Forty Percent of Millennials Favor Censorship of Offensive Speech By Government

Freedom_of_SpeechWe have long discussed the rapid decline of free speech protections in the West. I have long argued that the West appears to have fallen out of love with free speech, which is more often viewed as a rising scourge rather than a defining value in some countries. A recent poll of the Pew Research Center shows just how many people we have lost to those calling for greater censorship and criminalization of speech. It is not surprisingly more prevalent with younger age groups, though Democrats are almost twice as likely favor censorship that Republicans. The largest (and most alarming) group is the millennials — 40% of whom favor government censorship of speech offensive to minority groups.

Thirty-five percent of Democrats supported such bans as opposed to 18 percent of Republicans.

The least likely to support censorship were people who have lived long enough to know the dangers — only 21 percent of those 70 and older supported such censorship. The numbers go down by age (and experience).

The figures on Democrats is particularly disappointing. Democrats once rallied around free speech values in organizing campuses and protests in the 60s. Those baby boomers now appear to have acquired a taste for censorship and speech regulation.

It is good to know that some 58 percent of millennials have not fallen for the siren’s call of censorship. However, these numbers appear to be rising. We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in France (here and here and here and here and here and here) and England ( here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). Much of this trend is tied to the expansion of hate speech and non-discrimination laws. We have even seen comedians targets with such court orders under this expanding and worrisome trend. (here and here).

From the growing free speech regulations on campuses to the demands for the expansion of hate crimes, we are seeing the early signs of the taste for censorship that appeared in Europe years ago. Once people start to censor speech, they develop an insatiable appetite for censorship and criminalization of speech.

Here is the Pew Report.

51 thoughts on “Forty Percent of Millennials Favor Censorship of Offensive Speech By Government”

  1. Public schools, including the universities, have taught them this.
    Hollywood and the Democrats have fostered the same anti-Western thinking.

    Their goal was socialism, which has always and everywhere forbidden free speech.
    They were pretty successful, it looks like.

    Congratulations, lefties; your offspring are compliant sheep, but remain entitled about their emotions and other minutiae.

  2. I hope they do make racial speech by whites illegal (more illegal than it already is) because that will increase the sense among whites that they are a real group, a legit group, and one that needs to learn to stick together or be oppressed and eliminated. In the long run tribal affiliation and group cohesion is more important for our survival than the tired Enlightenment dogma “Free Speech”

    Moreover, it’s mostly just a question of “how free do the powerful allow it to be” anyhow. And it has been ever thus.

  3. This report should come as no surprise to anyone. Many in this blog have supported progressive regimes that only align with the rule of law by accident and not by choice. Some here call it democracy in action, the people are getting what they want, etc. The millennials are simply following prior generations that have used government to get their way, constitution be damned.

    Nicely done!

  4. PS: Turley should truly be commended for not MODERATING comments on this blog. Moderating is the new euphemism for CENSORING. Far too many moderate into oblivion ideas they do not like or otherwise find offensive. Both left-wing and right-wing partake in this heinous anti-democracy activity. Again, my experience as a poet activist points to this phenomenon as widespread. Citizens need to learn that vigorous debate is indeed a cornerstone of a thriving democracy…

  5. Testing the waters of democracy implies a certain risk taking. Citizens need to do that actively and periodically in an effort to determine what rights they really possess (de facto), as opposed to what rights the law says they possess. Thus, another point ought to be made and highlighted regarding freedom of speech: de facto vs. de jura. In essence, I might possess the right to exercise free speech (de jura), but an authoritarian might decide to punish the free speech I exercise (de facto). If I do not wish to (or cannot) spend thousands of dollars on legal help, then the authoritarian wins, and I lose (i.e., do not possess the purported right of free speech). Perhaps this hypothetical example is a widespread reality, perhaps not. Most people would probably have little problem living under a Soviet-like dictatorship. Few citizens probably ever really exercise their First Amendment rights and question and challenge people in power, especially on the local level, where doing so might indeed have consequences. True freedom of speech is speech that cannot be punished (i.e., have consequences). To question and challenge, one needs to take a chance, step out of the protective cocoon of friends, family, and colleagues, and speak rude truth to power… and thereby truly test the waters of democracy. My experience as a professor taught me that the very large majority of professors do not and will not do that. In fact, that very large majority will not even back the rare person who will do it. Personal experience brought this sad reality to light (or rather darkness). For example, I was permanently banned from part of the campus at Fitchburg State University for exercise of my purported right to free speech. I was also permanently banned from Sturgis Library, my neighborhood library, for doing the same. To regain my liberty, I would need costly legal assistance. My experience as a writer and poet has also taught me that the very large majority of writers and poets do not and will not test the waters of democracy, and will not back the rare poet or writer who does. It is truly sad how most professors, writers, and poets seem to scorn vigorous debate, cornerstone of democracy…

    G. Tod Slone, Founding Editor (1998)
    The American Dissident, a 501c3 Nonprofit Journal of Literature, Democracy, and Dissidence
    217 Commerce Rd.
    Barnstable, MA 02630

  6. Great, albeit disturbing post. I read the Pew results. Nothing surprised me. Orwell was a prophet. I’m thinking of forming a religion based on Orwell. You will be allowed to drink, swear, gamble and say whatever you want in this new religion. But, you can’t take Orwell’s name in vain.

  7. Education for students (and bureaucrats) is the ultimate longterm solution with stiff penalties and enforcement for government officials that violate the supreme law of the land (Article VI of the U.S. Constitution).

    Members of Congress have been asked for over a decade to provide civics education for highschool students and “oath of office” training for bureaucrats, especially national security bureaucrats.

    Maybe if we had a citizen-based campaign finance system, Congress might act after more than a decade in providing this education.

  8. ” Students from ASU convinced students from the University of Arizona to give their school back to Mexico. ”

    Well, … they probably were not using it for anything anyway. It was probably just cluttering up space that could be used for parking around the football stadium.

  9. Millennials will fall for anything. Students from ASU convinced students from the University of Arizona to give their school back to Mexico. Not one student was against it. Even the school newspaper got onboard.

  10. “Man made laws should not be in place to give people trembling as to what is said or not said. Fear God’s light. It will be fire to evil people who have a perverted tongue. That will control what you say and don’t say.”

    Religion is tyranny made by man, and worse, attempts to implement self-censorship by faux eternal threats, as absurdly stated above.

    Fear Allah’s light. Fear Zeus’ light. Fear FSM’s light. Fear Vishnu’s light. The only perversion is expressing that certain words or opinions are perversions.

    The “laws” of deities are equally, blatantly, manmade — and deserve as much respect as those who wish to use government to regulate speech.

  11. “I am glad there is now recognition that a solid foundation for economic
    and social progress requires the consolidation of democracy as well as
    respect for the rule of law and human rights: that the enabling environment for
    economic and social development lies in good governance, respect for the rule
    of law, the dictates of universal human rights, and the effective pursuit of
    democratic ideals.” Hon. S. Amos Wako

    There cannot be authentic democratization and hence development without
    adherence to, and respect for the rule of law. The law permeates every
    facet of society, it is the glue that holds the apparatus of the state
    together, and the latter accountable to the people. Without it, lawlessness and
    corruption become endemic and taint the cultural fabric of society. Only
    just and impartial institutions steeped in the rule of law can revive a
    civic culture and turn victims, non-believers, and pessimists into CITIZENS.

    Dr. Mamphela Ramphele

    As lawyers refuse to expose the egregious, thoroughly corrupt conduct of our judges.

  12. The trouble with millennials is they’ve been raised in a high self-esteem and low-knowledge environment and they believe that even when they’re wrong, they’re right. They’ve been rewarded for losing and failing and have a sense of self-importance usually reserved for folks who’ve actually accomplished something. This is the generation that will be making and executing bad law and government in the future. I’m glad I’ll be long gone by then.

  13. Am I going to get in trouble if I say, “Jesus Christ Almighty how could such a large portion of any American demographic group favor ANY free speech restriction.”

  14. If this poll is true democracy and freedom is truly in for some rough sledding. The PC censors have strange standards and biased ones too. In their world some people can be offended and abused at will (see the verbal abuse hurdled at white students by black students complaining about abuse……). One apologist for the barrage said well, they never got physical. Isn’t thst precious?

  15. “The numbers go down by age (and experience).”

    The millennials (and some democrats) will learn – just sorry that I have to listen to their sanctimonious drivel in the meantime.

  16. Philippians 2:12King James Version (KJV)12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
    People need to control themselves as to what they say. Man made laws should not be in place to give people trembling as to what is said or not said. Fear God’s light. It will be fire to evil people who have a perverted tongue. That will control what you say and don’t say. Muslims don’t like truth spoken regarding their evil defiled religon who has a lying fallen angel at its foundation refusing not say fear not to Muhammad. Unfallen angels say that when they are seen as they are like the being in front of Muhammad.

  17. The millennials were raised in a culture of hate crime and hate speech laws so it’s not surprising that they should consider censorship as normal. I remember when I first heard of “hate crime” legislation and was taken aback that a person could be imprisoned for his thoughts, not just his actions. The same is true when the federal government brings “civil rights violation” charges against someone who has already been tried by the state, effectively punishing him twice for the same bad act. While perhaps trying to achieve a positive outcome, these laws were the start of a slide into the censorship of offensive speech. It only took a couple of generations to view this as acceptable.

  18. Every time I am forced to kneel down on the Pew and read the friggin report I get disgusted with the speeches contained therein. I have to pay for each speech in there. The only place I get a free speech is if I watch Obama on CNN. When the preacher gives his damn speech they pass this plate around right after you get off the Pew. You are supposed to fork over some dollars. When I stood up and yelled “Fire in the theatre– Free Speech” they had me locked up and said I was going to Hell in a handbasket for insulting the priest. I conclude that Pew Research knows nuthin bout birthin babies. And so called millenials are just babies well into adulthood.

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