Edith Macias became infamous a couple of weeks ago when a viral video showed the University of California-Riverside (UCR) student stealing a “Make America Great Again” cap from another student. An ethnic studies major, Macias demanded that the hat’s owner be punished. At one point during the video, when the hat’s owner Matthew Vitale cited his First Amendment free speech rights, Macias said: “Your f–king freedom of speech is genocide, homeboy.” After a UCR employee took the hat from her, Macias said: “We’re in a country where literally people of color are getting genocide, they’re getting killed.”
Unless these people are tossed in jail once in while, they will continue to commit crimes.
NEW SURVEY: Majority of college students self-censor, support disinvitations, don’t know hate speech is protected by First Amendment
A new report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education finds a majority of students on college campuses self-censor in class, support disinviting some guest speakers with whom they disagree, and don’t know that hate speech is protected by the First Amendment. The study also finds that Republican and Democratic students have different opinions on campus protests, disinvitations, and hate speech protections.
In the most comprehensive survey on students’ attitudes about free speech to date, FIRE measured student responses to questions about self expression, reactions to expression of other students, guest speakers, and hate speech. Some key findings include:
46 percent of students recognize that hate speech is protected by the First Amendment, and 48 percent of students think the First Amendment should not protect hate speech.
- Most students (56 percent) support disinviting some guest speakers. Democratic students are 19 percentage points more likely than their Republican peers to agree that there are times a speaker should be disinvited.
- 58 percent of college students think it’s important to be part of a campus community where they are not exposed to intolerant or offensive ideas.
- Very few students report that they would participate in actions that would prevent a guest speaker event from taking place (2 percent). Even fewer said they would use violence to disrupt an event (1 percent).
- In open-ended questions, almost half of students (45 percent) identify speech with a racist component as hate speech, and 13 percent of students associate hate speech with violence.
- In class, 30 percent of students have self-censored because they thought their words would be offensive to others. A majority of students (54 percent) report self-censoring in the classroom at some point since the beginning of college.