It’s amazing how casually some college students dismiss the importance of free speech.

Taylor Grenawalt reports at Campus Reform.

Brown students: improving race relations is more important than free speech

In response to controversial op-eds published in the school newspaper, five Brown University students are claiming that freedom of speech does not confer the right to express opinions they find distasteful.

“The right to free speech is a protection against the abuse of power, not a guarantee of a platform for all ideas,” a group of students wrote in an op-ed for the Brown Daily Herald.

The assertion came in response to outrage over two recent op-eds that some students found offensive and racist in nature—one daring to mention biological differences between races and the other defending Columbus Day.

The articles led to ultimatums from two minority student organizations demanding that the paper formally apologize for publishing the opinions and endorse the effort to change Columbus Day to “Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” which in turn prompted an open letter from school administrators, including Brown President Christina Paxson, deeming the article valuable in producing dialogue and constructive discussion.

Five Brown students added their voices to that dialogue Monday with their op-ed arguing that improving race relations among students is more important than protecting their freedom of speech. In the op-ed, the group states that the original Daily Herald columns directly inflicted pain and harm on Brown students and was a use “of color as teaching tools.”