The message is that students are trying to be protected from free speech rather than using it or hearing it.

The College Fix reports:

Free speech on campus has become weaponized, Congress told

A congressional hearing addressed the status of the First Amendment on college campuses on Wednesday, and witnesses argued that students are using the principles of freedom of speech to protect themselves from offensive speech rather than empower them to speak out.

Congress was also warned that some students have come to see free speech as a politicized weapon used to intimidate them and insult them, a dangerous precedent that does not impart the principle’s founding ideals. However, committee members pushed back, saying that free speech is being used as political cover for hate speech.

“We run a real risk of raising a generation that’s alienated from its core principle, and that’s one of the dangers of politicizing this issue,” Susanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America, told the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

She and three other witnesses appeared before the committee. Zachary Wood, a writer and former president of Uncomfortable Learning at Williams College, FIRE Legislative and Policy Director Joe Cohn; and Ken Paulson, president of the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, also testified.

The discussion covered a range of topics, as the witnesses testified on issues from groupthink among professors to the constitutionality of free speech zones to the blacklisting of campus fraternities.

Rep. Virginia Foxx, a Republican from North Carolina, made the remark at the beginning of the hearing that “the land of the free has become the home of the offended.” Later in the hearing, an exchange between committee members and witnesses addressed the idea that the First Amendment is misunderstood by students, and is instead weaponized and politicized to justify hate speech or stifle it.

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