By Caroline Colarusso
Last week President Trump announced that he is close to signing an executive order that would withhold federal research funds from colleges that do not allow freedom of speech. According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, over 90 percent of colleges and universities restrict speech to some degree. College campuses achieve this dubious distinction by adopting speech codes and drastically limiting locations where students are allowed to engage in public speaking.
While most colleges go to great lengths to appear to be fighting for the less fortunate and marginalized groups in the name of promoting “diversity,” there is very little political or ideological diversity on many college campuses. Notably, Boston Magazine recently reported that conservative professors are outnumbered 28 to 1 by liberals at New England colleges – the highest disparity in academia in the United States – creating an atmosphere of rigid ideological orthodoxy.
Not infrequently, the same groups that are supposedly promoting tolerance are the same groups that generate up mobs that block and even attack conservative speakers from even appearing on campuses. Prominent conservative speakers such as Ben Shapiro, Jason Riley and Anne Coulter, are among those who find their appearances at colleges shouted down by the hecklers veto. Speaking invitations withdrawn as a result of complaints from campus protestors, all in the name of censorship.
Congress annually appropriates approximately $38 billion dollars to be given to colleges and universities for research purposes. At many colleges this can equate to about 50% of their research budgets. Universities are reliant on these federal research dollars.
When the playing field is leveled everyone is a winner especially the taxpayers and the students that attend these colleges and universities. Parents and students alike don’t want to be indoctrinated, rather they wish to have information presented by both sides and use their critical thinking skills to come up with an opinion of their own. Taxpayers don’t deserve to have their hard-earned dollars used by institutions that silence those who are at odds with left wing progressive academic elitists.
Conservative students across America have suffered verbal slurs, physical assaults, and been ostracized and persecuted for their political positions and voicing their opinions. Just last week a young man named Hayden Williams was assaulted while expressing his views at the University of California, Berkeley. Hayden is a field representative for the Leadership Institute who travels to college campuses to recruit and train conservative student activists. Hayden was punched in the face by someone who didn’t think he should be free to express his political views on campus. The violence was captured on video. The message that provoked the attacker causing him to assault Williams was “Hate Crime Hoaxes Hurt Real Victims.”
Some young students who having been indoctrinated in public education settings from an early age believing that liberalism is the only acceptable belief system, arrive on campus ready to do political battle. They can maintain a high sense of moral righteousness and in an effort to obtain their politically driven goals are determined to silence those with differences of opinion socially, culturally or politically. It has become virtually impossible to be an openly public conservative on many campuses but hopefully thanks to the efforts of President Trump all that may be changing soon.
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