Free Markets, Free People

Colleges: First Amendment outdated?

That, at least, is the result of a survey recently completed:

To put some numbers behind that perception, The William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale recently commissioned a survey from McLaughlin & Associates about attitudes towards free speech on campus. Some 800 students at a variety of colleges across the country were surveyed. The results, though not surprising, are nevertheless alarming. By a margin of 51 percent to 36 percent, students favor their school having speech codes to regulate speech for students and faculty. Sixty-three percent favor requiring professors to employ “trigger warnings” to alert students to material that might be discomfiting. One-third of the students polled could not identify the First Amendment as the part of the Constitution that dealt with free speech. Thirty-five percent said that the First Amendment does not protect “hate speech,” while 30 percent of self-identified liberal students say the First Amendment is outdated.

This is simply the latest proof that colleges and universities in this nation are turning from bastions of free speech and academic freedom to institutions that are enabling and enforcing “speech codes” that student activists demand. The result is the death of “robust intellectual debate” on campus. Now administrations feel moved to “protect” those who are uncomfortable with uncomfortable ideas. And they demand penalties and the quashing of those ideas. The very notion that our great institutions of higher learning have bought into this anti-intellectualism should be an anathema to them. But instead they support these sorts of movements.

Just recently Williams College began an “Uncomfortable Learning” speaker series to provide “intellectual diversity” on campus. Ironically, it then disinvited conservative writer Suzanne Venker when, according to the college, her proposed visit was “stirring a lot of angry reactions among students on campus.” Obviously her ideas went beyond “uncomfortable learning”, however Willams College now defines that phrase. But one thing is clear, Williams College is about as committed to “intellectual diversity” as Hillary Clinton is to the truth.

Given all this, is anyone even remotely surprised to see supposed intellectuals who are the products of this sort of education system calling for the jailing of “climate deniers” and the banning of their speech? Free speech is dying in this country and it is doing so in the very institutions that should be its staunchest defender.


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29 Responses to Colleges: First Amendment outdated?

  • Were any of the surveyed students STEM students? You may have heard of these odd people, they are typically reality -based.

    • Actually, yah. I bet there were some.

      I remember decades ago coming to the realization that you could make engineering a socialist “thing” while listening to “The Engines Of Our Ingenuity” on the Houston PBS channel.

    • Do STEM majors even have time to answer such questions?

  • “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words,” as Syme bragged to Winston.

    When words become verboten, so do the ideas they express. So speak the words, and defy the thugs! Express the ideas. Rub them in…HARD. With cayenne powder!

    • … but there are such good new words .. like the gender neutral “azzhole” … that apply to these dodos so well

  • The First has been dead in spirit on College Campuses for decades.

  • Not a problem, the “intellectuals” seem interested in F*ing the rest of us, so, F* the intellectuals.

    We’re talking about the same group of people who ‘think’ it’s a good idea to go $75,000 to $100,000+ into debt to graduate with a major in some useful (I just made it up, wouldn’t be surprised to find out it was real) Subway Art studies.

    Why in the name of all that is holy are any of us listening to their opinion?

    No doubt when they graduate their ambition is to get a $2000/month closet in a New York highrise or a $300,000 tool shed in California where they’ll spend all their time laughing at the dumb asses in the middle of the country because we’re so stupid.

    These people are the people that Douglas Adams populated “Ark Fleet Ship B” with in “Restaurant at the End of the Universe”
    Here’s the high points –

    “The Golgafrinchan Ark Fleet Ship B was proposed as a way of removing the useless citizens from the planet of Golgafrincham. A variety of stories were formed about the doom of the planet, such as blowing up, crashing into the sun or being eaten by a mutant stargoat. The ship was filled with all the middlemen of Golgafrincham, such as the telephone sanitisers, account executives, hair dressers, tired TV producers, insurance salesmen, personnel officers, security guards, public relations executives and management consultants.

    The ship was programmed to crash onto its designated planet, Earth. The captain was told a good reason for this, but eventually forgot it, although it is later revealed to be because the Golgafrinchans are a ‘bunch of useless idiots’

    Pity Adams hadn’t cottoned to “Globally warmed climate change” or I’m sure he’d have considered using it in place of the mutant Star Goat.

    I don’t know, if these kids are the intellectuals of our future, perhaps the ones self importing from south of the border will be more useful.

    • Your must be talking about this …

      The wooden shack that was on sale for $350,000 in San Francisco’s trendy Outer Mission neighborhood is officially off the market. The deal for the 765-square-foot residence closed on Thursday, with a pair of investors nabbing the property for a cool $408,000, according to Vanguard realtors.

      … go look at the picture .. it literally is a shack

      • But you know – it’s the location. Hot property for a hunk of ground that could slide into the ocean next week.

        Not sure where it is, but if it’s in the fill area, it’s $408,000 worth of quicksand in the next quake.

    • “We’re talking about the same group of people who ‘think’ it’s a good idea to go $75,000 to $100,000+ into debt to graduate with a major in some useful (I just made it up, wouldn’t be surprised to find out it was real) Subway Art studies.”

      Uh, college students are probably the most vocal protesters on the issue of rising college costs. Liberal college students especially. They all want Obama and Sanders to make college free…

      • Um…idiots “protesting” while ALSO demanding more of the stupid shit that results in higher college costs is KINDA the problem, moron.

        You’re an example.

      • yes, free, of course, what was I thinking.
        The dears, will they be expecting biscuits to be served with their afternoon tea as well?

        And pray can someone point out the bill or act that made these people ennobled and entitled to their college education that the rest of us should pay for it, in many cases having paid for our own ourselves?
        Does it specify their thoughtlessly acquired college loan debt would be paid for through the labor of others who made the choice NOT to pay for an overpriced and essentially useless degree in a field that had limited employment opportunities from the outset?

  • Given all this, is anyone even remotely surprised to see supposed intellectuals who are the products of this sort of education system calling for the jailing of “climate deniers” and the banning of their speech? Free speech is dying in this country and it is doing so in the very institutions that should be its staunchest defender.

    Given they use the “Precuationary Principle” as their justification, I susgest we use it, too: thier fascistic leaning and goals have been show, incontrovertibly, to result in massive murder and exterminations. Theirs is a 1:1,000,000 possibility, ours is 99.9% liklihood.

    Given that, we should demand all these folks be taken out and executed.

  • Let’s step back and realize this is not about changing principles and changing standards. This is about Winning.

    40 years ago when they were on the outs and no one wanted to hear their crap, free speech and being ‘heard out’ was the most important thing ever. Free speech, from its literal definition, wasn’t sufficient hence the ‘heard out’ part was also important. They were not only allowed to say what they wanted, but were suppose to be supplied a platform. People seem to have forgotten that part.

    Today they control just about every aspect of popular media and education. (Blogs & radio with opposing views are really only for people already looking for opposing views) Since the have the megaphone, free speech and ‘being heard’ are passe.

    Their standards didn’t change, their circumstances did. Its all just whatever serves their purpose to obtain their socialist utopia at the moment. Let’s not kid ourselves.

    • Which is why they can run a woman who they KNOW lies on a regular basis for President. They celebrate the one in office who truly is the photo for explaining the phrase “if he’s moving his lips, he’s lying” in the encyclopedia.

      The trick is, you see, they think she (and he) only lies to the their “enemies” to accomplish whatever goal they think is worth accomplishing.

      Not very bright really, for all their vaunted education.

      • You realize that many Republicans was to run a guy who has changed his stories multiple times in the last few weeks, Mr. Trump? That doesn’t sound very bright, for all of the Republicans supposed education…

        • I didn’t realize Trump let 4 people die that he could have helped? And that he blamed a coordinated terrorist attack on some spontaneous outcry caused by a then obscure bitter youtuber for it, imprisoning him for nothing and elevating his profile so he has to live the rest of his life looking over his shoulder.

          How is Libya looking these days? I’m sure you haven’t given a shit.

          • I’m not defending the administration’s Libya policy, which looks too much like something a Republican thought up.

            I’m pointing out that conservatives have tried to pounce on Hilary for lying and flip flopping while the most popular candidate so far on the Republican side has done the same thing.

          • Come back and let us know when Donald Trump is creating and operating a foreign policy for a super power and we can talk about it.

            Till then, any of his flip flopping is all talk and no different than yours or mine.

          • you’re just one big ball of ADD.

            Why do you hold Trump, to a higher standard than you do Hillary? Especially when their situations, namely their ability to actual hurt people foreign and domestic, are worlds apart?

          • Let me guess it sort of goes like this –
            “arrrrrrr – Hillary Goooooooood, Trump baaaaaaadddddd. Smash Trump! Puny Trump!”

        • Changing stories – okay, so you can’t see a difference between lying about official matters, and changing your story, or your mind.
          Heh, and ain’t no one ever said Donald Trump was the smartest most articulate well groomed man in the room. No one has told us if we get Trump for President we’ll get too Presidents because his wife is just so danged smart.

          Not that I believe Trump is a conservative, or a particularly good candidate, and my gut says IF he were elected he’ll turn out to be a middle of the road pro American version of Obama or Hillary, violating whatever rules or laws suits him, his purpose, and the purposes of his supporters.
          While it would give me a certain amount of satisfaction to see the progressives on the receiving end of the national shitstick, it’s not a good idea.

          Because that’s how a nation of LAWS should work, right? We should just elect leaders who’ll lie and do whatever they friggin want so long as a lot of what they want to do or claim they’re going to do coincides with our personal pet projects.

          And there is just one illustration of what’s wrong with the country.

  • “while 30 percent of self-identified liberal students say the First Amendment is outdated.”

    Oh come on. You can’t imply in the title that colleges think the 1st Amendment is outdated when the only people quoted as saying that are 30% of the subset of “liberal” students. This is not even “cherry-picking” of the data, it’s a complete exaggeration.

    Before you tar me as one of those 30%, I consider myself a free speech absolutist.