Better East Texas: Free speech must be for all, even when opinions differ

(KLTV/KTRE) - There has been a recent and growing trend on some college campuses that is very troubling. The trend has surrounded decisions by some colleges to cancel invited speakers to come to campus and speak because of the threat of violence against that speaker.

It has largely been about conservative speakers being threatened with aggression, and campuses have balked at keeping the speaking events intact and have canceled. The most recent incident involved conservative speaker Ann Coulter where she was invited to speak at the UC Berkeley. The threat of violence caused the university to cancel her event. She has pledged to go with the event so we'll see what happens.

In some cases, where the speech has gone on as scheduled, violence has actually erupted and people have been injured.  So, it is a tough position for a college to be in – keep free speech open but protect those trying to deliver it.  But it is a critical point and colleges and universities must step up security, where needed.

Opponents say they are open to free speech, but when demonstrations prevent that or violence breaks out, free speech is being shut out. It is every American's right to protest what they see as wrong, but the majority view prevails in our country – whatever that majority view is. You and I may not like what some college speakers are saying, but they must be allowed to say it.

Ultimately, if students don't want to hear someone else's opinions, they don't have to listen.  I know a few teenagers who practice that art everyday.

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