Students Keep "No Platforming" Contentious Speakers. Should They Stop?

Perspective Writers' Votes
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Providing the resources (and very often honoraria or speaking fees) to people who promote e.g. racism is a tacit legitimization of their views.

Pros
Cons
  • As these speakers become legitimized they may access additional speaking opportunities and further positions of power that amplify fascist discourses.

  • The ritual and setting of a public speech at a university demands the honoring or at least polite introduction of a speaker. The setting intrinsically restricts open critique to a certain level.

  • The same resources could be used for more positive, diverse and productive events.

  • Financial support for thought leaders who promote violence, hatred, and oppression literally supports their ability to further promote violence, hatred, and oppression.

  • The idea that one ethnic group is inherently superior to another has no basis in scientific reality. Therefore, allowing white nationalists and other racists a platform at a university is akin to allowing flat-earthers a platform. These ideas have no place at a college, or other public venue.

  • Simply providing funding to host a speaker only shows that they have been provided with a platform to speak. Universities often invite speakers who have controversial viewpoints to help foster debate within the university and to enable interesting public lectures. It would be naive to conclude that such support is tacit legitimisation.

  • It cannot be that platforming an idea is always equivalent to approving that idea.This is objectively falsifiable, as there are many organizations who give platform to viewpoints which fundamentally contradict.

  • Universities currently allow a vast range of different views on different topics, but no one thinks this means they tacitly legitimise any of them.

  • No platforming can happen because the speakers are judged "not inclusive enough," even though they have not directly perpetrated offense or harm.