Strife of freedom

The debate of freedom or security continues onward to the next generation.

Public Domain Pictures by George Hodan

I recently learned that Saddleback along with many other public colleges and universities only allow the freedom of speech and freedom of assembly in certain locations. Designated as “free speech zones”, these despots of discussion might require prior reservations.

As a member of the Lariat and a supporter of the first amendment like any self-righteous journalist, I cannot ignore this. Letting this go past me is just plain ignorant and against my ideals.

According to an article by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, 89.7 percent of American colleges have policies that restrict free speech. Another article by the same foundation said, “And by treating campus expression as something to be hidden, regulated, and monitored instead of encouraged and celebrated, colleges and universities that exile expressive activity to “free speech zones” teach students the wrong lesson about life in our liberal democracy”.

This whole idea of “free speech zones” is just plain dumb in my opinion. A place of learning and higher education should allow both students and faculty to be able to say their piece about anything. It is through the voice and opinions of those around you that is taken in to formulate your own conclusions.

If you take that away, then what is left is ignorance. Thought is not is not some passive thing, like these free speech zones present. It’s a brutal process that eliminates pre-existing ideals to create new ones.

When given the choice between security and freedom, I will always choose freedom. Security does provide safety, but it also prevents the world from explore the minds and beliefs of individuals. One prefers the masses over the individual, forgetting that each member of the masses themselves is an individual.

Each person’s own belief and identity matters in everything, it helps define who you are and what matters to you. Banding together under a banner that has a limited perspective or an unwillingness of compromise sacrifices this identity in order to hide from the truth.

Hiding behind this form of security is nothing more than cowardice. A self-serving cowardice that does nothing but stagnation and zero change.

The entire point of journalism according to myself is to find the truth or a solution to a problem so that it can lead others toward a goal. Nothing can be done if people just sit on their hands.

This article is a call to arms. People need to know that our government and higher education systems are failing our basic rights provided by them. The ability for discourse and discussion is what has allowed the United States to both succeed and struggle in its short history. It also has allowed each generation to learn from the past toward a better future.