Is it free speech only if you agree?

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Recently, conservative David Horowitz was invited to speak at Emory University in Georgia.He was shouted down by members of the audience and not allowed to speak, eventually leaving the stage and never returning.

This incidenthas become more commononcollege campuses.If a group does not like a particular speaker, they will attend the event not to hear what is said, but to shout down the speaker and disrupt the event.And it is not limited to college campuses.Recently, Bill Maher was interrupted by 9-11 conspiracy supporters. At another event, former president Bill Clinton was interrupted by more 9-11 conspiracy supporters.

At Columbia University, the president of the Minutemen had been invited to speak, but was shouted down and some students actually stormed the stage to prevent him from speaking.But when the Iranian president recently spoke, the only hoots and boos he received was when he denied there were homosexuals in Iran.So apparently, students wanted to hear him,but not the president of the Minutemen.

This disturbing trend seems to indicate that freedom of speech may only exist if you agree with a certain ideology or belief.If you hold an opposing view,you can be shouteddown and prevented from speaking.Instead of actively engaging in constructive debate and proving the speaker's opinion wrong, some just want to silence opposing views. College campuses are supposed to allow a free exchangeof ideas.Isn't that what the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley was all about during the 1960s?Or is it onlyfree speech as long as you do not dissent?

The Iranian President spoke at Columbia University (protesters showed up outside, but did not attempt to disrupt the event)and he showed how much he cannot be trusted; his answers were full of lies and half truths.If David Horowitz had been allowed to speak, perhaps he could have been caught in liesand half-truths.But we will never know, since he was denied his free speech.

George J. Weber, Augusta


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