GLENN: Does the First Amendment protect hate speech? That's what US college students were asked last month in a nationwide study to gauge their understanding of the First Amendment. Is hate speech covered? The results are not exactly encouraging. Forty-four percent of college students say, "Nope, it's not." Nearly half. Hate speech is not covered and protected under the First Amendment. Sixteen percent said, "I don't really know."
In hopes that some of these students may be listening, the correct answer is, unfortunately, yes. The First Amendment does protect what society deems hate speech. You might find the speech totally disgusting, totally revolting, absolutely wrong, but hate speech is indeed protected by our Constitution. And if you don't understand why the protection of the worst kind of speech is absolutely vital, then we need a ton of remedial education. And I think we do.
If there is a speaker on campus that students consider offensive, 51 percent said it's okay for the student group to shout over the audience -- shout over the speaker so the audience can't hear him. Fifty-one percent. Even worse, 19 percent of college students said it's okay to use violence to keep a controversial speaker from speaking on campus. Nineteen percent.
This has to have both Antifa and neo-Nazis salivating. Students and Americans, here's another constitutional right you may not know about: You have the right to not listen to speakers that offend you.
This advice is especially handy for Berkeley students, next week during their free speech week, stay home. Read a book. Hang out with friends. Go to a concert. Study at a library. Have your own speech someplace. Whatever.
Just don't cave into the lie that you must physically restrain anyone who offends you.
There is no such thing as a safe zone. If there is a safe zone, then no one is ever safe. Because the minute that 51 percent of society says, "You know what, I don't like your speech, you're not not safe." The study shows that we have out-of-control progressivism. We have out-of-control Marxism. It's easy to mock. It's easy to blame. It's easy to point fingers. But now, what do we do about it? How do you fix such ignorance?
Well, the first thing we do is stop mocking each other. Start trying to find ways to talk to one another, to have actual conversations. And I'm not talking about the 20 percent that are the Nazis on or the Marxist revolutionaries. I'm talking about the 80 percent.
The 80 percent of the American people who don't want to live this way. Who can listen to their neighbor and roll their eyes and be like, okay. We got a crazy neighbor. But they will still help their neighbor. They will still love their neighbor.
The way to do this is we have to make sure our own house is in order first. First of all, parents, you cannot assume that your children are learning the Constitution at school, because they are not.
And if we don't pass the torch on the basic American freedoms in our own, you can be sure most schools and universities are not going to get the job done.