Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Letter to the Editor: USM is giving Lockman a platform for his hate speech

Posted on February 13, 2017 in Perspectives
By USM Free Press

I am a freshman at USM and I understand that the school regards itself as a safe space for minorities and people who face challenges. USM’s reputation for being a school that promotes equality and encourages the pursuit of knowledge and that cares about all of its students has been called into question due to the announcement that Rep. Lawrence Lockman will be speaking at USM.
A school hosting a speaker may seem innocuous but it does represent a political stance on the part of the USM administration. Rep. Lockman has an established history of offensive, narrow-minded hate-filled speech. While USM’s administration may not have directly invited him, the University is giving him a stage to spread his toxic beliefs. I received an email about the “angst and anger” people have expressed about this person coming to our campus, but it doesn’t excuse the actions of the USM.

This is not freedom of expression; this is allowing a bigot into a campus that is supposed to be safe for all, including women and minorities that have been the direct targets of Rep. Lockman’s vitriolic speech. Giving hate a stage is not an acceptable action for an otherwise “accepting” institution. I am glad that student protest is planned and I hope that the President of USM realizes the message that he is sending the USM community by allowing Rep. Lockman to speak on campus.

Aedin McDaniel

  • Aedin McDaniel

    Same to you!

  • 1andymays

    You write and “debate” like a 10 year old child. Hopefully, some day, you will mature and become brave enough to leave your safe space behind.

  • Jonathan Read

    Please if you wish to discuss something with me, post more than platitudes. I posted while brief at least a full thought.

    I will bite though despite the simple nature of your comment. The problem with your statement is that who defines hate? Is hate anything you disagree with? If someone states they believe (for example only) that homosexuality is immoral and they believe it is wrong but treat everyone with respect and love, is that belief of theirs, that statement, hate? Or do they have to be angry about it, rant about homosexuals, or do they have to try to initiate legislation that is against homosexuals? Or does it only cross into hate when they commit a crime against a gay person?

    Where is the line of hate? Hate is not a well defined term and will change depending on who is viewing it.

    Very often peoples opinions ARE called hate. There is a scary trend in the country now to label peoples beliefs and opinions as hate and then tell them they can not hold those opinions. This thought crime is to me more dangerous than the “hate” it is designed to get rid of. The problem with restricting peoples rights to believe what they do is that it can come back to bite you. If those you restrict come into power they might do the same to your beliefs and tell you what you think is now illegal.

    This is why we protect the speech and beliefs of even those we disagree with.

  • Aedin McDaniel

    Hate is not an opinion.

  • Jonathan Read

    No one has the freedom to hide from ideas and speech. And in fact you do, don’t attend. We redefine harm and what is safe to take away the rights of others. Everyone has the right to their thoughts and the ability to express them whether yot agree with them or not.

    They are taking a stance, a beautiful stance, that speech is free whether you agree or not, whether you hate the actual speech or not. That is more important than any other consideration. Thankfully our founders realized this.