(New York Magazine) Part of the recent controversy (and media hysteria) over campus activism has centered around the question of free speech. While protesters at Wesleyan, Yale, and Amherst, for example, have argued that their concerns run much deeper than any one incident, in all three cases some activists were undeniably galvanized and mobilized by specific pieces of writing – a column, an email, and a flyer, respectively. In all three cases, they expressed outrage at the conservative viewpoints expressed and demanded that the authors of the materials be punished in some way (or, in the case of Amherst, where the flyers were anonymous, first found out and then punished).
Even to those who are sympathetic to the activists' other arguments (which largely center on the complicated racial dynamics at play on college campuses, as well as the broader issues highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement), it's been a bit strange and unsettling to watch college students demand other college students or administrators be punished for expressing differing political views that, while offensive to some, simply aren't that far out there.
A new analysis of Pew data offers an interesting, albeit partial, answer – many millennials are openly supportive of the idea of government regulating offensive speech.
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