When the Alt-Right Hits Campus
Dillard, Angela D.http://www.solidarity-us.org/site/node/4860
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/01/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21518
Under the auspices of the "Alt Right" and its wannabe hipster version of white nationalism, the University of Michigan community was subjected to a bombardment of racist hate that many of us thought relegated to the pre-Obama past.
Many, perhaps even most, college students themselves tend not to see protest as proof that free speech on campuses is really in danger. A recent poll found that 73% of the 3,000 students sampled across 240 colleges rated free speech on campuses to be secure to very secure, and more than half believe that free speech protections have indeed increased.
The vast majority of students, according to this survey and as summarized in a thoughtful article published in the Atlantic Monthly, do not believe institutions ought to restrict political views as a matter of policy although, and this is critical: "Students tend to draw the line at slurs and ethnically stereotypical costumes, however with 69% and 63%, respectively, believing campuses should have the ability to restrict those kinds of expression."
In other words, what distinguishes young adults today is not an aversion to unfamiliar and uncomfortable opinions. It is that they are much more comfortable than their parents - and apparently many journalists - about curtailing speech on campus whose purpose is to hurt, mock and, like the posters at Michigan, to promote white supremacists views.