Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Free Speech at Berkeley

Recently, on Fox News, Ben Shapiro said, “Everything has been deemed hate speech on campus. . . . There is a big part of the left—and it’s growing—that says that it is incumbent to protect the campus from ideas that are dissenting.” This premise has become commonplace, even among liberals, but the evidence is mixed. One study, from 2015, did find that forty per cent of millennials, a greater proportion than in any other age group, would want the government to be able to censor speech that is “offensive to minority groups.” But another study, conducted the following year, found that only twenty-two per cent of college students wanted universities to ban offensive speech—a lower proportion than in the rest of the American adult population. In March, a political scientist named Jeffrey Sachs analyzed the most recent data, broken down by age. In conclusion, he tweeted, “There is no campus free speech crisis, the kids are all right, those that say otherwise have lost all perspective, and the real crisis may be elsewhere.”

From The New Yorker

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