Columbia, Free Speech and the Coddling of the American Right

Columbia University, one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the United States, has long been a bastion of free speech and open discourse. However, in recent years, the university has come under fire for what some perceive as a coddling of the American right.

The issue of free speech on college campuses has been a hot-button topic in recent years, with many conservatives arguing that their voices are being silenced in favor of liberal ideologies. This debate has hit close to home at Columbia, where conservative speakers have faced backlash and protests from students who disagree with their views.

In 2017, conservative commentator and writer Mike Cernovich was invited to speak at Columbia, but faced protests and calls for his invitation to be rescinded. The university ultimately allowed him to speak, but the incident highlighted the growing tensions around free speech on campus.

Some critics of Columbia argue that the university’s commitment to free speech has waned in recent years, with conservative voices being marginalized in favor of progressive ideologies. They point to incidents like the cancellation of a speech by controversial right-wing figure Milo Yiannopoulos in 2016 as evidence of this trend.

However, defenders of Columbia argue that the university is simply upholding its commitment to promoting diversity of thought and open dialogue. They point to the university’s history of hosting speakers from a wide range of political perspectives as evidence of its dedication to free speech.

The issue of free speech on college campuses is a complex and contentious one, with no easy answers. While it is important for universities to uphold the principles of free speech and open discourse, it is also crucial to ensure that all voices are heard and respected.

Columbia University’s handling of free speech issues may not always satisfy everyone, but the university’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus environment should be commended. As the debate over free speech continues to rage on, it is important for all sides to come together in a spirit of mutual respect and understanding.