A lot has been made in the news of free speech on university campuses in light of the recent kerfuffle one graduate student had when she showed an alternative point of view to the students she was teaching. Journalists were very quick to pounce on the story.
A little too quick.
Because had they done the requisite reflection, they would have seen much of themselves in the university administration.
And the reason for that is that North American journalism brought intolerance through illogic into everyday thinking.
The journalistic narrative brought binary, patriarchal thinking: where there were only two sides to a story, and there was always a "good" guy...and a "bad" guy.
Reporters always presented themselves as authoritative, meaning they knew what was going on, were in the know, and had both the last word and the final say on the topic.
Innocent people and groups were always vilified...and when those groups fought back, they were demonized for it.
Yet even the most wrongfully targeted group never had a chance to learn from journalists' logical errors in narrative because when they too got a sliver of clout, they stuck to the patriarchal script that harmed them, and then demonized those with differing opinions, turning the tables, so to speak, without any regard about what happens to your logic, morals, and soul when you touch that table in the first place.
Yes, North American culture thrives on intolerance, and it often infects and taints everyone's thoughts in the bargain.
You have university students who think they know something that they know nothing about. They are perpetually offended, but that structure of thought was drilled into them by the press that stuck to a poisonous binary narrative without any scientific or empirical proof that such illogical thinking was good for civilization.
Social media has infected diversity of opinion because while it allows for different content of thought...it has carried over the one thing that killed journalism: its rigid structure of thinking.
That arrogant and unfounded assumption that once we broadcast an idea in public, we have to stick with it no matter how wrong it is, and who it is we hurt or ruin as we alter the course of their entire lives.
The idea of forming a public hypothesis and then gathering information as we conduct experiments to test our theories never crosses people's mind.
And that oversight alone can destroy societies in a heartbeat.
People are too quick to be offended. They are too quick to judge. They are too quick to form opinion when they have no actual knowledge-base to make any assessment.
It takes years of gathering facts and evidence. It takes careful thought and asking questions to get to the truth.
Journalism never bothered with learning how to mentor society with sensible and careful thought because it was always about sensationalism, being first, and bragging rights as they told people what and how to think.
Universities in North America -- the ones that guide young minds -- never bothered applying the scientific method to their own power structures.
They merely followed journalism's flawed lead.
And that's what is killing free speech because those who were given that gift always took it for granted.