Reviews | It’s up to all of us to increase political freedom of expression on campus
Republicans on campus shouldn’t be stereotypical or afraid to speak up.
My old teacher said that any child who identifies as gay or lesbian and grows up in a conservative home will be oppressed.
This accusation gives the impression that you cannot be queer and conservative, and all conservatives are homophobic. However, Peter Thiel, a conservative who identifies as gay, spoke at the Republican National Convention after the 2016 election. As someone who cannot have biological children, I will be happy with a gay child. or straight. It is not fair to automatically label a conservative transphobic or homophobic without first asking their point of view.
Although people think the Conservatives are transphobic or homophobic, many of us support LGBTQ rights. For example, a survey found that 61% of Republicans support the fight against discrimination in housing, employment and public housing for gay and transgender people. More than half of Republicans support same-sex marriage, according to a 2020 Public Religion Research Institute poll.
Conservatives need to add to the diversity of opinion on campus by speaking out, but people also need to stop stereotyping us.
Micah Broekemeier, an UI junior majoring in history and curator, said conservatives need to speak up more. He said he wore MAGA hats and Trump shirts on campus and received no hatred on campus for them.
“During the election cycle, whoever I backed, I wore it on my sleeve,” Broekemeier said.
While I’m glad Broekemeier never felt hatred towards him for being conservative, there have been incidents of conservative beliefs silenced at other universities. At the University of Northern Iowa, their student government denied a Student for Life group the opportunity to register as a student organization because of the claim that it included “hate rhetoric.”
UNI President Mark Nook overturned the Senators’ decision. However, a bunch of conservative college students shouldn’t have to go through all this trouble to get their First Amendment rights.
When I first came home to the University of Iowa in 2018, Republicans at UI College (UICR) explained how they were going to get booed and spit on while walking in the parade. On May 4, the UICR made chalk drawings, and the students poured water on them.
The University of Iowa later released a statement and updated the Chalk Policy to reflect a change in the State Board of Regents’ policy manual to protect free speech on campus .
I understand that the Conservatives do not speak out out of fear of mistreatment. The hatred stems from the fact that people make assumptions about the Conservatives without listening to us. Instead, we should be asked about our beliefs rather than people making assumptions.
Despite many generalizations such as Republicans being called “ableists,” I’m pro-life because I think it’s heartbreaking that so many other people with disabilities are denied a chance to live because of abortion.
While the Conservatives may be the minority political party on campus, we shouldn’t be stereotyped without first asking our beliefs. Conservatives on campus shouldn’t be afraid to talk about their beliefs because they fear people will make assumptions about us, like being homophobic.
The Liberals and the Conservatives must contribute to the diversity of speeches. Liberals need to become more open-minded and accept conservatives, and Republicans on campus need to start speaking out.
Columns reflect the views of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.