In a recent survey released earlier this month, the Knight Foundation found that 41% of college students believe that hate speech should not be protected under the First Amendment. Only 58% said that it should be.
Demographics matter: nearly 71% of college men said that protecting free speech was more important than “inclusivity,” while only 41% of college women agreed.
Approximately 68% of students said they believe the climate on campus prevents students from expressing their views based out of the fear they might offend other classmates. There was only a 31% disagreement with this.
Conversely, a 2017 survey found that only a mere 39% of college students knew that the First Amendment protects hate speech.
What constitutes hate speech? There is no clear definition: it varies person to person, institution to institution.
Katherine Timpf from National Review writes, “Earlier this spring, some experts recommended that we stop using the word ‘cyclist’ on the grounds that it ‘dehumanizes’ people who ride bikes. Last winter, Google employees freaked out over the phrase ‘family friendly,’ claiming that it’s ‘homophobic.’ Last fall, a student was reportedly told that the phrase ‘long time no see’ was allegedly ‘derogatory toward’ Asians.”
Timpf claimed that while this many not be considered hate speech to many, regardless if it is or not, it is protected under the First Amendment.
However, because different people are “offended” by different words – and others not offended at all – the legality of hate speech is ambiguous.
Timpf continued, “What’s always been the most interesting to me is that it seems as though most of the people who want to crack down on people’s First Amendment right to free speech are also people who are very liberal, the same kinds of people who often claim that President Donald Trump is a Nazi. In other words: They want the government to have the power to control speech, they think that the head of the government is a literal Nazi, and yet they don’t see any irony in that.”
The power that students across all college campuses have today is greater than ever before. The best way to combat Freedom of Speech limitations is to speak out against them – do not let the government dictate what you can and cannot say.
Turning Point USA is constantly fight for your freedoms on and off campus!
The Freedom of Speech is arguably the most important value to Turning Point USA, along with free markets and free people.
Seemingly on college campuses, the left isn’t banning hate speech. They are banning speech that they hate.
If society fails to uphold the First Amendment, speech limitations can come back to haunt you.