Lawmakers in Raleigh have introduced a bill in the North Carolina House and Senate (HB527 and SB507) that would protect and preserve free speech on public college campuses. Campuses are not what they used to be like. Free speech rights are under attack, but often when people oppose free speech, they do it in a clever way that appears harmless. They are for free speech, but not hate speech.
Here’s the thing: People can hardly agree on the definition of hate speech. Some speech might not be hateful, just unpopular. Many intellectual revolutions occurred because of ideas that were politically and socially unpopular. Think Martin Luther and Galileo and the Declaration of Independence, and abolition and women’s suffrage and many more. Politically unpopular views are not only valuable; they are necessary for the existence of a free and prosperous society.
Nowhere should this right to free speech be more treasured and protected than on our public college campuses.
One of the most fundamental natural rights is the right to communicate your ideas to others. The beauty of college campuses is having thousands of people come together and participate in the free exchange of ideas, perspectives, and evidence.
In the same way, voluntary transactions in the marketplace make all participants better off, so too can the market for ideas enrich and add value to the lives of everyone involved. Because of this collaboration, each person leaves with more ideas, evidence, and perspectives than when they started. Eternal vigilance is the cost of liberty, and nowhere is that more true than with our freedom of speech.
Our elected officials in Raleigh see the value in protecting the free flow of ideas and perspectives on college campuses. Urge your lawmaker to pass HB527 and SB507!
Trey Blood was born and raised in North Carolina and is a senior at UNC-Charlotte. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. With respect to politics, Trey’s interests include economic theory, philosophy, and history. He believes free markets and limited government are the only means for securing lasting peace and prosperity.