Why is free speech seen as a stumbling block to racial equality and other objectives?

FIRE reports.

Free Speech Includes the Right Not Just to Speak But to Listen and Judge

The state of free expression on campus has been hotly debated in the media for months. In a recent salvo, Conor Friedersdorf’s March 8 article for The Atlantic titled “Free Speech Advocates Are Not Trying to Silence Students” listed the points of agreement and those of contention. Although the list of areas of dispute was long, Friedersdorf concluded that among observers “opining on campus culture,” a consensus exists that:

Broad free speech rights and norms should be upheld.
Student activists ought to be permitted to hold protests on their campuses, to criticize anything they want to as racist, and to make any demands that they like, regardless of whether the demands in question are liberal or illiberal.

FIRE endorses both propositions.