Michael Bloomberg Booed at University of Michigan for Saying Safe Spaces Are Dangerous

Even a guy who wants to ban soda is right every now and then.


Screenshot via Harvard University

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg assailed safe-space culture during his address to the University of Michigan's graduating class on Saturday. 

"The fact that some university boards and administrations now bow to pressure and shield students from these ideas through "safe spaces," "code words" and "trigger warnings" is, in my view, a terrible mistake," said Bloomberg. "The whole purpose of college is to learn how to deal with difficult situations—not run away from them. A microaggression is exactly that: micro. And one of the most dangerous places on a college campus is a safe space, because it creates the false impression that we can insulate ourselves from those who hold different views. 

"We can't do this, and we shouldn't try—not in politics or in the workplace," he continued. "In the global economy, and in a democratic society, an open mind is the most valuable asset you can possess." 

Yahoo News reported that some students actually booed these remarks. 

Bloomberg is a loathsome nanny-statist who attempted to ban everything from guns to sugary sodas during his time in office. He deserves derision—most of the time. 

But this was not one of those times. Bloomberg is absolutely right to lament that easily-offended college students who can't listen to people they disagree with are ill-prepared for the challenges of the real world. It's a shame that some members of U-M's graduating class proved him correct.

NEXT: Federal Court Condemns Congress for Giving Unconstitutional Regulatory Powers to Amtrak

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Christ, the once nanny of the year as voted by Reason readers is now less of a nanny than most college students? Our future is very dark indeed.

    1. Yeah, how fucked up are you when I take the side of that POS against you

    2. I wouldn’t go that far, necessarily. He was right on in what he said about safe spaces and microaggression, though.

    3. Haven’t been old for very long eh?

  2. I’ve seen people emerge from the echo chamber and have meltdowns upon learning how the real world plans to treat them.

    1. Oh, can we get these on video? I’d pay to watch. -_-

    2. Stories plz.

      1. the NYT ran a story called “What Happens When Millenials Run The Workplace

        The opening paragraphs =

        Joel Pavelski, 27, isn’t the first person who has lied to his boss to scam some time off work.

        But inventing a friend’s funeral, when in fact he was building a treehouse ? then blogging and tweeting about it to be sure everyone at the office noticed? That feels new.

        Such was a recent management challenge at Mic, a five-year-old website in New York that is vying to become a leading news source created by and for millennials.

        1. Joe Pavelski on the other hand is earning his money with the San Jose Sharks!

          1. This is exactly what I thought too.

        2. Not a coincidence that Mic is basically Gawker-lite as far as its content is concerned.

          1. “Gawker-lite “”

            I can’t imagine that means ‘less serious‘, so i only assume its ‘less-asshole-y

            if it were less serious, it would be in cartoon format…which is basically saying, “buzzfeed”

      2. “…even in an office that is tolerant of youthful boundary pushing, some millennial behavior can cross the line.

        Mr. Altchek recalled a companywide meeting last September that coincided with the religious holidays Yom Kippur and Eid al-Adha. An Anglo-Pakistani employee asked why management had announced a flexible time off policy for the Jewish holiday, but not for its Muslim counterpart.

        “So I told her, ‘Great point, being inclusive and respectful of all religious affiliations is incredibly important to Mic,'” Mr. Altchek said.

        Afterward, in front of a smaller group, he was approached by a younger, entry-level employee who said that there were two words missing from his reply. “I was a bit confused and said, ‘O.K., what were those?'” he recalled. “And she said: ‘I’m sorry. I didn’t hear an apology.'”

        Mr. Altchek did not think such a comment belonged in a workplace, especially his.

        “I was a little taken aback by the tone…”

      3. Ms. Kuhl educates her clients on the quirks of millennials, and why a 21-year-old sees nothing wrong with oversharing. Millennials are pushed to create a “strong personal brand” to land a job, Ms. Kuhl said, so asking them to tone it down once they are employed sends “a lot of mixed messages.”

        Still, even Ms. Kuhl has been taken aback by some of the millennials in her office. She remembered an intern who ate a tuna fish sandwich during a 10 a.m. meeting with very senior colleagues. When mildly rebuked afterward, the intern replied, “Well, you said to be myself, and I was hungry.”


        Ms. Plank contrasted her freedoms at Mic to her previous job at a feminist nonprofit organization, which she regarded as exemplifying the outdated work practices of older people.

        “We called people on phones and we ? I don’t know ? we faxed people,” Ms. Plank said, sounding exasperated. “And we had to mail things. And no one really took my opinion into consideration.”

        1. Anyone in a position of authority within a company who tells people to be themselves is pretty naive.

    3. Hell, I’ve walked into people’s echo chambers and caused, well, these were actual adults, so no meltdowns, but expressions of mild discomfort, anyway.

    4. You mean we’re supposed to show up for work by 8:30, and we only get 2 weeks of vacation per year to start?

      1. Getting paid for any time not spent working seemed pretty fucking awesome when I first got a proper job.

        1. Sleeping late, eh?

          1. Hmmm, wrong REPLY button. Musta got up too late, brain is foggy.

      2. Ahem. Some of us start at 6:00.

        1. That’s fucking barbaric. Seriously. I’m not a morning person. Sometimes my days start at 8:30am and sometimes at 9:30am. Sometimes those days last 7.5 hours and sometimes 16 hours, and sometimes there’s more than 5 work days in a week. It’s called project based work.

          1. Hear hear

  3. Where’s the “Black protestors boo White Bloomberg”? Come on Robbo, you had a narrative going on today…

    1. Yeah and where’s Warty’s all cap retarded ass slurs?

      1. Warty is dreamy.

        1. *sends dick pics*

          1. *Dies of looking directly at the doomcock.

            1. Must have been an imposter if the whole thing fit in one pic.

              1. Hey, panorama mode is a thing now.


    2. Where’s the commie May-day Bernie-supporting protestors try to burn down Seattle headline?

      1. I think we have no choice but to conclude that everyone at Reason is a Bernie supporter and likes violence and property destruction.

      2. Because Reason focuses on “news” not “everydays”.

  4. no alt text with a libertarian right behind him?

  5. RE: Michael Bloomberg Booed at University of Michigan for Saying Safe Spaces Are Dangerous

    I’m surprised Comrade Bloomberg didn’t want to outlaw 20 oz safe spaces.
    Maybe he was too busy thinking of ways to have his armed body guards shoot anyone defending the Second Amendment.
    Forgetting can happen.
    He’s very busy, you know.

  6. Still though, I do not-I do not– approve of this Michael Bloomberg fellow.

  7. Bloomberg decries safe spaces, something, something, broken clocks…

    1. He’s an asshole, not a pussy.

  8. Now see, this is why I like the guy. I actually think he was a victim of his own success. Having run out of real problems he went after soda. Common mistake.

    1. I don’t think NYC ran out of real problems while Bloomberg was in the Big Chair.

      1. Good point – the streets were still full of drug dealing and human trafficking and gun violence and sexting. What a complete failure.

        1. … the streets were still full of drug dealing and human trafficking and gun violence and sexting.


          That is only because a significant number of the New York Police Department’s public servants were forced to stand aside from protecting and serving the public after being abandoned by their unappreciative leadership to the anarchist bent of the commoner – that very disrespectful, churlish, petty-minded, disobedient and improperly submissive public that would kill each other off in droves without the front-line providers of stability and harmony who are the New York Police Department’s public servants.


        2. I was thinking more about their shit public school system, insolvent pensions, and corrupt police department.

      2. If he was in the Big Chair , why didn’t the warden throw the switch ?

  9. Where’s my “And That’s Not OK”? How am I supposed to know if something is good or bad unless the headline tells me?

    1. If it happens but doesn’t show up in my Facederp feed, it must be problematic and not okay.

  10. “In the global economy, and in a democratic society, an open mind is the most valuable asset you can possess.”
    That guy, what a prick. Seriously, he is a prick but he’s dead right here. It’s beyond pathetic he got booed for saying that.

  11. And that’s why they’ll never have a good ground game ever again

    1. -1 Rich Rod spread

  12. He deserves derision?most of the time.

    But this was not one of those times.

    Bullshit. Bloomberg as much as anybody is responsible for the infantilization of society in general – he knows full well a nanny state requires helpless babes to nanny and by god he’s going to be head nanny. Well, you helped make these babies, now that they’re whining and crying and shitting their diapers suddenly you want to pretend it ain’t your job to take care of the babies, they need to learn to take responsibility for changing their own diapers? Fuck you Bloomie, here’s some wet naps, go change some diapers.

    1. Hahaha, I actually laughed out loud.
      Go change some diapers!

  13. So the grand-nanny of them all meets the product of nannyism?

    Enjoy your snowflakes, Mikey.

    1. I’m sure he’s sufficiently insulated from them the vast majority of the time, and whenever he wants to be. Safe space from the safe spacers: one more perk of being the 1% !

      1. Now Soave, you should use the correct term, Nomenclatura.

  14. Huff post thinks this is national fucking news:

    Starbucks is taking steps to ensure that all members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community have a safe space in their many stores across Seattle, Washington.

    According to The Seattle Times, the coffee company will partner with the Seattle Police Department’s (SPD) Safe Place program, an initiative that reportedly aims to train 2,000 Starbucks employees on how to respond to and engage with LGBT victims of violence and effectively report hate crimes to police.


    Yes, you knuckle-dragging halfwit fucks, your barista is now a clinical social-worker, trained to spot domestic violence.

    1. The idea that it’s necessary to protect LGBT people from hate crimes in Seattle Starbucks is only slightly more believable than the idea that a baker in an Austin Whole Foods would call one of his customers a ‘fag.’

      1. Don’t forget the widely reported yet amazingly(in the age of cellphones) un-photographed shit swastika smeared on the walls in the bathroom of a division I sized university.

        1. Yeah, and I would trust video more than still photos with no context.

          1. Good point. I imagine it wouldn’t be too difficult to stage the whole incident to verify your story. Fucking college kids these days even lack the work ethic to perpetrate a proper hoax.

            1. Oh wait, they did bother to fake it, nevermind.

      2. the idea that a gay baker in an Austin Whole Foods would call one of his customers a ‘fag.’

        That’s the punchline to the Austin hoax – the guy who decorated the cake is gay his own self.

    2. Banning cops would make it a safer space.

      1. At Stonewall, they rioted for more police involvement in their lives. I thought everyone knew that.

    3. Starbucks, home of the paid rat. Doesn’t sound very appetizing.

    4. Don’t worry, I’m sure this won’t have any unintended negative consequences.

      1. Go to Huffpo and read the comments. I can’t figure out whether they’re funny or scary. People actually think this is a damn good idea.

        1. I could only endure about 5 of them, that was enough to get your point.

    5. your barista is now a clinical social-worker,

      I’m sure they already had the proper degree anyway.

    6. ” …your barista is now a clinical social-worker,…” Funny how things workout in the end; that barista actually had a four-year degree to become a social worker but could only find a job at Starbucks. Starbucks is so brilliant that they are finally going to put that barista’s true talent to work.

  15. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  16. Meh. They deserve each other.

  17. I used to like the idea of microaggressions and safe spaces when I first came across them. Microaggression still sounds way too, well, aggressive, but the definition used to be tiny things that happen to you that remind you of some kind of otherness, that you are not the norm, and secondly and most importantly, that were not necessarily meant that way. You couldn’t accuse someone of microaggressing against you, you just needed a way to tally up and understand why you could feel discriminated against even when nothing was overt. Useful idea for understanding shit.

    Safe spaces were for things like support groups and single-topic forums. Rape survivors could have two different forum groups – one for talking about experiences, and one for safe space where they knew they wouldn’t bump into anything that would upset them. It was a mutually agreed upon rule. You can’t force a safe space on people.

    And now they’re both tools for shutting people up. They’re both tools of force. There are just way too many people willing to take anything and everything and make it a tool for them to be pure and good while everyone else is the evil that must be reeducated.

    1. When I’m king and decide to round people up on boxcars, I’ll simply call them safe spaces and watch the people line up without coercion.

    2. “And now they’re both tools for shutting people up. They’re both tools of force. There are just way too many people willing to take anything and everything and make it a tool for them to be pure and good while everyone else is the evil that must be reeducated.”

      You just summarized pretty much what libertarians consistently warn against. These things rarely go as planned or end well.

      Unintended something is it?

      Bloomberg is a member of that progressive schematic of gibberish.


    3. You can’t force a safe space on people.

      But you can sure try.

      *taps nightstick in palm of hand*

  18. In the video, he got applause in the first part of his remarks and booing in the latter part.

    I imagine it’s different students doing the applauding and the booing?

    1. One would hope. Though the way cognitive dissonance is metastasizing on campuses these days, I wouldn’t be particularly surprised to find out it’s the same people.

  19. We millennials know two responses to speakers:



    “Take it off!”

    Just be happy Bloom didn’t strip, ok?

    1. You wanna see a guy take it off?

      Here ya go

  20. Saw this video clip yesterday; did not sound like a resounding condemnation, but maybe I missed something.

    But there is no doubt that the biggest challenge to this nation is from within. Just imagine your entire world as one big safe space. And now even your corner barista is going to rat you out.

  21. Apparently, the petty dictator is not intelligent enough to understand that safe spaces are a natural extension of his anti-tobacco/anti-soda/anti-fat nonsense. All stem from the idea that most mentally competent people cannot work such things out amongst themselves, so mommy and daddy government must come up with rules for the sandbox.

  22. I guess Bloomberg should had get lessons from Steven Crowder about how to reply to SJW who have a hidden Trigglypuff side.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.