79% Recognize That Free Speech Protects Minority Rights

Seventy-nine percent (79%) of voters believe that free speech protects minority rights. A Scott Rasmussen national survey also showed that 64% believe no one is empowered more by free speech than the historically marginalized and dispossessed.

Just 22% think that those who support free speech are enemies of diversity. Sixty-nine percent (69%) reject that view.

Frederick Douglass called free speech “the great moral renovator of society and government.” Seventy-six percent (76%) of voters agree.

Douglass, born into slavery became one of the nation’s greatest orators. On the eve of the Civil War, he gave a speech observing  that free speech “is the dread of tyrants.  It is the right which they first of all strike down.  They know its power.  Thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, founded in injustice and wrong, are sure to tremble, if men are allowed to reason of righteousness, temperance, and of a judgment to come in their presence.”

As it applied to the dominant issue of his day, Douglass said “Slavery cannot tolerate free speech.  Five years of its exercise would banish the auction block and break every chain in the South.”

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Note: Neither Scott Rasmussen, ScottRasmussen.com, nor RMG Research, Inc. have any affiliation with Rasmussen Reports. While Scott Rasmussen founded that firm, he left more than seven years ago and has had no involvement since that time.


Do you agree or disagree with the following statements:

No one is empowered more by free speech than the historically marginalized and dispossessed

28%    Strongly agree

36%    Somewhat agree

13%    Somewhat disagree

5%    Strongly disagree

19%    Not sure

People who support free speech are enemies of diversity

12%    Strongly agree

10%    Somewhat agree

22%    Somewhat disagree

47%    Strongly disagree

8%    Not sure

Free speech is the great moral renovator of society and government

38%    Strongly agree

38%    Somewhat agree

9%    Somewhat disagree

2%    Strongly disagree

13%    Not sure

Free speech protects minority rights

43%    Strongly agree

36%    Somewhat agree

7%    Somewhat disagree

3%    Strongly disagree

11%    Not sure


The survey of 1,200 Registered Voters was conducted online by Scott Rasmussen on October 28-30, 2021. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc. Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, internet usage, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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