At Yale And Mizzou, Safe Space Destroys You

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Nov 10, 2015 12:20 PM
At Yale And Mizzou, Safe Space Destroys You

UPDATE: Our own Leigh Wolf has created this video as a response to this nonsense.

UPDATE II: Um...really?

UPDATE III: Via Mediaite, Mizzou alum Michael Sam says he didn't have any racial problems while he was there.

**Original Post**

The Atlantic’s Conor Freidersdorf has a lengthy article about the meltdown at Yale over Halloween costumes. He goes through the whole saga about the email Erika Christakis sent in response to the one from the 13-member Intercultural Affairs Committee that warned about politically incorrect costumes (a level of idiocy that almost makes me want to light myself on fire to escape its absurdity but here we go).

That email has caused turmoil at Yale, and prompted students to call on Erika and her husband, Nicholas, to resign from their respective positions of Associate Master and Master of Silliman College; Silliman is one of the residential colleges at the University. It culminated with students surrounding Nicholas, who was trying to engage in a civil debate, only to be hit with this [language warning]:

Of course, Nicholas came down on the side of freedom of speech and expression, which goes against everything these delicate little snowflakes at an elite school hold dear regarding their parochial progressive agenda. Freidersdorf cited an article that Greg Lukianoff, president and CEO of the Foundation For Individual Rights (FIRE) and Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist, wrote for the publication called “the coddling of the American mind,” where they found too many young liberals on campus engaged in “catastrophizing” events on their respective campuses. In other words, everyday events that are bearable for anyone with a scintilla of rational thought are considered apocalyptic to these students. It could be a fancy explanation to chart intellectual weakness, or catalog the proverbial drama queen on bath salts:

According to The Washington Post, “several students in Silliman said they cannot bear to live in the college anymore.” These are young people who live in safe, heated buildings with two Steinway grand pianos, an indoor basketball court, a courtyard with hammocks and picnic tables, a computer lab, a dance studio, a gym, a movie theater, a film-editing lab, billiard tables, an art gallery, and four music practice rooms. But they can’t bear this setting that millions of people would risk their lives to inhabit because one woman wrote an email that hurt their feelings?

Another Silliman resident declared in a campus publication, “I have had to watch my friends defend their right to this institution. This email and the subsequent reaction to it have interrupted their lives. I have friends who are not going to class, who are not doing their homework, who are losing sleep, who are skipping meals, and who are having breakdowns.” One feels for these students. But if an email about Halloween costumes has them skipping class and suffering breakdowns, either they need help from mental-health professionals or they’ve been grievously ill-served by debilitating ideological notions they’ve acquired about what ought to cause them pain.

The student next described what she thinks residential life at Yale should be. Her words: “I don’t want to debate. I want to talk about my pain.”

To make matters worse, over the weekend, Lukianoff attended the William F. Buckley Program conference on free speech, where his comments about the Christakis email drew the ire of the student body (via YaleDailyNews):

“Looking at the reaction to [Silliman College Associate Master] Erika Christakis’ email, you would have thought someone wiped out an entire Indian village,” Lukianoff said, according to Gian-Paul Bergeron ’17, who was present at the event and posted the quotation online just after 4 p.m. According to seven other attendees interviewed, the remark was followed by laughter in the crowd, although students present gave different accounts of how many audience members laughed.

[…]

The online Facebook post led a group of Native American women, other students of color and their supporters to protest the conference in an impromptu gathering outside of LC 102, where the Buckley event was taking place. Officers from the Yale Police Department stood in front of the entrance, announcing that the event was at full capacity and that no one who had not registered would be allowed to enter.

[…]

Around 5:45 p.m., as attendees began to leave the conference, students outside chanted the phrase “Genocide is not a joke” and held up written signs of the same words. Taking Howard’s reminder into account, protesters formed a clear path through which attendants could leave. A large group of students eventually gathered outside of the building on High Street. According to Buckley fellows present during the conference, several attendees were spat on as they left. One Buckley fellow said he was spat on and called a racist. Another, who is a minority himself, said he has been labeled a “traitor” by several fellow minority students. Both asked to remain anonymous because they were afraid of attracting backlash.

So, it’s come to this: we need to spit on people to let them know we can’t tolerate their ideas or views. The thought of having a differing opinion is so abhorrent that a projectile emanating from the salivary glands has to be the appropriate action; words from the Oxford Dictionary be damned. Oh, and the notion that a person of color must act, think, or be affiliated with one political party, movement, or disposition is as anti-American as you could get. Being for free speech as a person of color is somehow being a race traitor because a Halloween costume might give you a stroke over its offensiveness, which, in these instances, almost always turns out to be either innocuous or overblown. We’re truly getting our blood pressures ratcheted up to unhealthy levels over this. Grow up, kids–please.

As Freidersdorf aptly noted, this behavior encapsulated the “muddled ideology [that] the Yale activists had to destroy the safe space to save it.” The same mindset was applied to defending some towns and villages in Vietnam during our military intervention there. In some instances, we had to destroy the villages to save it. It made no sense, and we lost the Vietnam War.

Over at the University of Missouri, there’s been something akin to the Saturday Night Massacre. The university’s president, Tim Wolfe, and chancellor, R. Bowen Loftin, both stepped down after members of the student body felt the administration wasn’t doing enough to address the incidents of racism on campus. It reached fever pitch when a graduate student Jonathan Butler started a hunger strike last week, coupled by the schools’ football team refusing to play until Butler started eating again.

Katie had more on this with her morning posts on the protests at the school. Students are apparently blocking the press from speaking with the protesters, who had set up camp on the quad. It was designated a “no media, safe space.” Oh, and the "white media" needs to respect those "black spaces" because apparently apartheid is good, but only when people of color initiate it, or something. When press try to speak to protesters, well, this happens [emphasis mine]:

When a reporter went into a protest "safe space" camp yesterday to ask some questions about their goals and motives, a Mizzou assistant media professor demanded that he leave. Her name is Melissa Click and according to her bio, she's currently researching 50 Shades of Gray and the relationship Lady Gaga has with her fans on social media. When the reporter refused, she went around the camp asking for "some muscle" to remove him. Ironically, the reporter is a student reporter for the Mizzou student newspaper.

Katie added that at least one reporter Click tried to purge from the secret circle was Asian, not white.

To make things more insane, CNN reported that Gov. Jay Nixon cited Wolfe’s resignation as "a necessary step toward healing and reconciliation." This coming from the governor who literally was a deer in the headlights concerning handling the Ferguson situation after Officer Darren Wilson justifiably shot Michael Brown in self-defense. The city was engulfed in riots.

In higher education, it seems outright contempt and muzzling of freedom of speech, expression, and the press has further engulfed America's college campuses.