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Freedom to choose? Or face the fate of ‘cancel culture’

ONE OPINION



Audio articles on Wilson County News made possible by C Street Gift Shop in downtown Floresville!
By Elaine Kolodziej

By Elaine Kolodziej

The issue of parents’ rights when choosing better schools for their children is often in the headlines. In fact, it’s on the top of Gov. Greg Abbott’s agenda for this legislative session.

You ask, how can school choice be a controversial issue? Freedom to choose seems like a no-brainer; unfortunately, it is not.

A headline in The Epoch Times reads: “School Based on Intellectual Freedom Gets Swift Pushback in North Carolina.”

Wait. Read that again … “intellectual freedom” gets pushback??? This is America. We send kids to public schools to learn — not to be brainwashed, although this is not as true today as it once was.

From kindergarten to college, there is little opportunity for freedom of thought, so schools such as the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill actually face the loss of funding if they try to offer intellectual freedom.

The article continued: “Officials warn trustees at flagship university it will risk losing accreditation [emphasis mine] if it goes ahead with new institution based on ‘freedom of expression, intellectual diversity and open inquiry.’”

The university wants to develop a School of Civic Life and Leadership where students earn credits for history, literature, and political science starting from diverse viewpoints.

While “diverse” usually is desirable, not so when the diversity does not agree with the “woke” agenda. The idea at the University of North Carolina was to counter the “woke” ideology being pushed through schools by offering another viewpoint — an alternative in education, if you will.

But the woke crowd won’t have it. To them, diversity and inclusion on campuses does not mean freedom to explore opinions and ideas other than the ones they already hold.

Conservative backlash is evident when speakers such as Candace Owens are shouted down and “uninvited” to schools. Over the years, speakers such as Milo Yiannopoulos, Ann Coulter, and others have had their invitations canceled as well.

Diversity no longer means allowing various viewpoints, because when ideas come from conservatives they find themselves threatened or intimidated, as in the case of Nick Sandmann. He is the former Covington Catholic High School student who was harassed and then defamed by the media.

While campuses still promote themselves as being “open and diverse,” in reality they are anything but. This “cancel culture” extends to more than just posting comments on social media. It often leads to mass shaming; the only opinions allowed are those that agree with their own “woke” agenda. That is their brand of diversity. It is political correctness gone awry.

This cancel culture is going after Tucker Carlson for playing actual video footage from the Jan. 6 protests in Washington, D.C.

Tulsi Gabbard, herself a former Democratic presidential candidate, is fighting the battle against censored thought.

There was a time when we cherished the freedom to choose our destiny. Milton Friedman produced a TV series, “Free to Choose,” in the 1980s. It was quite impactful to those willing to watch and listen.

Actually, I never saw the TV show but I ordered the video series, and was impressed by Friedman’s explanation of the free-market economy. So much so that I ordered a second set, and the Wilson County News donated the 10-volume set to the Floresville High School library.

Knowing how quickly technology changes, I know the videotapes were outdated decades ago and by now, they likely have reached a landfill.

For all I know, they may have sat there and gathered dust without anyone ever having seen them. But I thought the message of freedom was one worth sharing.

I still do.

That’s my opinion.

What’s yours?