The University of Chicago is the first place that made me feel safe
Yangyang Cheng
7612

Thank you so much for writing this!

I’m very sympathetic to the issues of minority positions and realize this issue has nuance that I don’t appreciate. I like to think that I’m a gay-rights ally, BLM ally, and a feminist… but I think the first amendment really is primary, and it gets me riled up. I’m grateful that Yangyang Cheng had the discipline to put together a more lengthy and beautiful argument.

Basically, if there’s a voice you don’t like on public property, I think you should say so and protest, with more speech, not less. I think you should protest the ground-up selection that gave such a speaker a platform. I don’t think you should ever search for an authoritarian solution, however well intended, that uses power to enforce certain language or topics from being discussed, especially at a university.

It’s illiberal. It’s unamerican. It’s unscientific. And it happens in the US.

That does not preclude special interests from having groups that enforce whatever norms or taboos they like in their circles. I just want that kind of conversation to be enforced like talk at any dinner table. You might be considered an asshole for talking a certain way, but it should never be against some higher authority.

Special interests like any interests are best protected in an environment that preserves free speech. If you are an enemy of some perspective, the best thing is that you allow it to be said clearly, and to retort.

The most important speech to defend with the first amendment is speech that someone finds blasphemous/offensive/taboo.

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