Dear Friends of Lifa
Our college representative at the University of Florida recently attended a presentation at her school by Dinesh D’Souza. The following is her firsthand account of that experience. We thank her for her excellent review which shows us that some schools and students can still accept the concept of free speech. There also are some good student organizations that do all they can to provide the opportunity for the “other side” to be presented.
Free Speech and Dialogue by Taylor Roth
As a college student, it is a rare occasion that I have the opportunity to hear a conservative perspective on campus. Although my principles and values have always been intertwined with the ideas of individual freedom, self-determination and fiscal responsibility, the vast majority of rhetoric on my campus has largely been centered on identity politics, economic illiteracy and polarization facilitated by the usual one-sided dialogue that one hears in the modern classroom. I have no doubt that there are other young men and women who share my personal beliefs. However, unlike most students, my desire to be surrounded by these individuals has driven me to travel across the country to attend numerous conferences and summits that continue to provide me with the opportunity to meet these students and conservative intellectuals in person.
Although I am in love with the University of Florida and have immense respect for my incredible professors, I realize that our academic institutions in America are desperate for deeper conversations, decency and a diverse pool of perspectives to study from. Yet, as research has shown, the vast majority of professors identify themselves as either Independent or Left-leaning. Because of this, working with outside organizations to invite conservative scholars to speak is one of the only ways possible to expose students to classical liberal values and traditional ideals. This semester, Dinesh D’Souza was one of the few right-of-center speakers chosen to carry that torch on my campus.
To begin, I would like to make it clear that I do not agree with everything Dinesh D’Souza espouses, and I am also critical of the way he presents his ideas publicly. However, I am beyond grateful for the University of Florida’s Young Americans for Freedom Chapter’s efforts in ensuring that Mr. D’Souza had a facility to share his perspectives and experiences to those who may have never had their ideas challenged before on a college campus. Regardless of my individual opinions toward a speaker, it is always an honor to join students in hearing a different perspective. It is at events like these that I am most encouraged that our fight to protect freedom of speech and civil discourse will continue to be won in this country.
During his speech, Mr. D’Souza centered his lecture of the falsehoods that are far too often taught within our classrooms. For instance, Mr. D’Souza discussed the blatant lie that feeds off of the idea that the Republican Party founded racist and disgusting groups like the Ku-Klux-Klan. Throughout his lecture, he dispelled the myth that the Republican Party is rooted in racism and hatred of others. In fact, Mr. D’Souza enlightened students that it was the Party of Lincoln that fought against the diabolical institution of slavery and was resilient in the fight to free African Americans and ensure them with the right to obtain citizenship and vote.
I was surprised to find that many students, especially those of a top ten public university, either had never learned this fundamental knowledge or had lost sight of the factual foundation of their own country’s past. Regardless, I am thankful that those who attended the lecture, even if it was just to protest it, were provided with what should be a basic lesson in American history. This lecture was yet another reminder that we are desperate for further discussion on our campuses, especially from those of the other end of the political spectrum. Thank you to Young America’s Foundation for fighting to ensure this crucial need on our campuses nationwide.
Sophomore at the University of Florida
Thank you, Taylor, for a very well written article
Legal Immigrants for America