Is free speech under threat on college campuses? And should this worry us?
Despite the extensive First Amendment protections for free speech in the US, concerns about an increasingly intolerant political culture have been raised by prominent academics, journalists, and writers who decry “an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.” While in a report just published by the UK Government, the Secretary of State for Education warns: “The rise of intolerance and ‘cancel culture’ upon our campuses is one that directly affects individuals and their livelihoods. Students have been expelled from their courses, academics fired and others who have been forced to live under the threat of violence.”
In this Salon we will evaluate these accusations and discuss several policy responses.