Adam Kredo, writing for The Washington Free Beacon, explained, “With the topic of campus speech issues dominating the headlines, documentary filmmaker Ami Horowitz took to Yale’s campus to see if students would sign a petition to repeal the First Amendment, which includes the rights to free speech, religion, the press, and assembly.”
Fox News reported, “A solid majority of the students asked willingly signed the petition, with several expressing their enthusiastic approval for his anti-First Amendment efforts.”
The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press: of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is also the first section of the Bill of Rights. It is arguably the most important part of the U.S. Constitution, as it guarantees freedoms that Americans have cherished for years.
President Harry Truman stated, “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”
Yale University, an Ivy League school and the third oldest institution of higher education in the U.S. (Harvard is the oldest and William & Mary is second), is one of the most prestigious universities in the nation with an endowment of over $20 billion.
Christopher Proctor, writing for USA TODAY, describes Ivy League schools thusly, “[They] share many common characteristics – academic prestige, in-depth history, huge price-tags, bell towers that play Harry Potter music and, of course Ivy-covered buildings.”
Interestingly, Yale, originally called Collegiate School, was founded in 1701 by Congregationalist ministers who were unhappy with the growing liberalism at Harvard. The ministers donated 40 books and declared their objective, that “Youth may be instructed in the Arts and Sciences who through the blessing of God may be fitted for public employment both in Church and Civil State.”
In 1745 when the school was moved to New Haven and renamed Yale the stated purpose of the university was “To plant and under ye Divine blessing to propagate in this WiIderness, the blessed Reformed, Protestant Religion, in ye purity of its Order and Worship.”
For students at Yale to sign an anti-First Amendment petition is to negate their right to speak or protest. It is an example of liberalism and political correctness run amok.
“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”
President Harry S. Truman
Kirsten Powers, writer for the Daily Beast and Fox News contributor, comments, “The root of nearly every free-speech infringement on campuses across the country is that someone – almost always a liberal – has been offended or has sniffed out a potential offense in the making. Then, the silencing campaign begins. The offender must be punished, not just for justice’s sake, but also to send the message to anyone else on campus that should he or she stray off the leftist script, they too might find themselves investigated, harassed, ostracized, or even expelled.
“If the illiberal left can preemptively silence opposing speakers or opposing groups – such as getting a speech or event canceled, or denying campus recognition for a group – even better.
Powers’ remarks help explain why Yale students would dare sign an anti-First Amendment petition.
She continued, “For many Americans the term ‘speech code’ sends shivers up the spine. Yet these noxious and un-American codes have become commonplace on college campuses across the United States. They are typically so broad that they could include literally anything and are subject to the interpretation of school administrators, who frequently fail to operate as honest brokers.
“In the hands of the illiberal left, the speech codes are weapons to silence anyone – professors, students, visiting speakers – who expresses a view that deviates from the left’s worldview or ideology. Speech that offends them is redefined as ‘harassment’ or ‘hate speech’ both of which are barred by most campus speech codes.
“At Colorado College, a private liberal arts college, administrators invented a ‘violence’ policy that was used to punish non-violent speech. The consequences of violating a speech code are serious: it can often lead to public shaming, censoring, firings, suspensions, or expulsions, often with no due process.”
“For many Americans the term ‘speech code’ sends shivers up the spine. Yet these noxious and un-American codes have become commonplace on college campuses across the United States.”
By signing the anti-First Amendment petition the students at Yale are committing free speech suicide. They are cutting off their nose to spite their face. These students likely will become the leaders of America in the future. If they know what they are doing, they are giving evidence that they would undermine the very foundation upon which this nation was founded.
If they don’t know what they are doing, they may be going to one of the most prestigious universities in America, but they are either grossly misguided or just plain dumb.