College students today have likely never been taught the basics of the Bill of Rights or why our nation’s founders valued protecting offensive speech from government prosecution. The term seditious libel has likely never been spoken to them. Unless these young adults come from a country like China or Thailand, where laws like Lèse majesté make it a crime to insult the king, they don’t know anything except the liberty of the U.S. First Amendment.
It’s therefore no surprise that a Brookings Institute study found that 1 in 5 college students think it’s okay to use physical force to silence someone who makes “offensive and hurtful statements.” They don’t understand the reason the First Amendment, protecting free speech against the government is necessary to preserve a government of the people. They are blind to the consequence of their ignorance.
If it’s okay for individuals to resort to violence to prevent someone from saying things that offend them, then shouldn’t it follow that when those people are voted into office, that they can use the power of government to stop free speech? If individuals believe in a right to their own speech, and also to a heckler’s veto, then those individuals, once elected to office, will ignore the First Amendment protections our constitution guarantees and use government power to enforce their will.
Our president has done nothing to disabuse these misguided young adults’ of their disastrous mistake. Back in 2016, ProPublica (admittedly liberal-leaning press) noted that Trump might represent the “return of seditious libel.” Of course, nothing of the sort has occurred, or is likely to. Yet Trump’s penchant for legal revenge against reporters who besmirch his name makes the case that “might is right” in the battle of words.
And college kids don’t have the power of a few billions dollars. They do, however, possess the power of numbers and time on their hands to conduct protests. Add into the mix the professional activists, communists, and anarchists of Antifa, and you’ve got a recipe for violence.
The colleges themselves have done nothing to cure this toxic mix. Offering counseling and “safe spaces” for speakers like Ben Shapiro only reinforces the victim mentality that someone else’s words are hurtful in a physical sense. Allowing segregation to creep back into schools as a way of avoiding possibly being offended is turning our schools into training centers for future despots who would roll back our basic liberties of a free press and free assembly.
Fifty-three percent of students surveyed indicate they favor creating “a positive learning environment for all students by prohibiting certain speech or expression” more than an “open” environment inclusive of all speech, according to a Brookings Institution poll.
Forty-four percent of students said “no” to a question on whether the First Amendment protects hate speech, while 39 percent of students said “yes;” 16 percent indicated they did not know. A plurality of Democrats — 41 percent — thought that the First Amendment did not protect hate speech, whereas 44 percent of Republicans asserted it did. Fifty-one percent of male students thought the First Amendment protected hate speech, however a majority of female students thought it did not.
The preparations for the visit were patently insane. First, the school charged the sponsor group, Young America’s Foundation, a $15,000 security fee. Then, the school blocked off the upper level of the auditorium, fearful that radicals from the violent far-left-leaning group Antifa would infiltrate the speech and begin hurling objects from the balcony onto the crowd below. Finally, the school ended up spending some $600,000 on additional policing, including the creation of cement barriers and hiring of hundreds of armed police officers for a prospective riot.
All this so that I could deliver a speech about personal responsibility and individualism.
Students were asked whether the First Amendment requires that an offensive speaker at a public university be matched with one with an opposing view. Here, 6 in 10 (mistakenly) said that, yes, the First Amendment requires balance.
Let’s say a public university hosts a “very controversial speaker,” one “known for making offensive and hurtful statements.” Would it be acceptable for a student group to disrupt the speech “by loudly and repeatedly shouting so that the audience cannot hear the speaker”?
Astonishingly, half said that snuffing out upsetting speech — rather than, presumably, rebutting or even ignoring it — would be appropriate. Democrats were more likely than Republicans to find this response acceptable (62 percent to 39 percent), and men were more likely than women (57 percent to 47 percent). Even so, sizable shares of all groups agreed.
Hate Speech & First Amendment: Not Protected, Say College Students | Katherine Timpf, National Review
Look, kids: Not only does the Constitution protect hate speech, but it should protect hate speech. Is that because hate speech is good? No, I don’t like the speech that I consider hate speech, and that’s the point — everyone is going to have a different opinion of what is and is not “hate speech.” What some people consider “hate speech,” others might consider to be hilarious or even virtuous speech, and it would be dangerous to allow the government to decide what qualifies. Any time you start thinking the government should intervene to stop speech that you don’t like, realize that those exact same rules could eventually be used to stop your own speech.
"Hate speech" is the ONLY protected speech. Nobody tried to silence Mr. Rogers. https://t.co/YUNi4MpxYf
— Steve Berman (@stevengberman) September 20, 2017
As the tweet above points out, nobody needs to defend speech with which everyone agrees. Only speech that’s offensive to someone, critical of the government, or hateful on its face requires protection. It’s not the government’s job to protect individuals from hearing speech that offends them. It’s not the right of individuals to use violence or force to prevent anyone else from speaking in public places.
And when individuals become the new guardians of our rights, they must not forget that offensive speech against the government or against anyone is protected. We’ve already lost that understanding among our university administrators. We’ve lost it among some of the largest American companies. Next we will lose it in the halls of government. When that happens, our democracy will be mortally wounded.
Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We just launched a new GiveSendGo page. We also have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!