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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Editorial- You offend us!

Published: November 18, 2005
Section: Opinions

Stop it. No seriously, stop it! Your complaining offends us! You should be ashamed for having those views! Just by saying that, you have undermined our sense of security on this campus. How dare you have opinions different than ours!?

As journalists we feel threatened, personally attacked and humiliated by the mere expression of your opinions that are contrary to ours. We feel that your sheer presence on this campus is offensive and that Brandeis should take away your housing and expel you for making us feel so threatened.

Regardless of any legitimacy or intellectual underpinning for this opinion you expressed, by disagreeing with us you are offending us. So please shut up and please leave!

Although the above is in jest, sentiment such as this is too often heard on campus. Students too often get caught in a frenzy of bashing the unpopular comment of the moment. Whether its someone expressing their views on Communism or on Feminism, if those views express ideas that arent mainstream-Brandeis Correct, someone is offended. Whats more, they express their being offended by trying to shout down the speaker or bash (shut down) the publication that allowed him/her a chance to speak.

Being offended is a Brandeis pastime. Its safe to say that a week doesnt go by without someone being offended about something happing on campus. Often the outrage is directed at the messenger rather than the message. Quotes like The should be ashamed of publishing such an article, are too often written in letters.

If these people truly believe in open discourse they shouldnt attempt to shut someone else up. Are they afraid their arguments arent strong enough to win in a debate and resort to attacking the mere fact that someone had the gall to express an opinion?

Granted, there are things that shouldnt be printedan example being obvious attempts to hurt a community on campus. This, though, is pretty much limited to fighting words, such as epithets, and not to any argument of perception of fact.

If facts, observations or perceptions offend you, than you need to learn to deal with it. At Brandeis you may find some sympathizers, but in the real world, youll probably just be laughed at.

Newspapers like The Hoot publish opinions that people want to submit. We act as their megaphone. If you have a reply, submit your own argument, try to make your own case. Dont just write a letter griping about the fact that someone else took the time to write an article and submit it. Repudiate this other article through your own well thought out reply. Just because you are offended doesnt mean you have the right to shut someone up.