in

College course on ‘white issues’ sheds light on free speech and hypocrisy

Advertisements

For those of us who were lucky enough to attend college, college should be a time of debate and discourse.

Worldviews are constantly being challenged on campus, both inside and outside the classroom. Students should learn to question authority and debate and challenge everything from foreign policy to the school’s response to allegations of sexual assault.

The right of students to protest and exercise free speech on college campuses is essential to democracy and learning.

Trying to silence a controversial figure goes against that tradition.

When former Breitbart editor and far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos came to DePaul University in 2016, the event ended abruptly as protesters stormed the stage and snatched the microphone from the host’s hands. Three years later, demonstrations over former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ attendance at Northwestern University sparked a larger public debate about free speech and press freedom.

Some conservatives complain that such efforts to “cancel” them on college campuses are unfair and anti-American, describing critics as sensitive “snowflakes.” increase.

But “cancelling culture” works both ways. So should freedom of expression.

Claiming victimhood on the one hand and trying to silence the other at the same time is hypocritical.

Consider the case of Daniel Schmidt, a sophomore at the University of Chicago, as WBEZ’s Nereida Moreno recently reported.

Schmidt expressed his displeasure on Twitter, piecing together a thread containing a biography and university emails of Professor Rebecca Journey, who leads a course titled “The Problem of Whiteness.” Schmidt’s Twitter thread went viral and sparked a misinformation campaign among right-wing media that involved online attacks against Journey, including death threats.

Journey, who holds a doctorate in anthropology from C University, will teach the now-postponed course in the spring, according to the university newspaper. Chicago Maroon.

Schmidt, meanwhile, was angered by Journey’s claims that it was his Twitter thread that sparked a “targeted cyberbullying campaign.”

“Read my original thread yourself,” says Schmidt murmured to his nearly 32,000 followers last week. “I have never called cyberbullying or attacks against this professor.

Schmidt has a right to speak, but if he is to be expected to be taken seriously, he should at least know what he is talking about. For example, the seminar has been described as an examination of “whiteness issues through an anthropological lens.”

“This class emphasizes that it’s not about ‘white issues,'” Journey said.

Schmidt should also remember that the college he attends has a reputation for taking free speech seriously, and we stand by that position. should do Universities should not be echo chambers for unconventional ideas.

Schmidt recommends reading 3 page statement C.’s Commission on Freedom of Speech released several years ago.

“Of course, the ideas of various members of the university community often and quite naturally collide,” the statement read. “But it is not the proper role of a university to seek to protect individuals from unwelcome, offensive, or highly offensive thoughts and opinions.”

Schmidt may not have the intellectual curiosity to challenge herself by taking a course on Journey, but she has no right to misrepresent it or keep her from teaching it.

Calls to cancel similar courses are nothing new. In 2016, a course titled “The Problem of Whiteness” at the University of Wisconsin-Madison caused a backlash. The year before, an assistant professor at Arizona State University received death threats for a lecture called “Race Theory and White Issues in America.”

If such courses help young people better understand America’s complex racial history, more students, including Schmidt, should take them.

“Education should not be meant to make people comfortable. Education is meant to make people think.

When asked if Schmidt was facing disciplinary action, a University of Washington spokesperson cited federal privacy protections and said the school would allow freedom of expression while maintaining its prohibition on harassment, intimidation and other misconduct. He added that he was protected.

A true college experience requires both.

The Sun-Times welcomes letters and articles to the editor. see guidelines.


Advertisements
Advertisements

What do you think?

Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

Leave a Reply

AG: City of Chicago improperly withheld letters from attorneys regarding alleged accounting firm misconduct

“TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK” Outdoor Public Art Exhibition