Berkeley protests show we’ve stopped listening

Recent events on the campus of UC Berkeley have shown us that free speech is a thing of the past and no longer relevant.

There is no doubt that this election has sparked strong emotions on both sides.

Like most elections, it was not pretty. It will never be a nice conversation when both parties are filled with emotion and are not willing to take a step over and learn why members of the other political party believe what they do.

People who figuratively cover their ears and scream their opinions are not listening.

The real problem we are having in today’s world is not the disagreement between the right and left but how we go about the disagreement.

You receive the most knowledge when you listen to what someone else has to say.

I am not saying that you have to change your mind, but if anything it will make you more of a well-rounded thinker.

I cannot help but see the bias that has been appearing in the classrooms – and in everyday life.

Few can answer a question without putting in their two cents politically. I understand that there are people who believe very strongly in whatever side they associate with, but tuning someone out and discrediting them without even hearing their opinions is wrong and childlike.

According to CNN, last week protesters in Berkeley caused $100,000 in damage because they did not want right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos to be able to speak on their campus.

It is terrifying to know that you cannot even speak your mind anymore without people trying to censor you – and, in this case, with violence and intimidation.

The protesters might have even gotten something out of it if they had heard Yiannopoulos speak. They might have even heard something that solidified their own opposite beliefs.

Instead, they broke windows and rioted. Clearly the emotions that I previously mentioned were driving these acts.

It is time to think with our heads.

When I saw what was going on, I could not help but wonder what if something like that happened on our campus?

I know we do not have quite the same problems as other campuses around the nation, where things like this are happening. But it is still something to look out for.

I am all for standing up for what you believe. However, I do have a problem with snide comments that offer no constructive information or knowledge.

I would rather have others give me a list of why they do not agree with that party than just offer extreme statements like “Republicans are racist” or “Democrats are crybabies.”

It is easier to have people open up about their beliefs when someone is willing to calmly discuss the issues back and forth.

Could you imagine having a conversation with someone from a different political affiliation without fights or things like what happened at Berkeley?

Could you imagine what we would actually be able to accomplish and resolve as a nation?