President Trump on Thursday signed an Executive Order protecting Free Speech on college campuses.
“We’re here to take historic action to defend American students and American values,” Trump said, at the White House East Room while joined on stage by student activists. “They’ve been under siege.”
We are here today to take historic action to defend American Students and American Values. In a few moments, I will be signing an Executive Order to protect FREE SPEECH on College Campuses.https://t.co/gFFnSl1bEF
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 21, 2019
“Under the guise of speech codes and safe spaces and trigger warnings, these universities have tried to restrict free thought, impose total conformity and shut down the voices of great young Americans,” the president explained.
“Even as universities have received billions and billions of dollars from taxpayers, many have become increasingly hostile to free speech and the First Amendment,” Trump said.
“All of that changes starting right now,” he declared to applause. “We’re talking about billions and billions of dollars.”
“Taxpayer dollars should not subsidize anti-First Amendment institutions, and that’s exactly what they are ‘anti-First Amendment,” he added, saying, “Universities that want taxpayer dollars should promote free speech, not silence free speech.”
“To every student and young person here today and watching, don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you know is right, from asking questions, from challenging the powerful, or from speaking your mind, that’s the primary reason we’re here right now,” Trump said. “Never, ever quit. Never give in, and never back down. Keep standing up for your values, for your classmates, and for your country.”
Trump had declared he would address free speech protections on college campuses during his speech at CPAC last month, where he brought conservative student activist Hayden Williams on stage after he was filmed being punched at the University of California-Berkeley.
While protecting the First Amendment at colleges across America is a good first step, it remains to be seen how Trump will address Big Tech censorship on social media.
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