Suicide in The Fast Lane: European Civilization in Accelerated Decline, Politically Correct Universities ‘Are Killing Free Speech’

British universities have become too politically correct and are stifling free speech by banning anything that causes the least offence to anyone, academics argue.

Javier Espinoza writes: A whole generation of students is being denied the “intellectual challenge of debating conflicting views” because self-censorship is turning campuses into over-sanitised “safe spaces”, they say.

“A generation of students is being denied the opportunity to test their opinions against the views of those they don’t agree with.”

“The College does not share Cecil Rhodes’s values or condone his racist views or actions.”

Oriel College says the statue of Rhodes, on a building he paid for, jars with the values of a modern university. It is facing a battle with Historic England, which has listed the statue as an object of historical interest.

Writing in The Telegraph, the academics, led by Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at the University of Canterbury, and Joanna Williams, education editor, Spiked, say it is part of a “long and growing” list of people and objects banned from British campuses, including pop songs, sombreros and atheists.

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“Students who are offended by opposing views are perhaps not yet ready to be at university.”

They say the “deeply worrying development” is curtailing freedom of speech “like never before” because few things are safe from student censors.

Because universities increasingly see fee-paying students as customers, they do not dare to stand up to the “small but vocal minority” of student activists who want to ban everything from the Sun newspaper to the historian David Starkey.

“In September, the University of East Anglia banned students from wearing free sombreros they were given by a local Tex-Mex restaurant because the student union decided non-Mexicans wearing the wide-brimmed hats could be interpreted as racist.”

The letter says: “Few academics challenge censorship that emerges from students. It is important that more do, because a culture that restricts the free exchange of ideas encourages self-censorship and leaves people afraid to express their views in case they may be misinterpreted. This risks destroying the very fabric of democracy.

A student wears a sticker calling for the removal of a statue of Cecil John Rhodes from the campus of the University of Cape Town

“An open and democratic society requires people to have the courage to argue against ideas they disagree with or even find offensive. At the moment there is a real risk that students are not given opportunities to engage in such debate.

[Read the full story here, at the Telegraph]

“A generation of students is being denied the opportunity to test their opinions against the views of those they don’t agree with.”

Calling on vice-chancellors to take a “much stronger stance” against all forms of censorship, they conclude that “students who are offended by opposing views are perhaps not yet ready to be at university”.

Freedom of speech carries a burden of responsibility which shouldn’t be overlooked.

A crane prepares to lift the university of Cape Town’s statue of Cecil John Rhodes from the position he has occupied for over 100 yearsNtokozo Qwabe, who set up the Rhodes Must Fall in Oxford campaign, is one of more than 8,000 foreign students who have been able to study at Oxford because of a Rhodes Scholarship, paid for by the Rhodes Trust, which was set up by Cecil Rhodes in his will.

Professors have complained recently that they are being bullied online by students who are easily offended by opposing views.

In recent months, students at British universities have banned, cancelled or challenged a host of speakers and objects because some found them offensive. Maryam Namazie, a prominent human rights campaigner who is one of the signatories to the letter, was initially banned from speaking at Warwick University because she is an atheist who, it was feared, could incite hatred on campus. She spoke at Warwick in the end. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Ben Rhodes: Political Hack

The Arizona senator wants to see Rhodes and others involved subpoenaed under a congressional select committee. “We have never heard from many of the key players that were involved in that, including Ben Rhodes, who we now see used to be a spokesperson for the NSC [National Security Council], obviously was the political hack for the Obama reelect.” 

— Andrew Johnson, NRO

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The goal of the appearances, said Rhodes, is “to convey that the United States is doing everything that we can to protect our people and facilities abroad; [and] to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, not a broader failure of policy.”

…The email is black-and-white evidence of deception and spin by top White House officials, who have denied since shortly after the 2012 attack that they tried to portray it as an out-of-control protest. In fact, the Cairo demonstration — which was not blocked by the Obama-supported Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt — was organized to demand the release of a jihadi locked up in a U.S. jail…

— Neil MunroWhite House Correspondent

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Emails sent by senior White House adviser Ben Rhodes to other top administration officials reveal an effort to insulate President Barack Obama from the attacks that killed four Americans.

Rhodes sent this email to top White House officials such as David Plouffe and Jay Carney just a day before National Security Adviser Susan Rice made her infamous Sunday news show appearances to discuss the attack.

The “goal,” according to these emails, was “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.”

Rice came under fierce criticism following her appearances on television after she adhered to these talking points and blamed the attack on a little-watched Internet video.

The newly released internal White House e-mails show that Rice’s orders came from top Obama administration communications officials.

“[W]e’ve made our views on this video crystal clear. The United States government had nothing to do with it,” Rhodes wrote in the email, which was released on Tuesday by the advocacy group Judicial Watch…

– , Washington Free Beacon

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