For the love of free speech, say it

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Re: “Student councils must decide where to draw the line on free speech”
Jan. 23, 2009

To the editor:
What a testament to the age of sensitivity we live in that this debate has been in the paper for what seems like months now. I clearly don’t have much ground to stand on, however, because I have chosen to respond to it.

I should preface with the statement that I am about as liberal as they come. I think that people who use the term “gay” to refer to something they don’t like or “fag” to talk about a person they don’t like are ignorant and lazy about people’s feelings. I also think that the term “genocide” to describe abortion is just silly. However, my method of dealing with such terms is choosing not to use them myself and correcting friends and others when they do use them. As for deciding where to draw the line on free speech, give me a break.

This is university. This is the time in our lives where it should be alright to be controversial. We’re supposed to experiment with iffy ideas and offensive terms; how else would we learn from them? Be accountable for what you say, apologize when it’s appropriate and mean it, but don’t censor yourself if you have something to say. If someone says something you have a problem with, let him or her know. No one learns when we’re indoctrinated with the stigma of “watch what you say.” People will think what they want and never have the chance to be corrected or to learn.

We all come from different backgrounds but we can’t deal with it by walking around on eggshells. I for one wish I got to see the mock wall the Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights group set up in 2005. It sounds like a really cool way to make a point, but if it offended you feel free to let me know why.
" Greg Brown
Genetics IV

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