Conservative pundit Dennis Prager recently lambasted college education in the United States, likening it to a game of “Russian roulette.” Prager made the comments on the Fox News show, The Story with Martha MacCallum, as he promoted his new film, No Safe Spaces, which explores the debate surrounding free speech at college campuses and other more progressive enclaves (via Fox News).
“There is such a large percentage of young people — or, for that matter, old people — who believe the First Amendment needs to be changed,” Prager said.
“About 50 percent of millennials believe the First Amendment should be modified to ban hate speech.”
“But, of course, the whole point of free speech is that what you consider hate speech is irrelevant,” Prager added.
Many universities have recently come under attack for their stance that banning hate speech is more important than free speech, and Prager’s segment opened with one such example. Less than a week ago, Reagan Economic Policy Advisory Board Member Art Laffer was shouted down just seconds into his speech at Binghamton University, causing his appearance to be cancelled. The famed economist is credited for coming up with the Laffer Curve.
In response to the protests, Prager stated his belief that the only way to separate the good ideas from the bad ideas was through debate. However, he believes that this debate is being stifled, as controversial speakers are being silenced.
“This emanates from the left — from Lenin to the present-day university, anywhere on earth has never countenanced free speech. It can’t deal with free speech,” Prager continued in the segment.
“Sending your child to college is playing Russian roulette with their values,” he concluded, adding that he believed universities were indoctrinating their students instead of teaching them.
Prager also cited a famous case from 1977, informally called the “Skokie Affair.” It centered on the National Socialist Party of America, otherwise known as American Nazis, marching on the small town of Skokie, Illinois. Skokie was where many Holocaust survivors lived, and they sought an injunction against the march.
However, the Supreme Court decided on the side of free speech, allowing the march to continue. Prager, a Jew himself, said that he believed that it was the correct decision and essential to American society.
The protest at Binghamton was just one of many examples cited by right-leaning pundits in recent weeks. For example, The Daily Northwestern, the student newspaper of Northwestern University, apologized to students for reporting on a Jeff Sessions speaking event. In an editorial, the team apologized for “harming” the protesting students by possibly re-triggering them.
The letter was lambasted on social media, and the backlash was so intense that Charles Whitaker, dean of Northwestern’s School of Journalism, issued a statement that claimed the student-led newspaper — which is not affiliated with the graduate school — had felt bullied into apologizing by social media (via The Chicago Tribune).
That said, the problem is not exclusive to conservatives. Democrat Jeh Johnson, who served as Department of Homeland Security Secretary under President Barack Obama, was recently forced to withdraw from a speaking event at the University of Southern California due to his stance on immigration.
This is not the first time that Prager has made headlines for his beliefs. As reported by The Inquisitr, the Prager University founder made waves for proposing what he claimed were three easy questions that would prove whether Trump supporters were racist or not.