TRANSCRIPT FROM THIS 'DIRECT MESSAGE' WITH DAVE RUBIN:
Published on Ora TV on Feb 25th, 2016:
Let's talk about college and education this week. Perhaps the best way to dive into the discussion is to first tell you a bit about my personal experience: I went to public school in Long Island from Kindergarten through high school, then on to Binghamton University. New York actually has had a great state college system for decades, and since I was a resident, tuition was discounted to just a fraction of what most colleges cost now. I got a solid education at an affordable public school and have used my degree in political science to do exactly what you all tune in to see me do now-- It was my education that led me to guiding conversations about important topics with interesting people. I also spent a lot of time smoking pot and listening to Phish while in college, but that's another story for another time.
This show has been devoted to discussing ideas. That very concept is rooted in a good education in which you can question what you believe. This is the number one reason to go to college: to learn how think critically. When we talk about a battle of ideas, you can only have that battle when people know what their ideas are actually based on. When we talk about free speech, you can only really talk about that knowing why free speech is important and what happens to societies that don't have it. When we talk about the dysfunction of our political process you can only really understand it if you know the basic tenants of how it was designed to work. And when we talk about the complex issues facing the middle east, you can only understand them if you know the history of the countries and people living there. I didn't learn all of these things in college but the foundation of having my ideas challenged and learning new things absolutely was built there. Learning is something I try to do on this show each week and it's why I have no problem telling you guys I don't know everything and I don't have all the answers.
At this very moment the American education system and our colleges in particular are under total assault from the backwards forces on the left who don't want open discussion and would rather stifle ideas they don't like such as critiquing a certain religion or questioning the motives of the social justice moment. Because of the authoritarian crusade to shelter young people from ideas that might challenge them, we've created safe spaces where once we had rigorous debate. We now issue trigger warnings where we once were brave enough to hear ideas that would make us uncomfortable. The attack on the honest debate has gotten so bad it is now hard to tell if this intellectual affliction is coming from the students or the faculty.
Between the professor calling for 'muscle' to remove press from a demonstration at the University of Missouri, to students demanding the Dean be fired at Yale for defending the freedom of expression, to my former guest Milo Yiannopoulos being shouted down while talking about free speech at Rutgers just two weeks ago, the tentacles of intolerance are be taking root at colleges across America everyday. And it's the ideas which take root day that will be the ideas that lead us into the future. That is the real risk here.We must be willing to exercise our free speech more thoughtfully than only to use it to prevent other people from exercising theirs. We have a right to free speech in this country, not a right to not be offended.
My guest last week, Ben Shapiro, just had a speech about conservatism at California State University canceled after leftist activists protested his presence on campus. The school president said Ben would be invited back, but as part of a panel when more diverse views could be heard. While that concept doesn't sound terrible in and of itself, let's understand clearly what happened here. When the authoritarians, be they on the left or the right, like your views, you can speak freely and there is no need for counter-voices. When they don't like you views, you'll be screamed at or outright cancelled. This is dangerous and it's happening more and more everyday. I sat here for over an hour with Ben, and, although I didn't agree with him on an array of topics, I listened and I learned.From the response we got on the episode, so did many of you, even if all you learned was you completely disagree with him. That's what conversation is all about. And that precious space where you can learn to think on your own is exactly what the point of higher education is supposed to be.
College is the single most important place where ideas must be be challenged. As I say all the time, let the battle of ideas happen and the good ones will eventually win. By slandering opponents, demanding professors be fired and canceling speaking events, these college kids are unwittingly strengthening ideas that will one day silence them. Eventually the day will come when they will want to say something unpopular and they will then be subjected to the same practices that they themselves are propagating right now.The second they leave the safety of their college quad and are hit with the harsh reality of the real world, they will be ill-prepared to deal with anyone who doesn't share their myopic view of how things should be.
To help me dissect this crisis, and that's exactly what is is, is Professor Gad Saad. Gad is an author, professor and evolutionary behavioral scientist at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Gad is also a fearless defender of free speech and outspoken advocate of free expression in an academic climate that doesn't look to kindly on such things these days. We're going to dive deep into what has happened at college campus all over the world and why free speech must be defended at all costs.
Once again, get in your safe space -- you've now been trigger warned. Let's exercise some of that free speech while we still can.