Why is free speech waning?

Why Evolution Is True

Since the 1960s, when I was engaged in various forms of liberal political activism, I’ve seen a waning of the support for free speech, so that now speech that offends people (erroneously lumped as “hate speech”) is under question.  The UN, of course, is contantly beleaguered by Muslim countries to make “defamation” an international crime, but much of the pressure also comes from college campuses in the U.S. and U.K. In fact, in our student newspaper last week, one student, offended by a Halloween costume of another (granted, a costume expressing a noxious national stereotype) called for help from the administration to suppress that kind of thing because, as he said, “Words hurt.”

“Words hurt” is the mantra of the new suppress-free-speech movement. And yes, words can hurt feelings, but so what? They also make people think. My view has always been that of the U.S. government itself: that speech cannot be suppressed so long as…

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