But should freedom of expression remove concern for the way in which speech is delivered? Indeed, there is considerable difficulty in moderating the latter if the former remains so open and unregulated. Perhaps this is why the topic of free speech remains untouched and avoided, despite the pervasiveness of unkind and offensive conversation in the public sphere of academic learning.
Like my fellow peers, I am propelled to move forward with my academic career, disallowing the occurrence of unconscious language to impact the course of my day. I do not conclude that students must monitor their words in a diversely populated academic institution; nor do I underestimate the capacity of one’s knowledge to form unreserved conclusions about subjects which they are perhaps well versed in. I do, however, attempt to bring attention to how language is selected and formed in public spaces that are shared with others. For example, was that rash statement a reflection of someone’s personal opinion, or were those words provoked by the sudden sight of an individual possessing attributes of a visible ethnic minority, a physical disability, a religious garment, and so on.
It's most definitely a touchy subject- one that I wouldn’t have written about had I not felt it dire. As much as we have grown accustomed as a society to applaud our tales of advancement and success, there should be an equal effort dedicated to recognizing our shortcomings as a striving community, and this article attempts to do just that.