No Joking Matter: Survey Finds Six Out Of Ten Students View Offensive Jokes As “Hate Speech”

We have been discussing the growing intolerance for free speech on our campuses and the ever-expanding scope of both hate speech and “microaggression” definitions. Now, College Pulse has released a survey of 2,000 college students that finds six out of ten view offensive jokes to be hate speech — a view shared by many European countries which now regularly prosecuted people for such jokes.

There is a considerable contrast between the views of Democratic and Republican students. The poll found that 76 percent of Democratic students “believe offensive jokes can constitute hate speech” while only 36 percent of Republican students who hold that view.

We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in Europe (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). We have seen comedians targeted with such court orders under this expanding and worrisome trend. (here and here and here). 

Notably, comedians are refusing to perform on our campuses because of the threat of protests and shutdowns over jokes deemed by some to be offensive or discomforting. Comedy has always occurred on the edges of propriety and constitutes a long-valued form of social and political commentary. The effort to chill jokes and parody is part of a broader anti-free speech movement on our campuses.

109 thoughts on “No Joking Matter: Survey Finds Six Out Of Ten Students View Offensive Jokes As “Hate Speech””

    1. It doesn’t mean anything, but that doesn’t stop the usual suspects here from trying to turn it into another battle ground for their imaginary struggles with sinister and powerful forces.

    1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me forty-three citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after seventy weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – taste is personal. What you find offensive, I may find hysterically funny.

    2. That’s just Wong!

      If you’re half write, you’re half wong.

      If you’re half wong, you’re all wong.

  1. Did these kids also receive participation trophys? Why would you want to reward excellence? I see safe places in our future.

  2. Hey, here’s an offensive joke: “Did you know I was number one on Facebook?” -Donny today discussing a pandemic.

  3. Speaking of jokes, where’s Nancy Pelosi?

    “Rep. Nydia Velazquez said Monday that she’s been “diagnosed with presumed coronavirus infection,” three days after she spoke on the House floor and stood near 80-year-old House Speaker Nancy Pelosi…”

    – NBC News, March 30, 2020
    _______________________

    Elected and appointed officials are often of considerable maturity and vulnerability. Americans should say a prayer for revered and venerable leadership such as Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Mazie Hirono, Joe Manchin, Dianne Feinstein, Ruth Bader Ginsberg et al.

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