(January 16, 2017 Correction: "The University of Texas strongly values academic freedom and free-speech rights regardless of political affiliation and the university would never cancel a class under circumstances like this. More than five years ago, Professor Bonevac decided of his own accord to stop teaching this class. This was his decision taken on his initiative. The university is a community of people with wide-ranging social and political views across the spectrum of society, and we respect and protect the free-speech rights of all members of our community, regardless of political orientation.")
A professor at the University of Texas at Austin says political correctness is responsible for the cancellation of a course that debated controversial topics.
Professor Daniel Bonevac ran a moral ethics class for around 30 years without much incident until around 2011 when he started noticing that one or two students in class could often shut down debate and silence other students by deeming them bigoted for expressing opposing views.
Bonevac, a known conservative-leaning professor who supported Donald Trump in the US election, says this is what ruined the class that focussed on moral problems centred around liberty, first principles, rights and justice and included topics spanning from drug legalization, abortion, sexual behaviour and immigration.
This comes as no surprise from a university that issued a 29 point checklist to create better themes and costumes around Halloween last year. The tips for costume choices included things like “if we’re afraid of someone’s reaction, then we probably shouldn’t do it”.
The Office of the Dean put its stamp of approval on the “Costume and Theme Selection Guide” to outline what were deemed “harmful themes” such as “Cowboys and Indians” and “Around the World” versus “Themes to Consider” which included a “Catalina Yacht Mixer” or “preppy.”
Universities are places where opinions and ideas should be challenged, but we’re seeing a minority of people overtaking the conversation on a larger scale than just one university class. Some universities even enforce speech codes and policies that attempt to put a stop to offensive speech.
There is a trend towards stifling discussion and the left continue to intensify their attacks on free speech, ironically using their free speech to do so. They may find conversations dangerous, but what’s really dangerous is stifling debate.
Restricting one person’s right to free speech restricts everyone’s and sooner or later, these lefties might find that the same rules they call for can be used to silence them too.