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Diversity of thought

Reader comment on item: Professor [Shahid Alam] Compared Terrorists to Founding Fathers

Submitted by Sida (United States), Feb 9, 2005 at 16:14

I believe it was Voltaire who stated that he disagreed with someone's opinion but would defend to the death their right to express it.

I think it is ironic that the far left often PRETENDS to be protectors of free speech, but are the first to want to shut down debate. And they use a variety of tactics to accomplish this. One of the most common is to shout "racism" when someone asks questions that they would prefer not to be asked. That is meant to immediately shut down all debate on the particular subject because nobody wants the label of racist. I think more and more people are starting to see through that now, though, and it is slowly becoming less effective as a method for stifling dialogue and debate.

As a strong advocate of free speech, I am really cautious about censoring speech even when that speech seems idiotic and truly misguided. However, professors have the RESPONSIBILITY to teach material which can be backed up with facts and not distortions of facts or out and out propaganda. To do otherwise renders them incompetent and irresponsible.

One of the biggest problems in some of our universities these days is that there is not enough diversity of the faculty. I read where approximately 80% of college professors are self-described liberals or leftists. Of course having a particular political leaning does not automatically preclude one from presenting material in a balanced fashion.

Rather than try to interfere with freedom of speech, universities really need to start to hire moderates and conservatives to add balance in their curriculum. Right now college students are being indoctrinated, not taught to listen to different sides and research facts and make up their own minds. Universities are like "re-education camps" where young, impressionable students are sent to learn to hate their country.

I think the leftists don't want diversity of political thought because they are not confident that their positions can stand up to severe scrutiny. If one is confident of the merits of his position, he is not afraid of other viewpoints being presented. He welcomes the debate. Open up the college campuses to diversity of political thought.

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