The following is a column on free speech by Mark Shiver, host of “What Matters in North Carolina.”
Dr. Mike Adams knows firsthand what it feels like to be muzzled, or, more accurately, what if feels like for others to attempt to muzzle him. As a professor of criminology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, (UNC-W), Adams has been on both sides of the political spectrum.
As a guest on the “What Matters in North Carolina” podcast on Tuesday, February 14, Adams spoke of being an atheist and leftist professor at UNC-W for a number of years, then changing his views on both counts. Adams said, “Despite the asserted commitment to tolerance and diversity on our campuses, our universities are exactly the opposite. And they are very closed to conservative thought.”
Controversy headed Adams’ way, but he has turned that challenge into opportunities to write columns and give speeches on First Amendment issues. For example, Adams will kick off this year’s ICON Lecture Series on March 7 with a speech entitled, “How U.S. Campuses Incubate and Enforce Cultural Marxism.”
“Marxism and radical thought on our college campuses only succeed because [campuses] are really ideological echo chambers” Adams said. As for campus leftists, he added, “It’s not that they have good ideas, but they’ve set up a system on the campus where we don’t have reasoned debate.”
The rise of campus speech codes and notions like triggers and micro-aggressions has resulted in an ever-shrinking area of what is acceptable free speech at colleges. Adams said it is no longer the administration faculty forcing these attitudes onto students. “Students themselves are demanding restrictions on free speech. There is a culture of censorship that is beginning to spread among this generation.”
Adams said this is now a form of weapon that can be used to indoctrinate students. He said, “They go into micro-aggression training and they have college administrators who are teaching them new and novel ways of being offended, and language that wasn’t even meant to be offensive. They realize that they can use this as a weapon with people. They get into an argument with someone and they don’t have the intelligence to provide a rebuttal – well, what can they do? They can then whip up a charge against them in some sort of university proceeding for violating some sort of campus speech code.”
Sound absurd? It’s the reality of free speech on university campuses in 2017, and absolutely the reality on social media.
The rise of conservative success on one front – particularly in a state like North Carolina – along with the growing immorality that is rampant in much of leftist thought has brought campus radicals to a point in which their weapons of choice are hate and wild accusations, because they cannot defend their ideas reasonably.
Adams described this tactic as “teaching people how to be aggressive with others and actually shut them down when speech upsets them, instead of actually engaging the ideas on their own merit.”
“Students are finding this empowering,” Adams continued. “But what they don’t realize is that we’ve got government agents who are determining what ideas are acceptable and what are not. And that actually is dangerous, sort of turning over their rights to government supervision. I just don’t think that the students have thought about the long-term ramifications of what [they] are allowing to fester in their culture.”
It often seems that the long view is not considered by leftists. They want to spend tax dollars aggressively without thought of the long-term negative impact on citizens. Leftist media use our Constitutional freedoms of speech and of the press to impale conservatives and advocate for liberalism, not thinking that the ultimate end of the liberal spectrum is communism, where there is no freedom of speech or of the press.
To listen to the entire interview with Dr. Mike Adams click here.