Commentary: My First Amendment concerns with ‘The Anxious Generation’

April 10, 2024 1 min read

Greg Lukianoff
The Eternally Radical Idea, Substack

Excerpt: About a decade ago, I had a weird idea. At the time, I had for 13 years defended free speech and academic freedom in higher education at FIRE — then the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, now and Expression — but something began to change around 2014. There was a sudden surge in attempts to deplatform speakers, and students were arriving on campus requesting things I’d never heard of, like “trigger warnings,” “safe spaces,” and the policing of “microaggressions.”

I was developing a theory about what happened, but I wanted to talk it through with someone knowledgeable. That’s when I asked Jonathan Haidt out to lunch to discuss it. Jon is a world-renowned social psychologist and professor at New York University. We met at an Indian restaurant near his campus, and I started to lay out my thoughts. What followed was the beginning of a working relationship and friendship that continues to this day.

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