Free speech trumps trigger warnings


Photo credit: Jaime Munoz

Freedom of speech, although it might not seem like it, is a touchy subject. Especially in college, when a lot of contrasting viewpoints come up, freedom of speech can be jeopardized.

When conversations arise that are uncomfortable, debate-orientated or controversial, emotion-based arguments on silencing come up more often than logic-based reasoning.

This is a difficult topic to cover because as the world of political correctness and safe spaces become more common. Things that can be “triggering” to some are often dismissed in conversation, even though they may be important to talk about.

At The Orion, student staff and writers are trained in the field of journalism, reporting on topics that are controversial, uncomfortable and sometimes not politically correct.

Taking backlash for published articles is expected because, in the job of reporting, contrasting beliefs and viewpoints are inevitable. Does this mean that these topics are unimportant? Does this mean that these articles should not be published just because they might be uncomfortable for some to read?

In life, if things make you uncomfortable, mad or stimulate thought process, it’s a good thing. There is no stance that someone can take (whether it be political, social, religious, etc) that someone else will completely agree with.

Even so, it’s a human right to believe these things, state them and have conversations about them. That is freedom of speech. This right should not be tampered with, infringed on or dismissed just because some one is uncomfortable because they disagree.

When arguments turn into violence, tangible hate or action, then it should not be protected. When someone comes into a place that is a safe space and infringes on the rules of that space, that person may face repercussions for their actions.

However, when The Orion publishes fact-based, edited and sound arguments or reports on things that might spark controversy, there is nothing wrong with that. We are on your side.

You might not agree with everything that is published, that is expected. However, please stop trying to label The Orion as a triggering publication, we are reporting the news.

Kendall George can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @kendallmgeorge.