Who Needs a Safe Space on Campus?

Gary Fouse

This article first appeared in Eagle Rising.

From coast to coast, there are new buzz words on our college campuses; triggering, micro-aggression, macro-aggression, and safe spaces to name a few. Led by the University of Missouri, campuses all over the nation are in turmoil due to perceived slights, real or imagined. University administrators are resigning or walking around in sack cloth and ashes apologizing to their student body for failing to take "sufficient action". In short, the inmates are now running the institutions.

So now certain groups are demanding more of their own in the study body as well as faculty. They want millions of dollars to be spent on academic centers to study and glorify their own groups.

And they want "safe spaces", places where only they can gather  and feel safe from the hostility and storm clouds that hover over their campus. As yet, they have not demanded moats and guard towers around these safe spaces, but that will come in due time.

Our universities have returned to a level of insanity not seen since the 1960s. Perhaps, I shouldn't even include the 1960s because that was my generation, and it could be claimed that student unrest existed over serious issues like the Civil Rights Movement, more rights for women, and of course. the Vietnam war.

And what are the issues today on campus? For one, there is the Israel-Palestinian conflict, an issue that hardly affects students' lives. Another is sexual assault, which would have more legitimacy if universities would address the problem of binge drinking, which is the biggest causative factor. That seems to be taboo, however.

At this point, I must state in the interest of full disclosure that there is one group of students that I view as being at risk on campus; that would be the Jewish students. Yet, while many have spoken out about anti-Semitism on campus, I don't hear them asking for a "safe space", however. They are asking that their respective universities address the problem. Swastikas appearing on campus is clearly unacceptable.

However, creating a safe space for Jewish students is not a solution. Like every other student, one cannot remain in one spot on campus all day, every day. That is why the idea of safe spaces is silly on its face.

The University of Missouri case is the one drawing the most national attention. As best I can figure out, a white man came onto campus after having a few too many drinks, wandered onto some protest event, and was heard throwing out the n-word as he was led away. Nobody is defending that. I also understand some students at Mizzou have displayed the Confederate flag out of their dorm windows. I understand why black students are uncomfortable with that. What I don't get is why the entire school has to be turned upside down. I am not convinced that Mizzou is a racist institution.

If I knew that black students on campuses were being insulted, harassed, or assaulted as they walked around campus, I would be totally sympathetic. I don't see that, however. A few isolated incidents does not mean a university is racist or hostile to minority students. Instead, universities are having to deal with "micro-aggressions" and "macro-aggressions".

Gay students often complain of harassment. If true, it must be condemned. Call me naive, but campuses, with all their faults, are hardly intolerant toward racial minorities and gays. On the contrary, they bend over backwards to try and make them feel welcome.

Are we really doing students-especially minority students- any favors by coddling them this way? I say no. We owe them equal treatment. Anything less is insulting and fails to prepare them for the real world, where there are no safe spaces and aggressions happen all the time, both micro and macro. (Please don't ask me to define them.)

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that the group most demonized on campus is-you guessed- white folks. They are "privileged" and must be made to confront that privilege, admit it, and accept whatever is said by the benighted "students of color".  And don't think that it is just minorities that spout that nonsense. There are plenty of white students and leftie professors who say it all the time. (No, they have yet to ask for  a safe space although I just read of some sort of White Students Association being established at the University of Illinois.)

Of course, one cannot point the finger at spoiled students without including the role of their faculty enablers. From the time they set foot into a humanities classroom, they are told by their professors that they are victims who cannot get a break in racist, imperialistic America. Never has the level and quality of professors in America sunk so low.

And here is what is really depressing. Every future president, senator or congressman/woman will or is walking through the halls of  these universities.

0 Comments - Share Yours!: