Donald Trump

U. Michigan LGBT Center Creates Safe Space to Protect Students from Offensive Speakers—Both of Whom Are Gay

Why do people bother going to college if they are literally afraid of disagreement?

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The University of Michigan's libertarian and conservative students held a debate on free speech and feminism featuring conservative media personality Milo Yiannopoulos and leftist activist Julie Bindel last night. Their views are apparently so terrifying that the campus's Spectrum Center—an LGBT awareness group—provided a safe space for students who felt "threatened" by the debate. 

It's a tad ironic that a gay group would feel the need to protect gay students from Yiannopoulos and Bindel—both of whom identify as LGBT. While it's certainly true that venomously anti-gay gay people exist, humoring the idea that Yiannopoulos and Bindel represent some kind of existential threat to anyone is indulging in hysteria. 

Nevertheless, the Spectrum Center touted its "supportive alternative space" in a statement on the university's website: 

It has come to our attention that an event titled, "Does Feminism Have a Free Speech Problem?" is taking place this evening on our campus. We recognize that the rhetoric of the speakers featured in this event is incredibly harmful to many members of our campus community. The Spectrum Center will be providing a supportive alternative space this evening and holding extended staffed hours until 9pm. There will be no program; our intent is to offer a relaxing, positive space for students who want to gather in community. 

Yiannopoulos and Bindel have made controversial, even offensive statements (Bindel once joked about putting men in camps). I have no doubt they did so at the event last night as well. Would it not have been a more useful exercise for students who despise them to actually attend the event, rather than cowering in fear in a so-called safe space? There was a Q and A period. Critics could have pushed back against Yiannopoulos and Bindel. Some kind of genuine learning, or exchange of ideas, might have taken place. 

I don't know how else to ask this: Students, if you don't want to engage people with whom you disagree, why are you in college? 

Regarding the event itself, it's interesting to note that the speakers were temporarily interrupted by a protester storming the stage. Supporters of Yiannopoulos responded by chanting, "Trump!" Indeed, "Students for Trump" flyers adorned the chairs of the event. 

In a subsequent interview with Reason, event organizer Hunter Swogger explained, "They both have checkered pasts, but I hope attendees will now see how these controversies surrounding them were mainly just borne out of them screwing around, being comedians. They love making people laugh, they love making each other laugh and they don't take themselves too seriously."*

Seems like good evidence to support my thesis that a lot of Trump's supporters aren't actually interested in his policies—rather, they are signaling their enthusiasm for the anti-political correctness spectacle he is performing. As Yiannopoulos told me, "Trump's becoming an icon of irreverent resistance to political correctness. It's why people like him." 

[Related: How Political Correctness Caused College Students to Cheer for Donald Trump.] 

*This post has been updated. I replaced a disputed, second-hand quote with a direct quote from the source.

NEXT: A Different Policy Agenda Won't Win Over Donald Trump's Supporters

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  1. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

    1. Ah, that explains Trump.

      *scrambles away after gathering enough fruit for the winter*

      1. So you’re the squirrel! Gimme back all my double posts!

        1. Cis-normal (I think that’s what straight is called now) students should have a safe space for this. With a wet bar and bongs.

  2. providing a supportive alternative space

    Wouldn’t that be anywhere except auditorium in which the debate is being held?

    1. No, it has to be a relaxing, positive space to gather in community.

      Seriously, what exactly would these kids do at the Spectrum Center while the debate was going on ? Talk about the debate they were avoiding ? But wouldn’t talking about the debate they are afraid of be triggering ? If you’re just going to read or shoot the breeze, why go to a special place ?

      1. When the college creates a safe space are they not endorsing the idea that there is something you need to feel safe from? Isn’t the college, in effect, ringing an alarm bell about some danger? So why the hell hasn’t somebody yet claimed to feel threatened by the college constantly ringing the alarm bell by creating safe spaces and demanded the college create a safe space free of safe spaces?

        1. Ponder that on the tree of Whoa!

        2. College is supposed to be a safe space away from safe places.

  3. You can’t just be gay, you have to be the right kind of gay.

    1. you have to be the right far left kind of gay

      FTFY

      1. Bindel is pretty far left.

      2. It’s a tad ironic that a gay group would feel the need to protect gay students from Yiannopoulos and Bindel?both of whom identify as LGBT.

        you have to be the right far left kind of gay

    2. Power bottoms need not apply.

      1. What if they’re speaking truth to power bottoms?

        1. Well, as the saying goes, ass and you shall receive.

          1. Butt, I only receive refusals.

        2. speaking truth to power bottoms

          Sounds like it should be Milo’s catch-phrase for his tour.

          1. Culo story, bro.

    3. Based on this Yiannopoulos and Bindel?both of whom identify as LGBT

      I have no idea if either of them is actually gay, just that they “identify as” “LGBT”.

      Which confuses me: are they both simultaneously identifying as (whatever that means) lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans-sexual?

      Is there are reason for saying somebody identifies as gay, instead of just is gay? I get it that biological men may believe they are (“identify as”) female, and vice versa, so the terminology kinda makes sense in that context. Outside of that context, I don’t have any idea what it means. Should I be saying I identify as heterosexual, rather than I am heterosexual?

      1. You haven’t caught on to that yet, with the SJWs? It’s always a soft-worded vague “I identify” as. Never “I am” Never anything concrete. It’s some weird sort of insecure politically correct thing.

      2. Should I be saying I identify as heterosexual, rather than I am heterosexual?

        “I identify as rubber and you’re glue, your self-righteous bigotry bounces off of me and sticks to you.”

        wait…

  4. “the rhetoric of the speakers featured in this event is incredibly harmful to many members of our campus community”

    sounds legit

  5. the rhetoric of the speakers featured in this event is incredibly harmful to many members of our campus community.

    And finally, the wolf really did come, and ate the little boy.

    And they all lived happily ever after.

    The End.

    1. Can I interest you in Oglaf take on the idea?

      SFW but other comics in the archives range from “also safe” to “DO NOT AT WORK EVER”.

  6. they don’t take themselves too seriously

    That is what makes them evil fascists.

    /college lefty

  7. You know, I read this entire article and didn’t see you once forcefully condemn U. Michigan for allowing this. This is even worse than your usual cosmo pandering. So, I’ve decided to take my business elsewhere, to Ohio State.

    1. Excuse me, but their proper name is THE Ohio State University.

      1. Whatever, it’s all flyover to me.

        *sips avocado macchiato*

      2. Actually, it’s AN Ohio State University.

        1. They’re just a bunch of flatlanders.

  8. “Yiannopoulos and Bindel have made controversial, even offensive statements (Bindel once joked about putting men in camps)”

    How DARE Robby say Julie Bindel has made offensive statements! I knew he was a right-wing nut job anti-feminist just trying to pretend he’s a libertarian!

  9. literally

    1. I know, right? I can’t even with this.

      1. wow, just wow.

      2. Ugh. I mean, Come. On.

            1. Get a brain, moran.

    2. It’s not even figurative anymore, dude.

      1. Wow. Just wow.

  10. “There will be no program; our intent is to offer a relaxing, positive space for students who want to gather in community. ”

    LOL. “We aren’t even going to bother providing our own speeches or ideas or anything. This is a Thought Free Zone.”

    1. They could’ve had college me with Mario Kart and Boone’s Farm Snow Creek Berry.

      1. Boone’s Farm Snow Creek Berry

        Which sorority did you end up pledging to?

        1. I Atea Pie

        2. Alpha Smegma Pew

        3. Listen, Citizen, some of us are comfortable enough in our masculinity to drink a light magenta high-fructose alcoholic beverage with our pinkies up. Take your cis-hetero shitlord act somewhere else.

          Besides, Olde English makes me fart.

          1. Olde English makes me fart

            Many of the guys i knew in college would drink it specifically because of that.

            1. The next day…Gott in Himmel. It would be like an intestinal Eastern Front.

      2. Mario Kart – triggering or not?

        Downside – there are winners and loser. This is Not Cool.
        Upside – Blue Shell fucks over privileged #1 spot.

        1. The blue shell really was the smiting hand of gubmint.

        2. Shit…I think, and I shit you not, there was an article in Salon or someplace like that…maybe Gawker, defending the Blue Shell just for that…saying it is a metaphor that teaches social justice.

          1. (Donkey Kong exasperation noises)

          2. I… why… no, Cracked at least, please? It wasn’t serious? Just a humorous piece?

            And I don’t even mind the Blue Shell, and understand why it’s in there.

            1. I… why… no, Cracked at least, please? It wasn’t serious? Just a humorous piece?

              And I don’t even mind the Blue Shell, and understand why it’s in there.”

              It has been a while since Cracked published humorous pieces. They have gone full SJW.

        3. My roommates and I always referred to getting a blue shell up the tailpipe as “getting fucked over by affirmative action”. Fortunately the RA never overheard us…

    2. But will it be a pot free zone

      1. Even more important, will it be a free pot zone?

  11. “Students, if you don’t want to engage people with whom you disagree, why are you in college?

    Regarding the event itself, it’s interesting to note that the speakers were temporarily interrupted by a protester storming the stage….”

    Look! He answered his own question.

  12. So they’re the gay equivalent of Uncle Tom?

    1. Uncle Tina?

      1. Uncle Caitlyn ?

  13. Yiannopoulos and Bindel?both of whom identify as LGBT.

    I’m pretty sure Milo only identifies as “G”; whereas, Bindel denies “T” is even a thing.

    1. It’s an ugly construction. No one can really be “LGBT” because some of the terms are self-contradictory. The reclamation of “queer” was supposed to settle this, but it got lost on the way.

      1. You seem to know alot about it. Faggit.

        1. I’ll just be glad when “gay” can go back to being a useful insult for incredibly lame pursuits.

          Like a girl at work that broke her ankle while skipping when she was 14. Skipping. That’s gay. There’s just no other word that describes it as well. But it has nothing to do with thinking that man love is wrong.

          1. Reclaim the word gay, and we can go back to calling people like Paul Linde “flamboyant”.

      2. No one can really be “LGBT”

        There’s an implicit “or” in there. But yeah, we/they get lumped together because different. It’s mostly a shotgun wedding.

    2. Funny because Milo also doesn’t think the “L” exists for the most part, and that most lesbians are just women with a fluid sexuality who have given up on men. The dude is a pro troll. And all Bindel believes is that a transwoman shouldn’t count as a real woman and that it is a man with a mental illness. Neither idea is “dangerous”.

      1. Funny because Milo also doesn’t think the “L” exists for the most part, and that most lesbians are just women with a fluid sexuality who have given up on men.

        I don’t see how the same could not be said for gayness. If women’s sexuality is seen as more fluid, then I say that’s just due to greater societal acceptance of girl on girl. Those who think men’s sexuality isn’t as fluid haven’t heeded the wisdom of Fleece “BOOTY WARRIOR” Johnson.

        1. “…most lesbians are just women with a fluid sexuality…”

          Well, it’s just science that they can never make up their minds.

          1. Just common sense, really.

    3. Which i think shows Robby’s lack of grip on the actual subject matter.

      The whole point of using “LGBT” as a catch-all term is based on a mythic idea of shared monolithic communal-interests between everyone not “Straight-Cis”

      the problem with Milo & Bindel is that they give the lie to that

      1. From Bindel’s Wiki article that HM linked to:

        When Bindel was nominated in 2008 for Stonewall’s “Journalist of the year” award, there was a picket of the awards ceremony. In an article written after the protest, Bindel talked about her frustration with being in a movement that insisted she accept trans people, yet resulted in her being criticised whenever she spoke on trans issues. She said that as a longtime active member of the lesbian community she felt uncomfortable with the increasing inclusion of sexuality and gender-variant communities into the expanding LGBT “rainbow alliance”: “The mantra now at ‘gay’ meetings is a tongue-twisting LGBTQQI. It is all a bit of an unholy alliance. We have been put in a room together and told to play nicely.”

        Bindel and Milo don’t just show that there is not necessarily an overarching connecting interest between the various LGBT etc. groups, they actively oppose that narrative. Which is probably seen as their largest “crime”.

        1. Unsurprisingly, it is pretty much entirely leftists pushing that narrative.

  14. “It has come to our attention that an event titled, “Does Feminism Have a Free Speech Problem?” is taking place this evening on our campus. We recognize that the rhetoric of the speakers featured in this event is incredibly harmful to many members of our campus community.”

    I’m not sure who it says more about, the administration or the student body, that the administration already knows harm will occur prior to a word being spoken.

    1. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words are incredibly harmful to many members of our campus community.”

    2. Even the phrasing is ridiculous. Expressing ideas some group disagrees with – and let’s be real, it’s only said because it’s a favored group – is harming them. It can’t just be we know people disagree. But somehow the expression of those ideas definitely harms them. How can the administrators claim they are neutral when their language clearly reveals which side they are on?

    3. True. However, it is nice to see the administration at U of M hard at work proving Yiannopoulos and Bindel’s thesis.

  15. While it’s certainly true that venomously anti-gay gay people exist…

    How does one come to be defined as anti-gay?

    1. Easy. Disagree with progressives about anything. If you do then you are an intolerant bigot. That is the only explanation.

      1. Hey, sarc, yesterday we were wondering if your joke:

        What’s the difference between a job and a wife? After ten years, the job still sucks.

        Was motivated by bitterness and hatred of your wife, or was told in good fun?

            1. Just giving the standard HampA response to an “or” question.

              Seriously though, I hold no bitterness nor resentment towards my wife.

              1. No hatred I mean. Nor resentment. This fall will have marked the ten best years of my life. Love that woman. And no, she isn’t looking over my shoulder. Really. She isn’t. I swear.

        1. What’s the difference between a job and a dog?

          After a few years the dog is still happy to see you when you come home from work.

    2. “The anti-gay will come disguised as the Great Homonitarian; he will talk peace, prosperity and plenty not as means to lead us to Bob, but as ends in themselves…He will tempt Trumpaloes with the same three temptations with which he tempted Christ… He will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in Bob.”

      1. This is not a dream… not a dream. We are using your brain’s electrical system as a receiver. We are unable to transmit through conscious neural interference. You are receiving this broadcast as a dream. We are transmitting from the year one, nine, nine, nine. You are receiving this broadcast in order to alter the events you are seeing. Our technology has not developed a transmitter strong enough to reach your conscious state of awareness, but this is not a dream. You are seeing what is actually occurring for the purpose of causality violation.

        1. I DIDN’T MAKE MY COMMENT SO YOU JOKERS COULD SPRINGBOARD OFF OF IT.

    3. If you refuse to eat faggot cookies.

  16. “”Swogger said while the things both figures said were controversial, he hoped students realized it was all in good fun.

    “They’re mainly just screwing around; they’re mainly just comedians,”

    Well there you have the contemporary depth of willingness to challenge ones own biases. “Dont take anything here seriously people! No one would dare propose that maybe you’re wrong about something.”

    I am reminded of the jaw-dropping stupidity of the comment made by the Agent-Provocateur who wore Trump gear to the New York Fashion Week =

    “”This country was founded upon a mix of differing ideologies. Its very foundation, in fact, is freedom of speech. The beauty of America is that it’s wide open and diverse, in color, creed and convictions. And no matter what you believe in, it’s never appropriate to tell someone their opinions are wrong

    This is actually what younger people think.

    1. “This is actually what younger people think.”

      That’s like, just your opinion, man.

    2. Unfortunately, his wasn’t the only ridiculous comment (at least, according to what he reported).

      What kind of world does he exist in when Whoopi Goldberg has the sanest* reaction to him?

      *subjective, for sure. But, dayum…

  17. a) Principals, principles.
    b) Social signaling.
    c) These safe spaces really aren’t anything other than indulging their make-believe paranoia while bandwagoning with a bunch of like-minded co-enablers. It’s a meet-and-greet for identity-obsessive idiots. By all means, mock their hysterical antics, but let’s welcome their choice to self-identify and self-segregate. It’s pretty obvious that they haven’t got anything substantive to add to these talks, so why would we want them around?

    1. If we indulge this idiocy, it becomes expected. Sooner or later, these snowflakes will be in the workplace and, given their unabashed desire for power and to silence those who disagree with them, the government. Then we have a problem on our hands.

    2. fear free areas thats right coral the losers, I mean wining bed wetters, so the bullies no where to find them

    3. I haven’t been on a college campus since I graduated about 20 years ago. Even then, I commuted so I wasn’t in the middle of it.

      These people have to be a small minority of students, don’t they? How can a university function if this lunacy is commonplace? It’s like a bad satirical comedy has come to life.

  18. So, if you feel it is offensive, why not just go bowling or watch netflix? If something offensive gets within 1/2 mile of you then you need to hide? What does distance even mean in an internet world? At my college they hired Robert McNamara (architect of Vietnam war) which was offensive to those of us who protested it (ignorantly, I admit now)–did we get the vapors that he was now on campus? No, I just didn’t sign up for his class. Problem solved. These kids not only don’t want to HEAR Milo, they don’t even want him to speak at all. Wow.

    1. The very idea that he’s speaking within a mile of them is too traumatic to merely go about their daily activities.

      These people are in serious need of psychiatric help.

    2. That’s my point: this is their choice of recreation while the talk is going on. I think we all agree it’s a pathetic expression of affirmation-seeking codependence and they’d be better served bowling or watching Netflix, but at least they’re sequestering themselves out of the way. And in choosing the safe space over the talk, they reveal to the world that they have nothing worth contributing on the talk.

    3. Milo addressed this in an interview I heard recently. He said that there is definitely a large contingent that is committed to the notion that nobody should ever hear his ideas. He says they show up to his speaking engagements and scream, yell, blow air horns, anything to drown him out.

      They don’t seem interested in winning a war of ideas – for example by engaging the debate during Q&A periods. They want to win by occupying and controlling the territory.

      1. I wonder where they learned their methods from.

        1. Godwin knows!

    4. It’s about the social signaling opportunity by the provider of the “safe space” just as much as it is the user of it.

  19. The reclamation of “queer” was supposed to settle this, but it got lost on the way.

    Somebody queered the deal.

    1. Strange how these cycles go. When I was a kid, queer was the bad one, and fag was the campy way of self-reference. Gay was the polite word.

      Now apparently queer and gay are different things.

      1. Orwell’s euphemism treadmill in action.

    2. We got gypped.

      1. Yeah, somebody welshed on the deal.

  20. Hunter Swogger

    1. If that was my name I’d change it. Something like Dylan Swogger or Braden Swogger.

      1. Rod Swogger?

        1. “My surname is Mucus.”

      2. Tripp Swogger
        Royall Swogger
        Karsen Swogger

    2. Sounds like one of the many names of David Ryder from the Space Mutiny MST – Rip Stakeface! Bolt Vanderhuge! Punch Rockgroin! Hunter Swogger!

      1. Sleater–Kinney!

  21. I don’t know how else to ask this: Students, if you don’t want to engage people with whom you disagree, why are you in college?

    To learn? Not saying students should be protected from meanies, but not everyone who goes is a liberal arts major.

    1. I suspect most at the “Safe Space” will be __________ Studies Majors.

  22. I don’t know how else to ask this: Reason, do you actually support the Freedom of Association and Freedom of Speech of students?

    I mean, they can’t even say “hey, I don’t want to hear this prick, let’s go chill somewhere” without getting flak here. It’s absurd.

    1. Mocking whiny people is not the same thing as opposing their Freedom of Association and Speech.

  23. The safe space shall include piped in music by KD Lang.

  24. Simple Johnny is not going to like that very much.

    http://www.Anon-Net.tk

  25. College isn’t a place for the sharing of ideas and debate, college is the place to become indoctrinated with today’s version of right thought.

  26. Cayman, my ass!

  27. “Students, if you don’t want to engage people with whom you disagree, why are you in college? ”

    To wield power and crush our enemies.

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