75°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Don’t be Imbeciles Masquerading as Academics

I recently read an article from studlife.com that, sadly, gave me a sense of déjà vu. The simple gist of the article, titled “It’s OK that conservatives don’t feel welcome,” was that universities are under no obligation to give conservative students the opportunity to espouse their beliefs, in the same way they do with more liberal students. If you have less than half a brain, like the moron who wrote the original article, you don’t see a problem with that. If you find that remark at least a little bit concerning, congratulations on not wasting everyone else’s oxygen.
My problem is not that this person doesn’t like conservative ideas. My problem is that this kind of thinking is becoming more and more common, especially on the left. Leftists and liberals don’t seem to realize that the ideology they think that “add[s] little value to [their] discourse,” has been kicking their collective asses in political races across the country for the better part of two decades. Furthermore, they don’t understand why nor do they want to.
More problematic than that wonderful demonstration of cognitive dissonance is the subjective standard that it reinforces on college campuses nationwide. The suppression of the minority ideology at Washington University, where this story originates, is fine because it’s filled with Trump-loving conservatives. God forbid if the shoe were on the other foot! What if we refused to allow gay students to discuss their culture? They certainly represent a minority in student bodies. I can already hear the shrieks from a queer theory professor, on this campus, proclaiming how these two examples couldn’t have less to do with each other.
My point is that just because someone believes in something, or identifies with something you don’t agree with, doesn’t mean it should be oppressed. I come to this campus every day and am surrounded by people, many of them friends, who don’t believe the things I believe, and I’m fine with that! At the end of the day I go home to a girlfriend who also doesn’t believe the same things I believe, and I love it! Hearing ideologies that do not align with my own, forces me to question my beliefs. That questioning gives me a greater understanding of why I believe the things I believe. Sometimes I end up modifying my beliefs, but I also change a lot of people’s opinions along the way. That’s the beauty of a marketplace of ideas: we all get to learn from each other. We’re not trapped in the demagoguery of stagnant ideologies that are never challenged.
Now maybe you would prefer to live in a more close-minded society, like the one described in the original article. If that’s your preference, that’s fine; I’m sure there is a vacant tenement with your name on it, in a cold Russian city where everyone is forced to think the same thing. Or, you could do what you’re supposed to do with your time at college: learn from the people around you who don’t think like you. Learn to see the value of difference. This campus has chapters of the College Republicans, College Democrats, and College Greens; go to a meeting for each of them, hear ideas and arguments from “the other side.” You might learn something.