Standing up for Free Speech on Campus [Video]
Here’s a transcript of Steve Simpson’s remarks on what students need to do in order to stand up for free speech on campus:
Steve Simpson: I don’t think most people on college campuses agree that we should shut down other people. The issue that we are facing is — or the question that we all have to grapple with, is — are we going to allow them to get away with it? Are we going to allow this vocal minority to sort of set a standard for the whole country? Or are we going to stand up to them? And on all the free speech events we have, I’ve been delighted to see how many students come out. And it’s usually filled with students who really care about grappling with ideas. But what they need to do is — they have to be willing to stand up. They have to be willing to say: “I disagree with this.” They have to be willing to say: “This idea that you are no more than your race, sex, etc., etc., is utter nonsense. We are all individuals. I am not part of your tribe. I’m a thinking being. Don’t purport to speak for me, I will speak for myself — and I goddamn it have a right to speak for myself.” So that’s, I mean, that is what people have to be willing to do.
The panelists are Steve Simpson, director of Legal Studies at the Ayn Rand Institute and editor of Defending Free Speech; Flemming Rose, author of Tyranny of Silence: How One Cartoon Ignited a Global Debate on the Future of Free Speech, and Dave Rubin, creator and host of The Rubin Report. The event, “Free Speech Under Attack,” took place at Objectivist Summer Conference 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.