The Free Speech Ball

It’s not every day that the students of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne get to see a giant beach ball being rolled around their campus. It’s even more rare that they get to write on said beach ball and rarer still that they get to write whatever they want on the aforementioned ball.

Yet, that’s precisely the opportunity that these students got when David, Mitchell, and I hit the campus yesterday.

While we had many different people write things that were all over the board as far , people were hesitant. A lot of them didn’t know what to write, so most of the students who partook ended up just writing their names.

This struck me as incredibly odd (well, that and the fact we went almost half an hour before someone wrote something about Harambe). From the cradle to the grave we’re taught that we should never be afraid to speak our minds, but when the opportunity presented itself, many were skittish.

Could this have anything to do with one of the things written on the ball? That free speech isn’t making rude comments?

Now, here’s my take on this idea: Yeah, rude comments suck. But, to paraphrase Ron Paul, the purpose of free speech also isn’t just to talk about asinine things, we have it to challenge the powers that be and, sometimes, that involves hurting a few feelings.

Published in

Post a comment