the Manhattan Institute was scheduled to speak on “The War on Police.” Manhattan Institute is a conservative think tank, and the title of Mac Donald’s speech was “a reference to her 2016 book about how political rhetoric against police makes America less safe.” She was able to get her message out to 250 students by livestreaming it. The students were able to ask questions by email.
The behavior of the protesters did not go unnoticed. Peter Uvin, vice president of academic affairs for Claremont McKenna College, sent an email to student after the incident:
“I fully understand that people have strong opinions and different – often painful – experiences with the issues Heather Mac Donald discusses. I also understand that words can hurt.”
Uvin then condemned the students’ behavior: “What we face here is not an attempt to demonstrate, or to ask tough questions of our speaker, all of which are both protected and cherished on this campus, but rather to make it impossible for her to speak, for you to listen, and for all of us to debate. This we could not accept.”
Rogers explains that the above described incident fits a pattern of recent months where “many conservative speakers have been protested on college campuses.” Some of those speakers that were protested are Charles Murray (Middlebury College in March) and Milo Yiannopoulos (Berkeley in February).
Rogers also quotes Mary Clare Reim, an education policy analyst at The Heritage Foundation: “We can now add Heather Mac Donald to the long list of experts whose voices have been shut down on college campuses.… Universities have an obligation to protect First Amendment rights on campus. Unfortunately, recent events suggest that many universities no longer take that obligation seriously.”
University of Missouri tried to appease liberals and gave in to their demands. Now the university is paying the price. They officially lost 23 percent of the Fall 2016 freshman class because of an “overwhelming drop in college applications.” The decreased enrollment was a direct result of protests on campus by racial activist groups. Because of the drop in enrollment, there were serious budget problems for the university. They shut down two dormitories and are now closing two more dorms because of the decrease in enrollment. The situation at the University of Missouri clears shows what happens to mainstream students who have a choice of which school to attend.
I wonder how many campuses will lose significant enrollment before the protesters are put in their place and treated like the spoiled brats that they are. Americans are guaranteed the right to share their thoughts and ideas, and most of us are not willing to be silenced by out-of-control protesters.