Here is a good article on why our race toward authoritarianism and the forcible suppression of unpopular opinions may be ill-advised.
Here is the video of the Cal Poly event that is discussed in this article:
“Freedom of speech under fire,” by Al Fonzi, New Times, September 14, 2017:
Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States and the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, repeatedly affirmed the rights of conscience as embodied in the First Amendment’s protection of speech, religion, and peaceful assembly. To quote him:
“No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the rights of conscience.”
What was Jefferson referring to as “conscience”? Prior to the American Revolution, particularly in the early 1700s and late 1600s, Americans were forced to support churches not of their choosing. In some colonies, ministers of non-approved denominations were imprisoned and even hanged. From the memory of this intolerance came insistence upon a Bill of Rights being included in the newly ratified Constitution.
For 200 years these rights were tested and expanded by the courts into a clearly defined body of law that protected the most important rights of humanity: the right to speak your mind without fear of legal prosecution. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be social or economic repercussions; others have the right to disagree with your speech and exercise their own First Amendment right by sanctioning your speech via social isolation and vehemently disagreeing with your views while expounding upon their own. Objectionable speech is best opposed by reasoned speech, not by mob violence or censorship by government.
A growing, disturbing trend from a once vigorous defender of free speech emanates from the academic community. A few years ago I attended an event at Cal Poly that hosted Dr. Robert Spencer who specialized in the intellectual fight against radical Islamic Jihad. A number of Cal Poly students attended, most from various social science disciplines. As soon as Spencer began to speak, a number of students angrily left the room as a form of protest against Spencer’s message, exercising their disagreement via the First Amendment without, however, hearing a word he had to say. A number of Muslim students remained for Spencer’s entire talk, asking pointed questions at the end of the event.
At the end of Spencer’s talk a young woman stated that Spencer shouldn’t be allowed to speak on college campuses as her First Amendment rights protected her against (what she considered) hate speech. She was a senior, scheduled to graduate in a few weeks, a sad commentary on how indoctrination has replaced critical thinking in our universities. Several attorneys present in the audience proceeded to correct her misinterpretation of the First Amendment, which protects objectionable speech against the tyranny of the majority….
Allowing the government to censor the speech of unpopular groups will inevitably lead to suppression of all views not approved by the government.