Janet Napolitano: We Must Educate Students Restricting Free Speech What First Amendment Means

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President of the University of California system Janet Napolitano, the former Secretary of Homeland Security, addressed campus free speech on Friday's Morning Joe and the "increasing number of people" who believe controversial speakers should be restricted from making appearances at schools.

"We must remind them that in the past it was speakers favoring, say, the civil rights movement, who were sought to be restricted," Napolitano said of people opposing speakers at UCal schools.

JEREMY PETERS, NEW YORK TIMES: Secretary, back to your home base for a second, the University of California was the birthplace of the free speech movement. These days, it seems more like the birthplace of the new anti-free speech movement. There's a lot of calls to restrict controversial speakers. Some of them racist speakers. Do you think as an educator ahead of the system that there is a generational shift in the understanding of what free speech is and who should be allowed to speak? Is it a problem in your eyes?



JANET NAPOLITANO, PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SYSTEM: Yeah, I think it is. And I think we have to do a much better job of educating our young people about what the First Amendment protects, what it means, and how -- once you start restricting speech, you are on a slippery slope. And so we are educators and that should be part of our mission. Because you're absolutely right, we see an increasing number of young people believe that, you know, we should restrict people like, you know, Richard Spencer, or Milo Yiannopoulos, or Ben Shapiro, from speaking at campuses. And we must remind them that in the past it was speakers favoring, say, the civil rights movement, who were sought to be restricted. So, again, education is key.


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