In Defense of Free Speech


By Nicole Divers

In today’s politically correct culture, it often feels like you can’t say anything remotely critical or controversial without being accused of hate speech. Don’t like Pocahon – excuse me – Elizabeth Warren? That’s hateful towards women. Don’t think 10-year-olds should be injected with hormones? That’s hateful towards the trans community. And don’t even dare try to defend Trump. That’s hateful to all of humanity.

Although freedom of speech is protected in the Constitution, there’s an ever-expanding push for the restriction of hate speech, especially on college campuses. The extent to which speech should be free as it pertains to college campuses is not a new debate however, it is newly relevant.

The push to restrict speech began in the mid-20th century when conservatives wanted to prohibit the speech of political dissenters like communists and civil rights activists. This began to evolve into the free speech debate we see today as the proportion of women and minorities on university campuses began rising later in the 20th century.

With the increased presence of women and minorities on campuses, there came an increasing push for the restriction of “hate speech” – speech that expresses hatred or prejudice against a certain person or group. This push eventually developed into the hate speech movement we see today which advocates for the restriction of any speech that may be offensive or triggering.

Image result for free speech in constitution

Today, universities are the marketplace of ideas. This wasn’t always the case though. The original purpose of universities was merely to impart knowledge – rather than research, students were tasked with rote memorization. The goal of the modern university, however, is not just to impart knowledge, but also to discover knowledge. This goal cannot be achieved unless all ideas are allowed to be presented and explored, and all ideas cannot be presented unless their freedom of speech is protected.

The counterargument to that is if hate speech, especially hate speech directed towards minority groups, is allowed, then these groups may feel excluded from the conversation and therefore their ideas cannot be presented.

On the surface, the restriction of hate speech sounds like a good thing. After all, plenty of things are censored – television programs, radio, even movies are given a warning label to indicate how graphic or profane they are. I think most people who go to college can agree that there are some things you shouldn’t say to people. You shouldn’t call people names, you shouldn’t make fun of people for things they can’t control, and you shouldn’t use slurs against people. But just because you shouldn’t say something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be allowed to say it. That’s a very key caveat and one that is too often overlooked. Nobody likes it when they walk through the pit and Gary calls them a sinner because they’re wearing a Metallica shirt. I’m not okay with Gary calling people sinners, but I do think he should be allowed to call people sinners.

People who advocate for banning hate speech typically assume that because someone thinks you should be allowed to call someone a racial slur, they are okay with people using racial slurs. It’s not that we want people to go around using slurs, we simply don’t want some higher power telling us what we can and can’t say, especially when that higher power wants to ban language that is often useful, like New York City banning the phrase ‘illegal alien’. This ban may seem harmless, but the term ‘illegal alien’ is a commonly used legal classification of a person’s status in the US. If this phrase were banned on a larger scale, it would invalidate thousands of legal documents, books, and academic journals, effectively erasing a significant amount of research on immigration policy. This would, for obvious reasons, hinder any attempt to search for knowledge regarding immigration. All because a few people take offense at the term ‘illegal alien’.

When a university restricts speech based on the comfort of a few individuals, it restricts ideas from the rest of the campus community simply because those ideas may be considered too offensive. But the right to free speech necessitates the right to offend. Knowledge is too valuable to be sacrificed for fear of causing offense. Therefore, in order to discover knowledge, a university must uphold freedom of speech and allow all ideas to be presented. Some of these ideas may be offensive, but freedom of speech requires a great deal of tolerance – even of offensive ideas.

Lesson Learned?



By Editor-In-Chief Frank Pray

Displaying grace in defeat is an important skill. Over the course of the last few days, the Left has displayed an almost total lack of it. Sure, there are some who may exemplify how to lose with dignity and class, but from what my Facebook news feed and college campus have shown me, most simply haven’t gained that skill set.

Do you know why Donald Trump won? It’s not because anyone thought he is particularly gifted. He’s no more politically skilled than your average politician. No one loved most of his policies, either. Conservatives certainly didn’t see him as some icon of our principles. No, it’s because President-Elect Trump represents the ultimate ‘screw you,’ the American people’s Trump Card, if you will, to the Left.

Let’s not forget that it was this left that has, for 8 years, said that every person who disagrees with them, the entire right side of the political spectrum, half of America, is a racist, sexist bigot. It is the Left, that for most of recent memory, has been filled with individuals who assume their intellectual counterparts on the right don’t just disagree, but are actually evil. People like Hillary Clinton, like many students here at UNC, have displayed an extraordinary inability to reach across the political spectrum, to listen to understand, and to dialogue until a mutually agreeable compromise is reached.

The shortsightedness, the shallowness of this approach simply cannot be stressed enough. It’s wrong, and in 2018, if the Left doesn’t stop this nonsense, if they don’t learn the painful lesson this election taught, then the Democratic Party will lose another 6 seats in the senate. Their losses will continue until the Left stops demonizing over half the nation by saying they want terrible things for those around them.

We conservatives have news for you, friends on the Left. We aren’t sexist. We all have women we love and want the best for in our lives. We aren’t racist, we all have people of color and various ethnic and racial backgrounds that we love and care about in our lives. And we aren’t bigots. Following our faith as it is actually written doesn’t mean we hate any group of people, in fact, we do all things in regards to faith out of sacrificial love. So please, stop with this nonsense.

As a Republican, as a conservative, and as a man who cast a ballot for President-Elect Donald J Trump, I fervently yearn for the day when America has two political parties that both truly want the best for all American citizens, rather than writing off over half the nation, a group of mostly good, nice, loving people, as deplorable racist, sexist bigots. I yearn for the day when the Democratic Party learns to debate, disagree, and compromise, again. I yearn for them to learn their lesson. On that day, America will truly be great again.

“We’re Gonna Play the National Anthem and Just See What Happens”



By Staff Writer Jackson Valentine

If this title doesn’t mean anything to you, I would highly recommend checking out the SNL skit “Black Jeopardy”. Very funny and well worth 7 minutes of your time. More importantly, however, this is going to be about the fact that all of a sudden it’s a controversial thing to stand or sing our national anthem. Perhaps as a music performance major as well as a former marching band member, I could present a unique perspective.

Marching Band

It has long been a tradition in our country for school marching bands to incorporate the playing of the national anthem into its pregame performance. Recently, this part of the performance will elicit nervousness, people looking around wondering, “what’s going to happen this time?” “Who’s going to take a knee?” “I hope no one feels offended”. It is a shame that the song written to commemorate the bravery of our nation has created tension you could cut with a knife, but more importantly, a dangerous precedent is being set by allowing band members to “protest” the national anthem by refusing to play and not standing while on the field. If it is acceptable for band members to exercise their first amendment right (and indeed it is their right) by disrupting a performance, the slope that the organization begins to slide down becomes very slippery.

A perfect example of this comes from our colleagues down the road in Greenville, North Carolina. About 20 band members decided ahead of time to take a knee during their performance of the anthem, and some of those that did not agree chose to carry American flags out to the field with them to protest the protest, so to speak. What if someone decides to protest the protest of the protest and refuse to even come onto the field to play at all? I imagine that if that were to happen, there would be people protesting that protest. You can probably see where I am going with this…

One of the focal points of marching band is to look the same, sound the same, and march the same, so as to not attract attention to any one individual with the goal being a polished product from the band as a whole. When I was a section leader in high school, I can’t tell you how many times I heard something like “who cares if you can play your part perfectly? If one person in your section can’t, then it doesn’t matter.” I believe that’s true whether you’re working on marching in practice, or standing on the field playing the national anthem. You come together to make music and blend into something that is bigger than yourself and it is most certainly not the place to air out your political laundry for the whole world to see. Maybe if I were still in the Marching Tarheels, I would take a knee for the school alma mater because I disagree with their lack of academic diversity in the faculty. I wonder if everyone would stand up and applaud my bravery and solidarity then?


I wont have as much to say on this one, because I’m not really an athlete and haven’t played competitive team sports in quite some time, but I would like to point out that the man who started it all, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, definitely has something going on other than simply showing opposition to police brutality in America. Kaepernick was seen in a post game interview earlier this season sporting a New Black Panther Party t-shirt, and in practice he was seen wearing socks depicting police officers as pigs. These things point to a larger problem in that it seems Kaepernick is actually very racist. If you wear the shirt of an organization that believes in committing violence against a particular race, it’s kind of hard to PR your way out it. Imagine if Tom Brady rolled up to his post game interview wearing a KKK t-shirt. It would more than likely be the end of his football career, and possibly the end of his professional life. The double standard here seems obvious, but double standards are something the media is quite familiar with.

Also, I believe that it is important to note the same principles of unity and comradery that come with being in a marching band also apply to being on a sports team. When you have some team members coming out for the anthem and others staying in the locker room (Millikin University), it shows disunity among the team which I’m sure carries over into performance. Again, not the time or place to air out your political laundry.

Free Speech

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, all of these people definitely have the right under our constitution’s first amendment to do basically whatever they want without being arrested, as long as they aren’t hurting anyone else. Organizations also reserve the right to boot people based on insubordination or any other number of factors that they deem fit. The worst part about this whole thing is that the left says not only is it their right, but they should be able to kneel for the national anthem or do a host of other things without repercussions because it is “free speech”. It’s funny how free speech has suddenly become extremely important to a party that has a long-standing tradition of free speech suppression, which is predominantly on display in our nation’s colleges and universities. Whether it is boxing in open dialogue into “free speech zones” (which we do have here at UNC) or denying protest permits to groups they disagree with. Well UNC snowflakes, you certainly didn’t care about free speech when you tried to ban the Center for Bio-ethical Reform, the Alamance County Sons of the Confederacy, Ben Shapiro, or David Horowitz from our campus because it was “unsafe for students”. Hey Campus Y, where was my safe space when the band members took a knee? Why wasn’t I given a trigger warning beforehand? Oh yeah, because these things fit your agenda and Shapiro doesn’t. There’s that double standard again…


The ‘Experts’ Continue to Get it Wrong


By Staff Writer Hinton Carter

Let’s set the stage: Election Night in America 2016 at 11:42 PM. The Dow Futures is down 750 points.

Now, let’s take a step back for a minute and cover some bases first. In the US Stock Market, the S&P 500, NASDAQ, and Dow Jones Industrial are all market indexes that provide insight into the performance of the entire market as a whole at one period in time. The Dow Futures is an overnight, after-market closing view of how investors will act when the markets and exchanges reopen the next day. When the news came amidst election coverage that the Dow Futures was down 750 points, it indicated that investors were planning on heavily selling off when the market opened, leading to potential historic single day market loss, similar to what happened the day after the Brexit vote.

Many analysts actually thought it would be worse than the Brexit fallout, as the US election would naturally have had more impact on the US markets. But after Donald Trump had been announced the winner of the presidential election in the middle of the night, and subsequently when the markets opened for trading on the 9th of November, something unforeseen happened. By the end of the trading day on Wednesday, the Dow Index soared up 257 points, brushing all time highs. By the end the week, the market finished up 5%, an all time high and leading to the best week the market had tallied in five years. It is known fact that the financial markets and investors do not like uncertainty, yet it seems as if a prospective Trump presidency has brought at least short term stability and promise to the market.

To support this theory, Bill Ackman, CEO of Pershing Square Capital, a 12.4 billion dollar hedge fund and financial heavyweight in US markets, had very positive things to say about Trump being elected. “The U.S. is the greatest business in the world. It’s been undermanaged for a very long period of time. We now have a businessman as president,” stated Ackman at conference in New York City on Wednesday. As first reported by Forbes, Ackman also thinks Trump could bring about great economic benefit by returning to private ownership Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the currently government-owned mortgage funds. Common stock ownership of the funds has risen 70% since the election, alluding to newfound confidence by venture capitalists and shareholders alike.

Whether or not someone supported President-elect Trump in his candidacy, it’s important to recognize that the market appears to like the decision thus far. It will now be up to President Trump and a Republican controlled Congress to pass legislation that continues to brings more confidence and success in the financial markets, and the greater United States economy as a whole.

President-Elect Donald J. Trump



By Editor-in-Chief Frank Pray

They said he couldn’t do it. I said he couldn’t do it. We were wrong.

Today, we enter a new week with our nation moving in a vastly different direction than our course over the last 8 years. The American people soundly rejected President Obama’s legacy by rejecting Hillary Clinton. Instead, they have chosen to alight on a new path, an uncharted path. Our friends on the Left may be despondent this week, crying out that our path will lead to hate, but it is up to us to ensure it does not. We must fight, shout, advocate for the conservative policies President-Elect Trump promised. We must ensure our Congressmen work with President Trump to enact tax reform, welfare reform, new pro-life laws, laws to curb illegal immigration, and laws to make our nation, and our people, prosperous again.

Only time will tell what the legacy of President Donald Trump will be, but if the conservative colleagues I have on this campus are any indication, we will work to make his legacy, our legacy, an incredibly positive one.

Congratulations, President-Elect Trump. We’re all rooting for you now.