At a town hall meeting yesterday in Iowa, President Obama put in his two cents on the increasingly intolerant and censored atmosphere of today’s college campuses. As it turns out, he’s not a fan of it.
According to yesterday’s article in Vox, here’s what he said:
“It’s not just sometimes folks who are mad that colleges are too liberal that have a problem. Sometimes there are folks on college campuses who are liberal, and maybe even agree with me on a bunch of issues, who sometimes aren’t listening to the other side, and that’s a problem too. I’ve heard some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative or they don’t want to read a book if it has language that is offensive to African-Americans or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women. I gotta tell you, I don’t agree with that either. I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of view. I think you should be able to — anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with ‘em. But you shouldn’t silence them by saying, ‘You can’t come because I'm too sensitive to hear what you have to say.’ That’s not the way we learn either.”
I know, I know… some of you will claim that Obama’s rhetoric and actions have played a role in furthering intolerance on college campuses. But perhaps this time we can all give him the benefit of the doubt, and start a dialogue about ways to push back against this disturbing trend in higher education?
Image source: Obama speaking (23)" by Daniel Borman - Flickr: Obama speaking (23). Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.">Daniel Borman, Flickr
Dan is a former Senior Fellow at Intellectual Takeout. He received his B.A. in Philosophy and Catholic Studies from the University of St. Thomas (MN), and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. You can find his academic work at Academia.edu.