According to a new survey, one out of three American college students believes “physical violence can be justified to prevent someone from using hate speech.” The results come from an online survey of 800 full-time undergraduates conducted by McLaughlin & Associates and sponsored by Yale University’s William F. Buckly, Jr. Program, Fox News reports.
This is a terrifying reality. The Left has somehow drilled the idea of “hate speech” into college students’ minds. In reality, there is no mention of the phrase in the United States Constitution, or anywhere else in United States laws. The First Amendment, while not absolute, does indeed protect speech that would make some members of the community uncomfortable. Indeed, the only way to progress and debate ideas is by making certain people uncomfortable.
The First Amendment, however, would not protect advocating for violence. The Supreme Court has ruled in numerous cases that speech which directly advocates for violence is not safeguarded in the First Amendment. Additionally, criminal threats are a type of speech that would not be protected.
This is specifically why speech should not be met with violence. If someone does engages in “hate speech,” and that speech indeed does advocate for violence or criminally threatens someone, that person is subject to arrest and punishment as required by the law.
Fifty-three percent of surveyed students said they feel “intimidated” to share their ideas, opinions, or beliefs in the classroom simply because those ideas differ from those their professors have. This intimidation is only exacerbated by students believing they can act violently.
The problem with responding with violence, and supposedly taking the law into your own hands, is that “hate speech” is defined by the ear of the listener. If something sounds “hateful” to someone, that person does not have the right to act violently. He does, however, have the right to challenge it with more speech. This is what the founders intended.