College campuses becoming ‘controlled speech zones’ as Left-wing academics push indoctrination over free-thinking individualism

( It used to be that a university campus in America was one place where freedom of speech and expression really blossomed. Sadly, in 2015, college campuses have largely been transformed into zones of intolerance, where speech and expression is tightly regulated by Left-wing academics who push propaganda and progressive indoctrination upon impressionable young minds.

A recent survey demonstrates how successful they have been. As noted in the November issue of New Criterion and featured in The Wall Street Journal, more than half of students – 51 percent – favor some kind of speech code on campus, compared to just 36 percent who said there should be no limits on speech.

The New Criterion laid bare the issue – and the institutional bias against conservative ideals:

Williams College (Tuition and fees: $63,290) has undertaken an “Uncomfortable Learning” Speaker Series in order to provide intellectual diversity on a campus where (like most campuses) left-leaning sentiment prevails. What a good idea! How is it working out? The conservative writer Suzanne Venker was invited to speak in this series. But when word got out that an alternative point of view might be coming to Williams, angry students demanded her invitation be rescinded. It was. Explaining their decision, her hosts noted that the prospect of her visit was “stirring a lot of angry reactions among students on campus.” So Suzanne Venker joins a long and distinguished list of people—including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, George Will, and Charles Murray—first invited then disinvited to speak on campus. It’s been clear for some time that such interdictions are not bizarre exceptions. On the contrary, they are perfect reflections of an ingrained hostility to free speech—and, beyond that, to free thought—in academia.

The survey results come from a poll commissioned by the William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale. The firm, McLaughlin & Associates, was tasked with surveying attitudes about free speech on campus. About 800 students from around the nation were questioned.

And while the results are not surprising to many who have watched this trend evolve, they are nevertheless alarming – or should be – to anyone of any political persuasion who loves liberty, constitutionalism and freedom.

Some other findings from the survey:

— 63 percent favor requiring professors to employ “trigger warnings” that alert students to any material that might challenge their worldview;

— One-third could not identify the First Amendment as the part of the Constitution that dealt with free speech/expression/religious freedom (which is, of course, a major failing of primary education in America);

— 35 percent said they don’t believe the First Amendment protects what the government (or a college) might consider or define as “hate speech” (though the founders included speech protections specifically for speech that was unpopular/uncommon/outside the norm);

— 30 percent of self-identified liberal students believe the First Amendment is outdated (though there is no indication of what they feel it should be replaced with).

“With the assault on free speech and the First Amendment proceeding apace in institutions once dedicated to robust intellectual debate, it is no wonder that there are more and more calls to criminalize speech that dissents from the party line on any number of issues, from climate change to race relations, to feminism and sex,” New Criterion noted.

Now maybe the liberals at The Huffington Post and President Obama know what top GOP presidential contender Ben Carson meant when he said recently he would require the federal Department of Education to police speech on campus, in order to ensure that everyone is protected, regardless of their views.

Only a Left-wing academic steeped in Marxism would hate that idea, which certainly explains Obama’s aversion to it.

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