“IF you don’t believe in free speech for people you disagree with and even hate what they stand for,” Ricky Gervais said recently, “then you don’t believe in free speech.”
As is often the case, the fearless comedian has severed all virtuous cr*p to uncover a simple, unassailable, hard truth about a supposedly complex subject.
But his words seem to have fallen on shockingly deaf ears when it comes to current university students.
A shocking new report from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) revealed a dramatic and disturbing rise in support for censorship, ‘safe spaces’ and protection from alternative perspectives among young people attending Britain’s top academic institutions.
Of the 1,000 students surveyed, nearly two-thirds (61 percent) opposed “unrestricted freedom of expression,” compared to 37 percent in 2016.
Only 17 percent said they support “ensuring full freedom of speech on campus, although insults may occasionally be allowed” (27 percent in 2016).
And a staggering 86 percent of them approve of using trigger alerts so they can be “protected” from coursework that might upset them.
It gets worse.
More than a third of students (36 percent) think their teachers should be fired for exposing them to material they find offensive, double the rate from 2016.
Thirty-nine percent (vs. 16 percent) believe student organizations should ban any speaker who might cause offense, and 35 percent (vs. 17 percent) believe that allowing debate on a controversial issue becomes “more acceptable”.
Oh, and 76 percent want universities to “get rid of” any statues or monuments to historical figures that they find “problematic” — which, of course, pretty much all are.
(Remember, during the 2020 BLM protests, the statues of Churchill, Mandela and Gandhi in Parliament Square all had to be boarded up — no one is safe.)
Universities are meant to be places where our brightest young minds expand their knowledge, challenge themselves, hear different opinions and take risks.
Unsuspecting delusional drama queens
Instead, they morph into grotesque, cotton-wrapped bubbles of spineless, unyielding intolerance of whatever views the tender little lambs dislike.
I’ve warned for years about the dangers of this awakened abortion culture mindset plaguing society, and now we can see the damning evidence laid bare for ourselves.
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Nick Hillman, Director of Hepi, said: “In 2016 we identified significant ambivalence and confusion around freedom of expression issues.
“Now it is clear that most students want greater restrictions imposed than . . . in the past.
“This may be primarily out of compassion with the aim of protecting other students, but it could also reflect a lack of resilience.
“Things have seemingly gone too far in one direction, with relatively few students recognizing the inevitable trade-offs that come with ever-increasing restrictions on legal free speech.”
This judgment did not surprise me – but it made me shudder.
What possible preparation is this kind of student-dictated education for the real world?
These kids are in for a very nasty shock when they stumble blindly out of their coddled, censored campus life and discover that most people outside of it think this illiberal mindset is a bunch of nonsense.
Michelle Donelan, the university minister, said the poll showed a “shocking increase in support for censorship” and vowed to prioritize free speech on campus.
She raged: “University leaders can no longer afford to stand aside but must take active steps to combat these intolerant attitudes on campus by promoting and protecting freedom of expression.
“We cannot allow our young people – the future of this great country – to feel that their freedom of expression is being stifled and that they have to bow to majority opinion on campus.”
She’s right, and I know Education Minister Nadhim Zahawi shares her concerns.
But parents must also take the lead to prevent their children from falling down those dangerously bright rabbit holes.
I have four children, ages 28-10, and I encourage all of them not only to speak their minds, but to listen and tolerate others who disagree with them – including me!
We have a lot of very heated discussions on topical issues, but no one is ever told not to have their opinion, or banned and disowned for saying something the rest of us don’t like.
Only through rigorous debate, based on facts and not feelings, can consensus be reached or progress made.
Perhaps the most absurd example of what is happening in universities around the world is that a philosophy professor named J. Angelo Corlett of San Diego State University in California was expelled from his courses without due process for being offensive in a lecture language He had taught for 20 years. . . about using offensive language!
Do we go there in the UK too?
Then we urgently need to think about what kind of society we are creating for ourselves and for the future.
To get an idea of what it would be like, watch Snowflake Mountain, the new Netflix reality show about a bunch of spoiled, privileged prima donnas who are sent to a brutally tough survival boot camp.
The clueless delusional drama queens don’t have their usual comfort blankets like running water or wifi, nor their pathetically weak, downtrodden moms and dads to flatter them and succumb to their every whim.
Therefore, the irresponsible “kids” inevitably respond with whining, self-pitying uselessness to even basic tasks like chopping firewood.
What binds these pathetic spendthrifts to the university snowflakes is an innate mental and physical weakness, a penchant for oversensitive victimhood, brainwashed echo chambers, blaming everyone else for their own mistakes, and a fundamental lack of heart, resilience, determination, and willingness to expose become uncomfortable.
Honestly it’s pathetic.
I would say they all need to grow a pair but they would just burst into tears and call the police.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5627523/tell-woke-uni-students-grow-pair-piers-morgan/ We should tell woke college students to grow a pair, but they’ll burst into tears and call the police, says Piers Morgan