President Barack Obama on Sept. 14 discussed the changing culture on American college campuses, specifically regarding political correctness.
Speaking at a town hall even in Des Moines, Iowa, Obama discussed recent situations where students and faculty on college campuses have protested speakers who have worked for or are known for their conservative politics and views.
“I’ve heard of some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative. Or they don’t want to read a book if it has language that is offensive to African Americans, or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women,” Obama said.
“I’ve got to tell you, I don’t agree with that either," he added. "I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of view.”
Obama also commented on the views of liberal students and professors who have been characterized as close-minded and only willing to listen to others who share their same point of view.
“It’s not just sometimes folks who are mad that colleges are too liberal that have a problem," Obama said. "Sometimes there are folks on college campuses who are liberal and maybe even agree with me on a bunch of issues who sometimes aren’t listening to the other side. And that’s a problem, too."
Comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Maher have criticized the political correctness culture on campuses, while comedienne Sarah Silverman has defended the movement, saying that comedians and others need to adapt to the changing cultural times, The Hill noted.
However, Obama seemingly disagreed with Silverman and said that all students and staff members should be open-minded to other political points of view.
“Anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with them," Obama said. "But you shouldn’t silence them by saying, you can’t come because I’m too sensitive to hear what you have to say. That’s not the way we learn, either."
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