College campuses need to be open to free speech and open debate


To the editor:

Recently I read of a St. Louis teacher terminated for showing a class of seventh graders a Prager U video entitled “Why You Can’t Argue with a Leftist.”

I’ve watched some Prager U videos on YouTube, roughly five-minute videos presenting a conservative view on various issues. Not being able to verify the specifics of this case, I’ll make some general comments on free speech.

A March 2019 Rasmussen poll showed that 49 percent of Americans believe there is less freedom of speech on college campuses than in the past, while just 16 percent think there is more.

Why can’t we just reasonably state our opinions? If we must attack, then attack problems, not people. College campuses, once self-proclaimed free-speech havens, now seem to be places where people with differing viewpoints are often not invited, uninvited, shouted down or worse.

If you truly have a better viewpoint, why not articulate it? Step up and dazzle people with amazing insights. Attempting to silence those you disagree with is intellectually pathetic. How will “protecting” people from a differing viewpoint make their lives better?

It seems like those “protections” will hurt a student’s ability to adapt and overcome adversity in life. For example, two Prager U videos that I enjoyed were, “Is Honesty Always the Best Policy?” and “The Chicago Fire.” Maybe watch some of their videos and decide for yourself.

Bob Mahacek