By Lindsay Kallen

This is about intolerance. This is about 5,000 copies of The Voice that were successfully disposed of and the numerous copies of The Academy that were successfully transported into campus dumpsters. This is about prejudice, segregation and the inability of individuals to have faith in other individuals to decide for themselves. This is about free speech. And, yes, unfortunately, it is about all of us.

The students of Georgetown gave up long ago on the quest for political correctness on campus. We have that already. So now we reject everything that doesn’t fit in with what we have been trained to think. And the little beige publication that we did resist throwing away has equated the word “conservative” with an institution that preys on innocent freshman females. Withholding an opinion has become a sin and siding with the bureaucracy an option reserved solely for aspiring investment bankers. The wave of political correctness that swept our nation 10 years ago has had the impact of a tidal wave on our campus. I object.

The political correctness of Generation X has turned all of our peers into a bunch of lying machines that must calculate the effect of every word before uttering a single sentence. People want to rebel. People want to insult. People want to laugh at things that they had long ago stopped laughing at. I realize how awful this sounds, and what a horrible person – an anti-Semite, a racist, a pornographer, a conservative – I have depicted here. Some may shudder that their peers embody these characteristics. But they do. Campus politics and campus events over the past seven months have demonstrated as much. But look at the world that we live in. Can you blame them?

We’re so damn properly educated that we’re afraid to say Black, lest someone get offended, but say African-American and someone will explain that not all black people are of African descent.

Not girls, women. Not women, womyn.

But someone is always pointing out some new tidbit of information to confuse the vocabulary and incite anger in somebody else. We’re scared to speak. Suddenly, we’re reduced to an infantile state of pointing, grunting and mumbling, in the hopes that no one will scream “Bigot!” or “Racist!” They can’t scream anything if they can’t understand our mumbling.

So we changed our vocabulary, we changed our ways, and we still have the nerve to disregard others’ opinions. Particularly when we don’t share them. Every time we open our mouths, some campus group screams, yells or heads straight to the dumpsters. Careful what you say. Careful not to offend. Careful what you write. Try not to say anything that will evoke an emotion in others – that would be bad. Better to remain quiet. Better to remain neutral.

Hey, Georgetown, news flash for you: every single one of you has the ability to think for yourself. But somewhere along the line, being an intelligent liberal became synonymous with the ability to sacrifice that which did not fit into the politically correct schema. So you chose to reject the opinions of others, others who dared to intrude upon your previously formed opinions.

The Hoya did it.

The Voice did it.

The Academy did it.

The Independent did it.

The Stewards did it.

O’Donovan did it.

The Women’s Center did it.

The Georgetown Solidarity Committee did it.

They made you think. They made you question. And maybe you threw away the papers, maybe you threw away the opinion or maybe you threw away your previous conceptions.

Free speech is about listening to others, even when it becomes offensive. Free speech is about listening to what you disagree with or what you dislike due to previous misconceptions. And maybe, somewhere in the wake of the political correctness of Georgetown University, someone will be forced to listen – that’s what free speech does.

Lindsay Kallen is senior in the College and a Hoya staff writer.

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