A Review of The Silencing: How The Left Is Killing Free Speech,
Reviewed by NNU Student Lily Monroe Adams (a pseudonym)
Editor’s note: the student asked us to use a fictitious name as protection against the same “illiberal left” in our classrooms and at potential places of future employment.
Kirsten Powers offers her experiences as a guide for her work. Powers reveals that her own lack of political diversity once made it easy to believe stereotypes and propaganda, specifically towards conservatives, but also others. Only as Powers began to interact with conservatives and different groups of people who have been pigeonholed as being uncivilized, did she encounter the epidemic of individuals forced into silence. Powers’ public voice against the illiberal left is empowering in that it offers both conservatives and liberals alike a model for American zeal to demand equal opportunity to utilize our rights.
With the end of the Obama administration, The Silencing: How The Left Is Killing Free Speech offers a transparent and critical analysis of the Obama administration’s impact on America. One of the most remarkable social changes that Powers takes note of involves shaming individuals into being liberal. The illiberal left often uses one’s race, gender, and sexual orientation as leverage. If a person is not shamed into being liberal, they are marginalized from speaking by having their career, reputation, and safety threatened by inimical allegations. The choice becomes clear: either you can relinquish your freedoms and beliefs, or forfeit your livelihood and future.
Powers utilizes real examples from universities all over America where the academic world is also shifting from a place of discussion to an echo chamber. When Donald J. Trump was elected, many “safe spaces” were created in response for liberal students on college campuses to have a protected environment to discuss their feelings. While commendable at the surface, there are many issues with the developments of safe spaces.
First, it is hypocritical. Only when the illiberal left and the echo chambers are threatened are protective measures taken. Second, the creation of a safe space implies that those who are not liberal are dangerous and will silence others. This indirect implication can undermine one’s character. However, it also demonstrates the fear of being silenced and the power of free speech. Third, safe spaces, are a method of silencing. Designated safe spaces generally do not want to hear the perspectives of other individuals. Rather, it becomes a breeding ground for anger. Thus creating factions in the community where conversations can never genuinely occur that leads to understanding.Powers offers that the way to address the silencing in America is to understand one another. That involves discussion that ultimately might lead to friendship and an extended olive branch between the ever growing American divide.
We Want to Hear From You!
Is this Silencing still happening on college campuses and in the workplace?
Is a student really free to write an opinionated review on a politically charged book
without fear of how it will affect his or her grade and eventual career?
Is a pseudonym the way opinions will be shared in the future?
Is there really freedom of speech in America?
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