Challenges to Freedom of Speech on College Campuses

the joint subcommittees will come to order we're gonna start with a short fifty second video clip then opening statements and then get right to our esteemed panel of witnesses so let's let's start with the video [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] well we trigger morning safe spaces safe zones shout downs microaggressions bias response teams and as we've solved from the video even riots on campus today I'm going to thank you all for joining us and in the audience and certainly our witnesses today this is our second in a series of hearings to highlight the first First Amendment the history of intellectual growth and discovery clearly demonstrates the need for unfettered freedom the right to think the unthinkable discuss the unmentionable and challenge the unchallengeable that quote taken from the 1974 Woodward report at Yale summarizes the policy that was for years the gold standard of what free speech on campus should look like college is a place for young minds to be intellectually bombarded with new challenging ideas unfortunately today on many campuses students and faculty are forced into self-censorship out of a fear of triggering violating a safe space a microaggression are being targeted by a bias response team restricting speech that does not conform to popular opinion opinion contradicts the First Amendment principles and the right to speak freely without regard to offensiveness shout downs diss invitations and even violent writing as we saw in the video are some of the tactics used to silence opposing views and the most recent example of how not to promote free speech on campus students and even faculty at Evergreen State College berated and threatened professor for questioning why a new campus initiative could not be debated the police eventually stepped in to warn the professor it was no longer safe think about this no longer safe for him to actually come to campus the college administrators who stood by and did nothing in fact when asked to come and defend their speech speech policies at today's hearing evergreens President George bridges refused to testify suggesting such policies truly are indefensible and he was not the only one to decline an invitation to defend the policies that limit speech and ideas on our college campuses I see in this past academic year violent disruptions and the silencing of opposing opinions are detrimental to an educational environment where students can learn and engage in civil discourse this has serious ramifications for our public education system this committee is committed to help colleges reinstate the freedom of speech as an important protection after all it's no coincidence that the Constitution's framers prioritized the freedom of speech in the first the First Amendment with that I would like to recognize mr. Krishnamoorthy gentleman from Illinois for his opening statement Thank You mr. chairman and thank you chairman Palmer and ranking member Demings and thank you all for being here today free speech is a cornerstone of this nation's commitment to ensure that we have the most robust and wide open discussion on issues that affect the public our First Amendment protections are among our most cherished rights while certain restrictions on the time place and manner of speech can exist any law that seeks to limit the substance of speech should be approached with great caution restrictions may exist on how when and where people say things but the government fundamentally should not restrict what people say the Supreme Court has rightly held that practically any peaceably expressed idea cannot be suppressed by law no matter how unpopular repugnant crude or ill-informed it may be however free speech does not mean the right to be free from criticism as I have a right to state my view you have a right to disagree vocally passionately and peaceably no idea should be free from criticism this is why I am particularly concerned about a potential bill that's going to be discussed Wisconsin bill that would allow for the suspension or expulsion of any University of Wisconsin student who engages in quote indecent profane boisterous obscene unreasonably loud or other disorderly conduct that interferes with the free expression of others this law does not merely seek to restrict the time manner or place of speech but it threatens students with disciplinary action for exercising their First Amendment rights while nobody should interfere with anyone elses free expression this bill as drafted opens the door for the state government to quash any form of student protested officially its officials do not agree with whenever officials deemed the conduct to be quote unquote indecent quote unquote boisterous or quote unquote profane regardless of the intentions behind this bill I am very concerned about the chilling effect on the rights of students to speak out against the ideas of others with whom they disagree ironically while proponents of the Wisconsin bill claim that it is to protect free speech at the university the bill's threat of harsh discipline against students who express their opinions would have precisely the opposite effect the anti-defamation league which has worked for over a century to protect American civil rights and is represented here today has raised legitimate concerns with legislative efforts that would inhibit the free speech rights of students on any side of the debate as the ADL points out protecting free speech on college campuses should not be partisan and most importantly should not be legislated by Congress rather it should be left in the hands of the Academy to that effect it is critical that in looking to address the challenges of free speech we didn't we do not do the very thing some here today have criticized colleges in doing suppressing certain forms of speech that may not be popular or is offensive to others as we examine the issue of free speech at our nation's colleges we are fortunate to be joined today by mr. Fred Lawrence the former president of Brandeis University and who can speak from first experience the challenges university administrators face in balancing free speech rights on campuses mr. Lawrence understands the complexities of running a university in a way that legislators do not and can explain for us that difficulties campuses face when addressing free speech challenges ironically we have a situation here worse we see some of my colleagues advocating for more government intrusion in an effort to quell the rights of students to challenge the ideas of speakers they may have profound disagreements with but just as important as it is for us to stand up for the rights of others to engage in speech that may be deeply offensive to some it is just as critical that we stand up for the rights of students to protest and speak out against speech they disagree with that isn't going to happen because of greater more restrictive legislation such as the Wisconsin bill it will happen because colleges and universities are allowed the freedom and flexibility to encourage open expression among students and faculty Thank You mr. chairman I think the gentleman would now recognize the subcommittee chairman mr. Palmer I yield my time to the gentleman from North Carolina mr. Foxx l-ladies recognized Thank You mr. chairman and I thank chairman Palmer for giving me the opportunity to say a few words on this issue I welcome everyone to this joint subcommittee hearing today which is a particular interest to so many of us it's a real privilege for me to continue to serve on this committee while serving as chairman of the House Committee on education the workforce many of you know I spent most of my adult life in higher education as both an instructor and an administrator on a college campus our founders believed that a free expression of ideas and speech were an essential foundation to our nation and captured its importance in the First Amendment George Washington said it perfectly in 1783 if men or women he might add today are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter which may involve the most serious and Ellora consequences that can invite the consideration of mankind reason is of no use to us the freedom of speech may be taken away and dumb and silent we may be led like sheep to the slaughter throughout our nation's history we the people have defended our right to express our beliefs and opinions no matter how unpopular without the fear of retribution while the way in which we express ourselves has changed since our nation's founding Americans still hold tight to the belief that freedom of speech and expression are fundamental to who we are as a people according to a 2015 Pew Research poll 95 percent of Americans believe that people should be able to make statements that publicly criticize the government roughly 70% of Americans also considered it very important for people to be able to use the internet without government censorship on matters of free speech apparently this poll did not take into account individuals on college campuses who seem to disagree we're seeing a steady rise in anticipate attacks on students faculty and invited speakers on our campuses pressure from students faculty and free speech advocates has put college administrators in a difficult position and the committee understands their frustration it is difficult to manage a campus when dealing with campus protests and other disruptions by students or other members of the campus community who simply do not want a certain point of view expressed on their campuses college campuses are supposed to be places where students and instructors are able to share share in diverse conversations on any topic in order to better understand our society in my years in the classroom I love to see students thoughtfully and respectfully discuss their conflicting ideas I believe too these days to this day those discussions help many students learn to express themselves as a lifelong learner they helped me to I've often told people that the greatest compliment I ever received as a teacher was at the end the semester evaluations when many of my students would say she taught me how to think there just is no greater compliment than that when we stifle free speech at our institutions of higher education we are depriving students of an open environment of thoughts and opinions this is especially true for public colleges and universities that receive direct taxpayer funding our public institutions of higher education should not be engaged in activities that would stifle any constitutionally protected speech of a member or invited guests in the educational community and while private colleges and universities do not have the same constitutional obligations as their public counterparts I hope we can all agree that they should do what they can to ensure their campuses foster robust discussions that include all views today's joint subcommittee hearing will explore these concerns as well as how colleges may address these issues without unconstitutional restrictions on free speech the First Amendment promises a freedom of expression for all Americans and is the duty of Congress to ensure that those rights are protected on the campuses of our public colleges and universities while Congress is not in the business of defining what is and what is not protected by the First Amendment we must guarantee this fundamental right is upheld I look forward to hearing from our witnesses and members today as we have this important discussion I'm one of our nation's most central rights and again I thank the gentleman for yielding I think the gentlelady for her statement and her service has the education and Workforce chairman and we now recognize the ranking member the subcommittee mr. Meeks thank you so much mr. chairman and thank you to our ranking member mr. crystal Murphy as well good morning everyone and thank you all so much for being here I grew up in Jacksonville Florida my mother was a maid and my father a janitor but in spite of their lack of material wealth they gave me everything they had to support me and prepare me mentally physically and spiritually to succeed I am the youngest of seven children but the first in my family to go to college my parents life lessons helped to guide me in college when it was clear that there were some who did not want me there when I joined the Orlando Police Department when women and other minorities were still trying to find their way my parent's life lessons guided me and even here they still guide me in the United States Congress I've taken three oaths in my lifetime one has a young police officer in 1984 one when I was sworn in as the police chief and the third when I was sworn in as a member to serve in the 115 session of the US House of Representatives and each oath I swore that I would protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic I have taken each oath very very seriously as a law enforcement officer I had several occasions to provide security for many groups while they exercise their First Amendment rights groups like the Klu Klux Klan and the neo-nazi movement there I was providing much-needed protection and if anyone someone anyone had tried to harm them in any way I would have risked my life to protect them not because I agreed with their speech but because I agreed with their right to speak their right as guaranteed by the First Amendment I appreciate this opportunity to shine a light on the real clear and present danger facing colleges and universities around the nation the problem is not high-profile speakers like Ann Coulter the clear and present danger is the increase in white supremists eight groups on campuses and the targeting and harassing of students because of their race religion gender and sexual identity for the 2016 and 2017 school year the anti-defamation league reported that students faculty and staff on 110 American college campuses were confronted by 159 separate incidents of racist Flyers and stickers the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that in ten days alone after last year's election there were 140 incidents of eight biased attacks on university campuses most recently on May 1st of this year at American University bananas tied witnesses were hung across the campus after the school elected its first African American student government president Taylor dumps and who I understand is with us today now I was proud when Taylor was elected because it demonstrated our progress much-needed progress as a nation but the words aka free were written on the bananas referring to the predominantly african-american sorority of which Taylor is a member Taylor was also subjected to a cyber bullying campaign by a white supremacist group on social media the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating these unprotected illegal expresses of speech that Taylor was subjected to as a hate crime the operative word here is crime mr. Chairman I would ask that a written statement from Taylor about the hate speech attacks and harassment she was objected to on the campus of American University be included in the hearing objection thank you so much as Taylor explained and I quote I applied to college like all of our children do when I applied I thought I would meet new people and learn things not be the victim of a racially motivated hate crime and cyberbullying that would interrupt my academics and disrupt my mental emotional and physical health as stated earlier what happened in Taylors case is being investigated by the FBI mr. chairman public safety trumps everything for students like Taylor the issue of free speech on college campuses isn't a right or left issue whether it's about criminal acts being wrapped in banners of free speech it is knowing that the symbols and language from 400 years of torture and terror are enough to strike fear in the hearts of every student of color as we examine the issue of free speech on college campuses let's keep the focus on addressing some of the real danger which are any acts of violence attempts to threaten intimidate bully harass or violate any laws that this nation holds quite dear for even with the guiding principles of the United States Constitution we are a nation of laws and public safety always has been and still is my number one concern thank you so much mr. chairman and I yield back I thank the gentlelady without objection the chair is authorized to declare recess at any time and the chair also hold open for five legislative days for any members who would like to submit a written statement finally the chair welcomes mr. Blum mr. das anta's this morning and the chair also notes the presence of congressman Brad Thompson and mr. Rooney without objection these members are welcome to fully participate in today's hearing I want to show one other quick video clip before we get to our panel and this is about 20 seconds we can show that real quick they aren't in that we did something to watch that door watch all the doors the windows you tries on somebody's that goes in that room to make sure there's no way are you out here cool this is where it all ends you start with the safe spaces safe zone trigger warnings microaggressions bias response teams and even ride since we saw in the first video and where does it end it ends with students holding hostage a president of the University and he has to ask permission to go to the men's room that's why we're having this hearing that's why we're highlighting the attacks on the First Amendment and now I'm pleased to recognize our distinguished panel like to start with miss nadine strossen law professor at NYU University and also a long career working with the American Civil Liberties Union we welcome you here mrs. Rosten mr. ben shapiro editor-in-chief of The Daily wire and columnist we appreciate you being here as well mr. Shapiro mr. Adam Carolla comedian radio personality and TV host welcome as well dr. Zimmerman former provost and vice president for academic affairs at Evergreen State College the college that was just part of that last video clip and more importantly former president Oberlin College in in the fourth District of Ohio we welcome you mr. Zimmerman as well and mr. Frederick Lawrence with the anti-defamation league welcome as well that's the committee rules pursuant to committee rules we asked shall stand and be sworn in so if you please stand raise your right hand do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you're about to give will be the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth let the records show that everyone answered in the affirmative mr. Roston you know how this works you've done it before you get five minutes more or less we appreciate less but somewhere in that vicinity be great and you're now recognized for your or five minutes thank you so much chairman Gord and Jordan and other distinguished committee members I am so grateful for your eloquent fervent commitment to freedom of speech especially on college campuses where it's particularly important and for including me in these important hearings as the opening statements have made clear all of us share a general neutral commitment to freedom of speech in the abstract but the difficulty is when we hear ideas that we hate it becomes very hard as justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and joined us all to do to defend freedom even for the thought that we hate so I urge all students and others on campus to respect freedom of speech for speakers they strongly disagree with but I also picking up on the point that mr. Krishnamurti made also firmly defend freedom of speech for protesters for peaceful non-disruptive protesters against those speakers this is the genius of the First Amendment I share the concern that ms Demmings raised and also that mr. Jordan raised about violations of law you know the lead legal infractions the crimes that were committed against the administrators that we saw but crimes including hate crimes that are committed against students we do not need to choose between robust freedom of speech and these countervailing concerns of equality and respecting law and order the question is what is the appropriate response to ideas that we disagree with including hateful ideas and here I'm happy to say that the anti-defamation league the Southern Poverty Law Center the ACLU we are all on the same page that we need not and should not sacrifice robust freedom of speech in order to counter hateful ideas and hate crimes in fact the appropriate answer as the Supreme Court has said is more speech counter speech and interestingly enough evidence demonstrates that it is far more effective than censorship in robustly effectively countering ideas that we disagree with I'm working on a book right now and this is the whole theme of the book summed up in the title hate all caps because that is a very serious problem in this country but the subtitle is fighting it with free speech not censorship and we really have to educate the activists the students on today's campuses I have to say as an activist from the 60s and 70s I'm thrilled by the resurgence of student activism in support of racial justice and social justice I'm really heartened by they're bringing in voices who were traditionally marginalized and disempowered but I am disheartened by their apparent belief that freedom of speech is an enemy nothing could be further from the truth the whole struggle for racial justice throughout the history of this country starting with the abolitionist going through the civil rights movement and every movement for social justice including for women's rights and LGBT rights has depended critically on robust freedom of speech including for ideas that were controversial and hated now in addition to misunderstanding how essential freedom of speech including for hated ideas and hateful speech is there's too much misunderstanding about what the First Amendment actually means we hear too many statements about so-called hate speech which by the way has no it's not a legal term of art and there's no accepted definition so it is generally used to describe the speech that conveys hateful ideas on the basis of certain personal characteristics that traditionally have basis of discrimination race religion gender and sexual orientation among others we hear constantly statements that hate speech is not free speech absolutely wrong but we also hear equally incorrect statements that hate speech is absolutely protected also equally wrong the genius of our Supreme Court decisions on this issue and here the court has been very unified from right to left setting a model that we should all emulate in the rest of the world this is not a partisan or ideological issue they have laid down two core free speech principles one when hate speech or any other disliked speech may not be punished and one when it may be punished and I think they are brilliant and make great common sense including in this context number one speech may never be censored just because we revile its ideas that's called viewpoint neutrality number two and this picks up on points that Miss Demmings in particular made and and was also made by other speakers the opening speakers that if the speech does cause what is often called a clear and present danger of harm including instilling a reasonable fear that you will be attacked the incidence of the nooses that constituted targeted harassment and threats which may and should be punished consistent with existing free speech principles so I think if people understood both the common sense distinction that our law draws between protecting ideas that we hate versus not protecting but strongly punishing speech that actually directly causes imminent serious harm then there would be much more acceptance of it and I'd like to and support for it neutrally I'd like to end by their quoting there's so many that I could quote prominent minority leaders who recently have spoken out against censorship on campus not only because it is wrong in principle but also because of this disempowering to the student activists who are seeking greater justice and there are many examples one would be former President Obama himself but I'm going to quote somebody who was actually a university president Ruth Simmons former president of Brown University the first african-american president of any Ivy League university and the first female president of Brown she said I believe that learning at its best is the antithesis of comfort so if you come to this campus for comfort I would urge you to walk through yon iron gate but if you seek betterment for yourself for your community and posterity stay and fight thank you thank you miss Dawson mr. Shapiro it's not her to testify before you here today the reason that I'm with you is that I speak on dozens of college campuses every year so I have some first-hand experience with the anti First Amendment activities that have been taking places on the college campuses I've encountered anti-free speech measures administrative cowardice even physical violence at campuses ranging from California State University of Los Angeles to University of Wisconsin in Madison which is driving the legislation that Miss Demmings was talking about that's a Penn State University to UC Berkley and I am not alone in order to understand what's been going on at some of our college campuses it's necessary to explore the ideology that provides the impetus for a lot of the protesters who violently obstruct events while fire alarms and solve professors and even other students and the impetus for administrators who all too often humor these protesters free speech is under assault because of a three-step argument made by the advocates and justify errs of violence the first step is they say that the validity or invalidity of an argument can be judged solely by the ethnic sexual racial or cultural identity of the person making the argument the second step is that they claim those who say otherwise are engaging with what they call verbal violence and the final step is they conclude that physical violence is sometimes justified in order to stop such verbal violence so let's examine each of these three steps in turn first the ah see of intersectionality this philosophy now dominates college campuses as well as a large segment unfortunately of today's Democratic Party and suggests that straight white Americans are inherently the beneficiaries of white privilege and therefore cannot speak on certain policies since they have not experienced what it's like to be black or Hispanic or gay or transgender or a woman this philosophy ranks the value of a view not based on the logic or merit of the view but on the level of victimization in American society experienced by the person espousing the view therefore if you're an LGBT black woman your view of American society is automatically more valuable than that of a straight white male the next step in the logic is obvious if a straight white male or anybody else who ranks lower on the victimhood scale says something contrary to the viewpoints of the higher ranking intersectional intersectionality identity that person has engaged in a microaggression as NYU's social psychologist Jonathan Hite writes microaggressions are small actions or word choices that seem on their face to have no malicious intent but that are thought of as a kind of violence nonetheless you don't have to actively say anything insulting to micro aggress somebody merely needs to take offense if for example you say the society ought to be colorblind your micro aggressing certain identity groups who have been victimized by a non colorblind society note microaggressions as the name suggests are not merely insults they are aggressions they are the equivalent to physical violence just two weeks ago psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett of Northeastern University published an essay in the New York Times suggesting that words should be seen as physical violence because they can cause stress and stress causes physical harm Bess Feldman suggested it is reasonable scientifically speaking to ban or restrict speech you do not like at your school this is both inane and dangerous that's because it leads to the final logical step words you don't like deserve to be fought physically when I spoke at California State University to LA one professor threatened students who sponsored me by offering to fight them he then posted a slogan on the door of his office stating the best response to micro aggression is macro aggression as Hite writes this is why the idea that speech is violence is so dangerous it tells the members of a generation already beset by anxiety and depression that the world is a far more violent and threatening place than it really is it tells them that words ideas speakers can literally kill them even worse at a time of rapidly rising political polarization in the United States it helps a small subset of that generation five political violence indeed protesters all too often engage in physically violent disruption when they believe their identity group is under verbal attack by someone usually conservative but not always not only do some administrators look the other way at Middlebury College Cal State LA Berkeley evergreen actual crimes were committed and almost nobody has been arrested but they actively forbid events from moving forward creating a hecklers veto the notion that if you are physically violent enough you can get administrators to kowtow to you to bow before you by cancelling an event you disagree with altogether all of this destroys free speech but just as importantly it turns students into snow snowflakes craven and pathetic looking for an excuse to be offended so they can earn points in the intersectionality olympics and then use those points to club with which to beat opponents a healthy nation requires an emotionally and intellectually vigorous population ready to engage in open debate at all times shields and college students from opposing viewpoints makes them simultaneously weaker and more dangerous we must fight that process at every step and that begins by acknowledging that whatever we think about America and where we stand we must agree on this fundamental principle all of our views should be judged on their merits not on the color or sex or sexual orientation of the speaker and those you should never be banned on the grounds that they offend someone thanks so much mr. Shapiro with the the professor's you cited in your testimony view your four minute and 48 second opening statement as a microaggression I assume that some of them what I mean apparently college students do all the time since when I speak there I've been I think there been riots and such I think they definitely will which is it's kind of a sign of the times I guess mr. Corolla you're recognized for five minutes thank you it's an honor to be asked to speak in front of you all first it's a quick piece of business do we get to keep these pads this is gonna be huge and not that I'm going to but what do you reckon they'll get on eBay I'm not gonna say I'm going to I'm just your curiosity I I I'm not as eloquent as mr. Shapiro I sort of speak in beats and off the top of my head and I've written a few down for you all today first off I come from a very blue-collar background I grew up in North Hollywood California my dad was a schoolteacher and my mom received welfare and food stamps and told me very importantly when I was young when I asked her if she would get a job she said and lose my welfare benefits no thank you that witch taught me a very valuable lesson which is never to listen to my mom okay I ended up being a carpenter and then a boxing instructor and met Jimmy Kimmel when I taught him to box for a morning Zoo stunt and eventually made my way onto TV and radio in the early days of my career I toured the country with dr. drew when we're on Loveline together syndicated radio program also on MTV and we must have played a hundred college campuses with nary a word of negativity and no safe spaces and no stuffed animals being handed out simply went there said our piece many controversial ideas were exchanged and that's just what they were exchanged and then we got our paychecks and went home and 15 years later I went out with dennis prager conservative talk show host and attempted to do a show at Cal State Northridge where my mother was a actual graduate from with a Chicano Studies degree believe it or not so she's rolling in dough about now and they pulled the plug on it they gave us no good reason why we couldn't speak there and we actually had to get attorneys involved to go back and speak at a later date we're talking a lot about the kids and I think they're just that kids we are the adults and I don't think we are doing the children I mean these are eighteen and nineteen year old kids that are at these college campuses they grew up dipped in Purell playing soccer games where they never kept score and watching wah wah wah Zee and we're asking them to be mature we need the adults to start being the adults studies have shown that if you take people and you put them in a zero gravity environment like astronauts they lose muscle mass they lose bone density we're taking these kids in the name of protection we're putting them in a zero gravity environment and they're losing muscle mass in bone density they need to live in a world that has gravity when you you need to expose your children to germs and dirt in the environment to build up their immune system our plan is put them in a bubble keep them away from everything and somehow they'll come out strong or when they emerge from the bubble well that's not happening children are the future but we are the present and worthy adults and we need to act like it and I feel that what's going on on these campuses is it we need law and order we need to bring back law and order but I think if we just had order we wouldn't need law so could we just bring back order and could the faculty and administration on these campuses act like faculty and administration and most importantly adults who are in charge of these kids who need some gravity in their life thank you well said thank you thank you mr. Corolla mr. Zimmerman or dr. Zimmerman excuse me you are now recognized for your opening statement mr. chairman members of the committee thank you for inviting me to speak with you about the importance of freedom of speech on college campuses I begin by making two points that are intricately related to the issue first I believe it's important to recognize that racism in American society both overt racism as well as more subtle but no less important forms of institutional racism is very real and needs to be addressed second noting that anyone might say today should undermine the critical role that colleges and universities play in American society while these institutions aren't perfect and while those of us in the Academy need to work toward improvement higher education has been and remains the single best way for individuals to dramatically improve their socioeconomic status beyond that personal benefit there's ample evidence demonstrating that society is richer when it's all pop when it's well populated by an educated citizenry I've spent almost 40 years working at institutions as a faculty member and administrator promoting the value of a liberal arts education such an education should teach students how to think rather than what to think it should teach them how to differentiate facts from opinions and it should teach them how to articulate their thoughts cogently rather than repeating those of others as we've all seen there been problems on American campuses some voices have not been welcomed while others have been violently excluded let me say this as clearly as I can this is wrong and it must stop but what we don't need is additional legislation we currently have all the tools we need to fix the problem if we have the courage to use them college administrators need the courage to do what is right to stand for principles rather than expediency and to risk alienating some in the name of those principles on campuses were such strong leadership exists conflict rarely escalates to crisis at the same time faculty members need to hold their colleagues accountable the problems we've seen on campuses are not I'm confident supported by the vast number of faculty members but most faculty have op to remain silent to censor themselves and therefore they ceded control of their institutions to a small but vocal minority this silence is understandable speaking out distracts people from their important work of teaching and scholarship while often bringing them into conflict with their colleagues asking faculty to encourage civil discussion and to celebrate a range of voices and perspectives is asking a great deal of them more than we see in our political discourse but if diverse opinions are not celebrated on campuses where we're supposed to be trafficking in ideas I doubt they'll find any welcoming environment when we shut out voices we shut out ideas and serious consequences ensue part of the problem on campuses I believe stems from a rise in the belief that all knowledge is sofel is socially constructed and that there are no absolute truths or the concept of post-modernism as it as it is known in academic circles why is this idea made a comeback now one possibility is that the relentless disparagement many of level done disciplines in the humanities arts and social sciences has led to a backlash it shouldn't be surprising that when practitioners see their fields portrayed as useless by those who promote only stem science technology engineering and mathematics they push back and the resistance often manifests itself as antipathy toward science when we marginalize certain voices we all lose we need to recognize that disciplines each bring something important to our understanding of the world privilege in some fields over others yields a fragmented and incomplete picture I say this as a scientist as important as science is it certainly isn't all there is much of the tension on campuses today comes from a similar historical silencing of certain voices voices of the marginalized voices of people of color the disabled those with non-traditional sexual orientations the poor and many others as these individuals rightfully try to insert their voices into conversations tensions arise but these voices deserve to be a part of the conversation the comparison between racism sexism homophobia and other equally terribly discriminatory behaviors and a lack of appreciation for certain academic should be seen only as a metaphor in the former case people's lives and their experiences are discounted without those voices we all suffer obviously not equally but we all suffer the goal has to be to find ways to celebrate ideas a wide array of ideas and the people who hold them but such a celebration requires not only that more voices be at the table but that all of us listen to those voices looking beyond oneself listening to what others have to say understanding a perspective other than your own even if you don't agree with that perspective after all is what a liberal arts education is all about thank you thank the gentleman mr. Lawrence Thank You mr. chairman ranking members and distinguished members of the committee I am the tenth secretary and the CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa society and I say that I am delighted to hear dr. Zimmerman's celebration of the liberal arts and sciences by Beta Kappa was founded like our nation in 1776 and dedicated to the notion of free expression free inquiry and that the liberal arts and sciences would bring us to a better place indeed it has in this country I am honored today to appear on behalf of the anti-defamation league of which I'm a National commissioner and former chair of the National Legal Affairs Committee the challenge of free expression on our campuses has never seen greater and I am grateful for the opportunity to address it today before this committee I know from my years as a law school dean and as a university president that these challenges come in all directions and all contexts they come from the left and they come from the right they just put mr. Rochester like a little closer pull your mic a little closer to you there that our talking did you miss any of the good stuff I got it all get it all keep going brother I want to make sure that my board heard everything mr. chairman the challenges of free speech come from the left and they come from the right they involve students they involve faculty and they involve those outside the campus who affect the community as invited speakers and sometimes as uninvited agitators given our current current polarization in our society it is perhaps no surprise that this issue presents itself with such urgency on our campuses today public campuses and private small liberal arts schools and law research universities at this moment it is especially important to clarify first principles pertaining to our democracy's core values of free expression as they manifest themselves on our campus and I would articulate two such principles first and I think there is broad agreement in this panel today on this robust free expression and free inquiry are central for the mission of our colleges and universities the limits of such expression are way out on the margins of expressive activity and they involve behavior that threatens our instills fear in a victim or victims hate speech is protected a crimes are not the second principle is that constitutionally protected hate speech still causes harm to members of our community there is a moral imperative therefore for campus leaders vigorously to criticize hate speech not to suppress it not to prohibit it a to support but to identify it for what it is and to criticize it these two principles lead me to a third conclusion that efforts to legislate bright-line solutions to subtle and complex situations are misguided and they are doomed to fail campus administrators must be given the discretion to handle cases of hate speech and to judge when cases have crossed the line into hate crimes if we were to do our job as congresswoman Foxx said to teach our students how to think that must be left in the hands of those on campus who are best equipped to make those decisions let me elaborate briefly on the two principles free expression is a core value of our system of government in our society and it is especially true on our campuses most if not all of our campuses share a common mission to discover and create knowledge and to transmit that knowledge through our teaching and our scholarship for this mission free expression and free inquiry are essential I therefore start from the presumption that speech on campus and writings on campus are protected but this is not a presumption without a limit where should the limit for expression be word is protected hateful speech cross over into being behavior that a university may prohibit consumption as is so often the case in the law for example in basic principles of criminal law we do best to focus on the actors intent the division between that which we may protect and that which may prohibit should be based on the intent of the actor is the intent to communicate however hateful the idea or is the intent to intimidate and threaten a particular victim a recent example that helps make this point referred to by ranking member dings and that refers to the statement of ms taylor dumps in' seated behind me in the room today makes the point as the ranking member said after her election as the first black woman to hold the position of president to the student government at american university she was the victim of targeted hate motivated actions bananas hung with nooses with the letters of an african-american sorority this reaches beyond the boundaries of free expression to hate crime and has no place on an American campus to be sure not all hateful speech is similarly threatening and prescribed 'el much is protected what is the proper response when hateful speech that is protected occurs on our campuses here I believe as Professor Strawson said at the very beginning we do well to look to justice Louis Brandeis is famous dictum in the case of Whitney against California where he said the answer to hateful or offensive speech is not enforced silence is more speech and in the face of hate speech on campuses the call for more speech is not merely an option it is a moral obligation on behalf of our campus leaders on all sides we observe with alarm the disturbing increase in the number of cases of white supremacist activity on our campuses as has been well and disturbingly documented by the anti-defamation league but even then the answer will generally not be the enforced silence of which Justice Brandeis warned the answer is to assert the highest values of our academic communities doing so precisely in the context of how we debate and how we disagree is at the heart of the enterprise of a college or a university thank you mr. chairman thank you all for eloquent testimony we appreciate that and frankly think Congress broke some new ground the day first first reference ever to Wawa Webb's E&A in a can national hearing but we will start with the chairman of the education workforce committee the gentlelady from North Carolina thank you again mr. chairman and I want to thank our witnesses again for being here as we all agree free speech is fundamental to a free society it's astonishing to me that so many young adults today are willing to throw those constitutionally protected rights out the window just because they're on a college campus and may disagree with the content of what is being said however it's not surprising that so many colleges are struggling without a handle of free speech rights on campus mr. Zimmerman you know your written testimony it's important for colleges and universities to continue to be a place where free exchange ideas even though some may disagree is allowed and even encouraged I strongly agree can you discuss some of the challenges public colleges and university administrators face when trying to balance their constitutional responsibilities to protect free speech with ensuring the safety of the campus community particularly when opposition to that speech leads to threats of potential violence I can certainly try it's not an easy there's no simple answer to that the the most important thing I think goes back to something nadine strossen said and has written about eloquently and that is in american society and on campuses today we don't have a good enough understanding of what the First Amendment actually means we need to educate each other within the Academy and beyond the Academy about the importance of freedom of speech so often on college campuses there are two kinds of issues there are the internal issues that administrators are more easily able to deal with if they have the courage to do so and then there are the external issues when the attacks on freedom of speech come from external agitators and that's much more difficult because administrators don't control those individuals administrators have to have the courage to stand up and as mr. Lawrence has said to speak out eloquently in favor of ideas that they are opposed to and make it clear it speak out in favor of the opportunity for those ideas to be expressed while making it clear that those ideas should not be expressed and and to call the people who are saying those hateful words into question not their right to say them but their obligation not to say them if they want to live in a civil society so what what administrators need to do is change the nature of the discourse to ask for much more civil discourse and it doesn't mean closing down ideas it means respecting each other and the diversity of opinions that each of us should have thank you very much I'm miss Johnson in your testimony you discussed several instances where a speech may be restricted because of specific objectively demonstrable serious harm that it directly causes can you expand on those instances and discuss how colleges and universities can appropriately draw the line and again I appreciate all of you all coming today it's too eager to talk as one educator to another I'm especially eared to answer that that fine question the basic the most important examples that would apply on campuses include what the law calls a genuine threat or a true threat and targeted harassment now we have to be very careful because we tend to use the word threat or harassment very loosely in everyday conversation and I am very concerned about students and even faculty members saying I feel assaulted by that speech or even I feel you know that speech is committing violence against me no no no the test is appropriately narrow the element of intent as mr. Lawrence said is very important when the speaker means to instill a reasonable fear not a fear that someone subjectively feels but a reasonable person in the position of the student who is targeted would reasonably feel fear of violence or harm that is a true threat and it doesn't the speaker need not intend to actually carry out the threatened harm but to instill the fear which itself is intruding into the Liberty so and it's a very fact-specific determination which is why I agree with mr. Krishnamurti that we must not make this into a punitive matter because it is a matter that involves discretion and judgment you would look at all the facts and circumstances and certainly one of them as Ms Deming said is the history that is associated with the expression the news certainly would convey a reasonable fear of of racist violence Thank You mr. chairman I yield back the ranking member is recognized mr. Krishnamoorthy mr. Ahsan you were you're free to exercise your free speech rights to mispronounce my name that's perfectly okay the other day I introduced myself I said hi my name is Raja Krishnamoorthy and someone said Roger Christiane Murphy very nice to meet you so I'm used to it you know I think that the three principles that I'm here look I think there's there's room for us to come to agreement on a few principles that I'm hearing echoed in your excellent testimonies across the board first I personally believe that mr. Lawrence is a doctor Lawrence is absolutely right that college administrators should have maximum discretion to you know essentially enforce these free speech rights both for those who are peacefully protesting and those who would show up and as mr. Shapiro said you know practice their viewpoints are expose their viewpoints the second principle is kind of goes along lines of what you're saying miss Strawson which is you have to have some principle that's equally applied to both sides and that is is it the reasonable person test what a reasonable person feel they are about to be attacked or would they a reasonable person perceive an intent to attack etc and then the third principle I think is we don't want anything to border on violence any kind of incitement to violence that is that is why when Miss Demmings brought up the case of Taylor I'm who's with us in the audience I'm sorry I forgot your last name is Taylor Dobson Thompson thank you for for coming I think that that particular episode to me I think as a reasonable person hopefully most people would agree that is crossing a line into a place where you know there might be violence on its way and that's very I'm very sorry that even happened to you at the same time I'm disturbed when I see videos of people getting shouted down and shut down and so my question to the administrators the people who aren't in the shoes trying to of the college presidents and administrators who are trying to enforce these principles dr. Lawrence and dr. Zimmerman I mean how do you a prevent that kind of shouting down and and and just you know shut down of speech which we saw and on the other hand prevent what miss Hemmings congresswoman Demmings talked about which is that hate that hate crime in my view I mean what's the what are the challenges there and from a public policy standpoint like is there anything that you need in terms of tools to help in that particular area well let me start with the last question is there anything else that that we need besides the good will of the House of Representatives we certainly do not need more legislation in this area I think the the question of how do you deal with the the conflict between on the one hand protecting students from hate crimes on the other hand exposing students to troublesome ideas even offensive ideas and teaching them how to respond to it that that is the challenge that we meet but you start I think by recognizing as a university administrator that it is those are not the only two options either we protect speech and embrace it or we prohibit speech there's this whole middle category that says speech is protected it is encouraged and university administrators also have first amendment rights and also get to speak so in many cases the answer is not to run to the extreme of shutting down an event if there is a even even a white supremacist on campus if they are invited by a campus group or in a state university if they are entitled to be there by the state university rules then you don't shut it down but you do counter it with with comments of your own and the administration has to say we have values in this university and we represent all of our students of all backgrounds and this is what we stand for and these are the high values of this university I know outside the context of the University this sounds like thin stuff within the university on the campus for those of us who spent our lives there this is not thin stuff this is the real stuff this is where students and faculty are engaged in the life of the school on a daily basis so this is where justice brandeis really did had ever have it right the answer is not enforced silence but it is more speech and more speech is not just an option it's a moral obligation dr. Zimmerman can I just add on to that like what has something changed in the last 10 15 years whereby the incidents that congresswoman Demings talked about have been on the rise especially as of late against many different minority groups and also what mr. Shapiro is talking about as well I mean has something changed that we need to be aware of what a great question let me back up for one second and agree with dr. learns and say one other thing and that is you can't wait until one of these events happens you have to change the culture beginning you have to first day students come to campus before they come to campus they have to know they're coming to a place where they're gonna be trafficking in ideas and some of those ideas as so many of you have said might be controversial and might make them uncomfortable but that's what makes them educated I guess the the deep the real answer that I see to your wonderful question is are we a less civil society in general than we used to be are we are we more at odds with one another do we have a deeper misunderstanding and more distrust when we talk with people who disagree with us our our college campuses the epicenter of this or they reflection what's going on in society and you know I we're sitting here in house chambers or a conference room the house doesn't interact with the members don't interact with each other at least publicly very well often we on college campuses students faculty model the behavior we see and it's not that you are the problem but you are part of American society we have all come to this I think we need to collectively to come to a better understanding of how to disagree civilly and respectfully and unless we understand what our opponents are saying we're never going to make cogent arguments against them we need to understand our position and we need to understand their position if we're going to make rational decisions thank you mr. mr. Corolla we've heard from the other side we've heard from a couple of our witnesses about intent to cause violence we've heard the term agitator use we've heard that is appropriate to criticize hate speech when you're on campus do you engage in hate speech well that that's it's all in the ear of the beholder that's the problem and everyone's ears are getting super sensitive these days I express ideas and ideas I believe in and often times jokes like mr. K did they charge you X extra for the name plate you know like I'm a wrap-around and you bring a van to the carwash they charge you more figure with 128 letters there I you know III try to be a little more philosophical about all this stuff and I I was at a home depot in Glendale California two days ago standing in the tool Department and a Taylor Swift song came on and I was initially agitated I just didn't feel like it was good thematically for me to be looking at roto hammers with Taylor Swift talking about how hot she was pumping above my head like a halo but all I did was keep shopping keep walking I realized some people like this music some people don't like this music it's the prerogative of whoever manages the Home Depot to play Taylor Swift at that time I didn't complain I didn't throw something at the speaker and I didn't start a fire I just got my tools paid and left and I just thought if more people could do that with ideas they disagree with or people they disagree with or music they disagree with it's not an endorsement of Taylor Swift it's I have a life to lead I need a roto Hammer and I don't personally hold the manager of this Home Depot like nothing against him if he wants to play he or she wants to play Taylor Swift and I think if people could just sort of have that in their mind and I'm not saying don't have an opinion and I'm not saying don't voice your opinion but when other people are voicing their opinion or singing their song sometimes it's time just to grab your roto hammer and head for the parking lot and your appearances on campuses as your intentions ever been to cause violence on college campuses oh sorry sorry for skirting the question the second question is you did find on the first literally talking about Taylor Swift and skirting many skirting the question of course not never no and and I I don't know who's who does have those ideas I personally want to exchange ideas I basically want to just take my ideas and put it into your head but I don't want to put my fist or foot in your head mr. Laurence do you think that when mr. Shapiro is on campus that he has any intentions to cause violence or promote violence do you think he's an agitator or do you think he engages in hate speech no I I have no no reason to believe he's there to create violence and in fact I would say that the wise university president does not get in the business on a daily basis of calling First Amendment balls and strikes generally speaking you want to let the game play on you want ideas to be exchanged mr. koroa wants to come to campus and do his eating critique of Taylor Swift I would say have at it but those aren't the hard cases that we're talking about where you do weigh in are precisely cases what I mean they're not the hard cases that mr. Shapiro has been shouted down uninvited violence at the thing so what do you mean it's not the hardcase if you know if you think his his speech is appropriate he's engaging in the kind of ideas robust debate that we won on college campuses then then then why is the reaction the way it is then there's there shouldn't be that reaction and what I mean by not being a hard case is that it should not be a hard case for a university administration to protect his right to speak I think there's no there's no problem with that that seems to be what what I mean by the hard cases is that when you do see a dramatic increase in white supremacist incidents on campuses university administrators have to pay attention particularly when there are people who come from the outside and the university president has a hard time keeping control of her his campus that but that's a different situation from mr. Corolla mr. Shapiro you an agitator not as far as I'm aware so this I think that some of what's been said does miniskirt for debate you know mister Krishnamoorthy I got it right I they when when you were talking about the Wisconsin law I believe that law was brought up and direct in indirect counter to what happened and it was people talked about on the legislature I'm for the legislature indirect counter what happened when I spoke at University of Wisconsin at Madison where he had a bunch of protesters who stood in front of the speech in front of the stage and obstructed the stage and then refused to leave and when I asked the police would they remove the protesters that they've been going for fifteen minutes I by the way personally two things just to preface I have no problem whatsoever with people protesting my speeches I do have a problem with people who won't actually let me speak and number two as far as all the talk about white supremacy I can speak from experience mr. Lawrence your organization name me the number one target of anti-semitism online last year so I have a I have a trophy at my house is number one Haiti Jew in America so I'm and totally familiar with with the the level of vitriol that's that can come in their politics but one of the things that's a problem and and I think we have to be careful about is when we say leave it to the administrators and then the administrators do what they did at UW which is they were the police I said the police will you remove these protesters and the police said we have been told by the administration that if we remove the protesters we are to shut down the events entirely so we can't remove the protest we literally to wait until they just got tired and walked out basically when when that's the response of the administration shouldn't there be some sort of repercussion for that because what I'm seeing is a hecklers veto that's taking place on campus what I'm seeing is people who are not engaging in free speech designed to enrich the debate but in order to shut down the debate and there have to be some sort of ramifications for people who are actually committing trespass I mean these are these this is not a question of everyone is trying to focus in on this on this term hate crime and hate speech they but the the important part of those phrases is not the first word its speech versus crime so if there's a crime that's being committed we're all in agreement if somebody commits a crime and they're there and they're speaking of an imminent threat to somebody of course that's a crime but that is very little to do with the hate and a lot more to do with the crime as to whether that's prosecuted because hate speech is not prosecutable nor should it be policed by the campus so the fact is that that what we are seeing is is a conflation between speech and active attempts to obstruct in order to promote the obstruction by some administrators on a few college campuses can I add to that okay I think the the bigger problem and what sort of insidious here is I believe that the administration does not agree with Ben Shapiro and Ben Shapiro's thoughts and what Ben Shapiro is going to say so becomes a tacit agreement they disagree they're basically Steeler fans and he's a Baltimore Ravens fan and he's going to come up and make a speech and all the Steeler fans say well he should be allowed to but we're not a fan and so quietly they go along with it and I think that's a problem I think that's a big problem that everyone agrees on free speech everyone agrees that the college campus should be a petri dish of free speech or melting pot or whatever it is a sea sponge of free speech but when the administration doesn't agree with what Ben Shapiro has to say they don't defend his right to say it as vigorously as they would if someone came on who they agreed with it's quiet no one ever talks about it but I believe that's what's going on they tell him like they did last week that oh there's there's no venue that will accommodate him September Wow right you can't find a place on campus to hold to have him become an address I think for a second I think that that's that's one of the dangers here is that what we're seeing in many cases is use of what would normally be time place and manner restrictions in order to restrict the actual type of speech as a pretext yeah if I might say responding to points that mr. Krishnamurti made and also chairman Jordan that this really is not such a new phenomenon back in the 60s and 70s there was actually epic violence on campuses massive shutdowns outside agitators students alike faculty members and administrators imprisoned within their their offices and that gave rise to that fabulous report that chairman Jordan referred to the Woodward report which i think is responsive to a number of questions that have been raised what should campus administrators do because it really in concrete terms spells out the distinctions between speech that should be protected including vehement protest and where it crosses the line into coercion and intimidation where it is important for the university to enforce its own rules but that's as distinct from well sever meant getting into the okay the gentlelady from Florida relax we'll relax the time restraints a little bit thank you so much mrs. chairman and again thank you to all of our witnesses for being here today and engaging in this very important discussion mr. Lawrence in your written testimony you talked about white supremacists are engaged in unprecedented outreach on American colleges and campuses what do you believe accounts for the rise in outreach and what do you believe white supremacist groups are hoping to achieve by the increase in targeting colleges and universities I think what they are hoping to accomplish is to influence the next generation of leaders in society and so the to campus with with that in mind I think they also are hoping to get a high level of visibility which they do campuses get a high level of attention in the media and the press in government and mostly for good reasons but I think that raises that as well and I think to a certain extent we are living in a highly hyper polarized environment right now and there is a violence to the vocabulary that comes very quickly and there is a racialized version too much of this vocabulary that comes very quickly but let me hasten to add that even when those groups come to campus I still think the answer is more speech not to not to restrict but I do think this this is where the job of the administrator becomes very complicated but terribly important to be a voice of clarity to say on this campus we believe that all are entitled to come here and have a satisfying learning experience to be challenged to be challenged intellectually to be troubled with ideas but not to be threatened and not to be stigmatized because of who they are what they are you know as I indicated in my opening statement I have been directly involved in numerous providing security for numerous protests as persons who I agreed with and groups that I did in exercise their First Amendment right so I take this conversation very very seriously you talked earlier about kind of the the complicated and sometimes difficult job of the college administrator who is trying to balance protecting the right to free speech but also thinking about the welfare and safety and well-being of their students which can be a difficult line could you or even mr. dr. Zimmerman I'd like to hear from both of you kind of talk more about even though we've said it's a tough it's difficult could you kind of talk more about the role of the college administrator in balancing the right to free speech and the welfare of the students on campus let me start with something very important that dr. Zimmerman said these discussions do not best start once an event is already and on canvas it starts at first year orientation discussions it starts in dinners in the president's home it starts in discussions in the office talking about what do we stand for what is a civil learning climate mean what does it mean to challenge each other it comes with how we treat each other I think he's also right that there are precious few good role models for civil disagreement in our society right now so we have to create those on our university campuses when an event does happen I think there also are very significant rules of engagement that have to be enforced so for example if mr. Shapiro wanted to come to my campus he obviously would be free to come and I would make sure that there were no precedent protesters who kept him from coming but I would require and I'm sure he'd be happy with this requirement that he'd have to take questions and answers he couldn't just give a speech and leave I have no reason to think he wouldn't agree with that in fact I actually and all my speeches I say if you disagree with me you go to the front of the line for Q&A that's always how it works when I got pushback particularly from some of my trustees about certain speakers they disagreed with vehemently why are they on campus my response was always trust my kids I'm gonna make sure that these speakers have to answer questions and they're gonna stay until the questions are done trust my students to ask hard questions that's where the training had to think actually happens so you create those environments as well but look let's be let's be clear as well when the situation gets out of control usually because you've got people from the outside not only sometimes it's inside but usually when you've got people from the outside then you've got the same questions on campuses that law enforcement such as your experience are more adept at dealing with and these will continue to be challenges for our university in your written testimony you also talked about the just unbelievable number of incidents of racists related stickers fliers on campuses could you talk about a little bit about the impacts that you have seen on certain groups as it pertains to that those Flyers and stickers you've got to go all the way back to first principles universities are not punitive institutions they are educated institutions we exist for a purpose it is to educate our students when there is a pervasive expression of racism on campus that disables the learning of certain students again that doesn't necessarily mean you would repress some of that expression but you have to respond to that not just because you think that's a nice thing to do you have a professional obligation as an educator to see to the learning ability of the students on your campus so the incidents that you're referring to have a deeply negative impact on the ability of students to learn which at the end of the day is the mission of the institution okay thank you I'm out of time thank you so much mr. Chairman I thank you chair notes the presence of congressman Hayase and professor Raskin and without objection they will be welcomed to participate fully in today's hearing and now recognize the chairman mr. Palmer Thank You mr. chairman I just want to bring up something from your written testimony that frankly mr. Lawrence will find troubling you cite a an instance at Central Michigan University where there was a Valentine's Day card that went out that was extremely offensive to Jews and you do point out that the creator and and it was a tribute to a Republican student group and in your written testimony you went out that the creator of the Valentine turned out to not be a student but you never disengaged you never mentioned in here that it was not the Republican group that an inquiry into this by Central Michigan University found led by Catherine Lasher said that they determined that leaders the student organization the College Republicans at C mu were unaware of the card and that their director said the members of the student organization was shocked and remorseful why didn't you make that clear a congressman I apologize if it was not clear in the written testimony as you see it I did say in the testimony that it was determined not to be from a student group you did not make clear that it wasn't the Republican not only was not a student wasn't the Republicans I guess I'm a little sensitive about that mr. chairman like to enter this into the record if I may how objection because that I realized that some speech does incite inappropriate behavior even violence and I know that firsthand because I was one of the Republican baseball players that was on the field I was 20 steps from the guy when he started shooting and it was clear that he was incited by a certain speech but I'd like to point out that that as traumatic as that experience was I've not heard a single demand from any one of those who were present who were injured or wounded for a restriction of anyone's right to speak their views on any issue and I just think you know I was at the University of Alabama in the mid 1970s 1965 was the first time an African American was entered was allowed to enroll in university it was a dark time in our history there's no question about it but in 1976 we elected the first african-american president of Student Government Association a year before that the executive vice president soon a good government association and there were people who disagreed and protested but we didn't have this inability to communicate that we have right now in the university campuses mr. chairman I I would agree that it is critically important that on campuses we not get in the business of name-calling and certainly not prohibiting others from from speaking and in fact one of the reasons that I think it is very important for universities not to rush to judgment and not to look at these as cases to punish but as cases to educate is that the goal at the end of the day is to teach students how to challenge each other intellectually but not not you have a responsibility though to make sure that both sides have the opportunity engaged this idea that denying students the opportunity to hear views or ideas that are contrary to what they believe these safe spaces I think are dangerous you're not protecting students you're denying them the ability to engage and debate to defend their views or oppose other views because when they leave college I promise you they're going to run into two views that are opposite to their own you and I are in complete agreement on that it is the obligation of a university to expose students to views they disagree with you and I are complete agreement on that point when I asked professor strossen well I find the numerous instances of speakers being disinvited or shouted down problematic I think it's the most troubling aspect of the anti free speech movement is the surprising amount of traction it is gained with the younger generation there was a Pew Research Center study showed that 40% of Millennials believe that the government should be able to prevent people from publicly making statements that are offensive to minority groups does your experience as a professor confirm the students are likely to support restrictions on speech I am NOT going to rely on anecdotes because I have to say by definition when I'm invited to speak on campus I'm often perceived as a controversial speaker for defending freedom for everybody from A to Z self an impact in the classroom I'm not talking in the class you know in the classroom you can't teach a law class without well without forcing students to do well to be able and here my students can quote this articulate and defend all plausible perspectives on every issue you're going to fail my class if you just adhere to the civil libertarian line or any other line you have to be able to answer back and interestingly enough there has been some suggestion that these problems do not exist at law schools the new Dean of the Yale Law School just wrote a very interesting essay in Time magazine in which he said isn't it striking that we don't have these problems at law school it may well be because because we so emphasize critical thinking and forcing students to advocate against their own deeply held beliefs understanding first of all that may open their minds and change their perspectives that's not the worst thing to happen in life and secondly even if it doesn't it enhances their ability to effectively advocate their own positions so that could be an educational model for undergraduates and for that matter high schools and below as well I'm encouraged to know that you're promoting critical thinking skills one last thing mr. chairman I hear you tapping there I heard that mr. Shapiro proponents of cartels speech often argue that certain types of speech amount to violence noting that certain listeners are emotionally harmed when listening that is with which they disagree there was an article in LA Times that made this argument going so far as to call on courts and legislatures to allow the restriction of hate speech as do all other economically advanced democracies in the world is there any limiting principle that play we're forbidden speeches anything that a particulars or group of people find offensive no I haven't seen any limiting principle at play at all on college campuses which is the problem you'll have people like Jason Riley from The Wall Street Journal treated exactly the same way as Ann Coulter Milo your nap was and they're poles apart in terms of how they express themselves and many of the views that they hold so this idea that there is some sort of bright line this is why I hate even even the term hate speech is really difficult because it's it just suggests that if I don't like what you're saying or if I impute to you an intent that you may not have then now you're hateful and you should be banned it seems to me that it would a more a more effective use of terminology would say it's a speech I find insulting or or speech I find offensive but the idea of hate speech itself there there's certain types of speech I think we can all agree are objectively hateful but I don't think that there is any limiting principle at play from a lot of administrators because I think that they use that club of hate speech in order to cudgel people with whom they disagree they just say okay I don't like what you're saying now and that's hate speech and microaggression culture contributes to this I mean literally on campuses students will be told that if you say to another student where are you from that this is some sort of micro aggression that this is this is a minor minor form of hate speech if you say where are you from because you're implying they're not from here I mean of course you're not from here I mean I assumed you weren't born on this spot but it doesn't matter yeah the idea that you're going to broaden out terminology in order to prohibit groups that you don't like or ideas that you don't like I would much prefer that if we're gonna be if we're gonna move the ratchet in any one direction let's move the ratchet in favor of more speech and I agree of course with with mr. Lawrence that it's perfectly appropriate if an administrator wants to wants to say that I personally disagree the university doesn't agree with the views that are being espoused by a particular speaker that's perfectly appropriate but you know is sometimes that sometimes there are gray areas in terms of what the university is doing when mr. Lawrence is at Brandeis University ayaan Hirsi Ali was uninvited from the University because of blowback from from some of the students I mean is that a case of her free speech rights being violated private university but we if it were a public university would that be a case of her free speech rights being violated because administrators decided not to stand up for those because students were upset and these that this is this is why I think that the the notion that there is some sort of grand intelligentsia running the universities who are capable of discriminating between hate speech and normal speech and should be sitting atop a hill somewhere under a palm tree like a kadhi dispensing justice on a case-by-case basis I think it's nonsense and I don't think that they have any rational standards they apply I'll just conclude with this mr. chairman that I I think this hearing is very important I think it's a the main thing that students ought to get and all of us I get is to deny ourselves access to other people's views this to deny ourselves furthering our own education this is how you learn and I would like to compliment mr. Corolla on his metaphors football and hardware thank you I thank the gentleman when mr. Shapiro was given his example about asking the question and it being perceived as a microaggression and asking the question where you're from I noticed the students in the audience all nodding their heads and so in our subsequent hearings we're gonna we're gonna look to get some students here we can give us some first-hand knowledge of what it's like from their perspective on these particular campuses and with that I recognize the gentlelady from Illinois for her questioning Thank You mr. chair I find this conversation very interesting I used to work on the college campus I was a director of minority student services for Bradley University and I'm now on the board of trustees of Bradley that's my alma mater and something you said mr. Zimmerman we did start you know we had Student Orientation and as part of the orientation the students went through diversity training and diversity orientation as freshmen they had to go through a class for half of the semester mr. Lawrence the anti-defamation league came to the campus that's where I cut my teeth I'm a diversity trainer and we did a campus of difference and one thing I wanted to say also I know on the outside it may look like we don't get along but I just hosted something I called breaking bread and there was 75 of us Democrats and Republicans had a together and not that probably mr. meadows ahead of the freedom caucus and I probably never vote alike but we are very close you can ask him and mr. Palmer and I bring him popcorn from Illinois so we do get along better than people think maybe we need to show it a little bit and I brought you Valentine chocolate Valentine's but we I think we do get along better than people think we may not agree on how to get to a goal but there are a lot of similar goals also but um mr. Palmer said and I deeply understand how he's sensitive because of what he experienced but I also think about Taylor and the impact on her and even though I agree with free speech and all of that but we do need to think about the impact and the long lasting impact that it does have on people and I don't want to speak for her but like maybe her trust or you know when she meets someone new or how the campuses and those kind of things I think that we need to really need to make sure that we give the students support and I agree with being open-minded to different ideas and things like that but it does have an impact on people when I went to college a long long time ago it was so segregated I grew up in New York City I went to college Bradley University and I just was not used to that and I still remember the impact that it had on me and people's attitudes and things like that but maybe that led me to be passionate about diversity and becoming a diversity trainer but what do you think about that the impact that it has on people even like mr. Palmer said and he's full grown adult the congressman and and that impact what he went through has on him but how can we support students well I think the more we talk with one another and the more we listen to one another the easier it is to understand one another when we when we look at others as other we can demonize them we can ignore their ideas and know that their ideas are wrong when we understand who these people are and what they believe it's so much easier to to share what we have in common instead of looking for our differences so the fact that that you had 75 members together is absolutely wonderful but I think you're right that needs to be demonstrated more openly because that's that's not the image that's seen and we as members of the Academy as I've said we as citizens we as human beings look for role models and we we model what we see whether we mean to or not and when we see from cable news segregation of ideas not not segregation in terms of race but some of that as well but segregation in terms of ideas when we see that so obvious we we internalize that and say that must be the way American society should work we need to work together we need to understand each other and we need to be able to disagree there's nothing wrong with disagreeing especially with the ideas but not with the people but I also think and disagreeing that has to a certain level respect that absolutely that's the other part too and and and again I go back to what Taylor went through that's beyond the pale and I do think things should be done about that say something first of all congressman Kelly I've spoken at Bradley and I have wonderful memories there weren't protests but studies have been done by social psychologists and legal theorists also have supported the notion that a major harm from even threatening speech that could be punished much less constitutionally protected hate speech is not the initial speech itself but if there is lack of objection to it from the surrounding community if there is lack of support for the person who is the target of the hate speech conversely when you have university presidents student body leaders other members of the campus community rallying to support the students who are the target of that speech that ends up being not such a damn it can become a resilient empowering kind of experience like July the gentleman from Kentucky mr. Massey is recognized I remember my very first day on campus I grew up in a rural town in Kentucky 1,500 people and I went to a school in Cambridge Massachusetts had never even visited the campus I crossed the crosswalk we didn't have any crosswalks where I grew up and a car honk to have me I thought what are the odds have been here an hour and already met somebody I know I turned around waved at the car I think they were waving back with one finger but what that showed me is these people may have different ideas or a different upbringing than then I had mrs. MS Strawson articulated a threshold for reasonable expectation of whether something is hate speech whether it's protected or not mr. Lawrence she said it was maybe the threshold should be reasonable expectation – that would instill fear or violence of fear of violence or harm is that would you like to in less than 30 seconds if you could sort of articulate the standard of what might be protected and what might not yeah I think that that professor jerison and I are in roughly the same place on this I would just focus more as we often do in the criminal law on the intent of the actor so was it behavior that was intended to threaten or intimidate not to confound not to trouble not to raise new opinions right to threaten or to intimidate okay I've got a document here you may not recognize it's the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence if if I brandish this mr. Lawrence in your presence are you intimidated does it strike fear in your heart do you think that harm may come to you very soon I think it is actually much safer than crossing the street and cream beige Massachusetts I would agree but the administrators at the Kellogg Community College don't they arrested students for handing out a constitution can you imagine that that's the height of irony how far has this ridiculousness gone if students are arrested for handing out constitutions this is the document that contains the First Amendment the protection in there I think maybe we have gone too far if this is now recognized as something that passes that threshold mr. Corolla do you I know King George may have found this to be insightful but do you find basketball player and I don't keep up beyond the Kings I was just having a thought I'm sorry continue your your no I just want to know is this a threatening document does this cross the threshold not unless there's a knife hidden inside of it right no but as I was hearing everyone speak I I never went to college there's something I do I would like to touch on very quickly which is going through diversity training going to college we're all sitting here first off under the assumption that 100 percent of kids go to college I didn't know anyone who went to Kyle so I had to figure out a way to be a decent human being not to be racist not to be filled with hate to be tolerant – college I think that starts at home so if we if you get to 18 or 19 I believe the cement on the sidewalk of your brain is already dried and good luck carving your initials into it with diversity training if you're a bad kid and we get hold of you in college you're probably just going to be a bad adult you need to learn to be a good human being from zero to college instead of us all converting you once you get to college and especially since more than half the people don't end up in college so we're sitting here with a grand plan of how to coach everyone up once they get to college what if they never get to college what about their parents and what kind of job are they doing coaching the kids up so that they need no coaching whether they go to college or not mr. Shapiro I'm going to assume you don't find this to be a threatening or harmful document did a few people myself yeah look the colleges defense when they arrested these students by the way they spent overnight in jail seven hours in jail for handing out constitutions you said something earlier that struck me the time place and manner regulations are being used to restrict free speech because that's what the college said to these students who belong to young Americans for Liberty they said if you just filled out the paperwork if you'd stood a hundred feet over there instead of where you're standing and if you're done it at this time we would have allowed you to hand out our nation's founding document can you speak to how time manner and place restrictions are being abused so most obviously UC Berkeley did that with Ann Coulter where they kept moving around her room and they kept saying that didn't have rooms available they said the same thing to me a week ago there's some public outcry now they're offering some rooms which I you know I hope that that event goes forward it's not rare they do this a lot it's a private university they did it was DePaul University I was threatened with arrest if I set foot on campus actually showed up there and a security guard told me if I asked him if I moved six inches for it are you going to arrest me and II said yes and yet the sheriff of Cook County so this is you know it's it's become a cover for ideological discrimination because of tondc Coates wants to speak on these campuses there's not gonna be any problem the administrators will make certain that time place and manner restrictions don't get in the way and this is why I say you saying that the discretion of administrators is wonderful is all well and good except that they very often are attempting to achieve a particular political end by using means that are normally legitimate and and that's that's definitely a dangerous thing yeah if you don't mind have a quick note on something that I think it was mr. Lawrence was saying earlier about the damage that's done to students by various things that happen on campus by threat by by threats of violence and this sort of thing and obviously everyone I think agrees that what happened to Taylor is is unacceptable but one of the things that I think should also be pointed as we have a lot of other students in the in the crowd and administrators who spend an enormous amount of time pushing stuff like white privilege means that you must accept that you are subordinate in terms of your view because of identity this also has some lasting damage with regard to First Amendment exercise and with regard to how people perceive the freedom of the country and I understand that this is universally held belief among university educators that we have to accept the the guilt of particular races or particular sexual orientations for discrimination that's happened in the past but when you teach a bunch of eighteen and nineteen year old people this you shouldn't be you shouldn't be surprised when number one they go into hiding with their viewpoint or number two they become frustrated it's an absurdity to suggest that you can tell people that their viewpoints are out of line because of their identity at the same time you're telling other people that their viewpoints are completely in line because of their identity and that any assault on their senses must be protected or prevented at any cost I would just like to point out in closing that the group young Americans for liberty that is handing out constitutions on campuses all across the country has changed free speech restrictions on 25 campuses just by handing out this document not by setting fires because they didn't like the speaker or throwing rocks through windows but by handing out this constitution and I am inspired that there are young people who are inspired by this document and it should never be illegal to hand out this document well said mr. Massey real quick miss miss Roslin is mr. Shapiro's right are most of the anti speech activities going on in campuses targeted towards conservatives and libertarians there's certainly the well-publicized ones have been and I don't I can't speak for campuses across the country but I go back to an opening point that I made which was best summarized in the title of a book by Nat Hentoff but I just I just wanted answer I can't them we'll come back to that but I just was wanting to respond to mr. Shapiro's point I mean that's my understanding as well and I thought the well-publicized incidents and it would be consistent with what surveys show about the prevailing beliefs on campus that the majority of students have are in the liberal end of the political spectrum the majority of faculty members are on the liberal and find that shot doctor so they would be more likely to a doctor did buy less Erasmus you're smiling you find that talking to don't you the gentlelady from the District of Columbia is recognized for her five minute Oh Thank You mr. chairman I'm pleased that the entire panel appears to believe that exposure to speech that hurts is part and parcel of living in a democratic free speech Society it pains me I have to say when I hear of african-american students in particular claiming about hurt feelings when it comes to speech I say as a black woman and asked them to remember that Frederick Douglas and I'm pleased that this committee has just passed a resolution a sorry a bill that will allow Douglass's Bicentennial to be commemorated that at the same time that African Americans were enslaved Frederick Douglass was able in even that society to denounce slavery all over the United States mrs. Shapiro I dare say I've had the opportunity to defend people who were even more controversial than you are I was assistant legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union it was a small office and I had a memorable opportunity to argue before the Supreme Court a so called prior restraint case that was a case where as a matter of fact it was in Princess Anne County at that time I lived in New York Princess Anne County Maryland and the proto Nazi racist party came and that County and gave a speech of the kind you might expect that denounced Blacks and Jews and anybody else they could think of well the state's attorney went into court and got an injunction against their ability to speak the next day and that case was appealed all the way I ordered the case in the Supreme Court not as it was appealed Supreme Court ruled unanimously that those vile words could be spoken without being being censored ahead of time and in essence this kind of activity in the country and on the campus is is intended to have some kind of chilling effect to keep people from wanting to speak it at all the republican-led Assembly in Wisconsin has taken a stab at what to do about this because I don't think we want to encourage hateful speech and I appreciate what Professor Zimmerman and mr. Lawrence have said about the anecdotes to hate speech but if you leave this to legislators they have only the law at their disposal now in Wisconsin the state assembly there passed the bill and recently passed a bill that would require disciplinary action and that action could be suspension or expulsion this is how they framed what would get your suspension or expulsion any student who engages in indecent profane boisterous obscene unreasonably loud or other disorderly conduct that interferes with the free speech free expression above the others every Democrat voted against this what kind of polarization is this I'm glad to see we don't have it in this committee every Democrat voted against that every Republican voted for that the status assembly by the way was not shy and making clear what their purpose was it was to suppress the campus protests that had they had seen over that time mr. Roston I read your written testimony would you give a wonderful exposure to read about free speech and you mentioned vague unclear guidelines as having a potential killing effect when people read those guidelines and I I guess I when you start when you talk about clear objective guidelines I just read to you the words of the Wisconsin Legislature cages and in indecent profane boisterous obscene unreasonably loud etc speech speech would you have concerns about that statute that Wisconsin statute and what do you think would be the concerns of for example the Supreme Court of the United States well as Justice John Marshall Harlan who is a graduate from New York law school I have to correct that typo where I teach famously said person's vulgarity is another person's lyric one person's indecent profane speech speech is somebody else's poetic speech one person's unreasonably loud speech is somebody else's clearly audible speech the reason why we do not allow government to enforce these vague standards is that they depend on subjective value judgments which can turn on nothing other than the political preferences of the enforcing authorities which is exactly what we're all complaining about we need to have clear objective standards relating to demonstrable serious harm such as violence or threats to constrain the discretion so it's not to punish just favourite ideas now chairman congressman women Norton I don't know if you got to the appendix to my testimony but it includes a very but still timely sadly Law Review article which quotes a certain Eleanor Holmes Norton way back in nineteen ninety ah who said and this is exactly on point it is technically impossible to write an anti speech code that cannot be twisted against speech nobody means to bar it has been tried and tried and tried so you answered your own question very eloquently thank you very much thank you mr. Chairman I think I should I should end with that and don't hide out there that's great yeah thank you the gentleman from gentleman from Virginia gentleman from Virginia is recognized not that they want to recognize the day but technically mr. meadows is up next but I'll go to you and then we'll come back to mr. meadows Thank You mr. chairman and my two colleagues are letting me go prior to them because it's my birthday and my parents are out in Statuary Hall and so Mike where you light of young people out there it's great to see you raise your hand if you're young raise your hand if you feel young good so we got I'm a professor for 20 years so I used to torture you all in economics 101 classes so I see you sitting here so here you go we'll give you a little philosophical lecture and the witnesses today we're all just phenomenal mr. Corolla in in the last series of questions said we got to learn to be good and that right there sums it up and I'm gonna ask the college presidents how we ground our philosophical statements that'll be my question right so they can give a cursory view of Western Civ in the 30 seconds I leave you at the end but I have a famous painting in my office with Plato pointing up right what is the good he thought it was up there in the realm of the forms and Aristotle's pointing down and no one has resolved that question philosophically in 2,400 years there is no definition of the good that's what makes it crucially important that we do the liberal arts education and allow all views to be heard from 2,400 years of human history and on that note I hope we all agree my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have spoken about atrocities that have occurred in Western Civ I totally agree with them that's not what this is about today but it's about teaching these first principles everyone's talking about shared values today I'm not sure if there are any shared values today the guy if you want to read a good book read Aleister MacIntyre he's the he'll start off on the good right you probably heard of him but his book is called which rationality whose justice same question right whose justice which rationality and what is the good and we don't have answers to that right now so your generation better getting moving the liberal arts I started teaching about 20 years ago we went from liberalism I'm a 19th century liberal right up they call me a right-wing knuckle dragger in the newspaper right but I'm a classic I believe in Adam Smith and James Madison the author of the Constitution and liberals my liberal colleagues on the Democratic side the I always used to respect my view 20 years ago that shift that in academia in the last 20 years now it's the hard left and they're following a philosophy called deconstruction they're ripping apart the foundations of the country the judeo-christian tradition the rule of law and free markets are under attacked by the left not my Democrat friends I go to church with that's a distinction and if you ask them to ground their definition of good or name a philosopher that undergirds their thinking they can't do it so make sure you young people ask your professors when they're spouting off sake name a philosopher and if they can't do it write about it in the student newspaper because that's it's an embarrassment and so I went to Princeton seminary the seminary voluntarily moved itself across the tracks because we don't believe in forcing religion on other people that's the great debate right so we've had the Enlightenment project we tried to ground reality in human reason alone work great in the sciences but in the moral realm it failed right Jefferson Immanuel Kant was kind of the end of the Enlightenment project and the moral vision failed because they could not tell you why it is that human beings are worthy of dignity in the first place but our shared values were delivered in the Declaration was fairly clear we have inalienable rights that come from our Creator Wow there's a shocker ask your leftist professors if they believe in those shared values those in alienable rights right that perceived the existence of government that come from our creator and boy there you have it all right so that has been rejected by the left in K to 12 education I'm sad to report the kids are not taught any system of ethics for the first 13 years of their education and then in college they're taught leftism and so now we're left talking about free speech one particular part of the first amendment in a narrow part and we're being told by some people leave it to the academic institutions you've got to be kidding me these are the first principles that ground and surround the space that universities inhabit right so the rule of law has to precede what educational entities do and that's why we're here today talking about the law that will surround the space you all act in and so I'll just give you another quiz here's the ethical schools that are taught in higher ed raise your hand if you're an Aristotelian no none of them all right raise your hand if you're a follower of utilitarianism Bentham John Stuart Mill really good good for you okay that's the harm principle miss Drazen mentioned that raise your hand if you're a follower of Immanuel Kant if you're a Content look so so we got two people good so those are the schools of thought you're allowed to teach because they're the Enlightenment schools of reason right now no one follows those schools of thought but in higher ed you're not allowed to teach about the judeo-christian tradition Judaism Christianity Buddhism Confucianism and religion how many people in the audience and in the real world live out those traditions just about seven billion people out of eight billion right and that's why I think we got a fundamental problem so there's my lecture presidents if you want to weigh in on what has gone wrong in higher ed over the past 20 years and how can we fix it thirty seconds I wouldn't wouldn't dare touch that but what I am willing to touch until you tell me otherwise is two things first I want to thank you for your your passion defense of the liberal arts because the liberal arts which has nothing to do with liberal or conservative it has to do with its origin is critically important and and the liberal arts are based on an idea that that all ideas need to be discussed I'd argue with you just to drop in saying that I frankly don't believe the majority of professors on college campuses have taken the view that you've espoused unfortunately some have from my 40 years in in the Academy I've I've had any number of conversations with parents in which I've said what good faculty members want to do and I believe in the institution's I've been a part of almost all of our faculty members are good faculty members they want to teach your students how to think and if in the course of that instruction they think something different at the end than they did at the beginning that's okay if they don't think anything different that's okay as long as they can articulate either of those beliefs very rarely I believe two faculty go into a classroom and say here's what you need to think you need to learn the like I think you need to you need to pare it back what I believe yes that happens and it happens not very often but too frequently because if it happens at all it's too frequent but I don't think that's the norm yeah I would agree with that it's interesting one of your colleagues said a little earlier that actually there's very good working relationships across the aisle here we don't see it out in public and I think that's exactly the same phenomenon we're talking about in the university there's a lot of things that happen in the classroom and office hours and seminar rooms that don't get a lot of play because what if it bleeds it leads is the way the media treats you and also treats us and in academia as the as the CEO of the Phi Beta Kappa society I would be remiss if I did not thank you for your deep embracement of the liberal arts Phi Beta Kappa stands for philosophy buker Burnett days which means love of learning is the guide of life I mentioned that congressman because it's about the process of the learning which i think is key and when we lose track of that then I think we get ourselves in problems but the great legal philosopher Alexander Bickel said the only true integrity is the integrity of process and the process by which we learn in our universities which is really what we're here talking about today is what is the glory of our university system in this country I think I want to thank the panel in mr. Shapiro your first-rate philosopher on them on the rise I can tell thank you very much before that I think the gentleman before recognize miss Plaskett I should point it we've been here a couple hours if anyone needs facility use the restroom or anything on just let us know and we can take a short recess or if you need anything you've got plenty of water and all that so we'd like to go for a little while longer and we'll now go to this basket for her questioning thank you very much mr. chairman for the opportunity to have a discussion on this topic mr. Zimmerman I think that what you stated dr. Zimmerman that universities and schools are for teaching individuals how to think that's primary as you said it mr. Lawrence and mr. Corolla I couldn't be more than an agreement with you about the toughness that's needed by young people and I have to tell you you don't have to look at any other group that's than young black men and women who go to universities or I have gone to universities or predominantly white schools you gotta eventually if you're going to come out of there on top have a thick skin I went to one of the most elite private boarding schools in the early 80s when almost nobody was there that looked like me you know what it's like to be African American Caribbean woman at a boarding school in Connecticut when you grew up in Brooklyn New York and being asked to give the black point of view in the classroom when you didn't even know you had a point of view at 13 years old but I think what we are need to discuss here and my colleague mr. Bratt talked about it about the influence of the extreme left but he didn't talk about the influence of the extreme right as well and how that is affecting our young people on campuses what it does the alt-right as well as the extreme left doing to the discourse than the civility on campuses I'm very honored to have MS dumps in' taylor dumps inhere i am a graduate of American University's Law School where one of my first-year law professors sits next to me I'm always happy to point out that he's more junior than I am now Congress but he was my professor there and I understand what you go through and I'm grateful that your mother is here with you and that you have the support of your family that's important because you know the anti-defamation league has recently reported that in the past six months alone I quote they have seen a spike in anti-semitic hateful incidents on campuses and I know that we're talking about free speech free speech is important but I think that it would be inclusive for us to discuss this not just in the context of how it affects conservative speech and conservative students but how it affects all students I think that we are doing the American public a disservice when we only talk about one side of the coin and not the there I fear for our conservative young children who feel that they can't say what they want to say in a respectful manner and in the same way I'm concerned for those who come on campuses who are not respectful in their speech whether it be to mr. Shapiro whether it be to tailor dumps onmy having an ability to hold office on the campus for which her family has supported her to be there that's a problem and that's a problem that this committee should be concerned with but who is the appropriate individual or the institution's to address that I don't think it's the legislature job to do that I think it's for us to question the institution's and ensure that they do it on May 1st after being elected the university's first african-american student body president we discussed that miss dumps in' was met with hung nooses around campus some with bananas with the message of aka free which references Alpha Kappa Alpha a traditionally african-american sorority that Miss Taylor dumps in' belongs to and I am Nephi me right now myself I'm sorry I never belonged to a sorority but we appreciate the work of your sorority in the african-american community along with the others and locked to long after she was subjected to harassment on social media by a known neo-nazi group mr. Lawrence are you familiar with the hate speech incident did she I just described yes I am and is that an example of hate speech that crosses the line and should have no place on a college campus that that is that is correct congresswoman I would say that's actually you know what I usually mean by hate speech or hateful speech is is the kind of speech that is in fact protected and ought to be criticized by university administrators I would say what happened to miss Duncan crosses the line actually over to being a hate crime why is that because of the the clear intent of the actor is not to communicate of you but to threaten to intimidate her to instill fear in her when that happens we're no longer in the realm of having a even difficult provocative conversation we cross over the line into threats so it's as Miss strossen discussed that a reasonable person would see that as threatening speech not as one that is merely to express an opinion that may be different that is certainly how I would understand and would you agree with that agreement and I should say the fact that we call it a hate crime or biased crime means that it is subject to increase punishment even beyond a non hateful or discriminatory crime because it causes additional harm not only to the immediate target but to the surrounding community as well now it's interesting mr. Shapiro you talked about white privilege and just this week I had a conversation with Rachel Lazar who's done some work a Jewish American woman who's done some work on this area as well as having extensive conversations with dr. Greg parks of Wake Forest University who's also talked quite a bit about critical race theory and it's it's my understanding that white privilege is not telling individuals that they cannot speak but it is a term for societal privilege that individuals have as a benefit of their white skin and I don't think that and I think universities would be remiss to then say that because you're white you're not allowed to say anything that's critical of white people I didn't know that white privilege actually went into that sphere my understanding is it's just and the issue is is that white privilege makes people uncomfortable to talk about the societal privilege that they have well it to me the what I say on campuses all the time is if you're want to cite instances of racism that we can all find and fight together that's something that I am more than willing to stand next to you and fight because that's obviously stuff that we should fight together but when you just say that there is a white privilege out there in the ether and that by dint of birth your skin color generates for you an advantage what you are really saying to people is that you your view is less valuable as you have not experienced what I've experienced and that is an identity argument that's a character argument that's not a rational political argument they can actually be be taken on in anyway that's that's it's more of a it's more of a cudgel and a club but than it is an attempt to open a discussion well I think it's a demonstrable evidence that through society's demographics that being white has societal privileges that being black does not but I we can talk because I'm also interested in what you just said now was that she would stand next to anyone who has this so mr. Shapiro my question to you is form is Miss dumb stone the tying the noose around the campus and writing messages they target african-american young students would you consider that hate speech in them would you stand next to her and fight for her as I say it is the first I'm hearing about it honestly but really what yeah but but from from hearing that maybe it's local in from LA but in any case I'm more than happy more than happy to stand alongside her and in fight whatever group was responsible for this not only more than happy I mean you're talking about the alright again I was the number one target of an systematic harassment from the alt-right last year I'm more than happy to do all that night I think there's one more distinction that has to be made when we talk about cases like like Taylor's they're horrific and the administration is siding with Taylor okay the administration is doing the right thing by Taylor or trying to do the right thing by Taylor as they should be and I think that we need to make a distinction between cases where the administration is actively participating in the suppression of speech in cases in which the administration is trying to do the right thing as is in order to in order to make people in order to punish people for application of crime the gentleman that latest time has expired the gentleman from North Carolina is recognized Thank You mr. chairman as we look at this this fundamental question of free speech and where we cross the line is certainly something that is not new in terms of how we argue this point and yet here I find it interesting today that some of the direction we're going seems to be at odds with what we've looked at institutions of higher learning being the beacon of free speech which would not normally be the norm and now all of a sudden were there I ask without giving a name of the particular University I was really surprised to find that there was a free speech zone that allowed to actually be out of the mainstream view of most people and they allowed you to write in chalk but it was the chalk that was written in the the word Trump was there and all of a sudden people got fearful for Trump being written in chalk now I went by this and I can't imagine anybody being afraid of a chalk drawing on a sidewalk and if that's the case then I would say that there's probably bathrooms all over this country where people would not want to go in for fear of what they may see on a bathroom wall so let's don't take it to extremes and let's make sure that we understand that free speech is the bedrock of who we are it is truly what we must fight for and if we start to take it to extremes we have a problem that being said is it evangelical I come out very strongly in defense of my Jewish friends who truly who have had persecution for years and yet somehow on college campuses it is not okay to defend that in fact we go the other way to suggest that they shouldn't be defended and I find that offensive and until we get that right we're going to have a number of issues so with that opening statement let me go into a couple of questions mr. Zimmerman I'm a little concerned and I understand that you perhaps have been critical of your previous alma mater we might say or place of employment Evergreen State College because I I look here and we've had 22 million dollars in grants and scholarships that have gone to them we've had over seven million dollars in federal grants that have gone and gone to them we've had another 15 million in student loans and yet we're seeing a chilling effect on free speech do you think they're getting wrong yes I do okay thank you and I assume that you would say that do you think that they took bad advice from someone when they were invited here to testify and they said that a member of Congress said that they shouldn't come before the Oversight Committee to defend their position do you think that that was misinformed I can answer it the answer is yes would you agree with that that's not for me to say well would it be for you to say to said if we're going to take away federal dollars from universities who will not truly defend free speech that that would be appropriate I'm sure that they would want to weigh in on that oh I believe every administrator on every campus ought to be defending free speech so mr. Lawrence let me come to you because I understand with your new position at ADL of which many times people on my side of the aisle would see them as being in contrast to that I don't I in fact I've encouraged my son to actually join you in in really fighting for those things that are critical but I am troubled by one part of your kumbaya opening testimony yeah I think I mean that is a compliment well I wouldn't take it that way yet so let's go ahead and go there here is my concern because in your previous career you talked about well we're all about free speech and we are really there and yet there was a certain young lady as Somalia born activists that was disinvited from getting an honorary degree at your direction and it was in 2014 where Miss alley was disinvited because quote the University defended this decision saying it could not quote overlook certain of her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University core values close quote now the problem is she is espousing anti Islamic views and the promotion of women's rights so which one of those are against our core first of all not neither of those the they're both your core view but the what I would say no I would say neither of those was the subject of why did she get this why did you disinvite her when she is being a true activist do you think that some terrorists in some foreign land are upset and fearful for their life because of her words I would say two things congressman first first of all and it gets critically important so was this a correct decision if I may respond it does it respond to that one first and then I'll let you go ahead and opine on the other was this a correct decision yeah I believe that was a correct decision based on what me I sure answer first three flee I only have five minutes well I'll use as little of your five minutes I can to give a full answer first in in terms of this hearing and particularly relevant to this hearing nothing in this decision was about free speech she had my entire time as president and I have every reason to believe my successor would say the same thing an open invitation to speak on campus so this was not about free speech so is just about honoring her it was about honoring the same thing you didn't want to honor her free speech not attacks women I her speech about women is admirable and was the reason in large part for the original invitation there was there was speech that specifically said that specifically said that Islam should be crushed and when she was asked when she this is on the record when she was asked you mean radical Islam you don't mean all Islam she said no I mean all Islam this is a direct response to that question it must be crushed and something new built on its level if someone had said that about Christianity if someone that said that about Judaism that is someone who would not have been honored by Brandeis University would they been free to speak absolutely so so I assume since you pulled away her doctorate you invited her back to give lectures on a regular basis right did that publicly and did that personally and privately and so she did she felt welcome to do that I can't say whether she felt welcome I can so did she feel welcome to you mister not come to campus for a public event she did come to campus subsequently for events program at the business school but she had a standing invitation do you not see what you did had a chilling effect on her free speech you know she's out there actually I would put it in the same category congressman as a I know you would but I wouldn't put it in the same category as what go ahead I'll let you finish all right a university a faith-based University that said that although students are free to express pro-choice views we will not give an honorary degree to someone who is an advocate so are you saying that what you should do is actually I'll yield back I may not be the only one in the room who wanted to hear how that sentence yeah so much for free speech yeah and you all know mr. meadows is my best friend in Congress so the gentleman from Maryland the professor is recognized mr. chairman thank you for convening this most fascinating hearing that I've experienced in my six months in Congress so I appreciate your very much doing it I want to give a quick shout out to Taylor dumps in who is an American University where I've been a professor of constitutional law for the last 27 years so you guys have entered my world of constitutional law in the First Amendment so I could be here for hours with you but I've boiled it down to four questions I'm gonna try to get them all out direct them to specific people and if you would take notes if you would and give me answer back and maybe I'll follow up if I can I tell my students at law school there's only two things you have to fear the Socratic method and the platonic relationship all right let's start with this free speech is like an apple everybody wants to take just one bite out of it somebody doesn't like left wing speech take a bite somebody's in like right wing speech take a bite somebody doesn't like nadine strossen eloquent defense of pornography take a bite some people don't like anti-pornography speech and so on at the end there's nothing left to the Apple if you're not willing to stand up for the whole thing we devour the entire thing question for you mr. ocean at a time when freedom of speech is under attack the highest levels of the government the media is being demonized as the enemy of the people press conferences are being carefully micromanage a video being shut down Washington Post New York Times kicked out of the press room and so on how do we overcome the negative messages that are being sent about free speech at the highest levels of government so young people understand as congressman meadows said as others have said this is really who we are number one number two this is for for professor Lawrence speech exists in a context of power for example in Congress for decades before the Civil War there was a gag rule you couldn't mention slavery because of the power of the pro-slavery delegations it could not be mentioned on the floor of Congress that was one of the things that precipitated the civil war even today it's a wonderful panel but four of you have been chosen by the majority under our rules and one of you has been invited by the minority so speech always exists in the context of a set of complex power relationships now in the 1960s and 70s tens of thousands of people were suspended expelled or otherwise disciplined in anti-vietnam War protests from campuses their speech that we there was an effort to drive their speech off of the campus when I was in college in the 1980s we saw thousands of people disciplined for protesting the universities and corporate complicity with apartheid South Africa the speech codes that were used at that time then were dusted off to make life miserable for right-wing activists like mr. Shapiro and so on now my question is a serious question which is is there an effort across partisan lines left-right lines to come up with a model speech code that every University in college could adopt that everybody would support universally okay so that Mister wants that's view number three and maybe I'll address this one too mr. Zimmerman and mr. Shapiro are your concerns about free speech just for public universities like Berkeley or the University of Wisconsin or do they apply to private universities too like Yale and Harvard and Liberty Baptist or Liberty University in Virginia Georgetown which has kicked off pro-choice speakers and shut down a gay student group at one point Catholic University which is off of campus speakers defending pro-choice and then I looked at Liberty University for example says that profane language is not permitted you're punished by a $250 fine and you've got to do 18 hours of community service if your speech is deemed profane any derogatory comments of a sexual or religious or racial nature will not be tolerated also occasion for discipline Bob Jones University which says there's to be no proselytizing on campus based on Calvinism or Arminianism whatever that might be and other use of profanity or euphemisms will be occasion for discipline euphemisms are against the rules there so should we be equally concerned about private universities that have a religious heritage like Bob Jones Liberty Yale American University which has a Methodist origin or are we just concerned about the public university so leave that one for you and fine finally fourth question for mr. Corolla the lost great fine art of heckling in America if you go back and read the lincoln-douglas debates there was lots of heckling but they would interject something and they would wait for an answer and Lincoln and Douglas incorporated it into the debate today heckling is all about getting a bullhorn and shouting somebody down which is stupid I mean that's just a blunder of this generation if that's what they're doing can we restore an art of heckling that allows some reasonable interchange between the audience and the speaker without shutting down speech on campus there we go mr. Ruxin to you it's a great great approach five question and take less than five minutes now you another five minutes for the members you've been very liberal mr. chairman every liberal today so was I supposed to make fun of your hair during that or I don't know if you're asking me to heckle perhaps professor Dreyfus could weigh in on this one okay I think you got the answer to the fourth question right there professor Raskin I thought this was going to be a take home exam but I'm happy to answer it orally now you know I was gonna quote the title of nat handoffs book free speech for me but not for thee how the left and right in America are constantly censoring each other so I've found it very helpful in my education of my advocacy on free speech to always give an example that will bother that person if you hate the media for this reason because they're giving this message that you disagree with and you therefore think government should have the power to censor messages offensive to minorities let me give you a counter example where you are an environment where you are considered a minority and your view as a minority view and or the other way around and therefore it can be subject to censorship unfortunately given the diversity of environments we have including some of the private universities that you cited I can give you an example where for one campus where a perspective a is censored there's another campus where prospective anti a is censored and that's why we have to maintain neutrality but I think as an educator we have to give concrete examples the abstraction is not going to be persuasive thank you first ones can there be a model speech code that everybody will agree on I guess that's an easy one the answer almost certainly is No can we make an effort in that direction I think the answer there is yes and it will look something like this a overwhelmingly presumption overload overall any strong presumption in favor of protection of free speech certainly on campuses of all kinds for all comers who belong on those campus that's principle number one principle number two there's a limiting principle that is the kind of thing that professor Ross and I've been talking about where you actually have an intent to do harm to threaten to intimidate not to confound not to trouble but to actually literally do harm and then principle number three is that what is the obligation of a university even in the realm of protected speech when it is hateful speech I think those three principles in some form or another are going to form the model of the kind of speech codes that you'll get the broadest consensus that you can the more specific you try to be about this is in and this is out you're gonna start making mistakes and that's why virtually every University speech code has been struck down by university by by courts mr. Shapiro I think and then mr. Corolla yeah I mean as far as the the distinction even public and private I do make a very strong distinction between public and private universities when it comes to speech rights because private universities I believe should have the like private business the broadest possible purview to to act in accordance with their values that are censor speech if they are a private university sure which is why when I went to DePaul University and they threatened to arrest me I left the campus if they had done that at Cal State LA I would have stayed and been arrested okay dr. Chism do you agree with that do you think there's a free-speech value we should be fighting for in private campuses as well as public absolutely but it's a different kind of free speech right that is the the right to free speech is absolute should absolutely be there because it's a college campus in cop if we value college education we have to value alternative views if we value the liberal arts we have to value other people's ideas we can't have meaningful discussion if we only have one side of that discussion but that's different than the state mandating that you have to be able to do that mr. heckler geez I want to talk about my white privilege so badly I graduated North Hollywood high over the 1.7 GPA I could not find a job I walk to a fire station in North Hollywood I was 19 I was living in the garage of my family home my mom was on welfare and food stamps and I said can I get a job as a fireman and they said no because you're not black Hispanic or a woman we'll see in about seven years and I went to a construction site and dug ditches and picked up garbage for the next seven years I got a letter in the mail sent to my father's house saying your time has come to do the written exam for the LA Fire Department I took it and I was standing in line and I had a young woman of color standing behind me line and I said just out of curiosity when did you sign up to become a fire man because I did it or person seven years ago and she said Wednesday that is an example of my white privilege it's I think it's an act privileged more than it is the color of your skin that being said heckling people busting their chops making fun of them is an actual overture of love friendship and it's a positive thing my friends I hang out with Jimmy Kimmel and his cousin and many many other comedians Jeff Rossen people that nature and that's all we do and the day that stops that'll be the day I know they don't like me anymore now obviously doing it to strangers on campus is a different story but lightening the mood a little bit and lightening up a little bit in general when people you know I'm an atheist and I go out and do things with Dennis Prager he's a devout Jew he loves it when I make Jew jokes I love it when he makes atheist jokes and that's how we know that we're friends and I'd say the same for Ben Shapiro as well although I don't know if he loves it when I make the Jewish jokes not a thing okay you guys are clearly not running for Congress thank you very much for your testimony all agree I yield back mr. chairman Thank You professor we now recognize the gentleman from Wisconsin mr. Pro yeah just one quick comment for mr. to remember before I ask him a question in your testimony you said higher education has been and remains the single best way for individuals to dramatically improve their socioeconomic status there's a little bit of snobbery there I don't like but the point I'll make is at least in my district and I think around the country we have a lot of young people taking this stuff to heart and they wind up graduating from an institution like yours with 50 or $60,000 in debt they really do not find a way to move up economically and they wind up having to go back to a tech school or a trade school which are very wonderful when they're 39 or 40 and their whole life is delayed and I I want you to be conscious of this kind of unqualified worship of of all forms of secondary education because I think it is leading a lot of people to a lot of trouble but I will ask you a question in Evergreen University I don't know how many professors you have there but you tell me about how many professors you have and how many of you thinks they voted for Trump in the last election full-time part-time we have about 180 probably I have not a clue of who they voted for you never talk about politics with any other people hanging around that campus i we certainly talked politics occasionally I suspect not many of them voted for Trump but I couldn't tell you the you can't cast your buddies say they voted for Trump and all the times you talk there are a couple of people on campus who have but not very many I suspect very many mr. Edison NYU Law School and I give you the same question again I'll go to surveys that reflect that the overwhelming majority of faculty members are Democrats and have given voted for and given money to Democrats and I think this is a serious problem because when we talk about diversity it should include ideological diversity as well as other kinds of diversity and I'm very supportive of a number of initiatives that have been started in the recent past to address this problem one of which is called the heterodox Academy which was spearheaded by Jonathan Hyde who does teach at NYU and there's a similar project that's done to get called the Madison project that's done together by Cornel West African American extremely liberal some would say radical professor together with Robert George a conservative white male Princeton professor but all of us agree that education suffers when we have too much agreement too much political orthodoxy in any direction right dude you how many how many professors do you know I'm you guys I assume I'm like apparently evergreen you must talk about who you vote for how many do you know on a personal level of order for Trump and you know I didn't actually ask people for whom they voted but my edge was talking we respecting privacy my educated guess would be extremely few couldn't be true only a few but here's something sad I do know people who privately supported Donald Trump but are embarrassed to say that they voted for him so that kind of muzzle okay and my question for mr. Kroll and I'm sorry what she had to go through the prejudice in our country but I landed on my wallet [Laughter] do you believe part of the problem here is it's easy to hate people and demonize people if you don't know any people like that and maybe one of the reasons why we seem to have difficulty with free speech on college campuses the way you wouldn't have difficulty in other American institutions is because some of the faculty members on college campuses they can spend you know extensive periods of time without talking to anybody who has political opinions significantly different than their own is that part of the problem oh absolutely and it's I'm I'm sort of bewildered by it because knowing guys like Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro knowing them to be great guys they're even sometimes seeing what happens when dr. drew says something and the Twittersphere goes ballistic and what a talking about what a bad person is or what have you yeah when you get to know almost anybody you look at them as a person rather than an idea and we need to look at people as human beings not ideas or representatives of ideas and it always helps when you're exposed I this may sound like a sidebar but I grew up playing football I played 10 years organized football I played with every different kind of human being except the Jews actually bad females maybe the whole nails yeah yeah they cheered yeah it was awesome so I got exposed to everyone and realized that everyone who came from every different neighborhood was you know there for one reason and that was trying to trying to win a game and I think it helped a lot in my view view of life and then later on when I stepped on a construction site I got the same thing again so I do feel like surrounding yourself with diversity and ideas as well as skin color is a good thing okay mr. Shapiro I'm gonna ask you to follow up on that I just you you hear things in this job people come up to you and I do believe there are certainly departments on major American campuses in which you can spend you know all day walking up the hallways for the faculty work and and never be exposed to anybody who voted for a candidate that about half of half of Americans populace did which is kind of amazing that you find such you know lack of diversity oh yeah any anywhere and I wondered if one of the reasons for the left's rage is because they sometimes do go to work on college campuses and they don't have any friends who even voted for somebody who bought half the American public voted for which is hard to believe there's anywhere in society that that panic oyster but I'm afraid on college campus one of the reasons why you have this hatred for say people who believe in you know more conservative half of the American populace I think you do have some leftist professors who attempt to you know be open to other ideas I mean Lani Guinier was one of my professors at Harvard Law School and she ended up writing a job recommendation for me because we got along solo and she's very far to the left but that's that's more a rarity than it than it is that the common thread I mean even if you put aside President Trump the fact is that I think the polls showed that well under 10 percent of the of the faculty at Ivy League schools voted for Romney in 2012 so I mean this has been very consistent and this is why I think you are seeing some of the violence when I spoke at Cal State LA you actually saw the professor is calling me a member of the KKK before I got there and so most of the doones had no clue who I was but they were perfectly willing to go out and protest and beat people up mr. Zimmerman why are you doing anything I assume your campus I mean evergreen a reputation are you doing anything too well come back now we got it we got to move on it I think the gentleman and I'm pologize we're trying to give everyone a little extra time but we can't go too much longer the gentleman floor is recognized well thank you mr. chairman and thanks to the witnesses Ben Shapiro who came up with the thug life Ben Shapiro I have no idea what may I have never listened to a complete rap song in my entire life it's a it's it's it's funny and it's it's well done it has some of your greatest hits let me ask you you mentioned there the professor's obviously the professor's overwhelmingly or on the left some are fair and one do some are more pushing in ideology but I wonder I see some of these things that you've dealt with others I mean is it the professor's doing this or these students just predisposed to do this it seems like there's a lot of radical students anyways and a lot of them are kind of gonna do this even if their professors were nagging them on is that true I think there are three groups I think they're they're usually a couple of radical professors who egg them on not the entire left faculty because that would be pretty much everyone but like a couple of radical professors who decide that they they think it's worthwhile for there to be massive protests some student organizers and then very often lately you've been seeing people bussed in from the outside so at Berkeley saw people being coming in from an Tifa and integrating with the with the Berkeley student population and then and then doing X violence at Cal State LA there were a couple of bus loads of people who are bused in so it's really those three groups I think and when you're dealing with the anti-semitism and anti-israel views on campuses is that faculty driven or is that outside the university well I mean I haven't dealt with that as much because I think that in the last couple of years most of the opposition has been coming from the black lives matter movement from the from the Bernie Sanders socialist wing of the Democratic Party it hasn't been coming too much from the Israel so I don't speak about the Israel stuff all that often on campus but I mean the BDS I know for a lot of Jewish students on campus it's very uncomfortable because there are a lot of professors who support boycott divestment sanctions from Israel and activate their students to do this a so just from a conservative perspective we look at some of what's going on on college campuses and and we don't necessarily like it but you know we don't really want government involved in a lot of this anyways but on the other hand people will point out is we're funding these university so the Tamera can tax payer is underwriting a lot of this stuff so is there a role for government given that we're funding it or is it just type the thing that you know we funded and we still got to just keep our hands off we weren't funding it then I would think that there would not be a role for the federal government at all but given I mean a lot of money is going to these universities yes I mean the Wisconsin law that's been discussed repeatedly has been I think a little bit unfairly maligned because people are refusing to read the end of the phrase and the law which is that this is speech that interferes with the speech of others meaning the if you have administrators who are basically handing a hecklers veto to people who are standing up in front of other speakers and then attempting to block it that's not actually free speech that's trespass so I don't know that you need another piece of legislation I think you do need enforcement of existing law that that exists who prevent what is in fact criminal activity and not free speech activity but there's going to have to be some sort of consequences for administrators who don't abide by the current law because what they're doing is they are they're essentially saying we can't shut down the speech but if you go and you make a big fuss and we'll say that in order to shut down the fuss we have to shut down the speech and if they continue to do that and I don't see you know why federal funding should be going to I don't see what my taxpayer dollars should be going to the University that bans me because of the university refuses to protect my right to free speech that's a good point now you talked about the hierarchy of based on identity in terms of who does and I like a white male would be at the bottom kind of deal but you know how how honest is even that standard applied because like somebody like a Justice Clarence Thomas who obviously has a very compelling background how would he be received at these universities in terms of his story given that he's a constitutional originalism I'm Jason Riley from The Wall Street Journal I mean it's it's obviously it's intersectionality and that philosophy is a stand-in for hardcore leftism and it's just a way of using multiculturalism as the entree to to leftist points of view it isn't actually as you say if Clarence Thomas says something nobody on the Left is going to say well you know he suffered as a black man so his perspective is more valuable than Joe Biden's perspective on a particular issue you know I can't hurt anyone on the left ever say that Carola thanks for coming thank you man with the tan from Florida try my best they don't have to recognize him as that man from Florida we can all see where he hails from yeah well I appreciate that it's hot there we don't have the the temperate climate that you guys have in LA so it's it's 95 and heating right now well it's it's dry but there are a lot of blowhards there in LA there's a lot of hot wind blowing around so what do you I mean you've kind of come here we appreciate it you know you look at this experience how do you view kind of what goes on in Washington is potentially being able to help stand up for free speech because and we get involved in things a lot of times we make it worse you know i I've I've hosted a show called Loveline for over a decade and I had a a very unique perspective because I was able to talk to troubled kids teenagers two hours a night for a decade and I really got to learn something about young people and how they work and what works and what doesn't work and you know people say well you're not a professor you never read a book you never went to college how are you an expert on this and I say well I'm a journeyman carpenter as well I've never read a book on carpentry and who would you like to build your house I want to write a book on it or someone who just did it every day for over a decade and I learned that all of these problems that we're talking about free speech discrimination hatred toward other people and drug addiction violence crime it all stems from the family and when the family is intact much of this stuff just goes away you don't have to legislate it away it just goes away because people are brought up in intact families with decent caring parents whatever their color whatever their background is and then they produce little decent individuals who go off to college or a job place of work and they don't need to be coached up and they don't need to be legislated and I don't need to be bloviate it by people like us they grew up in an intact family so my feeling is all the stuff we're talking about is at the outside of the rim the hub is the family and the discussions should center around the family and who is creating these people who think it'd be a good idea to take a baseball bat to the window of a Starbucks in their community when it gets well put and if we could deal with that core the free speech stuff and a whole host of other problems would would go and that's better than any tax bill or anything else we could be doing and obviously it's not gonna be government's role per se it's a societal thing but mr. chairman thanks for your leadership on this issue well said to our panel my goal was 12 o'clock we're gonna be pretty close I may go a few minutes after if that's okay with everyone we have two others and then maybe a couple other questions from the ranking member myself to close things out mr. heiss from Georgia is recognized thank you very much mr. chairman and I appreciate you allowing me to be a part of this hearing today mr. Shapiro I feel for you and I've met just recently with a group of Jewish students who had experienced a great deal of very difficult from lack of free speech to harassment and all sorts of things on the various college campuses that they represent I am also an evangelical Christian and I've seen it on the other side as well and have been in fact on the front line of this for a long long time where Christian students are disallowed to even share their faith they're restricted to free speech zones where Christian organizations are kicked off campuses or even forced to allow non-christians to take leadership roles in the Christian organizations like how backwards can this possibly be and in many instances Christian perspective is either going to looked upon as hate speech this is absolutely astounding to me where this is going and I want to transition mr. Strawson to you I appreciate you being here as well are you familiar with the implicit bias testing yes okay this is intended to detect biases or prejudices from individuals us various tests some colleges are actually using these tests now to force those who fail the test to be cured of their biases prejudice whatever it may be in essence creating on campuses thought police are you you're aware of this I see by your reaction I'm shocked and of course I am against creating thought crimes I am completely in favor of information I've taken one of those implicit bias tests and it's very interesting so if it's presented to you as a way to expand your horizons about subconscious or semi-conscious assumptions and stereotypes to which all of us are prone many atheists have negative stereotypes about EV angelical since I suppose we all have those coming through education not through indoctrination well and they're not necessarily wrong one day or another we've got to accept the fact that you're different from I am and I'm different from you we can disagree so so college really has no business trying to cure people absolute that would be a violation of everything the First Amendment stands for everything that academic absolutely let me can I go on what are some of the biases that are identified as needing to be cured are you aware that I'm sorry all right well that's let's go on I don't have time to dig into this there's so much more to deal with though would you not agree that when a University of College whatever starts branding people as hateful as bigots as politically incorrect as whatever and in creating an effort to cure them of those deficiencies the school is in itself creating a thought police environment something that that violates equality principles right we're talking about trying to create campuses where everybody feels welcome and included in part of the community and to stigmatize people because of their beliefs or their ideas is as offensive to equality and free speech principles as stigmatizing people because of the color there's not to mention that it's also an American and unconstitutional and in bad education and ineffective you're not IFS let's assume the worst let's assume somebody is a convinced hate monger you're not likely to dissuade that person from discriminatory views by treating that person as an outcast that's the least effective way to persuade that person to change his ideas absolutely I appreciate what you said a while ago – about the the vast majority of professors are Democrat or left-leaning whatever it may be while we were in fact sitting here I did a quick search it's not from my state the University of Georgia profs are twelve to one Democrat over Republicans I think from what you're sharing and from my experience that's probably fairly consistent across the country I can't fully explain it but it does have an impact on the overall culture that is created and the resistance towards those who disagree with a political and I'm sure you and I would make the same negative conclusion if it was skewed the other way sure right absolutely now we've got these pre are these speech codes in place has been identified already a lot about this we have court decisions that is one of you mentioned while ago the court decisions overwhelmingly of have ruled against the majority of the speech codes in universities and yet to this day about 40 percent of our colleges still have speech codes in place against what has been determined by the rule of law and and why is that you know law is not self-enforcing the Constitution is not self-enforcing we still have segregated schools all these decades after Brown versus Board of Education and that's why it's so important for organizations like the ACLU fire the foundation for individual rights and education to be able to bring lawsuits to actually enforce principles I mean the examples of using so-called time time place and manner restrictions as a pretext for suppressing ideas that's illegal and unconstitutional but you have to bring a lawsuit in order to vindicate that position and if I may say congressman just a couple of weeks ago the United States Supreme Court unanimously said speech that demeans on the basis of race ethnicity gender religion age disability or any other similar ground is hateful but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express the thought we hate if only we could have the same unanimity in society as a whole as those very ideologically diverse justices have on that cornerstone principle mr. chairman I'm not going any further because I know I'm not even a part of this subcommittee and again I appreciate you letting me be a part of it I've got a lot more to cover though but where this is going with a clear distinction between one viewpoint versus another creating a culture of intimidation and silencing a particular viewpoint has got to be dealt with and I thank you for leading this here I think the gentleman and now recognize the wait a minute now recognize the second tan man from Florida mr. Rooney is recognized mr. chairman thank you very much for the opportunity to make a few comments about free speech here and for your taking the liberty of highlighting the problems that we face under the guise of protecting students the freedom to express views not deemed acceptable to an intolerant judgmental elite it's being attacked and denounced by students professors and occasionally administrators these people have the intellectual arrogance to think they should decide for all of us which ideas are to be heard and which are not this to me reeks of totalitarianism which as we all know creeps in gradually and until it takes root in the road to serfdom Frederick Hayek described how the threat of totalitarianism Europe in the 1930s was foreshadowed by a society moving away from the basic ideas on which European civilization had been built this behavior in the United States today contradicts the original concept of what a university should be and how it originated in its medieval beginnings as a venue as venues for promoting the free exchange and rigorous debate colleges used many different methods to suppress free speech one such example are these free speech zones which have been talked about here on campus to me the mere idea of a free speech zone is holy and compatible with the with the Constitution of the United States and it turns the words free speech into a gross oxymoron this transforms an absolute truth a right guaranteed under our Constitution into a negotiable transient morsel of policy I wonder which of our constitutional rights and liberties will be next in ironic case at Kellogg Community College in Michigan you can't make this stuff up students were arrested for handing out copies of the United States Constitution without the administration's permission how incredible is this in their greatest hopes Marx and Lenin couldn't have been bold enough to try this cancellation of conservative speakers and events on campus has become another method for constraining freedom has been talked about here following protests and sometimes riotous behavior by the scripted biased students and faculty many administrators and boards and trustees seem to prefer acquiescence and political correctness instead of confrontation willing to accept the connected erosion of freedom in 2014 protests by left to students at Rutgers caused former Secretary of State rice to cancel a commencement speech this is an individual who rose up from desperate circumstances with a life of persistence and achievement like none other condi certainly the American dream this year again violent student riots at Berkeley caused the school to cancel a speech by the conservative writer and speaker and Coulter so much for colleges fostering an environment of free speech further many college professors seek to indoctrinate and discourage free debate in class much has been written about this leading to something called groupthink the desire for confrim for MIDI replaces rational thought and conservative opinions are routinely suppressed as has been talked about in this hearing today this lack of ideological diversity and academia undermines the free exchange of ideas and it's no wonder that so much has been written about the lack of critical thinking of younger critical thinking skills of younger Americans colleges and universities that refused to respect and enforce our laws and the Constitution should not be subsidized by the United States of America our taxpayers should not have to pay for infringement against our Constitution if schools want to go it alone free of taxpayer money they can and should do whatever they want to do and then he's been said that about here today the schools that take our taxpayer money should follow the Constitution and be thankful that we have it not all colleges and universities that's come to this political correctness we know that mitch Daniels made a very strong statement in 2015 at Purdue to protect academic freedom and individual liberty John Ellison at the University of Chicago not exactly known as a conservative bastion did the same thing denouncing these free speech zones and things like that and I'd like to also finish with the idea that the real world the one where us carpenter apprentices and journeyman carpenters grow up by the way doesn't recognize free speech zones colleges and universities that promote them are committing what I consider to be educational malpractice failing to prepare students for a life beyond the cocoon of campus higher education should be a platform for the peaceful exchange of ideas and debate and formation where learning comes from having less belief challenged and having to defend them that's what the original University was about and that's what we need in America if we can get back there then maybe we will find that we have a new generation of critically thinking Americans they can take our country to even greater heights mr. chairman thank you very much for having me you bet I think the gentleman gentlelady from Florida has miss Deming thank you so much mr. chairman and you know we've had a I believe a very robust conversation today about the First Amendment which we know was guaranteed by the United States Constitution we've talked about a lot of things but we've also talked about a young woman who was attending American University was elected president of the student government by her peers and instead of celebrating was the victim of harassment she was threatened victim of cyberbullying and hate crimes I believe that Taylor dumps and represents thousands of students in this country who were just trying to live the American dream and since one of my colleagues thought it necessary to issue out an apology today I'd like to issue an apology to taylor dumps in' for what she had to endure someone who was doing it right and was the victim of hate crimes not just hate speech but hate crimes as investigated by the FBI that's my statement mr. chairman and i'd also like to ask permission to enter a unanimous consent to introduce an article KCC response to political organizations lawsuit into the record so dejection thank you so much i yield back I think the gentlelady just will close out here with a few questions but first I do want to recognize miss taylor dumps in as well obviously what happened to you on campus is wrong should not be tolerated and it's just disgusting and but we appreciate you overcoming that and in fact that you're the student student government presence something you're gonna be sitting up here ask them doing the same kind of hearing and we look forward to those days and in the future as as well but my guess is at american university they probably had some diversity training they probably had some bias training so maybe this gets to the point mr. Corolla made earlier it's not all the bias training and diversity and these tests kids have to take now our students have to take now do you or let me just go to mr. Shapiro do you think this the the bias training is something that is actually helpful I don't think it's effective I think that in fact it tends to alienate a lot of the people who feel like I'm not a racist why am I being forced to endure the implication that I'm a racist and I have the necessity of undergoing bias training I mean it seems to me that either Americans gather their bias trainings not any good or it's just just largely probably not people who tie nooses around bananas they're not going to be dissuaded from doing so by bias training mr. garbage human beings so mr. Corollas point right it's a lot more about what kind of background and belief system they bring to the university I agree wholeheartedly that starts at home anyone has been in the corporate world knows you have to have sexual harassment training as well and the cases of sexual harassment have probably gone up tenfold since the training began so I don't see any direct line from training to effective application of it in fact it could be almost the converse right I feel it is yes mr. Corolla also talked about the positive impact of actually working together with a diverse group of people and I think that's what we have to do we have to bring people together in education and work and other other contexts you know and it's been my experience some of the some of the the strongest advocates for left policy and I always use the example one of my good friends is Dennis Kucinich and you cannot get farther apart than Jim Jordan and Dennis Kucinich but we have respect and a lot of times where we really work together is on civil liberty issues these kind of issues that's why I so appreciate this panel we have here today I mean that's how it's supposed to work so there was talk earlier about a speech code seems to me the speech code is the one that's right behind me right isn't that the speech code in in in America the First Amendment itself speech code and common sense as mr. Kroll has talked about so mr. mr. Shapiro your thoughts on a speech coder isn't it shouldn't it be the First Amendment is the shouldn't that be sufficient absolutely and I think that we're moving into very dangerous territory when we start identifying speeches violence and that I think is what's happening more and more often in our politics I think it's happening on college campuses when you start saying that what you say offends me to the point where I'm going to treat it as violence then we are moments away from an actual violent conflagration and that has to stop immediately do you think Shapiro that some of the things we have seen from the federal government are contributing to the what I would describe as crazy situation we see on many campuses situations you've had to go through and live through do you think some of the things that the federal government has done are chilling free speech on college campus and specifically and frankly what prompted my renewed interest or greater interest I should say in and this series of hearings were having on the First Amendment was a few years ago when we discovered that an agency with the power and the ability to intimidate and impact people's lives the agency known as the Internal Revenue Service was systematically and for a sustained period of time targeting people for their political beliefs do you think that has some chilling impact on what may in fact be happening on our what is in fact happening on our college campuses I mean sure when people have an enormous amount of power whether it's at an administrative level or at the federal level they tend to use it in ways that benefit the side that they that they control and and that's that that has I mean I think you've seen this it's a completely different topic but I think you've seen this in the in the context of how a lot of the sexual assault hearings are taking place on campus now or they're taking place under Title mine auspices and they don't actually follow any sort of constitutional due process procedures that's that's an area where the federal government has gotten involved and and really overridden individual rights and listen nobody is in favor of sexual assault everyone wants the rapist prosecuted but we need to come back to some sort of rational standard of application not just what we wish we could do in some sort of utopia just just two final points mr. Raskin raised to the point earlier that the majority party invites for the witnesses that minority party invites one it's standard practice I would point out of the four witnesses I think probably to come from for majority witness probably to come from the left on the political spectrum mr. Shapiro hasn't exactly been a fan of the current administration and I don't know exactly what mr. Kroll is I tend to I would think he's very libertarian but I don't know if he's Republican or Democrat so we tried to invite people who believed in the sign that's behind me that's what we tried to do and people who are willing to defend it who were willing to say that this is paramount to the American experience and who we are as a nation and that's what this series of hearings that we're undertaking in this committee are all about so final question is to the heckler in the middle when is the when's the movie coming out again no safe spaces Dennis Prager and myself have gotten together to do this subject but the 86 minute version of it not the 477 minute version that's my bladder is very angry at you yeah I think that's coming out made too early 2018 so look forward to that well we look forward to it as well I want to thank each of you for being here today and participating in this important hearing and we look forward to having more and frankly what we're gonna do we may invite some of you back but we certainly want to have some of the students maybe even some of her in the room a gentleman from Alabama sorry I just want to thank the students for coming and I hope you look back on this and count this is one of the best days in your education that you've ever had I yield back I thank the gentleman with that we are adjourned thank you very much

42 thoughts on “Challenges to Freedom of Speech on College Campuses

  • Why all those Jews on the panel? Are they the only experts on free speech this committee could dig up? Strasser is a former head of the ACLU, clearly a controversial, largely Jewish organization. Lawrence is with the ADL, a group interested almost totally only in perceived Jewish rights, not those of the population at large. The ADL, additionally, grew out of the Mary Phagan murder in 1913, wherein a Jewish factory manager, Leo Frank, was found guilty of the crime. Yes, he wound up hanging from an oak tree, but that doesn’t mean that Frank was not as guilty as hell.

  • Mr. Lawrence of "Anti- Defamation League", Himmler and the Gestapo would approve of your principle regarding what speech to protect. You assert that hate speech is permitted until it crosses some invisible line which you cannot describe or define, and is thus left to the discretion of the gatekeepers of fashionable opinion running our universities to define.
    Such discretion leaves absolute power for those in power to silence all speech they disagree with under the guise of exercising that discretion in definition. That is fascism, a chilling environment hostile to all unpopular and unfashionable ideas. While they can't burn the books, by denying students the right to hear unpopular speech the speech police can accomplish the same thing.

  • Mr. Meadows became upset because he couldn't hear the end of Mr. Lawrence's response.

    I find that funny because he wasted his time stating he didn't have much time, & kept asking questions he wanted to ve rhetorical.

  • There is a perfect storm on campuses in which radicalism spread by groups is only one part: (1) today a minority of employees at colleges and universities are faculty members, but many of them (such as the 'diversity officers,' etc) are under-trained staffers who have neither devoted themselves to nor understand the value of a classical 'liberal education'; (2) the old general education curriculum is being chiseled away (and often replaced by a truncated form of intersectionality dogma 'orientation' that is called 'diversity') in favor of a more professionalized education, and you are less likely to have a nursing professor or sports management professor who can explain to students why it is important to listen to views you don't agree with rather than and 'old school' liberal arts professor.

  • Another tactic that parents can try is refuse to fund any entity of "higher learning" that foment race/religion/culture wars as part of their curriculum. You just tell your kids, "Sorry, no. Make a better choice."

  • This is not that difficult. Let's see, speech is defined as;
    — the faculty speaking; oral communication; ability to express one's thoughts and emotions by speech sounds
    — the act of speaking:
    — something that is spoken; an utterance, remark, or declaration:
    — a form of communication in spoken language, made by a speaker before an audience for a given purpose:

    Violence is not speech therefore is not protected
    Mayhem is not speech and therefore is not protected
    Destruction of property is not speech and therefore is not protected
    Preventing other people from exercising their rights is not speech and therefore is not protected

    Causing violence, mayhem or destruction via speech has been determined to NOT be protected.
    Threatening to kill/rape/mutilate someone if they talk or act opposite to you (an attempt to shut people down) is not, and should never be, protected speech.

    I don't care what race, culture, background, country of origin, religion, or gender you are if you create violence, destruction, mayhem and/or fear of practicing or speaking about your own rights while denying these rights to ANY OTHERS – then you need to be handled by law enforcement and if necessary removed from society until you decide to get your act together and allow others their freedoms as well as exert your right to your own.

    Additionally, any adult in a position of authority that foments violence, mayhem, destruction, and fear among young, unformed people need to be removed from their positions and DENIED any future position that would place them in close proximity to young people who are trying to find their own way.

    The social engineering and brainwashing need to stop.

  • If public safety trumps everything, then why are we still driving around in cars? No, being free and doing what is RIGHT trumps everything.

  • Ms demmings public safety never trumps rights. You talked at length about protecting kkk members then advocated taking their rights away. I'm confused.

  • "new, challenging ideas" – is that what these speakers are bringing to these institutions? it would be great if universities brought intellectuals to the schools, not internet trolls who thrive and have built a reputation on provoking others. the james baldwin v william buckley debate is a great example of what intellectual discourse can look like on college campuses

  • 1:12 It is very sad to see so many empty seats. Does anyone in Congress actually care about free speech and the first amendment at all?

  • Kudos Mr. Palmer and Ms Norton, I hope your point was that Frederick Douglass wasn't fussing about his feelings being hurt.

  • I'm not a huge fan of Ms. Norton, but aside from saying that Ben is "slightly less controversial" than some genuine neo-Nazis she represented, I think she, much to my surprise, was much more reasonable about this all than many would expect any democrat to be.
    She even seemed to suggest in how she discussed the Wisconsin law that she didn't see anything grossly inappropriate about it, and was bothered that no democrats voted for it.
    It is something of a relief to see a democrat such as her take the position, and tone, that she did (even if she did have to eat the fact that, by her own words decades ago, she would be forced, on her own principals, to vote against the Wisconsin law as well).
    (Also worth saying that, while I like the purpose and wording of the Wisconsin bill, Ms. Strossen's, referencing Norton, made a legitimate point in that it is not impossible for the wording of that bill to be used, and twisted, as a weapon against speakers in the future, and the power to shut people down, backed by legislation, is what everyone there is against).

  • i have to disagree with adam at 2:40:00, those little antifa brats breaking windows and starting fires all come from intact middle class families…..the colleges did this….the communist professors did this

  • BULL, college isn't there to teach you how to think. That would make it a center for Indoctrination, it is there to teach you ABOUT different thoughts and how they came about. What Ms. Plasket and the other leftists agree on is that college is there to ensure we all come to the same conclusions. I say that having a bachelor's in the liberal arts. I survived multiple attempts to reprogram my thought processes and remove certain ideas from my zeitgeist, to integrate new flaws into my character. And I learned the methods of the sinister

  • this is a bit of a load…..these is no white supremacist movement on college campuses…..they are just calling everything they don't agree with racist or white supremacist.

  • It's all about debates, 'bout debates – no trouble. It's all about debates, 'bout debates – no trouble…

  • The old Libel laws included the concepts of truth and untruth. If a statement is legally libelous it must be untrue. No true statement can be libelous by the definition of "Libel". It follows from this concept that no true statement can ever be prevented. The interference with or prevention of statements of truth should be illegal.
    Here are some true statements – #1 Fat people eat too much and die young. #2 The vast majority of Black people who are murdered are murdered by Black people. #3 Pedophilia and death threats are encouraged in islam, and Pedophilia and uttering death threats are illegal. . . . .
    These are examples of true statements. Can you think of some more? ?

  • Time to grow up young millennium adults….here's a mature tip for you; you fight free speech you don't like with (intelligent) counter free speech…not violence…which part of this do you not get?

  • these people love to hear themselves talk. too much time at taxpayer expense. free speech doesn't need a defense. simply enforce it with extreme prejudice. talk it meaningless. more doing, less talking. punish authorities who shirk their duty.

  • In response to "the honorable" Congresswoman Demings, I work on two campuses and the idea of legions of clandestine white supremacists on our university campuses is at best a myth and more likely a lie to provide some conspiracy theory cover for the groups in the videos they showed earlier. She is quoting anecdotes and internet phantoms, that she could never substantiate if pressed.

  • If free speech hadn't been taken away from school newspapers, I think our kids would be much less likely to fall into intersectional BS 'i'm special now' politics, if they know their voices can be heard…. WITHOUT having expulsion threats just for posting tweets or facebook articles or chatting online about topics that someone just doesn't like. We want them to think critically, after making it darn clear that if they dare not toe the line in high school, they will be punished, often severely. This is madness. Cyber bullying is bullshit. Words can't hurt.– being punished and / or socially ostracized for 'wrong think' does… it damages individuals, it damages societies. It's time we stopped it. It's time we took the first amendment seriously once again.

  • Ben Shapiro and Milo Yannoppolus have come to the attention of the American Senate !!! You KNOW you have arrived when the state senate is talking about you!!!

  • Adam Corolla’s opening statement is completely underrated. Putting it in simple terms like that amongst so many politically trained individuals did wonders.

  • If it was the first time seeing those campus videos, then that panel needs a slap. They should have all been on top of this crap and squashed it.

  • Sorry white supremacy groups ain't the problem when there videos proof of blacks students clearly attacking white students and white professors!! So where's the white supremacists videos when it comes to these liberal colleges lashing out!!!

  • I think personal this is a black problem no offense but it's true!!! Blacks have help push this white privilege narrative along with whites are evil racist that must die. Thanks to liberals and democrats that made these selfless ppl the victim when there not the victim. So why is race such a big damn deal these days!!!

  • These fucking snowflake libtards can get the fuck over what ppl say that they don't agree with!!! Now thanks to liberal idiots my freedom of speech is in jeopardy all because of younger generation gots there heads in there ass's right or wrong?

  • I think zimmerman and the man next to him especially are in denial about the far left teachers and admin not thrusting their political beliefs on the students. They are being told what to think and not how to think.

  • Wow Mr. Brat brings the house down at 1:49:00 he is so correct and I can hear the Atheist Leftist Garbage are screaming through the computer and wanting to censor his free-speech. I bet there is a feminist communist Nazi writing the legislation this moment.

  • I can't believe a person on the committee for investigating free speech on college campuses actually said that public safety is more important than any right. You have to be completely ignorant of why the U.S. founders created our bill of rights. A government can easily create an authoritarian rule over its' people in the name of public safety. As the government will decide what each person can and can't do so the government can "protect" its' citizens. The bill of rights gives the american people the ability to ensure that if another person or our government threatens our rights and/or public safety, we can use the law of the land to enforce a criminal penalty on said person or use the bill of rights to protect ourselves. Also, she says that racists hide racism under the banner of free speech, but she is doing the same thing using a banner of public safety. It only took a democrat a few minutes to show the world she is a hypocrite. That is longer than most democrats take.

  • so when these people are talking who are OK with people who are disruptive ehen others ate speaking are basically tell us that they agree with is me or you or anyone interrupting them and not allowing them to talk and get their point across…ahh ok.

  • I'm so confused as to why nobody called out the ADL for all the anti anti-defamation shit they've been doing..i.e. Releasing the personal information of 36 supposed right wing activists leaving them open targets.
    Are they trying to say that can't possibly cause any harm? Alt-right is a demeaning (to most) term that indicates extremism and implies white supremacy. A lot of people on that list deny that but yet they'll still be open to all the criticism that comes with that label. The ADL is fucking bullshit.

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