Freedom vs safety in campus climate debates: Ibbitson

June 13, 2017

“On university campuses across Canada, a cold war rages between two principles,” writes John Ibbitson for the Globe and Mail. These principles are “the right to academic freedom of inquiry or, more broadly, to free speech, on the one hand; on the other, the right to be protected from harm, to feel safe.” Ibbitson notes that when controversies arise over free speech on campus, the most common response from editorialists is to “protest the latest, spineless caving-in to political correctness, social warriors, snowflakes and other terms of derision.” Yet many critics argue that appeals to freedom of speech are most often invoked by privileged speakers who are seeking to defend their privilege. “Freedom and protection both survive through compromise, a principle despised by so many, who seek to wreck it,” Ibbitson concludes. “And yet this ground must be held. However much freedom and protection conflict, neither can survive without the other.” Globe and Mail