When Does Dissent Resemble Censorship?

stressed-646457_1280I am concerned with how we speak to each other and our lack of courtesy. We scream—literally!—about free speech being a constitutional right. At the same time, we attempt to shut down, drive out of town, overpower, and disrupt those speakers who have a different viewpoint than we do.

I listened to Jan Mickelson on WHO for a few minutes as I was driving and later went online to the podcast to hear the whole 20-minute discussion. Jan first mentioned three specific speakers who were overwhelmed, disrupted, or driven out on college campuses—with accusations of white supremacy. Sadly to say, this did not surprise me.

I was surprised, however, to hear direct quotes from Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin, and Richard Dawkins that could give cause to label them as “white supremacists.” Would we invite any one of these men to speak at ISU or would we shout them down?

Each one of us has a bias, a comfort zone, a competitive urge to be top dog. How deep does it go? Do we recognize when it is implicit in our learning and beliefs?

I invite you to listen to Jan Mickelson’s 20-minute discourse. Talk about it with those close to you. Talk about it with those having opposing viewpoints.

Be nice. Be polite. Listen. Check your heart.

We need to be a diverse people that knows how to work toward a unified America.



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