The Louisville Cardinal

Don’t silence citizens’ speech, learn from it

By Huda Jabbar —

Earlier last month flyers declaring a space for people who “feel alone in caring about the future of European people and the preservation of European culture” were found scattered across the outskirts of our campus.

The university condemned the flyers and removed them. This activity has sparked a conversation often held on school campuses: Should free speech be allowed when it is inflammatory speech?

We should never silence a citizen. They should be able to say and do what they want as long as it doesn’t take away anyone else’s rights.

Many people disagree with that. If what is being said is hateful, why should we be forced to hear it on our campus?

I argue that if we, as a campus, agree that what they are saying is wrong and harmful, we can easily not pay attention. What gives power to the white supremacist flyers and the ultra-conservative megaphone preachers is the fact that some people listen.

Instead of censoring students from the people they disagree with, we need to teach students to be critically conscious enough to see why what these negative speakers and organizations are incorrect and offensive.

We cannot silence others and censor college campuses from the realities of current day America.

If you disagree with someone or something, you should be able to argue against it. You pay tuition at an institution where you should feel safe to do so.

The problem is a decent chunk of the student body either does not care about the presence of white supremacist flyers or agrees with what they are saying.

Until we, as a society, are able to agree that people with hateful intentions are wrong, those people with hateful intentions will continue to speak. That is just how free speech works.

Graphic by Mitchell Howes / The Louisville Cardinal