The Corner

Video: Yale Students Sign Petition to Repeal the First Amendment

Behold, America’s future leaders:

Street satirist Ami Horowitz went to Yale’s campus and asked students if they’d sign a petition demanding the repeal of the First Amendment. The response appears disturbingly enthusiastic. Student comments include ”I totally agree with where you’re at.” “Thank you for doing this.” And my personal favorite: ”I think this is really awesome that you’re out here.” Horowitz claimed to collect more than 50 signatures in less than an hour.

A Yale University spokesman was not amused and questioned the veracity of the video:

“There are a number of heavily edited prank videos like this one circulating lately in which someone surreptitiously records people while pretending to support a position that they actually oppose, and trying to get the individuals they speak with to agree with them,” Tom Conroy wrote in an email. “I have to acknowledge that I don’t take them seriously as an accurate representation of what every person interviewed or shown in the videos believes.”

I wasn’t there when the video was filmed and can’t resolve any dispute over the video’s claims, but disrespect for the First Amendment is common on campus. A recent YAF survey showed that a stunning 53 percent of students believed that “choosing to use or not use certain words can constitute an act of violence,” and many student radicals openly long for European models of hate speech prosecution. So it’s not hard to believe that dozens of students from one of America’s elite universities would petition the government to end, among other things, the right to petition the government. 

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