- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A recent study commissioned by Young America’s Foundation (YAF) has found that a majority of self-identified college-age liberals, despite professed claims at supporting free speech, are actually more inclined to back censorship of ideas with which they disagree. According to the YAF study, while 97 percent of those surveyed claimed to value the importance of free speech, slightly more than half — 54 percent — also decried the Confederate battle flag as hateful and should rightfully be banned in public displays.

YAF also found that left-leaning students were also quick to discount the notion that diversity of opinion “enhanced” their learning experience if it also included a more conservative perspective.

“Professors and administrators at universities across the country actively work to shut down conservative speech,” Ron Robinson, president of Young America’s Foundation, said of the report. “It’s no wonder liberal students are confused as to how the concept of free speech is actually applied.”

The poll found that, despite the personal leanings of the respondents, liberal and conservative college students alike were troubled by an atmosphere of political correctness. Sixty-four percent said it was difficult to talk openly about issues on their campuses, and 60 percent believed that certain concepts were elided from their curricula due to sensitivity.

“We have faith in the power of ideas and have never felt compelled to disguise them as gimmicks to attract young people,” Mr. Robinson said in a statement provided to The Washington Times. “Young people are just as interested in freedom as their parents. We know that to be true, and it inspires us to reach more students every day.”

The survey, published by the National Review in a column by David French, was conducted among college-attending 18- to 24-year-olds by The Polling Company, Inc.

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