Comedian Adam Carolla was invited to testify before Congress on the state of free speech at American universities and said that it was time for the "adults" to take back control of campus.
Carolla, who has emerged as an active voice for free speech and is working on a new film that rails against "safe spaces," told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that university faculties are doing a disservice to students by letting them decide what speech is safe for them to hear.
"Children are the future but we are the present" Carolla said. "We're the adults."
"We're talking a lot about kids, and I think they're just that—kids," Carolla said. "We are the adults and we need to act like it."
"These are 18- and 19-year-old kids that grew up dipped in Purell playing soccer games where they never kept score and watching Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, and we're asking them to be mature," he said. "We need the adults to start being the adults."
Carolla also noted how drastically college campuses have transformed in recent years, pointing out that when he used to do college stops across the country as an entertainer, there was "nary a word of negativity."
"We must have played a hundred college campuses with nary a word of negativity, no safe spaces, and no stuffed animals being handed out," he said of his time on Loveline. "We simply went there, said our piece, many controversial ideas were exchanged, and that's just what they were—exchanged."
Fifteen years later Carolla noticed that things had changed when he went to do a show with conservative talk show host Dennis Prager at a California college.
"They pulled the plug on it," Carolla said. "They gave us no good reason why we couldn't talk there, and we had to get attorneys involved to go back and speak at a later date."
Now, Carolla says, kids are put in a bubble.
"Our plan is to put kids in a bubble, keep them away from everything and then somehow they will come out stronger when they emerge from the bubble. That's not happening."
Carolla put the blame on school faculty for failing to create order at their schools.
"We need to bring back law and order," Carolla said. "But I think that if we just had order, we wouldn't need law. So can the faculty and administration on these campuses just act like faculty and administration?"
Carolla stated later in the hearing, in response to other witnesses that were treating college as a place where children's minds are shaped, that he thinks the burden falls on parents to send kids away to college who don't need "diversity training."
"I didn't know anyone that went to college, so I had to figure out a way to become a decent human being—not to be racist, not to be filled with hate—minus college," he said. "I think that starts at home."
"If you get to 18 or 19, I believe the cement on the sidewalk of your brain is already tried and good luck carving your name on it with diversity training."
"You need to learn to be a good human being from zero to college, instead of us all converting you once you get to college," he said.
Carolla was joined at the hearing by conservative writer Ben Shapiro, who has been protested by college students on campuses across the country. He complained that speech is currently being protested based on the race and gender of the speaker, rather than on what is being said.