Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Brookings study shows that many college students don't find value in free speech that challenges group deferences

Catherine Rampell writes on p. A17 of the Washington Post today, Tuesday, September 19, 2017, “Students need a lesson on free speech.”  Online the title is more blunt “A chilling study shows how hostile college students are to free speech.”
The survey was distributed by John Villasenor, a Brookings Institute Senior Fellow, and a UCLA professor.  Brookings publishes the results with detailed analysis.

Some students believe that speech can be construed as violence, especially when it intrudes on "safe spaces",  and therefore can ethically be met by violence.  Many did not understand that “hate speech” is legally protected by the First Amendment.

Many do not value the right to speak for oneself, but see things in terms of participation in groups.  
Many seem to believe that historical systematic oppression justifies additional protection from hostile speech today.  And many may believe that (according to the idea of unearned privilege) speakers need to be able to put their own skin in the game, and speech alone is a kind of spectator activity. 

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