This may come as a shock to some, but I was once a dumb college kid. I suspect we all were — even those of us who didn’t formally attend college. I believed things then — some passionately — that I no longer believe or that I at least have the life experience to see through different eyes now.
While I disagree with those who assign some sort of inherent wisdom to the young, the passion and idealism of youth are admirable — to a point. And then they just become silly — or worse, dangerous.
A recent debate on social media has raged over whether college students who signed off on declarations or engaged in protests supporting Hamas and blaming Israel for the attacks of October 7th should be shunned by prospective employers because of their views.
I’m about as devout a free speech adherent as you’ll find, and I find the notion of cancel culture repugnant. But that doesn’t mean I believe speech should be free of all consequence or that I disagree with employers steering clear of would-be applicants who vocally side with terrorists. College students may be young, but they ought to, by that age, understand the difference between right and wrong/good and evil.
In short, my ability to cut “dumb college kids” slack doesn’t extend to those who defend rape, murder, hostage-taking, and eradicating Jews or the State of Israel.