Let’s start with the good news about Pew Research’s latest findings on the incredibly annoying delicate snowflake epidemic sweeping American higher education: these people aren’t the majority. It’s not even close. Sixty-seven percent of Americans support free speech (in keeping with past polling), while 28 percent think “government should be able to prevent” people from saying offensive things about minorities. Supermajorities of men, women, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, high school graduates, and college graduates all support free speech principles. Non-whites don’t have supermajority support, breaking 57/38 in favor of free speech. To no one’s surprise, Millennials are the generation where the largest proportion feels that government should curtail free speech rights (via Pew): More.
Reality check: Vespa understandably tries to put a good face on the results later, but the problem is this: What constitutes “offensive things about minorities” is quite different from, say, what constitutes bribery, blackmail, or perjury. It is no more an objective standard than any other post-modern idea, never mind that there was any suggestion that it was to be equally applied.
Laws against giving offense exist primarily in order to enable arbitrary judgements to become normal, and often unassailable. The student activists understand that well.
See also: Canada’s 2015 report card on freedom of expression (The results show that all a religious group need do is create enough mayhem if it feels insulted that it becomes a national security issue, and support for freedom of expression about religion will melt away.)
Constitutional law prof on “offendedness”