Steve Chapman: Don't Silence Graduation Speakers


Ayaan Hirsi Ali
International Students' Committee

"Oh, that my enemy would write a book," goes the old wish, coined by someone who knew there is no better way to expose fools than through their own words. It's an idea that deserves consideration from the college students and faculty unhappy with their schools' choice in commencement speakers. It's understandable that students might prefer not to share their big day with someone who has said or done things that they find grossly objectionable, writes Steve Chapman. But forcing them out or driving them away is the wrong response for all sorts of reasons. The best response to allegedly villainous speakers is not to turn them into martyrs by denying them a forum. The best response is to let them speak and make them wish they hadn't.