Centre should resist temptation to suppress free speech

Published 6:30 pm Monday, February 17, 2020

Friday, Feb. 21, black conservative author Candace Owens will be speaking at the Showroom in Danville, sponsored by the local Republican Party. 

Ms. Owens is a young black conservative commentator and political activist. She’s pro-Trump and critic of Black Lives Matters. She worked with Turning Point USA, a conservative activist group on college campuses encouraging and educating college students regarding conservative principles. She also authored a successful book titled “Black Out: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation.”  

The local Republican Party booked Candace Owens, just like they had previously booked famed neurosurgeon and former presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson, who now heads Housing and Urban Development. Although previously given verbal permission, in a turn of events, Centre informed by letter that Ms. Owens was to divisive to speak at the college, referencing her words from the title of her book.

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What’s change at Centre since Dr. Ben Carson? His recorded words were arguably more divisive than Ms. Owens.

As a private institution, Centre has right to make such decisions and no one can argue the positive influence Centre has on community. So much so, one could overlook the Centre president stating before a gubernatorial debate regarding proper decorum, “Suffice to say that at Centre college we know how to act!” But has the pendulum started to swing?

Centre’s diversity statement reads, in part, “… we are committed to not only welcoming into the Centre community persons who have traditionally been under-represented, but also fostering their full participation in the community … we affirm diversity and inclusion are critical to the board’s effectiveness in leading the college …” Really?

Furthermore, the new chairman of the Boyle County Democratic Party is a professor of sociology at Centre. On his blog he wrote, “White Privilege Is About Race Not Class … White privilege, by itself, doesn’t tell us anything one way or another about class … Whiteness is still an advantage for poor white people too…” 

In another he wrote: “Not Sure of Your Position … Resist the Temptation to Suppress the Free Speech of Others.” 

Does Centre’s actions speak louder than their words? 

Has white male privilege perhaps infested some at Centre, confirming Ms. Owens belief that Black America is being held down on the Democrat plantation? “Not sure of your position, (why not) resist the temptation to suppress free speech of others?” 

At Centre College, do they still know how to act?


Randy Gip Graham