The Chilling Effect

Release date: March 1, 2023
Duration: 46min
Guest(s): Dr. Owen Anderson
Dr. Owen Anderson

At a February 8, 2023, speaking engagement at Arizona State University entitled “Health. Wealth. Happiness,” Robert Kiyosaki, along with nationally syndicated talk show host and founder of PragerU, Dennis Prager, and Charlie Kirk, conservative activist, radio talk show host and founder of Turning Point USA, incited protest when 37 of 47 Honors College professors wrote a petition to ban the event because of the conservative perspectives espoused.

But guest Dr. Owen Anderson, a professor of philosophy and religious studies, was one who stood up for free speech. “If you look at the letter opposing the event, they link it to violence—white, nationalist, bigot. That’s how they framed it. As soon as you are “on the list of violence, then you are not protected by the first amendment.”

Anderson and Kiyosaki are concerned about the larger, pervasive issue spreading across college campuses. “We are in a generation of professors who don’t know their view and they don’t have the skill of showing the other perspective. It’s why there is what is called, “The Chilling effect,” says Anderson.

“It’s where people are made to feel uncomfortable if they speak up or attend a particular event,” says Anderson. “That’s when self-censoring starts because they know the professors fall to the left. They think, if I speak up or defend my view in class, I’ll get a bad grade.”

“In classes, I argue for the best presentations of BOTH views,” says Anderson. Robert agrees that any university that promotes a uniform ideology of conformity does a disservice to students.

“Students should ask themselves; do I have to accept the going narrative among my professors about race, gender, and economics? Or am I free to question assumptions? Students should be able to question narratives.”