The Sunflower

Letter to the Editor — Cale Ostby

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Alright, here we go … This letter has been a long time coming, and needs to be read by our student body. Believe it or not, Americans are done with social justice. We’re sick of being called racists, misogynists, homophobes, and bigots. Every American has a right to speak on a college campus, and no matter what opinion, that speech should be encouraged. Free discourse cultivates actual learning. Too often now, any idea that may obstruct the narrative of the social justice regressive left is labeled as “hate speech” and isn’t allowed to be debated or discussed. There isn’t room for any conservative opinion on college campuses anymore.

Although recent elections have proven that the majority of Americans are sick of these mislabelings, universities have doubled-down on becoming a closed microcosm of singular ideals. Where higher education used to excel in its encouragement of free discourse of controversial opinions and ideas, free expression of individual opinion, and speech protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States, these same universities do everything that they can to stifle discussion and use instructors and students to continue their goals of killing any form of dissent. I look back at one of my recent general education courses taught by Peer Moore-Jansen. In a lecture hall of over one hundred students, he used his platform to proselytize his worldview without an opportunity for debate. The majority of the students in that class were freshmen or sophomores who hadn’t been exposed to American politics outside of the classroom. We get it, Moore-Jansen, you’re from Denmark and don’t understand how the United States, our rights, and our Constitution work. Perhaps you should open yourself up to discussion in your classroom rather than forcing silent students to accept your worldview.

Prejudice against arguments contradicting prevailing WSU opinion aren’t rare. GTAs trained by WSU professors perpetuate their rhetoric. I’d ask any student who may have a differing opinion than their instructors to share their own stories.  These aren’t hate speech, and WSU should encourage these discussions. I also have facts to back up these arguments, and none of them are meant to be hateful. We need to have a platform to discuss these issues with those that disagree. I’d love to list several arguments as a way to encourage discussion, but they may be viewed as hateful without a conversation behind why those beliefs are held. Without being able to present them I’m worried that my satirical viewpoint may be seen as hateful. And that’s the last thing I want to open discussion for different ways to address the issues that we have in the U.S. and encourage people on the left to listen to people on the right without mislabeling them. I don’t want to give the people that disagree with me a platform to hate me more than they already do for disagreeing with them.

— Cale Ostby, WSU Student

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