“Research shows prejudice, not principle, often underpins ‘free-speech defense’ of racist language

““We think of principles as ideas we use to guide behavior in our everyday lives. Our data show something different — that we tend to make up our mind on something based on our attitudes — in this case, racial attitudes — and then decide that the principle is relevant or irrelevant. People do whatever best fits their pre-existing attitudes.”…
“You might think that, ‘Maybe people who defend this racist speech are just big fans of free speech, that they’re principled supporters of freedom,’” Crandall said. “Well, no. We give them a ‘news’ article with the same speech aimed at police — and prejudice scores are completely uncorrelated with defending speech aimed at police — and also uncorrelated with snarky speech aimed at customers at a coffee shop, but with no racial content.”…
“It isn’t so much that these controversies make prejudiced people feel bad about themselves; instead, it seems to be driven partially by prejudiced people feeling like they are not free to live how they want to live and say what they want to say — they feel as if their freedom is under attack,” he said.
Indeed, people with high levels of prejudice were very sensitive to their own freedom of expression.
“They weren’t defending their own attitudes, as much as ‘defending to the death their right to say it,’” Crandall said. “Just so long as the ‘it’ is the prejudiced speech they share.””

Not surprised by this. SO MANY EXAMPLES of moments when POC are censored and punished for their speech and you don’t see any members of the free speech crowd standing up; it’s only when their own speech is threatened.

Also… free speech is such a solid distraction technique. It’s like when pro-life activists try to drag pro-choice activists into conversations about when life begins. That’s not the point of abortion access though — the point is human health and reproductive choice.

Related:

What is “cognitive feudalism”?

Collected writing on campus activism, free speech, and safety

Are We Mistaking Feelings for Politics?

Brain Scans Link Concern for Justice with Reason Not Emotion

Meritocracy or Bias?” (White people are suddenly opposed to meritocracies when you start talking about Asian success)

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