Ivy League schools are supposed to be where the best and brightest go to school. Well, based on some of what we’re seeing lately, we may have to reevaluate that belief. Majorly.
Looking to understand just how controversial the debate over free speech on our college campuses really is, filmmaker and satirist Ami Horowitz recently traveled to Yale University, one of our nation’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning, to speak directly to students.
“I decided to take this campus free speech debate to its logical conclusion,” said Horowitz, who asked students if they’d sign a petition calling for an outright repeal of the First Amendment. “The result was this unbelievable display of total stupidity.”
In fact, Horowitz discovered a solid majority of the students asked willingly signed the petition, with several expressing their enthusiastic approval for his anti-First Amendment efforts.
The video itself, for your amusement:
Ah, our favorite hits. There’s the Yale student screaming about how they’re trying to make a home, screw intellectualism. Then there is our favorite professor from the University of Missouri calling for muscle as well. The only thing missing is the Smith College group banning any press that won’t agree to come out openly to support them.
Then we see students openly support eliminating the First Amendment. They sign a petition to that effect. The irony eluded them, we think.
Unfortunately, these Yale students aren’t alone. The student government vice president at Missouri made her feelings on the First Amendment known weeks ago.
If this is the kind of education that students are getting at Yale and other places, then whoever is footing the bill needs to demand a refund and consider suing for fraud. After all, these children are about the least educated people we’ve come across in some time. Considering Congress, that’s saying something.
The First Amendment is what protects their inane prattling. It’s there to protect that which is offensive. In the Soviet Union, no one ever got in trouble for singing Stalin’s praises. It was when they criticized him that they had problems involving gulags. “Approved” speech has never needed in protection. Tyrants will always permit complimentary speech, or speech that advances their own agenda.
No, the test has always been whether or not a society will tolerate disagreement. The United States always has. Asa result, fringe movements such as the civil rights movement, the abolitionist movement, and women’s suffrage were permitted to grow and prosper until their positions became the law of the land. Without the First Amendment, any and all of these efforts could have bee killed early. What would our society have looked like today?
The ACLU was right to defend the right of the American Nazi Party to march in Skokie, Illinois. It’s not because Nazis are cool, because they’re not. It’s because one has to defend the most distasteful speech imaginable–such as anything coming out of a Nazi’s mouth–if you don’t want to risk what comes out of your mouth from being deemed illegal.
The truth is, many of these arguing against the First Amendment don’t understand that the first casualty of a First Amendment Free society might just be their own pet causes.