Facebook Twitter

Free speech embarrassing?

SHARE Free speech embarrassing?

I have heard several Brigham Young University students say they are embarrassed by the political dialogue, discussion and demonstrations that occurred in connection with Vice President Dick Cheney's visit. I am baffled by this reaction.

What is embarrassing about those who engage in a tradition of free speech, a tradition as old as America itself? I used to worry about public apathy toward important political questions. I now fear we have created a culture in which public political speech is so undesirable as to be embarrassing.

I am grateful for those who participated in the recent debates. I think BYU has provided a model of respectful civic dialogue and engagement, and the media have generally recognized the virtue of this model. I am saddened that many students apparently do not.

Darren Hawkins

Professor of political science

Brigham Young University