In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Gad Saad explained that individuals on campus self-censor out of the fear that others will willfully misinterpret their words.
As a part of an exclusive and wide-ranging conversation with Breitbart News, Professor Gad Saad of Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, explained why there is an increasing amount of self-censorship on college campuses.
During a discussion on Philip Roth’s 2000 novel, The Human Stain, Saad explained that self-censorship is increasing in academia because of the politically correct insistence on interpreting each other’s words in the least charitable sense possible.
The Human Stain centered on a professor who was forced out of his position as a classics instructor at a small liberal arts college after the community insisted upon misinterpreting a remark he made in the classroom. The protagonist is accused of racism by two black students after he uses the word “spooks,” to describe their consistent absence from the classroom — using the term in as a synonym for ghosts. He is accused by the students and the college administration of using the word in its racially derogatory denotation, and ultimately resigns after struggling to accept his ill-deserved reputation as a racial bigot.
Saad argued that there is a large-scale self-censorship issue in academia, largely as a result of the instilled fear that a tiny misstep in speech could hurt an individual’s social, academic, or professional life.
“When you take the least charitable interpretation of someone’s innocent words, that forces people to understand that the environment is a very dangerous one, and therefore, I had better self-censor,” Saad explained. “If any syllable that I utter might be interpreted in 13,000 different ways, then the best way for me to never be tarred and feathered is to never open my mouth. So the next time that someone calls on me for an opinion, you know what? I won’t say a thing.”
“Multiply that same chilling effect by 25 million voices and you end up the kind of reality we have. So yes, it’s a deep problem,” he added.
The social justice insistency on the least charitable interpretation of speech may be the result of an effort to root out bigotry and harassment from polite society. Those operating within the extreme sects of this effort seem fine with destroying the lives of innocent individuals if it means achieving their larger goal.
In fact, in November 2017, Teen Vogue’s Emily Lindin said that she was “not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations,” if it meant that the total amount of harassment declined.
On Wednesday, Breitbart News published Professor Saad’s advice for parents that are considering to send their children to progressive colleges and universities.
On Thursday, Professor Saad explained how social justice politics has taken the form of a “quasi-religion” on college campuses.
On Friday, Breitbart News reported on Saad’s theory of “Collective Munchausen” syndrome and how it applies to social justice warriors.
You can watch all of Breitbart News’ interview with Gad Saad below.