To the Daily:
I can’t help but take offense at Mr. Panduranga’s column (Ban biased speech on Diag, 09/09/2009). In his short time on this Earth, Mr. Panduranga has learned exactly the opposite lessons that history has repeatedly demonstrated to mankind. I cannot begin to imagine the kind of dangerous world that Mr. Panduranga insists we live in — one where “most” speech is protected, but certainly not the kind speech that makes one “uncomfortable” or “insults one’s sensibilities” (or even — banish the thought — speech that violates some arbitrary University code). Of course, I’m confident that Mr. Panduranga, having been installed as the head arbiter of his imaginary world, would be able to rationally, without bias, determine exactly what speech is safe for the mind and what speech is strictly verboten.
No person on this campus, neither the campus faith zealot nor the neo-Nazi, is nearly as dangerous as the kind of person Mr. Panduranga holds himself out to be — that is, the kind of person who openly and without reservation condemns the freedoms of speech we hold so closely and defend so fervently. Countless numbers of enlightened individuals before us have debated this issue and have consistently come to the conclusion that speech is an inalienable right. Our Founding Fathers found it to be of such importance that it was literally placed above all rights granted to U.S. citizens. In fact, they practically considered this truth to be “self evident,” though that evidence was apparently lost on Mr. Panduranga.
So, in celebration of the rights afforded to me by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, I offer this to you, Mr. Panduranga: Better to be only thought of as an idiot before opening your mouth and confirming it to the world.