As Twitchy reported last month, the University of Chicago’s dean of students scored big with a refreshing letter to incoming students, letting them know not to expect either safe spaces into which they could retreat or trigger warnings accompanying guest speakers.
Of course there was a backlash, with Jeet Heer aruging in The New Republic that the letter was an attack on academic freedom that would have a chilling effect on educators charged with shepherding today’s special snowflakes from high school to adulthood.
What utter claptrap. https://t.co/gusdOf5WyK
— Brit Hume (@brithume) September 15, 2016
— TerpHeel (@NorthStateTerp) September 15, 2016
The educators defended safe spaces in their letter by tracing their history in “gay, civil rights, and feminist efforts of the mid-20th century” and called them “incubators of new ideas away from the censure of the very authorities threatened by these movements.”
Further, they noted that requests for safe spaces “often touch on substantive, ongoing issues of bias, intolerance, and trauma that affect our intellectual exchanges,” concluding, “We deplore any atmosphere of harassment and threat.”
That is a bunch of claptrap. So if, say, an assistant professor goes in search of muscle to prevent a reporter from covering a protest in a “media-free safe space,” who exactly is doing the threatening?
@brithume What we as a nation have done to our children is beyond comprehension and horridly embarrassing.
— SuzanneElizabeth (@Suz_Eliz69) September 15, 2016
— Lisa B. (@politeracy) September 15, 2016
— Jeff Pollard (@jffpollard) September 15, 2016
— Dean Bouras (@DeanBouras) September 15, 2016
— Rich Kelsey (@RichKelsey) September 15, 2016
Lots of grads from that place destined for long careers in mom's basement.
— Nic Tatano (@NicTatano) September 15, 2016