Free speech versus hate speech

When Trump’s campaign is written into history textbooks, accompanied by a graph of attacks on migrants from 2015 to 2017 and the words “hate speech,” “xenophobia” and “Roe v. Wade” bolded and defined in the margins, we will understand Trump’s rhetoric as dangerous, backwards and indicative of the class and racial tensions endemic in the fragile (white) American ego. We will understand that identifying with this movement was not only an affront to liberal values, but also an attack on basic human rights and national security.

To complain, as some recently have, that Yale is a liberal echo chamber is fair. Sometimes I find myself insufficiently liberal for the Yalies around me, unable to harmonize myself with the monotonous melody of unified leftist belief. This is not the Yale any of us should desire. At the very least, we should welcome discomfort as the cradle of real critical thought. If you roll your eyes or scowl at anything that offends you, consider the value of engaging in productive dialogue.

But Trump is a different issue. We are not considering free speech; we are considering hate speech. I applaud Yalies for standing against his manipulation and misinformation.

This is not an issue of free speech or ideological diversity. If, in a community of women, immigrants, first-generation college students, internationals, Muslims and Jews, you feel uncomfortable expressing support for a man who has incited violence against all of these groups, you have good reason to feel uncomfortable.

Stella Shannon is a junior in Berkeley College.