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Some Pundits Say There's No Campus Free Speech 'Crisis.' Here's Why They're Wrong.

"Everything we think about the political correctness debate is wrong," says Vox's Matt Yglesias. Not exactly.

Free speechSTEPHEN LAM/REUTERS/NewscomIs the campus free speech "crisis" a myth? Well, it depends on your definition of crisis, but there's plenty of evidence that some kind of problem exists, despite what several recent contrarian takes would have us believe.

Last week, several writers have sought to prove the tales of political-correctness-run-amok that I routinely cover for Reason don't represent a trend. Moreover, they say, the evidence suggests the opposite: Support for free speech is growing, young people like free speech more than other groups, and college is broadly a civilizing experience.

"Everything we think about the political correctness debate is wrong," wrote Vox's Matt Yglesias. (This isn't exactly a new opinion from Yglesias—I've seen him previously claim that political correctness is actually a good thing.)

"People always think students are hostile to free speech," says the headline on a Washington Post article by Andrew Hartman, a historian at Illinois State University. "They never really are." The image accompanying the article is of Milo Yiannopoulos, whose attempts to speak at Berkeley were met with violence, both threatened and actual, some of which I witnessed.

Also at The Washington Post, Jeffrey Sachs makes a statement no less strong than Yglesias's and Hartman's: "The campus free speech 'crisis' is a myth. Here are the facts."

Sachs teaches at Acadia University, where an associate professor of psychology, Rick Mehta, is under investigation for voicing conservative opinions in his classroom. His department head complained that some of his students refuse to come to class because the experience of listening to him talk about why the gender wage gap is exaggerated produces too much anxiety. A professor of social work told the Toronto Star why she came down on the offended students' side, saying Mehta's opinion "does border on hate speech."

Sachs, Yglesias, and Hartman say we must set aside such anecdotes and dig into the data. But they are doing the exact same thing they accuse the propagators of the crisis narrative of doing: using an incomplete picture to make extreme and unsupported claims. While there's plenty of room to debate the extent of the so-called campus P.C. crisis, its detractors make too much of one part of the data while glossing over evidence that should concern everyone who claims to care about free speech.

Sachs and Yglesias both cite the General Social Survey (GSS), which has measured the public's opinion on a variety of questions—including tolerance for offensive views—since the 1970s. The findings strongly suggest that the public is growing more tolerant, and that young people are the most tolerant of all, according to Sachs:

On almost every question, young people aged 18 to 34 are the most likely to support free speech. Check out the data for yourself. Not only are young people the most likely to express tolerance for offensive speech, but with almost every question posed by the GSS, each generation of young people has been more tolerant than the last.

To his credit, Sachs also mentions the GSS's significant limitations: The data include 18- to 34-year-olds who are not students, and it specifically excludes students who live in "group quarters," i.e. dorms. Additionally, the wording of some of the questions is outdated. A much larger proportion of the U.S. population is in favor of letting "homosexuals" and "communists" speak in public today than in 1975. But tolerance of homosexuality is (thankfully) at an all-time high, and communist speech doesn't invoke the same fears as during the Cold War. Put another way: The kind of speech people find offensive may have changed, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are more willing to tolerate the kind of speech they do find offensive.

Case in point: racist speech. In 1976, 73 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 thought a racist should be allowed to make a speech in public, according to the GSS. By 2015, that percentage had fallen to 56 percent. Young people went from being the age group most tolerant of racist speech to the age group least tolerant. On the question of "should a racist book be removed from the public library," the findings were similar: Youth support for censoring such a book increased from 25 percent to 39 percent.

Certainly, this finding should be weighed against the GSS's general findings that younger people, and the highly educated, tend to be more tolerant. (People with a college degree are much more likely to say that anti-religious speech should be allowed in public, for instance.) But other surveys paint a somewhat different picture, including one conducted by the polling firm YouGov and published by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

In his piece, Hartman cites the YouGov survey as evidence that "the vast majority of students, including conservatives, feel relatively uninhibited in expressing their views." But 58 percent of students, according to the survey, say they want to be part of a campus where they wouldn't be exposed to "intolerant and offensive ideas." Another 48 percent think the First Amendment should not protect hate speech.

And cutting against the GSS's findings, a massive 2017 survey conducted by the Cato Institute found evidence that students' attitudes toward free speech might actually be more illiberal than other Americans'. As I wrote in my summary of the Cato poll:

About half of the country's college students (51 percent) believe disrespectful people should be stripped of their free speech rights, while 55 percent of Americans overall think the opposite—that people are entitled to free speech regardless....

Cato found strong support for keeping hate speech legal among Americans with a college education: 64 percent said the government should not restrict hate speech. But current students were evenly split on the same question. And Americans under the age of 30 were the most likely demographic to say that hate speech is equivalent to violence: 60 percent believed this, compared with 57 percent of senior citizens and just 49 percent of middle-aged Americans.

To the extent that the Cato and FIRE findings contradict the GSS, I think it's because of the way the questions were worded. Students think gay people, communists, and atheists should be permitted to speak in public because they don't consider these people's views to be hateful, offensive, or intolerant. At the same time, some students think speech that denigrates racial minorities, gay people, women, the trans community, and Muslims is not just unacceptable, but equivalent to violence. The survey that best captured this result was undertaken by McLaughlin & Associates and published in New Criterion in November of 2015: 50 percent of people between the ages of 17 and 30 said a university should ban the publication of a political cartoon that criticized a particular religion or ethnicity.

When I talk to students who are protesting speakers they find offensive, they generally tell me that they support the First Amendment and don't want the government to arrest or punish people for engaging in free speech. They also tell me some combination of the following: Hate speech isn't free speech; if marginalized people feel threatened by the speech, the speech is actually violence; neither campus authorities nor mobs of angry students are forms of government force, and thus it's not illegal or unethical when these entities shut down offensive speech.

But let's say Yglesias, Sachs, and Hartman are right: that most young people are more pro–free speech than both older Americans and young people of the past. This still would not necessarily mean there is no campus free speech "crisis." That's because the initiators of campus P.C. incidents are not the entire student body; they're a small subset of left-wing activists. These radicals may be completely outnumbered on campus. Their ranks may not be growing—they may even be shrinking, to judge from the data about college as a civilizing experience and the increasing tolerance of young people in general. But what matters is whether their power to enforce their desire for censorship is increasing.

It's hard to tell for certain whether it is, but at the very least there's reason to be concerned. 2016 saw twice as many would-be campus speakers being disinvited as 2015, according to FIRE. And in 2017, a record-breaking 900 students and faculty asked FIRE to help defend their free expression rights. Greg Lukianoff, the president of FIRE, has said that "the biggest and most noticeable change in campus censorship in recent years has been the shift in student attitudes." While students were previously the campus faction most supportive of free speech, it has become increasingly common over the last few years that the radical students are themselves the censors.

Here we can point to a potential exogenous cause: the federal government's sexual harassment dictates, which hit universities in 2011. This was the year the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights released its infamous "dear colleague" letter on sexual misconduct. According to federal bureaucrats, sexual harassment and sexual violence were forms of gender-based discrimination and thus illegal under Title IX, the statute that mandates equality between the sexes in educational institutions. The Office for Civil Rights defined "sexual harassment" very broadly, extending it to cover sexually suggestive expression that is clearly protected under the First Amendment and in some cases may even belong in the classroom. No judicial body has signed off on these interpretations. Even Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a feminist icon, thinks they violate certain fundamental rights.

The most censorious students have learned to use Title IX for their own purposes, punishing professors and other students who make statements that offend them. Awareness of Title IX among student-activists spread rapidly over the last few years—the advocacy organization Know Your IX came into being in 2013, for example.

There may be a broader cultural shift too. The political scientist Charles Murray—who is an expert on getting attacked in college campuses, whatever else you may think of him—said this about the famous student-led shutdown of his lecture at Middlebury College:

In the mid-1990s, I could count on students who had wanted to listen to start yelling at the protesters after a certain point, "Sit down and shut up, we want to hear what he has to say." That kind of pushback had an effect. It reminded the protesters that they were a minority. I am assured by people at Middlebury that their protesters are a minority as well. But they are a minority that has intimidated the majority. The people in the audience who wanted to hear me speak were completely cowed. That cannot be allowed to stand. A campus where a majority of students are fearful to speak openly because they know a minority will jump on them is no longer an intellectually free campus in any meaningful sense.

We shouldn't overgeneralize anecdotes, and some critics of college culture do spin Middlebury-type events into a dubious narrative of constant and increasing censorship. But whether things are getting worse or not, we should agree to condemn the students who physically attacked Murray and his entourage, who forced Heather Mac Donald to flee, who responded to Yiannopoulos by smashing windows and setting fires, who shouted down Christina Hoff Sommers, who no-platformed the American Civil Liberties Union, who invaded Suzanne Goldberg's classroom. Meanwhile, illiberal students' threats of violence have caused colleges to spend prohibitively large amounts of money on security measures—sometimes passing those costs along to the student group sponsoring a controversial speaker. Again, whether this constitute a "crisis" depends upon your definition of the word, and your frame of reference. There's less illiberalism in community colleges and some state schools, and more of it in the most elite liberal arts colleges—Middlebury, Yale, Reed, the Claremont colleges, etc.

All that said, critics of the crisis narrative are right to push back on the most extreme declarations of doom on campus. It's certainly true that there are bigger threats to free speech than illiberal college students. (President Donald Trump is no defender of free expression.) And pundits on the right frequently commit two mistakes related to political correctness: They overdramatize the danger to their own beliefs and minimize the danger for everyone else.

In fact, the biggest factor that might have led to the crisis narrative being overhyped is something Yglesias, Sachs, and Hartman all declined to mention in their articles: the amount of media coverage being paid specifically to political correctness on campus. The College Fix (where I used to work), Campus Reform, and Red Alert Politics are just a few of the news websites that came into existence in the last decade to serve the explicit function of calling attention to college free speech debacles. They frequently document real instances of serious abuse on the part of censorious campus entities, filling a role that simply didn't exist until recently. These stories are increasingly discussed on conservative talk radio and Fox News, where students undermining free speech has become a deservedly popular topic. Since vastly fewer outlets were reporting on these incidents prior to 2010, it may seem like they are becoming more frequent just because they're getting more attention. In the 2000s, a far-left student group that published a list of insane demands might have received nothing more than token acknowledgment from the campus newspaper. In 2018, the same student group might get wall-to-wall national coverage and criticism.

It can be hard to tell whether an already existing phenomenon is simply being covered more completely, or whether a new phenomenon came into being sometime around 2012. Either way, it shouldn't be so hard to admit that some radicals have resorted to violence and property destruction to prevent other students from hearing a dissident perspective, and that this is not a good thing. If we shouldn't exaggerate how often this happens, we shouldn't write it off entirely either.

Yglesias's piece concludes by noting that a lot of not-totally-related things end up being denounced as political correctness run amok. Sometimes anti-P.C. crusaders are angry about true instances of abject censorship on campus, other times they just want the left to be more forgiving of wrongthink. The latter cases aren't examples of censorship, properly defined. It's certainly true that some anti-P.C. diehards, in their zeal to oppose the left, come out sounding as censorious as the people they're criticizing.

But there's just one group of people who agree, for instance, that violence is justified in order to prevent Nazi sympathizers from speaking: the far left. And relative to the rest of the country, elite liberal arts campuses are havens for far-left thought. So it shouldn't be beyond belief that the hate-speech-isn't-free-speech view has taken root among a group of radical activists who now command more power to shut down debate on campus.

Photo Credit: STEPHEN LAM/REUTERS/Newscom

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  • SIV||

    You're never going to land your dream job at Vox that way, Robbie.

  • JesseAz||

    If writing for Vox is one's dream job, they have other issues to worry about.

  • Quixote||

    Let us at any rate hope that Robbie will soon be admitted into the extraordinary, conspiratorial portion of the Reason website hosted by conservative First Amendment polemicist Eugene Volokh. In the meantime, Robbie simply has to focus a bit more on getting his facts right. There is indeed a free speech crisis on our college campuses, but it has nothing to do with our current efforts to impose civility. Rather, the crisis stems from our continuing failure to definitively silence certain unsavory individuals who have seen fit to subject some of our most distinguished colleagues to mimicry, mockery and ridicule of an inappropriately deadpan nature. Surely no one here would dare to defend the "First Amendment dissent" of a single, isolated judge in our nation's leading criminal "satire" case? See the documentation at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    And you are never going to land your dream job of cloaca inspector at Tyson Chicken, if you spend all your time trolling Robby.

  • Jack Klompus Magic Ink||

    Matt Yglesias, the most glaring proof on earth that a Harvard degree is absurdly overrated, is an intellectually vapid nitwit. Why anyone considers him a serious pundit on any issue is incredible. He is a flat out dope.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Taking the opposite view of Matt Yglesias on any topic is a cheat code for any test of intelligence.

  • Iheartskeet||

    True dat.

  • ||

    Pretty much.

  • colorblindkid||

    Just as worrisome as the rise of these issues on college campuses is that the same "progressive" tyrants and those who downplay the threat they pose make up like 90% of our news media, and the other 10% are on Fox News and are just as terrible on most everything else.

  • Finrod||

    Yep. It's now come out that the reason Erick Erickson was no-platformed by Fox News is that he was being critical of Mitch McConnell, whose wife was on the Fox News advisory board and was giving Ailes an earful continuously.

  • Mickey Rat||

    In other words, if you say that you support free speech but have massive exceptions to what you consider free speech, then you do not really support free speech all that strongly.

  • Rhywun||

    And Americans under the age of 30 were the most likely demographic to say that hate speech is equivalent to violence: 60 percent believed this, compared with 57 percent of senior citizens and just 49 percent of middle-aged Americans.

    Yup, and this is pretty worrying. Half or more of America basically wants to toss the First Amendment if these numbers are to be believed.

  • John||

    Sixty percent think that speech is the same as violence? So 60 percent of those under 30 are retarded? What other conclusion can you make?

    How could anyone be that stupid? What is interesting is, that the number among old people is almost as high. So, basically, generation retard is just a carbon copy of their boomer grandparents, only with less education. God help us.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Most conservative students choose to attend schools that disdain science to flatter superstition, impose old-timey conduct codes and strict censorship, engage in viewpoint discrimination in everything from hiring to admissions, collect loyalty oaths, teach nonsense, and carefully cultivate homogeneous, backward student bodies. These right-wing schools dominate the bottoms of all legitimate rankings and struggle for even sketchy accreditation.

    So for conservatives "God help us" is probably the only hope. And there is no God. So . . .

    tough luck, guys.

    The graduates of our Yales, Harvards, Berkeleys, Columbias, and Wellesleys must somehow find a way to overcome conservatives' fretting about their practices and to protect their performance and rankings against the challenge of our Biolas, Libertys, Hillsdales, Regents, Patrick Henrys, and Wheatons.

    (Not to mention the threats from homeschooling and backwater religious schools at every level from kindergarten to high school.)

    Carry on, clingers.

  • DesigNate||

    When you swing for the retard fences, you really give it your all, huh?

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    He's Juicin'.

  • Eidde||

    Let's give some credit to the goober factories - when they have restrictions on academic freedom, usually the students and faculty have to accept these restrictions as a condition of attendance/employment, and the restrictions are enforced in accordance with processes agreed to by the students and faculty, as Kirkland admits.

    Which is better than the bait-and-switch tactic of our "best" universities of putting academic freedom language in their official documents and then standing by pounding their puds while violent leftists (sometimes students, sometimes - according to the administration - "outside agitators," as if caving to the violence of outside agitators is better than caving to the violence of students) go around imposing their self-defined version of censorship.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You figure putting censorship in a cloak woven of superstition makes it any better, or any less authoritarian?

    Are you still claiming to be a libertarian? Libertarianish?

  • Eidde||

    Still claiming? Where did I make such a claim?

    Yes, signing a contract to abide by limits on one's speech on campus - and expecting the signer to comply - isn't as bad as violent leftists shutting down scheduled academic events, often destroying property and assaulting people in the process.

    Find an example of right-wing mobs shutting down speakers at, say, Liberty University, and I'll admit it's as bad as what happened at, say Berkeley and Middlebury.

    Here is a story about an avowed socialist giving a speech at Liberty University - see if you can find the right-wing rioters in that story.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Similarly, if you attend a strong, liberal-libertarian school, you should expect that stale bigotry, white nationalism, and dogmatic nonsense are likely to be disfavored.

    Why would a right-wing school's snowflakery be superior to a left-wing school's snowflakery? (other than a belief that that backwardness is preferable to progress, bigotry preferable to tolerance, superstition preferable to reason, ignorance preferable to science, insularity preferable to modernity?)

  • Finrod||

    Look, it's the leftist retard that won't go away and won't shut the fuck up.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Your preference for a safe space for bigoted, authoritarian, right-wing yahoos is noted, and derided.

    Carry on, clinger.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    You sir are a fukwit. There is my free speech for the day.

  • JoeB||

    Yep, that's Reason alright. Bigoted, authoritarian, etc. Must be nice to lack the gene that allows one to recognize self-hypocrisy. You've got an easy life, Rev. of nothing in particular.

  • the original jack||

    Is that the real AK or one of his many spoofers? It is hard to tell.

    Must be tough to be a living example of Poe's Law the way Artie is nowadays.

  • Mark22||

    The graduates of our Yales, Harvards, Berkeleys, Columbias, and Wellesleys

    Being a graduate of one of those, I assure you that there are plenty of conservatives and plenty of people who recognize you and your ilk for the evil totalitarian that you are.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Strong liberal-libertarian campuses do not, so far as I am aware, ban conservatives. They tend to be less hospitable to bigotry, old-timey ignorance, the teaching of nonsense, dogmatic ignorance, and the like, so the right-wing agenda is less popular on the Yale campus than it would be at Liberty or Hillsdale, but strong schools welcome conservatives. They just don't let strident movement conservatives dominate their administrations and faculties, because they want to operate strong schools.

  • ||

    Shoot for the moon, if you miss you'll be among the vacuous.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Half want to toss the first amendment. Half want to toss the second. And it goes up from there, to complete disregard for the 9th & 10th.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Ninth Amendment? What's that crazy cipher? /S

  • ||

    Can we have a mulligan on the 14th? Specifically the Equal Protection Clause.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But tolerance of homosexuality is (thankfully) at an all-time high, and communist speech doesn't invoke the same fears as during the Cold War.

    Thanks to a lack of second parenthetical approval, I don't know where Soave lands on communism's general collapse. Praise free markets right now, Roberto, or earn my scorn forever!

    I can't tell if there is a speech crisis on campuses or if it just seems that way because the anti-speech students tend to be the loudest. And with the kids on the social medias these days tending toward lemming-like swarming to the virtue signals lit brighter than anything Batman ever dreamed up, it's more likely your average woke kid will want to shut down any debate rather than take part in it.

  • Marshal||

    I can't tell if there is a speech crisis on campuses or if it just seems that way because the anti-speech students tend to be the loudest.

    You should be able to tell by noting the rest of our culture is accepting the campus framing. The Google / Damore incident showed people claiming speech they disagree with is harassment justifying his firing. This was textbook campus radicalism.

  • Vernon Depner||

    ...some anti-P.C. diehards, in their zeal to oppose the left, come out sounding as censorious as the people they're criticizing.

    Cites?

  • Rigelsen||

    Yes, Robby, why do you weaken your arguments with these uncited and factually unsupported contrary statements? It doesn't make you sound more reasonable, just someone who really doesn't want to believe what the data is telling him.

  • I can't even||

    Robbie's virtue signal never dims.

  • John||

    There is not a free speech problem, just multiple instances of angry mobs kicking the shit out of people for saying the wrong things and an entire organization known as FIRE that makes a nice living suing Universities for violating their students' free speech rights.

    It takes a special breed of stupidity to claim that there are no issues with free speech on campus. It is gotten so bad even liberal professors are becoming the victim of the mobs. But, no one out stupid's Yglesias. Sometimes you forget about him and you start thinking that other writers are the most stupid and vile in media. Then Yglesias crawls out of his hole and writes something like this to remind you just who is boss in the retard Olympics.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I read your posts in Bob Odenkirk's voice.

  • John||

    I don't know who that is.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Better Call Saul from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul AMC tv shows.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    And Mr. Show. And a lot of comedies. He's a great talent. If you say his face you'd probably recongize him. He's one of those guys who's been in a ton of things.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I don't know about great talent as in can play many different roles. I like him as Saul Goodman though.

    He played Saul Goodman/Michael Scott character in The Office.

    Most of his stuff, I have never seen and will probably never see.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    He's just a great comedic writer. Almost everything he writes is really good. And he elevates programs by participating in them. Him being a serious actor is more recent.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I second everything BUCS just said.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    When John decides he's had enough of the DHS, he will start playing bagpipes in his cubicle and stop flushing his doodies to "conserve water."

  • ||

    Jesus John. You don't know who that is?

    He's awesome.

  • Rhywun||

    Young people went from being the age group most tolerant of racist speech to the age group least tolerant.

    Not surprising after decades of propaganda telling students that being a racist is worse than Hitler.

  • John||

    What is "racist" speech anyway? If I thought for a moment that their definition of "racist" didn't include pretty much anything they disagree with or any fact being pointed out they don't like, I might agree with them. But, you know as well as I do that "racist" is just all-purpose slander against any view these idiots don't like.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Racist speech as described by the lefties is any speech that supports the white privileged constitution and/or goes against their agenda.

    Describing in detail how Obama was one of the worst presidents in US history is "racist" because you are speaking ill of one of their idols. Its not like you actually have to say Obama's African racial heritage is worse than ______ to be racist. Part of it that they don't know what the definition of racism actually is.

  • Hunthjof||

    It isn't just their idols. They are so invested in their policies that they believe that any policy failure is based on racism. I was on a FB page and asked a simple question on Baltimore. I asked rhetorically how a city that is a major port and with a huge rage hub and a large tourist and convention draw has such high levels of poverty and a failing school system. I then pointed out that the city has been run by liberals for decades. Immediately the fangs came out that I was being racist by stating that liberals run the city and the reason the city is in the state is in is cause or racism. They cannot accept that their policies are bad. So there has to be another reason and that is their go to move to make it racism.

  • Mark22||

    I then pointed out that the city has been run by liberals for decades. Immediately the fangs came out that I was being racist by stating that liberals run the city and the reason the city is in the state is in is cause or racism.

    To be fair, they are right: the reason Baltimore is doing so poorly is indeed racism. That shouldn't be a surprise since progressives and Democrats have always been racist, and they didn't magically stop being racist in the last few decades.

  • Hunthjof||

    It isn't just their idols. They are so invested in their policies that they believe that any policy failure is based on racism. I was on a FB page and asked a simple question on Baltimore. I asked rhetorically how a city that is a major port and with a huge rage hub and a large tourist and convention draw has such high levels of poverty and a failing school system. I then pointed out that the city has been run by liberals for decades. Immediately the fangs came out that I was being racist by stating that liberals run the city and the reason the city is in the state is in is cause or racism. They cannot accept that their policies are bad. So there has to be another reason and that is their go to move to make it racism.

  • Hunthjof||

    It isn't just their idols. They are so invested in their policies that they believe that any policy failure is based on racism. I was on a FB page and asked a simple question on Baltimore. I asked rhetorically how a city that is a major port and with a huge rail hub and a large tourist and convention draw has such high levels of poverty and a failing school system. I then pointed out that the city has been run by liberals for decades. Immediately the fangs came out that I was being racist by stating that liberals run the city and the reason the city is in the state is in is cause or racism. They cannot accept that their policies are bad. So there has to be another reason and that is their go to move to make it racism.

  • Hunthjof||

    It isn't just their idols. They are so invested in their policies that they believe that any policy failure is based on racism. I was on a FB page and asked a simple question on Baltimore. I asked rhetorically how a city that is a major port and with a huge rail hub and a large tourist and convention draw has such high levels of poverty and a failing school system. I then pointed out that the city has been run by liberals for decades. Immediately the fangs came out that I was being racist by stating that liberals run the city and the reason the city is in the state is in is cause or racism. They cannot accept that their policies are bad. So there has to be another reason and that is their go to move to make it racism.

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    Re: John,

    Racist speech is saying anything that contradicts the racist speech spewed by groups who ostensibly speak for the underprivileged.

    It's also making the tacit claim that people are exactly like the countries they were born in.

  • Mark22||

    It's also making the tacit claim that people are exactly like the countries they were born in.

    "Race" and "country you were born in" are two separate concepts.

    And as usual, you're misrepresenting the immigration debate. People don't identify every Mexican with the sorry state of Mexico, people point out that if you open the borders to Mexico, then you are opening the borders to all Mexicans, and on average, all Mexicans are indeed "exactly like the country they were born in". That's why we want race blind, skill- and wealth-based immigration.

  • Bubba Jones||

    It is when you either assume everyone is just like white people or when you assume there are racial differences.

  • Brian||

    "Everything we think about the political correctness debate is wrong," says Vox's Matt Yglesias.

    I believe you, Matt.

  • MarkLastname||

    At least he got the title correct.

  • Rich||

    In 1976, 73 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 though a racist should be allowed to make a speech in public, according to the GSS. By 2015, that percentage had fallen to 56 percent.

    "See? We're reducing racism in *our* generation!"

  • JesseAz||

    And that reduced racism is why liberals are so violently attempting to castigate any counter speech as racist. IT also goes into the influx of hate crime hoaxes the left has to fight against. We are watching a whole group of people decide to role play as Don Quixote.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Iggy is a lying, leftard piece of shit.

    -jcr

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    whether this constitute a "crisis" depends upon your definition of the word, and your frame of reference. There's less illiberalism in community colleges and some state schools, and more of it in the most elite liberal arts colleges—Middlebury, Yale, Reed, the Claremont colleges, etc.

    No mention of the hundreds of conservative-controlled campuses shackled every day by censorship, loyalty oaths, old-timey conduct codes, the teaching of nonsense, suppression of science and history, rejection of academic freedom, and the like? Instead, a focus on "the most elite liberal arts colleges?"

    Our strongest schools are liberal-libertarian mainstream schools. When conservatives get control of a campus, the result is a third- or fourth-tier (or unranked) goober factory that struggles to maintain unearned accreditation while flattering superstition, enforcing dogma, and proscribing dissent.

    If you're fretting about Reed and Yale while ignoring the problems and deficiencies at Biola, Wheaton, Ouachita Baptist, Grove City, Ozarks, Hillsdale, and a hundred like them, you might be a stale-thinking movement conservative.

  • John||

    Hundreds of conservative controlled campuses. LOLOL Sometimes you really are funny. I really hope you are a troll because my God if you are that fucking stupid and disconnected from reality, you likely are a real threat to yourself and others.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You doubt there are hundreds of conservative-controlled campuses?

    Perform your own basic research, goober.

  • Just Say'n||

    I have a feeling that the good reverend is legitimately retarded. I don't mean that as an insult, just an observation

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I would have guessed that a disaffected right-wing population so frequently afflicted by Asperger's and other social problems would be more empathetic.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    In Arty-poo's world, six = hundreds. Probably the same reason liberals think that "military-style assault rifles" are used in the majority of firearm deaths.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    There are at least six conservative-controlled goober factories in each of at least 20 states.

    This isn't a revival meeting (or militia meeting) at which you can say 'just because' and find that it works to override the reality-based world.

  • Jack Klompus Magic Ink||

    Well he did name all of SIX, so now it's up to you to disprove his assertion that there are hundreds, no wait "a hundred" like them. Or apparently you're a "goober."

  • JesseAz||

    Arthur, do you ever get tired of spouting the same idiocy despite the dozens of times you have been refuted? Signing a pledge to live ones life in a certain manner is not against free speech. Most of the colleges you cite actually allow speakers who think differently to give speeches on their campuses.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I do not believe censorship, bigotry, or backwardness are improved by superstitious cloaking.

    You are free to disagree.

    If you argue that conservative schools are as good as liberal-libertarian schools, or that conservative campuses do not censor much more broadly and effectively than do liberal-libertarian campuses, however, you invite derision.

  • Sevo||

    "...I do not believe censorship, bigotry, or backwardness are improved by superstitious cloaking...."

    OH! OH!
    See how enlightened the asshole is?!
    Fuck off.

  • Jack Klompus Magic Ink||

    Oh fuck off you pretentious greasy sexless insect child.

  • Finrod||

    Go throw yourself into a running woodchipper feet first, asshole leftist troll. You'd make better mulch than you do a man.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Losing the culture war -- progress being shoved down your authoritarian, right-wing throat by your betters, often sideways, for decades -- seems to make you cranky, Finrod.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    I'm not sure of what you mean by liberal-libertarian schools. Somewhere between Barkley and Baylor?

  • DenverJ||

    University of Chicago and Hogwarts

  • Sevo||

    "...you might be a stale-thinking movement conservative."

    This from our newest non-thinking lefty asshole.

  • Finrod||

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • ||

    Lived for 25 years in Portland, so I fret about Reed because i watch the news.

    Personally, I attended Linfield College (another highly ranked school in Oregon), but I gave up my hope of a classical liberal education when my Environmental Science professor downgraded me on a paper because I failed to note that nuclear power is racist (not the least bit of an exaggeration, still have his notes).

    My kids both attend BYU (which is also highly ranked acedemically) and my wife is attending BYU ID online and despite being a devoted religious school, i have never heard them spout anything as unscientific as what i heard at Linfield.

    I now understand that the 'Rev.' prefacing Artie's name is ironic. Too bad, because it wasn't when MLK Jr. used it. But then, men of real character are both conservative and compassionate, because to be otherwise is hubris.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Brigham Young teaches nonsense, engages in censorship, and disdains science to flatter superstition. What type of parent would steer a child toward, rather than away from, such a school?

  • Mark22||

    Our strongest schools are liberal-libertarian mainstream schools.

    Our strongest schools (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Berkeley, Stanford, etc.) are dominated by progressivism and neo-Marxism.

  • esteve7||

    Yeah nothing to see here. Ben Shapiro only needs a security detail whenever he goes on campus to say mainstream conservative things. At Berkeley it cost $600,000 so he could speak and answer questions for an hour. Campuses offer counseling and safe spaces for people so upset by him speaking mainstream conservative things. He routinely has his events closed to the public, and they shove him in smaller venues on the outskirts of campus. But nothing to see here. Yet Linda Sarsour speaks on campus and no police, no safe spaces, no counseling, nothing.

    You are a fool if you think the left limits their fascism to those evil people, like "Milo" and whatever. I'm waiting until Libertarians are accused of hate speech for being against the minimum wage, or racist for being against rent control. Hell, leftists are already crying racism for school choice...

  • John||

    Ben Shapiro is about as want to be establishment douche bag as you can get. Shapiro is about as subversive as three-piece suit and a briefcase. And yet, he gets treated the same as some no kidding Nazi. It is just a matter of time before Yglesias is declared an enemy of the people. Dumb asses like him always think being a loyal member of the party will save them. It never does.

  • JesseAz||

    Most of the liberals who came here from VC at Wapo still cite Shapiro as an alt-right racist despite his orthodox jewish lifestyle. See Sarcastro. The whole P.C. movement is just a means to shout down counter thought. Their ideas and beliefs are so weak they can't actually debate a topic, which makes the Shapiro Q so amusing. Also if you haven't seen the Steven Crowder youtube series "change my mind" where he sits at campus and asks liberals to change his mind, you are missing out.

  • John||

    Alt Right has become a totally meaningless term. And that is a very dangerous thing because it allows the real alt-Right, who are nasty tribalists and fascists to hide among respectable people. I find Shapiro a mildly amusing wanna be. But there is nothing "altRight" about him. The real alt right of people like Spencer and Vox day are nasty tribalist fucks who hate both this country and the principles it was founded upon. It infuriates me to no end to see them get to be lumped in with respectable people because Progs are too retarded to make a reasonable argument or do anything but call their opponents fascists.

  • esteve7||

    exactly, my prog-roommate literally thinks everything to the right of him is alt-right, or at least an alt-right supporter. It's really great, because it removes all responsibility for thinking.

    Leftists can't debate things, so they just call people illegitimate and shut them down. And people wonder how "burn her, she's a witch!" was a thing.

    Only a matter of time before libertarians are lumped in with all that crap too. So again, you are a fool if you think the leftist fascists will stop at Milo and whatever. When classical liberals are being called alt-right....

  • CatoTheChipper||

    To progressives, libertarians are THE WORST.

    Look at how much hate they direct at the Kochs and Ayn Rand. Look at the outright lies that progressives have concocted about James Buchanan and Charles Murray to justify their hatred. Watch Rachael Maddow interview Rand Paul or Cathy Newman interview Jordan Peterson (not really a libertarians, I know, but somewhat aligned.)

    This is not just the attitude of Kos Kids, Bernie Bros, and DU flunkies who can't be bothered to read books that explicate libertarian ideas. It's also characteristic of the progressive intellectual elite. For example, Nancy MacLean wrote an entire book whose thesis is that James Buchanan conspired with the Koch Brothers to put "Democracy in Chains". The same holds for mainstream media lackeys.

    The only reason there progressives express so little outrage at libertarianism is that it is still a relatively small movement and it's much easier to demonize the extremes of the alt-right as John defines the term.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    To progressives, libertarians are THE WORST.

    More important, to libertarians, liberals and conservatives (and Republicans and Democrats) are objectionable in roughly equal measure.

    It is important to distinguish genuine libertarians from faux libertarians (the right-wingers who masquerade in garish, unconvincing libertarian drag because they lack the courage to be themselves) in this context.

  • Mark22||

    More important, to libertarians, liberals and conservatives (and Republicans and Democrats) are objectionable in roughly equal measure.

    Yes, which is not very objectionable.

    It is important to distinguish genuine libertarians from faux libertarians

    It is also important to distinguish genuine liberals from faux liberals; most Democrats and most US "liberals" are, in fact, progressives, fascists, or neo-Marxists.

  • DenverJ||

    James Buchanan was possibly the first gay President.

  • mortiscrum||

    I'm leftist. I used to post here more often, but more or less gave up because all I ever got in response was flames. It's rare to find anyone of any persuasion who wants to have an honest discussion.

  • John||

    There are lots of people here who want honest discussions. And there are several left leaning posters who seem to have them. But you have to want an honest discussion. You can't be like Tony. That means admitting the truth even when it goes against you. You own your opinion, not the facts. If that is the case, then post here. You will not be met with flames as long as you give a reasonable opinion.

  • Red Tony||

    No, you'll still be met with flames. But most people will be willing to give you an honest discussion.

    I'm fairly certain that Reverend Bitch A. Fuckwad wasn't immediately told to go stuff himself into the nearest woodchipper dickfirst.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    I'm fairly certain that Reverend Bitch A. Fuckwad wasn't immediately told to go stuff himself into the nearest woodchipper dickfirst

    For someone who styles himself an intellectual, it's telling that Arty-poo can't help spouting the same boilerplate lines in every comment. Considering he's admitted to growing up in a small town, it must be his hicklib insecurity that keeps him from thinking of anything remotely original.

  • esteve7||

    Yeah and the true communist believers are always the one surprised to be in the gulags. Everyone ELSE was guilty, but them. There were people in there that believed 'I'm not supposed to be in here, if only Stalin knew about this!"

    Cozying up with Progs / Leftists will do you zero fucking favors, Reason staff. Their entire belief system is illiberal and authoritarian, exactly the opposite of what Libertarians stand for.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Yet Linda Sarsour speaks on campus and no police, no safe spaces, no counseling, nothing.

    To say nothing of Angela Davis (the self-described communist professor who supplied firearms to terrorists who would use them to commandeer a courtroom and eventually murder a judge and several others) or Bill Ayers (the self-described communist professor who was on the FBI Most Wanted list for actual terrorism that involved serious explosives).

  • ||

    Truly despicable people.

  • Ride 'Em||

    And yet the prime example of "good socialism", Sweden, has 100 percent school choice through vouchers.

  • Brandybuck||

    It's Matt Yglesias. Of course he's wrong.

  • Tony||

    Yglesias has the better case here, sorry. He has data. You have a bunch of links to Reason opinion pieces.

  • John||

    What data? And data never tells the entire story. Only a very small percentage of blacks were ever lynched in the South. That didn't mean that blacks felt free to do what they wanted. The point of making an example of someone is so you don't have to do it with anyone else.

    The fascist mobs who show up at Berkely and NYU and beat the shit out of people, you own that Tony. That is who you are. If it wasn't, you would stand up and say something about it rather than defending them and claiming they don't exist.

  • Tony||

    Okay, so you're the guy who ran over that anti-Nazi protester.

    God you're a fucking headcase.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    You said he was lacking data than responded with an anecdote.

  • JesseAz||

    Tony, he responded to the data Yglesias used. Did you even make it to paragraph 3 before your head started to hurt?

  • Finrod||

    It's Tony, he can't even read one lousy damn paragraph.

  • Jack Klompus Magic Ink||

    "And cutting against the GSS's findings, a massive 2017 survey conducted by the Cato Institute found evidence that students' attitudes toward free speech might actually be more illiberal than other Americans'."

    You fucking limp dick retarded moron.

  • Tony||

    That survey is a bunch of horseshit.

  • Jack Klompus Magic Ink||

    Of course it is. Of course you read it and analyzed the data and reached that scintillating conclusion.

    You really are a screeching fucking turd, you worthless pile.

  • MarkLastname||

    It reached the wrong conclusion, so there must be something wrong with it!

  • Freddy the Jerk||

    Cite please.

  • Bongo Supreme||

    You are a bunch of horseshit.

  • Jordan||

    This post includes surveys from YouGov, the Cato Institute, and McLaughlin and Associates.

  • Ship of Theseus||

    But those don't count, because reasons - Tony

  • Just Say'n||

    You can use statistics to prove anything. 70% of all people know that

  • ||

    He. Has.

    DATA!

  • MarkLastname||

    No, he doesn't. Per his logic, the Soviet Union was an extremely free and open society because of how tolerant of communism and atheism they were.

  • DajjaI||

    In the UK the people gloated when Britain First was declared a terrorist organization and banned. Of course, this will not reduce violence, it will increase it. Because it will radicalize them and maybe even incentivize them to align with Putin (if they haven't already) and undermine the government. In fact I think the people who say, "Hate speech causes violence" are actually trying to incite violence. This is confirmed by the fact that most of them are community college associate professors who know just enough to be dangerous. So the key is to identify and expose them and their agendas.

    One of the greatest successes of free speech is the abandonment of Richard Spencer. He no longer tours, not because he can't, but because no one shows up. No one cares about him any more. That's how ya do it!

  • John||

    Spencer's only hope of ever being taken seriously is if progs like Tony are able to lump in reasonable views with him. They think they are making their opponents illegitimate by lumping them in with Spencer. They are doing just the opposite, letting Spencer claim to be a victim and associate himself with legitimate views and become legitimate by extension.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    You sound like a "very fine person," John.

  • John||

    You sound like an idiot troll.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    We really need to bring back jousting as a method for settling disputes.

  • Finrod||

    I'd be fine with dueling, myself.

  • DenverJ||

    "Dueling myself" - euphemism?

  • Finrod||

    Fuck off, slaver.

  • Jerryskids||

    Here's Cathy Young. Robby says it better, but then he's speaking to a smarter audience so he doesn't have to dumb it down as much.

    The data cited as grounds for optimism (among others, by Vox pundit Matthew Yglesias) come from the General Social Survey, which has found rising support over nearly half a century for allowing a public speech by a controversial speaker, such as a communist or a militant atheist. Yet, as Yglesias admits, there is one major exception: declining support for free speech rights for an avowed racist, especially among those under 35.

    Yes, those communists and atheists sure are controversial on college campuses.

  • Marshal||

    The key to understanding reality is recognizing the bait and switch defense of campus radicals. Note this from the WAPO article and see it in the Yglesias defense also:

    Myth #1: Young people in general (and college students in particular) don't support free speech

    It has always been the case that opposition to free speech comes from a small group of campus radicals, this is also true of other campus radical positions. So why do leftists like Yglesias and Sachs believe the broader group beliefs are relevant rather than the reality? Only because they can misrepresent those views to imply there is no danger. And there is a danger because even though most students think this handful of campus radicals are nuts those radicals nevertheless control campus politics in cooperation with campus activists in the administration and faculty. Title IX shows how campus nutters collude with activists in the education establishment, media and government to accomplish their goals despite every reasonable person in America opposing their insanity.

    Amusingly and predictably leftists who pose as reasonable protect the radicals by anyone opposing them is unreasonable. This is the best support they can provide their allies.

  • John||

    Supporting free speech and supporting it enough to stand up to the radicals rather than just go along and get out of school with your degree are two different things. That is the fundamental lie behind Yglesiases argument. Most Germans were not Nazis. Most Russians were not Leninists. But raw numbers and preferences are not what count.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    The problem is that young people have been indoctrinated to have a definition of "free speech" that is radically different from the way the term was used from the late 17th century until the late 20th century.

    Many of the young people genuinely believe that hate speech is excluded from the domain of free speech, and that hate speech is any expression outside of the 3-by-5 card of allowable opinion. They can honestly answer that they support free speech and yet utterly rejection the classical liberal's concept of free speech.

  • Marshal||

    I agree that's a problem, but I disagree it's the bigger. Young people have a hard time abstracting, they tend to believe stopping something is as simple as wanting to stop it (see: guns). So they accept a "hate speech exception" because they don't understand free speech protects them rather than the hate speaker. This is a disagreement I expect them to understand more with experience and change their mind, especially as they age and discover positions they used to share with the left are now labelled by former supporters as hate speech. It's also a disagreement we can have respectfully.

    On the other hand once they internalize the left's mantra that any position conflicting with their own is hate and therefore any advocacy is hate speech there is no negotiation. You are by definition a hate speaker and there will be no reasonable exchange of beliefs. The left pushes this position for exactly this reason, they know their demonizing the opposition is necessary because their arguments aren't convincing.

  • The_Hoser||

    This is a disagreement I expect them to understand more with experience

    Will eating Tide Pods help with this?

  • Marshal||

    What you see here is that people on the moderate left really have become less tolerant of racists while growing more tolerant of all other groups. Meanwhile, the other five ideological subcategories seem to have become more tolerant of everyone.

    Here's Yglesias. Unacknowledged is that the campus radicals refer to all positions they oppose as racist and violent and that the left generally supports them as Ygelsias does here by accepting their definitions uncritically.

  • Just Say'n||

    Robbie could have just proved his point by linking to Shikha's incitement of violence because Milo was speaking on UCLA's campus or, better yet, ENB advocating violence against Ben Shapiro for not being sufficiently woke.

    "Even in a neoliberal publication that ostensibly bills itself as 'libertarian' and pretends to care about free speech, illiberal censors are still employed"

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    They [the students] also tell me some combination of the following: Hate speech isn't free speech; if marginalized people feel threatened by the speech, the speech is actually violence; neither campus authorities nor mobs of angry students are forms of government force, and thus it's not illegal or unethical when these entities shut down offensive speech.


    That just shows you how much these students know. It is actually illegal to commit acts of violence against other individuals who are not physically threatening you, no matter how offensive their speech.

    Also,it would seem these students hold the idea that the 1st Amendment restricts government, something that runs contra the legal positivism thst permeates current lefty thought. But you know the saying: being a Marxian means never having to be logically consistent.

  • John||

    I honestly don't understand how anyone could think the speech is violence. I guess these idiots have never been on the receiving end of violence. I wonder if this is a product of students being upper middle class and living totally sheltered lives run by helicopter parents. I guess if you had never seen violence and never been in so much as a fist fight, and never learned anything about history, had any understanding of the world outside your little bubble, and were just narcissistic enough to think your problems were uniquely bad, you might be able to convince yourself that someone saying something that offended you was the same thing as them physically assaulting you.

    That is the only way I can explain this attitude. Maybe if these kids had ever been beaten up as children, they might understand a little bit about violence and how different it is from speech.

  • Finrod||

    It takes a special type of leftist Team Blue idiocy and isolation and privilege. It's never the poor kids that spew that bullshit, it's the snowflakes whose parents are shelling out $60K/year to send them to some expensive nursery that calls itself a college along with a bunch of other snowflakes with rich parents, where not getting a new smartphone every year to them is the equivalent of torture.

  • John||

    That has to be it. No way does some kid who grew up in a tough neighborhood and knows what it is to go without think speech is violence. They might be a leftist, but no way do they believe that bullshit.

  • Rat on a train||

    People with a college degree are much more likely to say that anti-religious speech should be allowed in public, for instance.
    Well, anti-religious speech against certain religions. Do they also support pro-religious speech for those same religions?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Competent adults neither advance nor accept superstition-based assertions or arguments in reasoned debate with respect to public affairs.

    People are entitled to believe as they wish. They are not entitled to have nonsense treated with respect in reasoned debate among adults.

  • Edward Bellamy||

    "Competent adults neither advance nor accept superstition-based assertions or arguments in reasoned debate with respect to public affairs."

    Then you'll be citing priof for that claim of hundreds of conservative campuses you made that is currently based on nothing but your fear and superstition, right?

  • Finrod||

    Like that idiot leftist troll could prove 2+2=4.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Do you contend America does not have hundreds of conservative-controlled campuses that are third- or fourth-tier (or unranked), nonsense-teaching, censorship-shackled goober factories?

    If you are willing to admit to being sufficiently ignorant to advance that assertion, I shall list 50 examples of such right-wing yahoo farms masquerading as educational institutions.

    Maybe you are just too stupid to perform the relevant research, Edward Bellamy.

  • Edward Bellamy||

    I'm contending that you've made a claim that you have failed to support with evidence.

  • Edward Bellamy||

    " I shall list 50 examples "

    You realize of course, that 50 isn't " hundreds?"

    "Maybe you are just too stupid to perform the relevant research"

    Your obvious anger and emotional overreaction make it clear you've been triggered. And that you know what you've done and are embarrassed by it, and are trying to smear people who point it out rather than acting like an adult.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Look at Arthur L. Hicklib trying to compensate for his substandard intellect.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I have no interest in performing basic research to generate obvious results for half-educated, bigoted right-wing losers.

    Do your own research. Or walk around believing the United States does not have hundreds of low-quality, censorship-shackled, nonsense-teaching, conservative-controlled colleges and universities that generate hundreds of thousands of half-educated, gullible conservative graduates each year.

    In either circumstance, enjoy a lifetime of hapless ankle-biting and bitter, inconsequential muttering as society progresses against your wishes.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    I wanted to perform the relevant research so I googled "goober factories" and this was all I could find:
    https://mclib.net/blogs/history/?p=875
    Then I tried "yahoo farm" and got this:
    http://www.yahoofarm.com/
    Neither seems particularly threatening to me.

  • Edward Bellamy||

    *proof

  • Red Tony||

    People are entitled to believe as they wish. They are not entitled to have nonsense treated with respect in reasoned debate among adults.

    So you're admitting that you don't want to engage in reasoned debate?

  • Mark22||

    Competent adults neither advance nor accept superstition-based assertions or arguments in reasoned debate with respect to public affairs.

    Competent adults understand that religious beliefs are not necessarily superstitious or supernatural.

    You're obviously not a competent adult.

  • LynchPin1477||

    Good piece, Soave.

  • ||

    Yeh, but it could have done without this: "...some anti-P.C. diehards, in their zeal to oppose the left, come out sounding as censorious as the people they're criticizing."

    Until I see actual evidence of 'tit for tat' this is just another 'to be sure' shtick.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    "To be sure" is so 2017.

  • Red Tony||

    It is outdated, to be sure.

  • DenverJ||

    You know the only reason Robby put that in was to troll you, don't you Rufus?

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Case in point: racist speech. ... On the question of "should a racist book be removed from the public library," the findings were similar: Youth support for censoring such a book increased from 25 percent to 39 percent.


    Depends on how one defines "racist". Among the woke, the "racist" invective currently means "pertaining to a white person or white people, usually male and heterosexual".


    I wouldn't be surprised if progressives were to censor (or bowdlerize) Frederick Douglass' Narrative because it refers to African-Americans as "negroes".

  • John||

    How long before they write MLK out of history? I give ten years max.

  • esteve7||

    Was he for LGBT-blah blah blah rights?

    I mean they've already written off most of the founders, even though they did more to advance the cause of human freedom then these little tyrants will ever do

  • CatoTheChipper||

    They'll just rewrite the history with MLK being a totally woke, gay atheist who not only suffered oppression on account of his race but also because of he was one of the 71 other genders.

  • John||

    That is likely what they will do.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You mean like this?

  • Eidde||

    "The novels "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"...will continue to be available in (Duluth) school libraries and can be optional reading for students, but beginning next school year, they'll be replaced as required reading by other literature that addresses the same topics in ninth- and 11th-grade English classes, said Michael Cary, the district's director of curriculum and instruction."

    OK, I'm classifying this as not-censorship.

    It's a shitty curriculum decision, to be sure (TM), but it simply means students have the option of reading or not reading these books. And if they want to read them, they're in the school's own library.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    "Yet" is the word you're looking for.

  • DajjaI||

    The best thing we can do to preserve free speech is to show up at these events and ensure the peace. Document any acts of aggression so that the perpetrator can be punished. We must resist the knee jerk response to demand more 'security' because they will only separate the groups which only radicalizes them to violence. I was in Jerusalem last summer and saw this happen repeatedly. At the Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem the streets were lined with machine gun toting soldiers and you could hear the angry protesters shouting through megaphones (yes they were Jewish) but you couldn't see them. This will escalate to violence and in fact already has - a few years ago a girl was stabbed by one such protester. Also they will literally separate the sides. At the weekly shabbat protests when I was peacefully talking to the haredi, the police would come in and literally knock me to the ground and drag me away and say, "We can't protect you from them." Which was preposterous since they are generally quite peaceful. (It's the religious Zionists who are most violent and dangerous, other than the IDF of course.) Let's not make the same mistake. ADL and SPLC want to import all these tacts - ignore them, stop giving them money! (I'm talking to you, Apple.)

  • Iheartskeet||

    Actually what we can do is simply end any kind of government involvement in student loans, or, failing that, make these dischargable in bankruptcy, but where the schools are on the hook for 70%+ of the balance.(I believe this was an Instapundit idea).

    If we did so, I'd guess 70% of the idiotic degrees that feed this charade would disappear, and the professors with them. A whole bunch of schools would go under too..but thats a feature not a bug.

    We'd still be stuck with a few enclaves that have big endowments (Harvard, etc.) but we'd be doing the regular college student a huge favor, though they might not recognize it as such.

  • Johnny Lawrence||

    I'd make student loans dischargeable after a pretty lengthy period of time (10 years or so), and only after a means test. That would largely alleviate any concerns about students running up loans, immediately declaring bankruptcy, and being free from debt (while escaping from a bad credit rating after 7 years).

    If the student loans are dischargeable, lenders would need to inject some underwriting in the origination process to protect their investment. Some majors at some schools would allow a borrower to qualify for a $150k loan, while students in other majors or at other schools may only qualify for much less.

    This, in turn, could create downward pressure on schools to reduce costs/tuition, in that Jane Student no longer has access to $150,000 to major in Gender Studies.

  • Finrod||

    Put the school on the hook for the balance.

    That would help get rid of those negative-value "Studies" degrees.

  • Iheartskeet||

    Well, the issue is with Federal student loans. Here, the lender (the Federal Government) cannot be counted on to perform any real rigorous creditworthiness review. Therefore, making it routine-ish to discharge these in bankruptcy (possible now but extremely difficult) creates a loophole. A loophole people will drive a truck through. A loophole we the taxpayers hold the bag on.

    So, in my view we either get the feds out of this altogether (best choice) or we look to the main beneficiaries of these loans (schools) so that taxpayers aren't the only ones with skin in the game.

    I'd guess the prospect of being on the hook for potential student loan defaults will result in a rapid elimination of, say, womyns studies majors being offered.

  • Johnny Lawrence||

    Yep—I should have expressly referenced that. Obviously, if the federal government is the lender, they'll never feel the pressure to "protect their investment" via heightened underwriting, because it's not really their investment, it's the taxpayer's.

    How would you structure a system in which the schools are also on the hook? Would they basically act as guarantors in the event of borrower default?

    Or would schools operate as secondary lenders, in which they could offer loans to cover the gap between what the student can obtain via private lending and the cost of attendance?

    Ultimately, I think this could be a natural result of the plan I argued for above—if prospective students can't obtain financing for their education, schools will have to either: (1) reduce the costs of education, or (2) find ways to supplement private loans.

  • Iheartskeet||

    Agree. On the specifics of being guarantors or secondary lenders, I don't have a particular insight...either way looks like an improvement. I'd guess with this kind of change we might see all kinds of financing mechanisms.

    You are correct about this potentially driving costs down also. The current scheme of federal loans appears to have created a cost-plus atmosphere.

  • Ride 'Em||

    Have the schools co-sign the loan documents.

  • Brendan||

    All within a few days of each other. Reminds me of the totally-not-collusion "Gamers are dead" articles all coming out in the same few days across more than a dozen outlets.

  • EscherEnigma||

    We shouldn't overgeneralize anecdotes [...]


    but our entire premise is that there is a "crisis", so that's what we're going to do anyway.

    Freedom of Speech and Association folks. It cuts both ways.

  • MarkLastname||

    Apples an oranges. Bakeries aren't organs of the state; many universities engaging in censorship are.

    Moreover, you (characteristically) missed the key point: college students increasingly reject the first amendment in practice. Not that they merely want wrongthink banned from campus, but think it should be illegal.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Not so much "missed" as refusing to overgeneralize anecdotes.

  • ||

    Go look up Peterson speaking at Queen's university on youtube. Pay close attention to how the "protestors" (more like ignorant, self-absorbed babies) acted. They even broke a window.

  • ||

    Those people seemed like possessed zombies or something. The fact there are students like that out there truly worries me. There is no talking to or communicating with them. They remind me of the people in 1984 during the Two Minutes of Hate.

  • Eidde||

    "All that said, critics of the crisis narrative are right to push back on the most extreme declarations of doom on campus. It's certainly true that there are bigger threats to free speech than illiberal college students. (President Donald Trump is no defender of free expression.)"

    Oh, for crying out loud, to be sure there are other problems in the world - that could be said of any problem.

    Rioting against free expression combines censorship with a couple extra problems - lack of due process (how does a mob give due process to its Goldstein of the day?) and lack of rule of law (who elected the mob to enforce speech standards, or any standards at all?).

    Thus, even people who want university administrations to censor speech through administrative processes aren't as bad as people who want to employ mob violence for censorship purposes.

  • shawn_dude||

    Oh fer crying out loud. Berkeley has roughly 42K students. If 20 show up to "riot against free expression," that's a tiny fraction. And they're not rioting against free expression itself but some controversial speech they don't like. (Which doesn't make it right to riot but your general statement casts them as targeting free expression, which is false.)

    Your brush is far too broad and you're painting a lot of students "Antifa Black" based on the action of kids who aren't even students.

    The larger protest at Berkeley was non-violent and in accordance with respect for free speech--you get your say and I get to protest outside. The rioters earn our scorn but I notice the larger opposition that was peaceful gets ignored.

  • Trollificus||

    If it were merely that one group believing that "...violence is justified in order to prevent Nazi sympathizers from speaking", that would be one thing. That there is also one group that believes only THEY should be able to dictate what constitutes a "Nazi sympathizer", and it is the same people, is a much greater problem. Same for the incredibly loosely-defined "White Supremacist", and the newly-revised "racist" (which now includes a "Get out of racism free" card for black people).

    Fuck, as they say, that.

    In current year, Nazis and their ill-defined 'sympathizers' are either bizarre trolls or symptoms of a pathology that should more appropriately be carefully diagnosed than fought with violence. These left-fascist fucks have clearly demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to define whose thought should be unacceptable in American society. That ship has sailed. That case is not plausible. The definitions they want to impose are divorced from reality, and the attempts of their apologists to obfuscate this shows them to be disingenuous*.

    *- or, less euphemistically, 'lying fucking scumbags'.

  • Eidde||

    Due process and rioting can't really coexist.

    This is usually the extent of due process in such cases:

    FIRST RIOTER: "Hey, there's a Nazi giving a speech! Let's shut him down!"

    OTHER RIOTERS: "We'll be right over!"

    So *of course* the mobs will misidentify people as racists or as national socialists. Oops, I mean nazis. (Can't pollute the sacred word "socialist").

  • John||

    And due process and freedom are not the same things. Due process just makes the government go through hoops to do what it wants to do. But it doesn't stop it from doing it. You can have lots of due process and still have an oppressive government.

  • Eidde||

    Certainly. Due process isn't enough by itself, if the substantive law is repressive.

    But if you're accused of wrongthink at some kind of due-process trial, you can at least get in some digs at the other side and expose their silliness. Maybe the authorities will actually back off (assuming you have the money to defend yourself).

    And at a private university which has you sign a pledge to avoid certain speech, then if you'r accused of violating that pledge you're being accused of violating standards you accepted yourself.

    But with a mob it makes no difference if you waived your right to academic freedom or not, or if your speech fits into the bounds of a censorship law. The dumbest of the mob can always prevail at your "trial" - which consists of "let's bash that fascist - who's with me?"

  • Eidde||

    Look at the famous sedition trials in English history - the authorities didn't recognize a substantive right to dissent, but they at least let the defendant stand up in court and defend himself (to some extent).

  • shawn_dude||

    Neo-nazi, which is different than "Nazi," if we're going to be pedantic about things. But the bottom line is it's not hard to spot an actual white supremacist; they identify themselves quite readily. At least the ones marching with signs and slogans like "you will not replace us!" Some of them try to say they're not racist when they advocate for a white ethno-state but despite their wide-eyed feigned sincerity, they're garden-variety white supremacists.

    "(which now includes a "Get out of racism free" card for black people)" It does? Since when? Or is this just a dog whistle to "reverse racism" mumbo jumbo?

    I get the fact that some people get cranky when they say racist stuff and people call them racist. "I'm not racist! I legitimately feel that black people are inferior!"

  • Trollificus||

    ""Prejudice plus power" is a controversial and exclusionary re-definition of words like "racism" and "sexism", taking on the form of a simple equation." (from the RationaWiki). Seems like a definition carefully crafted to carve out an exception to something that should be understood by application of simple principle.

    Surely you've encountered it, since you seem familiar with other popular SJW tools of dismissal (as opposed to actual argument). "dog whistle", "mumbo jumbo", pre-excluded term "reverse racism"...yep, by association, I must be a White Supremacist (and be sure to use the caps to give it that 'organizational flavor').

    Another tool you apparently find easy to pull out of your ass is "mind reading", wherein actual statements and terms of argument are dismissed because you know "what they really mean." And the only really hard part is ignoring the cognitive dissonance when you claim to be "rational".

    Quod gratis asseritur gratis negatur and fuck off.

  • ||

    I think the thing I hate the most about the left and progressives is the claim that "hate speech is violence."

    You have to be highly educated to be stupid enough to think that.

  • Finrod||

    Not to mention completely unfamiliar with what actual violence is. Fucking snowflakes.

  • shawn_dude||

    I also totally hate all the other strawmen I've made up about them! It makes it so much easier to hate the Left!

  • GeneralWeygand||

    Thank God we never had that problem in the Third or Fourth Republics

  • GeneralWeygand||

    I forgot to add 'Vive La France' to my previous post

  • shawn_dude||

    The author is lowering the goalposts and trying to define "crisis" using lessened criteria given the volume of contrary metrics opposing his views. Noticeably absent from your carefully crafted "but there's still a conspiracy!" article is the fact that, in addition to racism, the GSS found that students aren't too keen on letting an anti-American Muslim cleric speak either. (which goes counter to your own "Muslim" comment) "At the same time, some students think speech that denigrates racial minorities, gay people, women, the trans community, and Muslims is not just unacceptable, but equivalent to violence." It's almost like you omitted an area where these "far left" students are in alignment with conservatives on purpose.

    " 2016 saw twice as many would-be campus speakers being disinvited as 2015, according to FIRE."

    Easy to believe given the rash of neo-nazi/white nationalist "speaking tours" designed to create protests on campuses around the country--one of them made famous with a torch-lit, angry march across the quad that ended in violence.

    I can't speak for the rest of the country, but after the Antifa fracas at Berkeley, the local anarchist groups have figured out how they're being triggered to push conservative, anti-education agendas and wizened up a tad.

    As long as students are talking about free speech issues, I'm less concerned.

  • cc2||

    When I was in college, streaking by hundreds at a time was the thing. Our campus wisely decided not to arrest anyone and it lasted all of 2 months and poof was gone. This is NOT the same thing as letting mobs burn shit down and assault people. A big part of the problem is the administrators who are afraid of offending students so they let the little dears destroy the place. And then they don't understand why enrollment goes down 30% after these riots.

    As for the Rev nitwit here, the conservative schools he is so offended by enroll a handful of students and have not had a single riot over a controversial speaker. All the Ivies and Berkeley and Stanford etc are all hard left places where students freak out if they see a red hat and conservatives can't comment in the school paper or have a table to recruit.

  • Trollificus||

    "False equivalence". It's real popular. Not dissimilar to using students' acceptance of communists and atheists speaking on campus as proof of their support for Free Speech rights.

    Note that "real equivalence" is sometimes less popular, as when the violent parts of Antifa and BLM are dismissed (or Islamist extremists for that matter) as insignificant minorities while an equivalent number of skinheads or StraightX kids (similar in number to self-destructive Goths, metal heads or nihilistic punks) is definitely sign that all of White America is seething racists.

    The manner of usage of such rhetorical tools shows intellectual and moral integrity, or lack thereof.

  • Could not connect to remo||

    There is absolutely NO QUESTION that both political correctness and an increasing radicalization of young people whom we'd call "Progressives: began with the election of Barack Onama and the incidents steadily increased both in frequency and intensity. Obama, himself,m led the attack against conservatives, Christians, American exceptionalism and Western values seeking to undermine, denigrate and destroy them. What happened with the election of Trump was that these forces which were allowed to have free reign under Obama were now feeling the pushback from his supporters in the media and the public.

    It's been their illiberal lifestyles and PC culture that has been challenged and they don;t know how to deal with it in a mature fashion. So, they deal with it like all true Leftists do: they resort to intimidation and violence to stifle the speech of anyone who does not think as they do.

    YES, there is a free speech crisis and the only noes who say there isn't one are not the ones whose speech is being threatened.

  • XM||

    If a survey asked whether you support free speech, lots of people will answer in the affirmative. And the 18-34 demo is huge crowd.

    If a survey or a poll asked respondents whether "government spending is a problem" how many will say yes? Probably 60%, at minimum. It doesn't mean that they'll actually support cutting spending.

    And as Robby correctly observes, only a handful of left wing agitators and willing professors are enough push PC culture down everyone's throats. Mizzou and Evergreen saw a drop in enrollment after student protest unnerved everyone in that community. Most of the students there probably approved of free speech by disapproving the censorship and the disruption by the student activists.

    Since the survey excluded any number of college students, what's point of using it to debunk the "myth" of free speech crisis on campus? Some 19 year old who works in Walmart and doesn't go to college isn't part of that conversation.

  • XM||

    If a survey asked whether you support free speech, lots of people will answer in the affirmative. And the 18-34 demo is huge crowd.

    If a survey or a poll asked respondents whether "government spending is a problem" how many will say yes? Probably 60%, at minimum. It doesn't mean that they'll actually support cutting spending.

    And as Robby correctly observes, only a handful of left wing agitators and willing professors are enough push PC culture down everyone's throats. Mizzou and Evergreen saw a drop in enrollment after student protest unnerved everyone in that community. Most of the students there probably approved of free speech by disapproving the censorship and the disruption by the student activists.

    Since the survey excluded any number of college students, what's point of using it to debunk the "myth" of free speech crisis on campus? Some 19 year old who works in Walmart and doesn't go to college isn't part of that conversation.

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