Silencing Free Speech: The Crippling Harness of Political Correctness

Nothing beneficial ever comes from silencing free speech. During the rise of political correctness across our society, few places have been as oppressive in enforcing this ‘doctrine’ as our educational institutions. 

Former political advisor Peta Credlin described this disturbing trend as a “pervasive political correctness that gets in the way of common sense,” and, ultimately, individual freedoms:

In Victoria, the discredited Safe Schools program that encourages gender fluidity is to be made compulsory in every high school by 2018. At this weekend’s Labor Party conference in NSW there’s a debate about removing gender from membership forms so as to not offend a minuscule minority who might not want to specify “male” or “female”. This is political correctness gone mad but it doesn’t stop there.

It’s the very freedoms and values of our culture that makes it possible for the left-wing activists to have their say. By all means, be passionate — even angry — about the things that need to change. But let’s get angry at what matters, rather than destroy the culture and traditions that make us the best country in the world.

Janet Albrechtsen, a columnist at The Australian newspaper, commented that educational institutions have relinquished their roles as places where controversial ideas are discussed, and have instead become places where debate or even questioning is silenced. Albrechtsen pointed out that educational institutions – most notably universities – should be places where thought is challenged and ideas are interrogated. The notion that they should be enforced politically correct “safe spaces” for people who cannot stomach debate is an insult to the intelligence of students in this country: 

Trigger warnings and safe spaces on campus? Hang on, universities are not meant to be intellectually safe places; they are meant to challenge the mind. The latest fad of “de-platforming” speakers? It’s old-fashioned fascism to censor views that challenge the orthodoxy. LGBTI role-playing as part of the Safe Schools program? It’s deliberate social engineering of kids. Common sense says that teaching kids respect and kindness is the best way to stop bullying. Queensland bureaucrats who ask schoolteachers to be on the lookout for “evangelising” kids — the ones who “mention Jesus in the schoolyard” or give out Christmas cards in the classroom? It’s bureaucratic overreach and a strike against freedom of religion and speech.

While the institutions are being taken over by this radical and harmful brand of thinking, children and young adults are being coerced into politically correct thought from an exceedingly young age; and as a result, they do not learn how to think for themselves. Parents need to be on the lookout for in-school programs which foster this disturbing trend of anti-intellectualism and widen the divide between those who want to stop us from thinking and instead tell us what to think. 

As Albrechtsen put it:

The ­silent majority, the forgotten ­people, there have been plenty of phrases to describe the gap ­between the consensus among the elites and what the millions of ­ordinary folk think.

Our Australian culture is under attack from these forces of political correctness, and there is no more vivid demonstration of this than the current debate (or lack thereof) over the redefinition of marriage. The mainstream media’s push to stifle open debate about the future of marriage is indicative of this trend. Just this week, Australia’s ruling party launched an internal debate about how to proceed on the issue of same-sex marriage, and news stories in favour of a people’s vote were scarce to be found.

The mainstream media are truly out of touch with the silent majority – the people who want to have a say on an issue which has tremendous consequences for the future of our society. Silencing free speech does not result in tolerance – it results in fascism.

 

Read next: One mum’s Safe Schools concerns go viral

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