BY ARCHIE JONES
March 30th, 2017
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Do We Have a Liberal Blindspot?
A United World College, is the most amazing accepting environment, where you can be who you want, and are able to express your ideas and opinions freely. But only if you share the same liberal mind-set. If you say: I am not a feminist. We should ban immigration. I support Trump. I voted BREXIT. You are immediately shot down, and told that you are wrong. But we will only get true acceptance and understanding, if we start discussing these views, and look at the reasons why people think this way. Instead of labelling people racist, sexist, homophobic or whatever the term may be, we need to start a discussion, as shutting them down, will only make their opinion stronger.
I believe UWC should start accepting people, who do have opinions which aren’t typically “UWC”, like somebody who is openly racist, sexist, etc. Only then will we get true understanding of the world we live in; and only when we get that true understand, can we make the difference we want to see in this world. As we can’t pretend these views don’t exist, as they do. A member of the UWC community was telling me, once when they were on the interview panel, for their national committee, and they interviewed a girl, who said; she wanted to fix UWC of all evil, and that included everything which went against her fundamental religious views. They wanted to send this girl to a UWC, but they decided not to, because they feared for her safety. So how can we call UWC an open society, if people are afraid to send people here, because of their safety, the hypocrisy is astonishing.
As you can probably tell from how I’ve written the article, I have “liberal views”. I would call myself a feminist, I think everyone should be treated equally, no matter where they come from, and be who they want to be, and for the freedom of movement, I don’t think anybody, should have the power, to tell another human being, they are denied entry to a certain place; and yes I would love if it, if everybody had a similar opinion, but I know they don’t, and that is fine for me, at least if we know the understanding for these differences of opinion, and the reason for our political beliefs. I would say I do have a understanding of these different views, after being brought up in a small rural English town. Where 99% of people were English and white, an area which heavily voted for BREXIT, and has some racist and homophobic views, after living there for 16 years, I have an understanding of their point of view. If we really believe in freedom of speech, then we have to allow for opinions that offend, for example if we allow protests for gay marriage, we should also allow protests for people against gay marriage, as that is the meaning of freedom of speech, people should be able to talk about their opinions, whatever they may be. For example, the wrong to go about it, is to stop them for example twitter banning Milo Yiannopoulos, as this is creating divides, one university campus was starting fires, as he was due to speak at their university, there for, this shows if we don’t try and understand others opinions, it creates violence. Why don’t we get somebody like Yiannopoulos or Wilders in to speak here at UWC Maastricht?
A lot of divisions in today’s society, are caused through difference of opinion, some less, and some more extreme of the examples I’ve mentioned. Therefore, we need to end these divisions, through understanding. Therefore, to be able to do this, we need people with very different political views, compared the common liberal views we have here at UWC. Only then UWC can make education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.
If you would like to continue this debate, please do not hesitate to contact the author or the Flying Dutchman at TheFlyingDutchman@uwcmaastricht.nl
The Flying Dutchman team consists of UWC students aiming to reflect the news relevant to the people engaged with the UWC movement.