Okay, maybe “shocking” isn’t the right word. If you’re regular readers of LwC, you really shouldn’t be all that shocked how liberal intolerance is the hottest trend on college campuses (see Wimpy College Leftists Want This Professor Fired for the Lamest Reason… and Colleges Now Instating Anti-White Guilt Month. Yes Really…).
For 50 years, researchers have surveyed incoming college freshmen about everything from their majors to their worldviews. On Thursday, the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles released the latest iteration of this survey, which included 141,189 full-time, first-year students attending about 200 public and private baccalaureate institutions around the country.
According to the findings, the current crop of freshmen can lay claim to multiple superlatives. Among them: most willing to shut down speech they find offensive.
About 71 percent of freshmen surveyed in the fall said they agreed with the statement that “colleges should prohibit racist/sexist speech on campus.” This question has been asked on and off for a couple of decades, and 2015 logged the highest percentage of positive responses on record. For comparison, the share in the early 1990s hovered around 60 percent; also high, but not as high as today.
Here’s the rub. No one would argue for ACTUAL racist and ACTUAL sexist speech. Racism and sexism exists, certainly. But college students don’t seem to know what racism or sexism really looks like. Cafeteria food is not racist. Halloween is not racist. Not taking your ridiculous demands seriously…is not racist. A man sitting with his legs a bit wide as not to crush his testicles? Not sexism.
Here’s a second rub: who gets to decide what’s deemed “hate speech” which leads to the banning of it? Who is the arbiter of speech?
See, that’s the problem with limiting free-speech. At what point is speech deemed offensive and who gets to decide it? The reason we have the First Amendment is to avoid all this talk of talk being “offensive.” I just checked the Bill of Rights this morning, and I’ll be damned, I cannot find any reference to “Freedom from offense.” It’s not there. Maybe it’s just not in my version of it, though.
The cure to any kind of “offensive” speech is not less speech. It’s more speech. The only way to push back against an ideology you don’t like which is spoken, is to use your right of free-speech to and explain why that racist/sexist idea is wrong. It’s called the free-exhange of ideas. It’s called debate. It’s called diversity of thought. All supposedly good things, by the way. Why squash it?
Censorship, that’s why. Feelings. Safe spaces…
Speaking of censorship, people can already censor themselves as not to offend others, they don’t need it banned. Plus, screw you if you want to stop someone from speaking their mind.