- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 21, 2015

Forty percent of millennials support government censorship of speech offensive to minority groups, according to a survey released Friday.

The Pew Research Center found that millennials were the most likely of any age group to agree that government should have the authority to stop people from saying things that offend minorities, while Democrats were nearly twice as likely as Republicans to favor such bans.

The result comes amid a growing campus movement to ban “microaggressions” and create “safe spaces” free from statements deemed offensive to “marginalized” groups, including racial, ethnic and LGBT minorities.

Thirty-five percent of Democrats supported such bans as opposed to 18 percent of Republicans, along with 27 percent of those in “Generation X,” ages 35-50, 24 percent of Baby Boomers, ages 51-69, and 21 percent of those 70 and older.

That still left majorities in all age groups who opposed allowing the government to ban offensive speech. Among millennials, 58 percent disagreed with giving such authority to the government, along with 60 percent of Democrats.

“The debate over what kind of speech should be tolerated in public has become a major story around the globe in recent weeks – from racial issues on many U.S. college campuses to questions about speech laws in Europe in the wake of concerns about refugees from the Middle East and the terrorist attacks in Paris,” said the Pew analysis.

Broken down by racial group, 23 percent of whites and 38 percent of non-whites supported a government ban on speech offensive to minorities.

Europeans polled were far more supportive of government speech bans. A median of 49 percent of those polled in six European nations favored government speech ban to stop offensive comments aimed at minorities, compared with a U.S. median of 28 percent.

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