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This letter is in response to the letter to the editor ‘Conservative students deserve an apology.’
Lately there has been a chorus of cries for apologies to be given to “conservative” students on campus from people like CJ Ash. This begs the question of why?
Why do these groups as a whole deserve an apology? There has only been one group named. They were named by a coalition of students, led by SAWS, who did their research and who decided that Turning Point USA needed to be removed from campus.
They have been named for very specific reasons: their track record of interference in campus elections and their record of bringing violence on to campuses across the nation through speakers that wrap the words of white supremacy in the facade of respectable conservative politics.
Campus conservatives would do well to note that there have been no calls to remove the College Republicans or other conservatives groups from this campus. SAWS and other groups have taken a critical look at the conservative ideas that are held by these groups.
We have done what conservatives have been screaming for liberals to do on campuses across the nation. We took a critical look at political ideas. And we took what we found to our campus community. We said “look at what they are saying. Look at what ideas like these could lead to,” and we then we asked our community “what do you think about these ideas? Is this what you agree with?” Apparently our campus found that these ideas did not mix with what they believed our campus community is.
So I ask again, what is there to apologize for? Why do any student groups owe an apology for engaging with political ideas and opening a wider conversation on our campus? The answer is, we don’t. We do not owe the conservative groups on campus an apology. In fact, it would do a disservice to the conservative groups to apologize for a critique of their ideas.
If they really did want a free discussion of ideas they should welcome us into our campus space. They shouldn’t be begging and sniveling for an apology. They should come out into the light of day and speak their ideas with the true force of belief that is required of people who firmly believe their ideas can face critical analysis.
We cannot allow ideas into the public sphere without the critical lens being applied to them. These demands for apologies is a disingenuous act to shield ideas from the critical examination they demand.
What are conservatives afraid of? Are they afraid that if their ideas receive the examinations needed that they will crumble? Because if they are not, then they need to stop demanding apologies they have no right to. Let the ideas stand on their own, argue for them from a place of sincerity and passion. Not from this place of manufactured victimhood.
Signed: Alex Scott,
Member, CSU YDSA
Member, Students Against White Supremacy
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