It seems that in our country today — and even on this campus — it is no longer possible for reasonable people to disagree reasonably. Social media has given everyone a platform to share their opinions, and facts don’t seem to really matter anymore. We have to do better. We are blessed to have the right to free speech, but we need to remember that great line from Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
When Boyce was announced as chancellor, many people were upset about the process and for a fair reason. However, disagreement with a process or with a hire does not give any group of people the right to silence their opposition and prevent one side or another from speaking. The scene that unfolded at The Inn at Ole Miss during the press conference and announcement of our new chancellor was an embarrassment to this university — for everybody. Protest all you want, but it is not fair or right to protest in a manner that prevents others from participating and listening to important events.
You cannot claim to be for free speech and then seek to drown out your opponents’ voices. Hypocrisy is easy, but fairness is hard. We all have a responsibility to treat others the way we want to be treated. It’s really pretty simple; just act like your mama taught you when you were a kid. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Act nice, say please and thank you and when expressing your opinion, no matter how deeply held, and try to do so in a way that elevates public discourse and doesn’t sour it.
Noel Morgan is a senior political science major from Tupelo, Mississippi.