With the explosion of anti-free speech disruption and violence by social justice and Antifa activists on campuses across the country over the last year, the Brookings Institution decided it was a good time to gauge college students’ opinions on the crucial topics of the First Amendment and “hate speech.” The results are very troubling.
In August, Brookings’ John Villasenor asked 1,500 undergraduate students at 4-year colleges and universities in 49 states and D.C. to answer some First Amendment-related questions and found some surprising results. A plurality of students believe that subjectively defined “hate speech” is not covered by the First Amendment and a majority believe that disrupting speakers to silence them is acceptable — one in five students even going so far as to endorse the use of violence to prevent a speaker from presenting a message they don’t like.
“The survey results establish with data what has been clear anecdotally to anyone who has been observing campus dynamics in recent years: Freedom of expression is deeply imperiled on U.S. campuses,” Villasenor concludes.
In other words, Brookings found that the increasingly radical and anti-conservative atmosphere fostered by faculty and administrators, who are overwhelmingly left-leaning, is bearing its inevitable fruit. A few highlights from the study’s findings:
The survey found that a plurality (44%) of undergraduates do not believe “hate speech” is protected by the First Amendment, while 39% said it was. That result was roughly the same for Democrats (41/39), Republicans (39/44), and Independents (44/40). More females (49/31) said “hate speech” was not covered than males (38/51). Here’s the chart he provides: