Intolerance is Alive and Well on Campus

The Michigan Review, Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), and Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) have all had their flyers vandalized or removed on multiple occasions all across campus. It is worth noting that each of these organizations is seen as conservative relative to the rest of campus politics.  10952572_1216030751758531_2686050829790484177_o

Over the past few weeks, an alarming trend in political discourse has developed on our campus. Flyers and Diag boards advertising campus events have been targeted, vandalized, and removed, seemingly in an effort to protest the messages conveyed at these events. The Michigan Review, Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), and Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) have all had their flyers vandalized or removed on multiple occasions all across campus. It is worth noting that each of these organizations is seen as conservative relative to the rest of campus politics.  

12524111_10205628193775120_5090696522177892017_nFighting the Speech Police: Lauren Southern and Cathy Young, hosted by The Michigan Review, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, hosted by Young Americans for Liberty, Why we are [politically] Conservative: A conversation with leaders from the Jewish community, and Ben Shapiro: Truth is a Microaggression (Trigger Warning!), both hosted by Young Americans for Freedom, have all had posters and flyers either vandalized, intentionally covered up, or torn down.

Shapiro VandalismIt is common for there to be competition for kiosk space around campus and many student organizations will have to cover up some advertising for others in order to get their message out. Most, however, will attempt not to completely cover flyers that have already been placed, advertising for events that have yet to take place. This has not been the case with the string of vandalisms against conservative and libertarian groups on campus.  Flyers for Fighting the Speech Police: Lauren Southern and Cathy Young asking the question “Is free speech hate speech?” were covered by flyers with a stern answer for that question, saying “Hate speech is not free speech” and “Stop. Think. Your words matter.” The flyers for The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels and YAF’s Jewish conservatism event were torn down in several locations and covered completely by posters for other student organizations.

Actions like these are a disservice to all those who wish to broaden their horizons and learn from the viewpoints of other individuals with different backgrounds.

What is most striking, though, is the speed with which such vandalism takes place. On two occasions, flyers for YAF’s event questioning the validity and morality of microaggressions put up in front of the CCRB were torn down and covered less than a day after being put up. In one instance the flyers were completely defaced within 2 hours of being posted. This trend of targeted vandalism against conservative and libertarian student organizations is a testament to a disturbing change in political discourse on campus. Rather than engage in fair and open debate, a portion of the student body who see conservative ideas to be unfit for our university is actively attempting to prevent the rest of the student body from being exposed to differing opinions. Actions like these are a disservice to all those who wish to broaden their horizons and learn from the viewpoints of other individuals with different backgrounds.

As principled defenders of freedom of speech, we must stand against these actions. To stay silent would be to tacitly approve censorship no matter against whom it is committed, something which no reasonable person should support.

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About Michigan Review Staff Writer

  • Kyle Lyles

    Most of the arrogant ass holes from Ann Arbor are totalitarian Liberals. Go Sparty!

  • UnmutualOne

    Hopefully you won’t get called before the Star Chamber for writing this.