Anti-intellectuals rise against free expression

David Jenkins

From both the right and the left of the political spectrum, you have dictating ideologues who think they can tell others what they can and can not read simply due to political opposition.

Many of them think that censoring reading material rather than discussing its content is what’s best for you and the rest of our free speaking society. The anti-intellectualism that rises from this kind of thinking is beyond baffling.

Some will even go as far as boycotting publications because of it. The latest of this sort of mad babyish conduct is toward the gay conservative and technology editor of right-wing news outlet, Breitbart, Milo Yiannopoulos.

Yiannopoluos is widely known for being a self proclaimed provocateur and has criticisms towards Social Justice and it’s promotion of campus safe spaces. And is currently giving a speech tour called “The Dangerous Faggot” at many universities.

Just recently, he was given a book deal by the publication Simon & Schuster. Since the announcement; public figures such as comedian Sarah Silverman, Carolyn Kellogg the book editor of the L.A Time, Leslie Jones co-star of the recent film Ghostbuster and other like minded individuals are criticizing the publication for what they see as providing a platform for hate.

You would think comedians and journalist alike would be defending his right to free expression since their entire occupation revolves around that principle. Sadly, they abandon it quite quickly when its the views of those they can’t stomach.

Yiannopoulos has said outrages remarks towards current movements. From saying that “feminism is cancer,” claiming equivalence of the Black Lives Matter movement to that of the Ku Klux Klan. To saying that “Islam kills”, to describing the trans-community as “mentally ill”. And on top of that is a vocal Trump Supporter.

His ideas might be repulsive to some but to others they might just be fond of those ideas. Not only are those who are attempting to boycott the publication trying to censor him from writing, but they’re trying to take away our right to read that book. Whether reading as a fan of Milo or out of opposition, it is the individual themselves who decides to read it or not.

If you don’t like what others have to say, then you have two choices:

  1. Have a serious discussion with them or their supporters through a public platform.
  2. Ignore them.

Just because you find some ideas “offensive” DOES NOT mean you get to dictate what can be written and what can be said.

Grow a spine and learn to face bad ideas through intellectual rigor.