We often see pressure from across the ideological spectrum so that certain talks are not organized in a faculty, either because of the ideas that are proposed or because of the intellectual or moral credit of the guest.
Censorship is a bad idea when it comes to combating these ideas: the university is a place where ideas must compete, an arena where they fight, an enclave in which to receive inputs that we rarely receive in order to incorporate them into our reflection, and either to metabolize or reject them. Ironically, it is now the left that is largely avoiding this kind of scenario .
University censorship is important because it depends on how we train students academically, not only with regard to the content that is taught, but also the uniformity of ideas around them. On thorny issues there is no single current of thought, and it is convenient for students to be aware of them (at least before entering that ideological echo chamber that is social networks). The right, in that sense, has done a lot to indoctrinate : attempts to teach creationism or intelligent design on the same level as the theory of evolution (thankfully thanks to this the Pastafarian religion was born) or multiple religious organizations that oppose it. to talks related to abortion or contraception. The left, however, is not lagging behind, and is now taking the lead .
At the University of Barcelona, Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo was boycotted . A lecture by Professor Pablo de Lora was boycotted at Pompeu Fabra University. Yale University has made changes in the Art History subject because they listen to their students, who consider that there is little representation of other identity sensibilities. There have been violent rotestas that forced the dismissal of Bret Weinstein , a professor at the University of Evergreen, for questioning the "no-white day" in which they "invited" all "non-racialized" students to leave campus . And so many other examples that we have already talked about.
The examples multiply. Because the normal thing is that he thinks that this difference of opinions can only be due to evil, ignorance or stupidity, which leads to extreme intolerance. Something that, curiously, despite the fact that the left should be more open to change, occurs more frequently on this side of the political spectrum .
Haidt and Lukianoff , two progressive authors, often ask themselves throughout the book The Transformation of the Modern Mind why it is precisely their co-religionists who are most averse to confronting ideas with the adversary. As the idea that the mere presence of the guest speaker at the university can be "dangerous" for students, the practice of trying to withdraw invitations is much more widespread now.
The FIRE organization maintains a record of invitation withdrawal attempts beginning in 2000. From 2000 to 2009, these speaker withdrawal attempts used to come from both the left and the right. But since 2009, and especially since 2013, the trend has leaned to the left :
Something has started to change on many campuses around 2013, and the idea that college students should not expose themselves to "offensive" ideas is now the majority position. In 2017, 58 percent of college students said it is "important to be part of a campus community where I am not exposed to intolerant and offensive ideas."
In the following graph you can see the attempts to withdraw invitations every year since 2000 . The solid line shows the attempts started by people and groups on the political left; the dashed line shows the attempts on the right: