“Consider this your official trigger warning,” Jason Mattera said at the beginning of his speech about the Top 5 Things You Can’t Say on Campus – and that’s exactly what it was.
Mattera was hosted on campus Thursday night by Young Americans for Freedom at UCF in Harris Corporation Engineering Center to spread awareness on how political correctness is killing free speech on college campuses.
“The facts presented during this speech may lead to your head whirling like a gyroscope, especially if you are a progressive,” Mattera, 33, said.
Mattera is a “NY Times bestselling author, Emmy-nominated journalist and national correspondent for the television show Crime Watch Daily which is produced and distributed by Warner Bros.,” according to Mattera’s website.
He lightheartedly provided the captivated audience with five things one should not say on college campuses ranging from number one being “the Republican Party is the party of civil rights” to number five being “there is no such thing as hate speech.”
“We believe free speech is best because you hear everyone’s ideas, and that is important,” said Carter Lankes, chairman of Young Americans for Freedom at UCF and a junior electrical engineering major.
Lankes, 21, revived Young Americans for Freedom at UCF a year and a half ago when he noticed an absence of its presence on campus.
“Everything the Constitution stands for we promote,” Lankes said.
Young Americans for Freedom at UCF is a student organization that aims “to promote limited government, individual freedom, free enterprise, traditional values and a strong national defense on campus,” according to its Facebook page.
The club brought Mattera on campus to discuss ways in which free speech is being limited and to spark a conversation about having a more open discussion.
“An event like this encourages people to be more outspoken,” said Collin Hill, 21, a junior real estate major. “Having a group and a speaker who encourages that is important.”
Mattera said he encourages students to be comfortable when talking about uncomfortable things, such as what they believe in.
“I believe political correctness is killing free speech because people are afraid to say things that might hurt others,” said Xena Abella, 20, a junior biology major.
The educational, yet controversial, topics of Mattera’s speech left audience members questioning things, such as oppression and having a discussion with someone who has different views.
“In the age of such anti-intellectualism in which logic and science are [replaced] for feelings and fairness, how do you engage in constructive dialogues that identify the quantitative purpose?” Hill asked Mattera.
Mattera answered – “I would speak just the ungarnished truth.”