Free speech and free thought are under attack
Things have been getting weirder and weirder on college campuses lately. From the demand for “Safe Spaces” to violent (and ironically very unsafe) mobs blocking speakers with different views, to the totally unhinged rhetoric, what were once spaces of debate and learning have become filled with anger and indoctrination.
That said, you would think that at least the Dalai Lama – one of the most respected figures in the world – would get a free pass.
The University of California – San Diego (UCSD), is planning to have the Dalai Lama speak at their June graduation ceremony.
Most students would consider that an incredible honour.
And yet, something else seems to be going on at UCSD.
After the announcement of the Dalai Lama’s speech was made, some Chinese students at UCSD were outraged, and demanded to meet with university leadership about it.
They condemned the planned speech, and want the Dalai Lama banned from addressing students.
Strangely, it is being noted that the rhetoric used by students protesting the Dalai Lama’s trip mirrors that used by other campus social justice warriors (SJW’s).
As Josh Horowitz wrote in Quartz, “What Westerners might perceive as Communist Party orthodoxy is mingling weirdly with academia’s commitment to diversity, political correctness, and other championed ideals.”
In a statement, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association at UCSD said, “UCSD is a place for students to cultivate their minds and enrich their knowledge. Currently, the various actions undertaken by the university have contravened the spirit of respect, tolerance, equality, and earnestness—the ethos upon which the university is built. These actions have also dampened the academic enthusiasm of Chinese students and scholars.”
The statement went on to promise that the students would take “further measures to firmly resist the university’s unreasonable behaivor.”
Some students even made the case that inviting the Dalai Lama goes against “political correctness,” and called the Dalai Lama “oppressive.”
This is crazy.
We should be very concerned to hear that the Chinese Communist Party is pushing their message tactics into campuses in free nations. When an ideology from a country that doesn’t allow free speech tries to impose that system in the west, it is a big problem.
This isn’t an isolated incident.
According to Quartz, China’s embassy in London actually called Durham University and tried to get them to cancel a speech by Anastasia Lin. Lin is a Chinese-Canadian beauty queen, and is also an outspoken human rights activist. At the same time as the Chinese embassy was trying to get Anastasia Lin’s speech cancelled, the Chinese Students Association at Durham made a statement condemning Lin.
This points to an orchestrated campaign by the Chinese Communist Party to push their oppression into free nations.
And it shows a disturbing merger between the tactics of social justice warriors, and a country that crushes free expression at every turn.
We must fight for free speech
When people are trying to shut down the Dalai Lama, we can be certain something has gone terribly wrong. Free speech and free expression are under attack, and each of us must speak out against efforts to suppress our right to share our views and listen freely to the views of others.
We can’t let the ideology of an oppressive regime like China destroy what makes our society great. We must fight for free speech and stand up for our individual rights.
Otherwise, we may look back on this era as the beginning of freedom’s decline. We must not let that happen.
Photo – Twitter