Conservative Voices Silenced No More

By Adriana Cohen

March 8, 2019 4 min read

America finally has a president willing to defend its citizens' constitutionally enshrined right to free speech, now under assault on college campuses nationwide.

It's no secret that for many years now, political correctness, spreading like a toxic weed from one safe space to the next, has gotten so out of control on American campuses that conservative voices are being routinely marginalized or entirely forbidden from expressing opinions, phrases or words independent of liberal groupthink.

It's well-documented that many conservative leaders and activists have been unwelcome or outright banned from speaking at colleges and universities, including pro-life and conservative commentator Ben Shapiro. Then there's women's rights activist and scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was ousted from speaking at Brandeis University in 2014 for speaking out against Islamic female oppression — something she experienced firsthand while growing up in Somalia. At the tender age of 5, Ali was subjected to life-altering genital mutilation among other forms of sharia-backed oppression. And who can forget the student protesters at Rutgers University who, the same year, created such a ruckus that Condoleezza Rice, the first black female secretary of state in U.S. history, was pressured into backing out of delivering its commencement address?

Their crime? All three dared to possess viewpoints that aren't in lockstep with liberal orthodoxy.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Censorship of right-leaning voices on campuses has gotten so extreme that simply advocating for a cause or expressing a conservative viewpoint these days can get you assaulted — courtesy of the intolerant left.

A recent example is Hayden Williams, who was physically assaulted by a violent leftist for simply trying to recruit students for a conservative grassroots group during a visit to the University of California, Berkeley on Feb. 19. In a recent opinion piece, Williams, who travels to campuses throughout California, described what's happening: "Conservative students across the country have suffered verbal and physical assault, social ostracism and even academic persecution for voicing their opinions on political topics." He opines that liberals consider themselves morally righteous and, in order to dominate the culture wars, seek to "silence any form of dissent."

Enter President Donald Trump. Last Saturday, while speaking at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC, he vowed to take action to protect freedom of expression on campus. "I'm proud to announce that I will be very soon signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research dollars." He added, "If they want our dollars, and we give it to them by the billions, they've got to allow people like Hayden ... to speak."

It's long overdue that our leaders in Washington took a stand on combatting censorship and discrimination against conservatives nationwide and enacted measures to protect its citizens' First Amendment rights as enshrined in the U.S Constitution.

If not now, when?

Adriana Cohen is a syndicated columnist with the Boston Herald. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16. To find out more about Adriana Cohen and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: at Pixabay

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