Letter: Those on the left need to deal with dissenting voices

Re: “In the debate over free speech, there are no clear winners,” March 9

As well meaning as the editor’s sentiments are in your editorial “In the debate over free speech there are no clear winners,” there is a binary present of ‘left’ and ‘right.’

The censorship of Peter Singer’s speech is indicative of what is happening on campuses across the West: speakers contradicting broadly ‘leftist’ ideas are censored by ‘protesters.’ Google ‘college speaker protests’ and look at the causes if you don’t believe me. Overwhelmingly, it’s ‘protests’ (many of them turning into riots) to shut down non-leftist speakers.

Note the pattern only runs in one direction: the ‘left’ or ‘social justice’ side shutting down the ‘alt-right’ or ‘conservative’ side. This uneven application of free speech is what is generating the increasing polarization, anger, and resentment: groups like UVic Pride or the Third Space can operate freely on campus, but any of the more ‘conservative’ causes get shouted down and censored. (Witness the YPY fracas a few years ago.)

If this issue is to improve, those on the more ‘left’ or ‘social justice’ side of the divide need to learn to deal with dissenting voices and opinions (and facts), even if they find them ‘hateful.’ Otherwise, the situation is going to become more and more polarized, as it becomes harder and harder to hold a conservative opinion on campus, and the left uses increasingly violent tactics to shut down speakers they disagree with. Both sides have a right to be heard, no matter how the other side feels about it, or how vehement the other side disagrees with the opinion expressed.


Garrett Therrien, UVic student



Avatar Jarrod

Peter Singer wrote th very short introduction on Marx, was very influential in the development of animal rights, and his most famous article (read by every first year philosophy student) advocates for a massive redistribution of wealth to the global poor. Please do a minimal amount of research before claiming that Peter Singer, of all people, somehow represents the oppression of the alt-right by protestors.

Avatar Gabriel Syme

Daphne, does it concern you that your actions are generating resentment towards trans people who want nothing to do with your antics? Who in your community did you consult prior to gambling with its reputation just so you could try to get attention with petty acts of vandalism?

Avatar Daphne Shaed

Firstly, We only speak for ourselves. Secondly, exactly who are we to consult? You speak as if there is some centralized trans comittee where we go to get permission to speak. Where did you get permission to post this comment and speak on behalf of trans people?

Avatar Gabriel Syme

I didn’t speak on behalf of anyone, I just asked you a question.

So you just do things by yourself and draw negative attention to the Third Space and its associated communities, and the trans students who pay you are just supposed to be fine with this?

Daphne, I have spoken with many trans people on this campus who say your actions have made them feel embarrassed and threatened. What do you have to say to those people?

Avatar The Martlet

Literally nothing, which is why they’ve been deleted. The Martlet will not tolerate any comments that target a specific individual, and any comments that do so will be moderated accordingly.

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