Wednesday May 22, 2019
We have previously discussed how speech codes and regulations are changing the way students are viewing free speech. There is now a steady message for students from elementary school to college that speech must be regulated and that even people can be punished for not just hate speech but the ill-defined category of “microaggressive” speech. Past polls showed that one-third of students believed that violence is justified in dealing with some exercises of speech. Now a survey of college students found almost half do not believe that hate speech is protected by the First Amendment — a chilling indication of the collapsing support for traditional free speech values on our campuses.
The Knight Foundation conducted the survey that showed that 41 percent of college students believe hate speech should not be protected under the First Amendment. The survey also showed that the support for free speech is lower among women with 53 percent believing that hate speech should not be protected.
Of course, these polls do not press students on how should decide what speech is hateful and what speech is merely controversial. The polling shows the success of various faculty members who have been waging a war on free speech in preventing opposing views to be heard on campuses or enforcing speech codes.