Vigorous Debate and Protest: Democracy in Action

When I was at Penn and an editor at The Daily Pennsylvanian, I had a minor role in defending some jerk who yelled Water Buffalo at some other students. Now I see a lot of hand-wringing about the “kids these days” at Yale who are up in arms at an email sent around about Halloween Costumes.

I guess my point is this: the administrators sent around an email. It was designed to spark a response and debate. It sparked a response and debate. As is true of any large group of a diverse population, some of that response and debate is going to be immature. But this hardly is the collapse of civilization.

Microaggressions are real. And poo-poohing students who identify microaggressions as merely “precious little teacups” misses the point.

Where speech is met with gov’t sanction, that’s a problem. Where speech is met with vociferous debate and protests, that is healthy. The administrators should welcome this.

And, frankly, the administrators who are writing from a position of privilege should take time to consider the points, however inartfully made, that are being made by student protestors.

Damon Chetson

Damon Chetson is a Board Certified Specialist in State and Federal Criminal Law. He represents people charged with serious and minor offenses in Raleigh, Wake County, and the Eastern District of North Carolina. Call (919) 352-9411.