Congressional Hearing: Campus Free Speech Is Under Assault [Video]

Adam Carolla and Ben Shapiro testified this week in front of Congress about the assault on campus free speech at our nation’s colleges.

The full hearing was three hours long and full video of the hearing is available. Clips of Corolla and Shapiro’s opening statements are now circulating.

Ben Shapiro - 2017 Campus Speech Testimony - YouTubeShapiro’s opening statement took very specific aim at the tactics of student social justice warriors with regard to campus free speech.

Shapiro outlined how they use the idea of microaggressions and the philosophy of intersectionality to silence opinions they don’t like.

“In order to understand what’s been going on at some of our college campuses, it’s necessary to explore the ideology that provides the impetus for a lot of the protesters who violently obstruct events, pull fire alarms, assault professors and even other students ”” and the impetus for administrators who all too often humor these protesters. Free speech is under assault because of a three-step argument made by the advocates and justifiers of violence,” stated Shapiro.

Shapiro continued, listing the steps used to assault campus free speech one by one.

“The first step is they say that the validity or invalidity of an argument can be judged solely by the ethnic, sexual, racial, or cultural identity of the person making the argument,” Shapiro said. “The second step is that they claim those who say otherwise are engaging in what they call verbal violence.”

“The final step is they conclude that physical violence is sometimes justified in order to stop such verbal violence,” Shapiro concluded.

Watch the opening statement clip:

Shapiro’s opening remarks can be read in full at the Daily Wire.

Adam Corolla - 2017 Campus Free Speech Testimony - YouTubeCarolla cut to the chase after a few moments of joking about keeping the pads on the desk in front of him.  He described touring the country earlier in his career and hitting college campuses all over with no issue and no “safe spaces” needed. Carolla says that now, 15 years later, things were very different.

Carolla described trying to do a show with conservative Dennis Prager at Cal State North Ridge and the school “pulled the plug on it” and gave no reason why.  Corolla said they had to get attorneys involved to get to the bottom of it and return at a later date.

Carolla said that the adults need to take back control from the kids and that campus administrators were not doing these kids any favors by kow-towing to them.

“These are 18- and 19-year-old kids that grew up dipped in Purell playing soccer games where they never kept score and watching Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, and we’re asking them to be mature,” he said. “We need the adults to start being the adults,” said Carolla.

Meanwhile, In North Carolina – Campus Free Speech Act Unsigned

While Congress held that hearing, a North Carolina bill that would actually protect said free speech remained unsigned on Governor Roy Cooper’s desk.

A similar bill was passed and signed in May by the Governor of Tennessee.

As reported previously, the Restore Free Speech on Campus Act has been championed by Lt. Governor Dan Forest and college free speech advocate organization, F.I.R.E.

F.I.R.E rated a number of University of North Carolina campuses on their speech policies and the vast majority garnered either a red light or yellow light rating – meaning they had restrictive speech codes. Only one, UNC Chapel Hill, received a green light.

North Carolina - Free Speech - FIRE - Lt. Governor Dan Forest
Protecting Free Speech = “Extreme Agenda”

Democratic Rep. Verla Insko believes such a bill to preserve and protect free speech on campus is part of an “extreme agenda.”

Insko thinks the bill regulates speech instead of protecting campus free speech, however the bill is very specific in its aim to keep administrators from silencing students or groups of students.

Four main provisions of the bill include:

1) Universities institute a policy on free expression that would nullify any restrictive speech codes.
2) A discipline policy that would punish students who shout down visiting speakers or deprive others of their right to free expression, a tactic commonly known as the “hecklers’ veto”.
3) Allows anyone that has had their free speech rights infringed to sue the university and recover court costs and attorney fees.
4) Requires that freshman orientation include a session on the promotion of free expression on campus.

While some legislators like Insko believe this is a bill in search of a problem, the recent lawsuit at NC State University is a clear example that stifled speech is not just a ‘Berkeley issue’. In that case, NC State Christian student group won the suit and reclaimed their 1st Amendment rights on campus  – to talk to peers without a “permit.”

Flashback to 2009, when a Tom Tancredo event was shut down after protesters shouted him down and an object was thrown through a window in the room.

In recent months, Professor Mike Adams of UNC Wilmington has come under fire for expressing his views in writing in the columns he has posted at the conservative news site, TownHall.

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