Dissent is developing a bad reputation

From Brongersma
Jump to: navigation, search

Even the most cursory glance at the news headlines over the past year or so would reveal that dissenters have had a tough time of it. Whether they were protesting the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City, police brutality in Montreal, centralized editorial control at Canada's largest chain of daily newspapers or Israel's treatment of Palestinians, their actions have prompted a range of indignant responses, from ridicule and harassment to violence and incarceration. [...]

Fewer and fewer spaces remain open to the kind of dissent that presents a fundamental challenge to dominant discourses. The media have largely abdicated their responsibility to provide a forum for serious, open and wide-ranging debate, and electoral politics has become bridled by neo-conservative orthodoxy. The university has not yet relinquished this role but, as we at Concordia have found, it is a difficult role to live up to. We want to debate the serious issues of our time, but we don't want to alienate students, alumni or corporate benefactors.

source: Article 'Dissent is developing a bad reputation' by Mike Gasher; magazine.concordia.ca/2001-02/june/lastword/; The Last Word; Concordia University; 2001/2002