Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Free Speech Under Assault In The Former Home of the So-called Free Speech Movement

If university students want to sit down and shut up, I'm ok with that.  If they expect everyone else to sit down and shut up, there will be problems.  It seems like there will be problems:
NEW SURVEY REVEALS ALARMING STUDENT ATTITUDES ABOUT FREE SPEECH—Yale University’s William F. Buckley, Jr. Program recently released a national survey measuring U.S. college students’ attitudes towards free speech on campus. The results were, ahem, troubling. It’s almost as if liberty is something these students are… unlearning.

Here are just a few of the highlights (lowlights?) from the survey:
  • Nearly one third (32 percent) of students could not identify the First Amendment as the constitutional amendment that deals with free speech. 33 percent of those who correctly identified the First Amendment said that the First Amendment does not protect hate speech.
  • More than half (51 percent) of students are in favor of their college or university having speech codes to regulate speech for students and faculty.
  • 72 percent of students said they support disciplinary action against “any student or faculty member on campus who uses language that is considered racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise offensive.”
In less awful news, 95 percent of the students surveyed said that free speech is important to them. However, as I have long predicted and discussed, when you ask Americans if they like free speech, they nearly always say “yes.” But when you get into the nitty gritty details about what kind of speech warrants protection, you discover that some folks (especially college students) are more in the “I love free speech, but…” camp. And I fear the list of exceptions is growing larger by the day.

You can check out more from the survey over at FIRE’s website and look through the full results on McLaughlin & Associates’ website.

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

I don't know about your school, but in my school the social studies department is the most liberal and far Left leaning group of teachers on the campus.