Disturbing number of students say hate speech is not free speech, report says

  • A new report shows some shocking statistics about how college students feel about free speech.
  • Specifically, the report reveals how students feel about "hate speech," and whether it should be protected under the First Amendment.

A new report has revealed that support of the First Amendment among college students seems to be decreasing, as nearly half of students believe that hate speech should not be protected. 

Conducted by the Knight Foundation, the survey reveals that 41 percent of college students believe hate speech should not be protected under the First Amendment, while 58 percent believe that it should be protected. While the majority of students believe that hate speech should be protected, 53 percent of college women contend it should not be protected, as well a majority of black students. 

41 percent of college students believe hate speech should not be protected under the First Amendment, while 58 percent believe that it should.   

Over half of college students agree that shouting speakers down is “always” or “sometimes” acceptable. At the same time, 83 percent of college students agree that using violence to end an event is “never acceptable.” 

[RELATED: VIDEO: Students say offensive speech is not free speech]

According to the survey, there seems to be a disconnect on how individuals of various races look at the issue of free speech.

More than six in 10 black students believe that inclusivity is more important than free speech, while 49 percent of Hispanic students believe the same thing. Just 42 percent of white students believe that inclusivity is more important than free speech, according to the survey.

Multiple colleges around the country have implemented mandatory “diversity” and “inclusion” classes for all students, including Tulane University, Georgia Southern University, and Clemson University. Syracuse University mandated a diversity course for all incoming students in fall 2018, but later admitted  it “didn’t hit the mark.”

The survey comes after a heated semester for free speech issues on campus. In late April, a Canadian professor argued that "vile little sh*tlords" who are passionate about free speech should be fired and harassed.

[RELATED: College tells students to report ‘hate speech’ to police]

A New York college president even wrote an op-ed titled “A Campus Is Not the Place for Free Speech,” in which he explained his opposition to free speech on college campuses.

Students' views on the importance of free speech may be declining, but more than half of all states have now passed or introduced campus free speech bills.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @asabes10



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Adam Sabes
Adam Sabes | Mississippi Senior Campus Correspondent

Adam Sabes is Mississippi Senior Campus Correspondent, and reports liberal bias and abuse on campus for Campus Reform. He is a junior at Mississippi State University, where he is majoring in Journalism. He also contributes to Red Alert Politics. 

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