Let me begin by saying, I consider myself to be pretty liberal. I believe in freedom of speech and protecting that right. I'm also a college student in California, which means I've experienced conservative speakers stepping on my campus to spew their ideas.
What encourages these individuals to come to some of the most liberal schools? At first, I didn't understand why conservative speakers would even want to step foot on a liberal college campus.
In 2017, right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos attempted to speak at the University of California at Berkeley. Following protests and riots, more than $100,000 worth of damage resulted. While many of the protestors were unaffiliated with the college, President Trump issued a statement threatening to seize federal funds for UC Berkeley.
Posted to Twitter, because Trump knows that the fastest way he'll get all the attention he so desperately needs, Trump tweeted: "If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view — NO FEDERAL FUNDS?"
Ok, here is the problem. As much as it pains us liberal college students to allow people with obviously opposing views to step foot on our turf, WE HAVE TO.
Here me out. Liberals are supposed to protect free speech, right? Political Correctness is important to practice because language or policies that are meant to cause offense is not something Americans or America should be proud of. Political correctness attempts to avoid offense to particular groups of people in society, so please tell me why this is a bad thing.
Political correctness is not a bad practice. What can be bad, however, is being "too" politically correct. Sometimes balancing the truth and protecting people's feelings is impossible, and here lies the issue at hand.
When college students on liberal campuses like myself prohibit conservative speakers from sharing their beliefs and exercising their first amendment rights, we become the bad guy. We cannot do this, or it will lead to our own demise. When liberals begin telling conservatives they must be politically correct, that is one thing. Political correctness is a good goal to have. Yet, when liberals begin keeping conservative from speaking because of what they have to say, liberals become undemocratic.
I know it's hard. I don't agree with a lot of things conservatives say. I want more people, in general, to adopt political correctness because I am tired of hearing offensive stereotypes, hurtful comments, and overall hate about fellow American citizens.
Can't you say what you need to say without causing others pain?
No, apparently not...and that's the problem about political correctness. Those who do not support its claim that by practicing political correctness, their point is not getting across. When you have to sugarcoat it, the message is lost, or at least that's what people claim when they oppose being politically correct.
I don't understand this in the slightest. I was raised to be kind to others and when I have advantages, I place myself in other peoples' shoes to remind myself to be humble. But some people don't practice the same morals. That's ok.
But political correctness is not the culprit. Me being kind and nonoffensive is not the same thing as me taking away your first amendment right of free speech. Some people don't understand this relationship, however, and thus, political correctness is heavily debated in today's America.
I don't want to limit anyone's freedom of speech. I don't want to appear undemocratic by striving for politically correct language. I don't want liberals like me to be condemned for being unamerican when all we ask is for kindness, compassion, and understanding when you come to our campus.
I do hope America can one day be a hate-free zone where varying beliefs can be practiced without difficulty. Until then, say what you gotta say because it's your right. But please, just be mindful of others when you do.