Censorship of Plaza Preachers Isn’t the Right Thing to Do – The Rocky Mountain Collegian
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I was alarmed to learn that some of my classmates are demanding censorship from religious fanatics on Colorado State University’s Lory Student Center Plaza. Before considering myself as a warrior of right-wing culture, I must clarify that I am a leftist, an atheist and a homosexual.
Twitter account @CallOutCSU calls the rhetoric of the plaza preachers “unregulated hate speech and oppression” and “abuse. This group demands that they be censored in order to ‘protect’ students. Someone at a Rams for Progress meeting celebrated that the ‘LGBTQ community’ is working to censor obnoxious individuals shouting on The Plaza. I do not remember having voted on such a measure.
We’ve been dealing with this shit for millennia; I think we will survive a few crazies on the sidewalk.
We are adults. We don’t need word protection, thank you very much. Those who call for censorship of far-right plaza preachers fail to understand that allowing these people to continue talking nonsense will only serve to embarrass them and diminish their cause; second, by paying attention to these people, we only embolden them and keep them coming back; and third, censoring speech on the grounds that it is hateful or dangerous can and will be used against us in the future.
What happens when a reactionary authoritarian rises to power and declares that criticism of the government is dangerous? Is this atheist speech odious? That the defense of women’s rights has no place in the public arena? As a matter of principle, I am fundamentally opposed to censorship unless the speech is patently illegal or doxative, in which case a judge and jury should get involved.
To my fellow students, I understand that your heart is in the right place, and I appreciate it. But please don’t infantilize gays and college students in pursuit of censorship. We’ve been dealing with this shit for millennia; I think we’ll survive a few crazies on the sidewalk.
Senior, applied computer technology
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