Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
SPOTLIGHT: What the bleep is going on in higher education?
BIG PICTURE: Greg Lukianoff is a free speech attorney and the head of FIRE – the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. For years, he has battled speech restrictions on US campuses. Most of those restrictions originate with administrators and are actively supported by professors.
If you think the primary purpose of a university education is to expand young people’s minds by exposing them to a wide range of ideas, if you think students go to college to learn to think critically about the world around them, you’re woefully behind the times.
While we weren’t looking, those in charge of these institutions performed a bait-and-switch. They decided their real job is to improve society. Rather than teaching young people how to think, they’ve been telling them what to think. This boils down to: Western civilization is one long tale of oppression, racism, sexism, homophobia, and so forth.
Political correctness, says Lukianoff, “has become part of the nervous system of the modern university.” These institutions are committed to “a preconceived notion of what good, moral people should believe. They are purposefully building a culture of conformity – an echo chamber in which students learn that there is only one ‘right way’ of thinking.”
Anyone who values civil debate and nuanced discussion will find Lukianoff’s book, Unlearning Liberty, an illuminating and alarming read.
TOP TAKEAWAY: Young people are being systematically taught to disdain free speech. And your tax dollars are paying for it.
|Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate