A new Pew Research Center poll shows that 40 percent of American Millennials (ages 18-34) are likely to support government prevention of public statements offensive to minorities.
It should be noted that vastly different numbers resulted for older generations in the Pew poll on the issue of offensive speech and the government’s role.
Around 27 percent of Generation X’ers (ages 35-50) support such an idea, while 24 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 51-69) agree that censoring offensive speech about minorities should be a government issue. Only 12 percent of the Silent Generation (ages 70-87) thinks that government should prevent offensive speech toward minorities.
The poll comes at a time when college activists, such as the group “Black Lives Matter,” are making demands in the name of racial and ethnic equality at over 20 universities across the nation.
Some of the demands include restrictions on offensive Halloween costumes at Yale University to the deletion of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s image and name at Princeton University to “anti-oppression training” for employees at Brown University.
“Woodrow Wilson obviously … had a very ill-informed and ignorant view of race,” 1968 Princeton graduate Eric Chase told Reuters. “But he is a big piece of Princeton history and he should stay a big piece,” noting that it’s a push to “erase history and whitewash it and put something else in its place.”
— Pew Research Center (@pewresearch) November 21, 2015
At Dartmouth College, remaining quiet and minding one’s own business was deemed offensive by a group of Black Lives Matter protesters who stormed the school’s library and screamed profanities at studying students for not joining their protest.
Pressure from students and faculty at Amherst College could result in the school dropping its unofficial mascot Lord Jeff Amherst. Amherst commanded British forces in North America during the French and Indian War. Some argue that Amherst gave blankets infected with the smallpox virus to wipe out the Native Americans Indians. Others dispute this. In fact, a group of Amherst protesters want students who posted a flyer around campus celebrating free speech to be punished.
The University of North Dakota changed its team mascot name to the “Fighting Hawks” after the National Collegiate Athletic Association said the previous name the “Fighting Sioux” was “hostile and abusive.”
Meanwhile, Georgetown University is in the midst of renaming two campus buildings that were named for two previous school presidents involved in the slave trade.