Ash: To truly be an inclusive campus, CSU must be tolerant of conservatives

CJ Ash

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by the Collegian or editorial board.

Charlie Kirk’s recent appearance caused significant backlash on Colorado State University’s campus. While conservatives on campus, and Kirk himself, were met with a great deal of contention due to Kirk’s policy views, recent speaker Angela Davis received no backlash from any group on campus despite having a controversial past. 

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Charlie Kirk speaking in the Lory Student Center on Friday, Feb. 2. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

College campuses in America are becoming increasingly hostile towards conservatives and conservative speakers. On college campuses, which are empirically proven time after time to be overwhelmingly liberal, tolerance seems to only extend to the borders of liberal viewpoints. 

Tolerance is the willingness to accept behavior and beliefs that are different from one’s own, even if a person disagrees with or disapproves of them. And yet, that tolerance does not translate into college acceptance of conservative viewpoints. 

Liberal professors outweigh conservatives by a measure of almost 12 to 1, and their political views often translate into our classrooms.

Just this semester, I had a professor who dominated the class with his political rhetoric. He tied all the good in the world to Democrats, and tied anything hostile, evil or shameful to Republicans. It broke my heart to watch my classmates be implanted with deep-seeded resentment towards conservatives that could potentially last a lifetime. The environment was hostile, and I dropped the class. 

I have nothing but love for each and every student on campus, but these ideas are being pushed forward like a civil rights movement, and students make these values part of their identity. Any disagreement is seen as an attack on that individual’s personhood.

A 2017 study by the Brookings Institute showed that 1 in 5 college students said it’s acceptable to use violence against an “offensive” speaker.

Charlie Kirk has never had any allegiances to any white nationalist organizations. The only evidence presented has been that Turning Point once invited Milo Yiannopolous, controversial alt-right activist, to speak at an event and one instance of an accusation of racial bias, which led to that person being pressured to resign from the organization. However, that didn’t stop people from calling him and members of Turning Point USA Nazis. 

As CSU’s TPUSA President Isabel Brown said, “Our chapter was put on the defensive for weeks, having to repeatedly denounce any affiliation with the parasitic extremist organizations.”

Angela Davis was a Black Panther, a “lifelong communist,“and was also on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list for purchasing and registering firearms that were involved in the kidnapping and murder of Superior Court Judge Harold Haley (although she was acquitted from the charges). She was awarded the “Lenin Peace Prize” by USSR leader Leonid Brezhnev. 

Davis was called “iconic” by this newspaper, while students and faculty members have been referring to members of TPUSA as Nazis. Something doesn’t add up, but Kirk represents a conservative viewpoint, which could have something to do with it.

A 2017 study by the Brookings Institute showed that 1 in 5 college students said it’s acceptable to use violence against an “offensive” speaker. Further, in that study, students were asked how they felt about this scenario: “A student group opposed to the speaker disrupts the speech by loudly and repeatedly shouting so that the audience cannot hear the speaker.” Sixty two percent of student Democrats approved of this behavior, as opposed to just 39 percent of Republicans. 

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Liberal America has a violence problem, and the media is largely ignoring it. The media has no problem reporting on random nut-job white supremacists whose small numbers pale in comparison to the widespread violence of the American far left. I implore critics of this viewpoint to look to the violence in Oregon, at UC Berkley, UC Davis, Evergreen State and Middlebury College.  

The Collegian has said in an editorial that conservatives need to “do more.”Conservatives already did more by bringing a valuable speaker to campus, and weathering the storm from professors, students and the media. 

It’s not tolerance if we are only allowed to say what you want us to.

It is not okay to make baseless and damaging accusations towards someone without doing any homework just because they represent a different viewpoint.

Liberals hold the absolute majority in both faculty and student numbers. With that power comes heavy responsibility. Tolerance on this campus needs to include us, too.

Collegian opinion reporter CJ Ash can be reached a letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @Cee_Jay_Ash