The Onion Roasts State of Free Speech on Campus

Protests at Berkeley against free speech
Breitbart News

Popular satirical site the Onion roasted the state of free speech on campus this week, joking that college students get to learn a “diversity of methods for shutting down debate.”

A short satirical piece from the Onion this week jokes that college students learn a variety of methods to shut down speech. The piece uses fictional students at UC Berkeley to make the point that students are often too quick to call for certain controversial speakers to be banned from campus.

Eagerly speculating over who will make up the roster of controversial public intellectuals, students at the University of California, Berkeley told reporters Thursday they were excited to see the slate of notable speakers who will be disinvited to campus this year. “Man, I can’t wait to see which political figures will be invited to campus by various student groups and then forbidden from speaking due mass public outcry,” said sophomore Juliette Hadley, adding that it’s always a thrill to learn which academics and pundits will be refused a platform after the administration caves to the demands of enraged campus activists.

The fictional Berkeley student says she is disappointed that the university decided to play it safe by not inviting any speakers this year. Instead, it’s implied that the students would prefer for speakers to be invited so that they can be protested and disinvited.

“A big thing that attracted me to this school is all of the prominent speakers who are forced to call off their lectures due to safety concerns. One of the best benefits of attending college is being exposed to a diversity of methods for shutting down debate.” At press time, Hadley expressed disappointment after the university decided to just play it safe and not invite anyone to campus this year.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) keeps a running list of speakers who have been disinvited from campus. Although the majority of campus blacklisting come from the left, there have been several instances of right-wing students shutting down left-leaning speakers on the basis of their views.


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