Campus Free Speech

Outrage Over U. Chicago Trigger Warning Letter Shows Power of Political Correctness

Uncomfortable learning under threat.

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Chicago
quinn.anya

You would think University of Chicago Dean of Students John Ellison had written something truly incendiary, given the response from the left. The New Republic's Jeet Heer called Ellison's letter a "perverse document." Slate's L.V. Anderson branded it "very odd," while suggesting that the university is further marginalizing students who already feel marginalized.

What was in the letter? Here's the most controversial paragraph, once again:

Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called "trigger warnings," we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual "safe spaces" where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.

The fact that such a declaration is outrageous to left-leaning thinkers shows just how polarized the national discussion about the campus climate has become. Many people on the right feel a need to berate teenagers for being delicate snowflakes and fragile crybabies every time a student does something stupid. At the same time, the left insults students, too: by treating them as if they are delicate snowflakes and fragile crybabies who need protection from every conceivably hurtful word. Slate's L.V. Anderson is a perfect example of this:

By deriding "safe spaces" and "trigger warnings" before students arrive on campus, the University of Chicago is inadvertently sending a message that certain students—the ones who have never been traumatized, and the ones who have historically felt welcome on college campuses (i.e., white men)—are more welcome than others, and that students who feel marginalized are unlikely to have their claims taken seriously. Adults who decry "the coddling of the American mind" will likely celebrate U. Chicago's preemptive strike against political correctness, but students who have experienced violence, LGBTQ students, and students of color likely will not.

I'm sure Anderson means well, but this kind of thinking is offensive in its own right. Who's to say that students who have experienced violence, LGBTQ students, and students of color are super duper extra sensitive? For my part, I would expect victims of violence to be tougher and thicker-skinned than the average teenager, because they have experienced trauma—not the trauma of hearing something they mildly disagree with, but actual trauma.

New York Magazine's Jesse Singal makes a more reasonable criticism of the letter's rejection of trigger warnings:

Trigger warnings, to the extent we have data on their prevalence, appear to be a ghost of an issue on most campuses, and at root they're just content warnings anyway. The university, as a body, doesn't "support" an English professor giving students a quick heads-up that there's a difficult rape scene ahead? In a similar vein, what does it mean to say the university doesn't "condone intellectual 'safe spaces'"? Obviously, the university "condones" Christian students' ability to set up times and places where atheists won't harangue them, or for LGBT students to set up a place where conservative Christians won't harangue them. That's all a "safe space" is in the classical sense of the word. So there's definitely a bit of pandering in this language — the letter is throwing up a flag for people who are concerned about political correctness on campus, saying, This isn't that sort of school.

For what it's worth, Singal goes on to say nice things about the letter, overall. And I agree with him that such a strident condemnation of trigger warnings is a bit over the top if taken at face value. Ellison's actual point, I suspect, was to inform students that they shouldn't expect trigger warnings in the classroom—that they should steel themselves for a kind of education that is occasionally uncomfortable.

Chicago President Robert Zimmer doubles down on my interpretation of Ellison's vision in his Wall Street Journal op-ed today. Zimmer writes:

Universities cannot be viewed as a sanctuary for comfort but rather as a crucible for confronting ideas and thereby learning to make informed judgments in complex environments. Having one's assumptions challenged and experiencing the discomfort that sometimes accompanies this process are intrinsic parts of an excellent education. Only then will students develop the skills necessary to build their own futures and contribute to society.

Is Zimmer appealing to people who hate political correctness? Sure. But we desperately need university leaders to make more of these pronouncements from time to time, because there are plenty of activist students, anti-speech professors, and just-doing-my-job bureaucrats at the university who are eagerly attempting to move the Overton Window away from uncomfortable learning. Take this response to the Ellison letter, from a sociologist who sarcastically points out that if college is supposed to be "harrowing," we make it more dangerous by getting rid of smoke detectors: "'We think college should be a harrowing trial-by-fire. A true phoenix rises from the ashes, so we don't have 'smoke detectors' or 'alarms.'"

This is the fundamental mistake of the anti-speech left: conflating physical safety with emotional safety. Of course the university is obligated to protect its students from actual harm. It is not obligated to protect them from emotional turmoil, because such an obligation would be both impossible to meet—different people are bothered by different things—and counterproductive to the university's educational mission.

At the same time, we shouldn't be naïve about the University of Chicago's actual record on free speech. Tyler Kissinger, formerly the president of UC's student government, responded to Ellison's letter by accusing the university of "refusing to submit itself to the same sort of 'critical inquiry' it champions." He writes that the administration is more obsessed with safe spaces than the students, and frequently walls itself off from criticism by failing to meet with students and address their concerns.

Kissinger's objections are a reminder that while angry leftist students are often the ones demanding changes that threaten free expression on campus, it is the administration that enforces these changes. Often, universities do this to protect their own reputations: to quash forms of expression that they find embarrassing or problematic from a PR perspective.

The challenge for enemies of political correctness on campus is to persuade students that they actually lose power when they pressure the administration to crack down on unpopular speech—that by undermining First Amendment principles, students injure their own ability to organize, thereby undercutting their activism. If liberal students got what they wanted and enshrined trigger warnings, safe spaces, and speech codes on campus, they would be shooting themselves in the foot.

It's precisely because university administrations often cannot be trusted to promote free expression that the Ellison letter is such an encouraging development.

NEXT: Most Research Results Are Wrong or Useless: New at Reason

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  1. Robby, why do you condone this culture of violence against students of color and others who dare to be liberal in an overwhelmingly far right-wing society? Don’t you know the old saying we were taught as kids? “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will literally kill me”

    1. I basically profit close to $10k-$15k every month doing an online job. For those of you who are prepared to do easy at homee jobs for 2h-5h each day at your house and earn valuable paycheck while doing it… Then this work opportunity is. Go To Web…. http://www.14earnpath.com

    2. Not embracing the stupidity of “trigger warnings” is hardly condoning violence.

      1. On the contrary, trigger warnings are a crucial means of shielding our nation’s sensitive youth from harmful texts by authors like Ovid and Pope, to say nothing of insidiously anonymous writings like the outrageous Letters of Obscure Men. The president’s announcement is in fact an outrage, signaling a policy that leaves students and professors alike unprotected from speech that can make them feel unsafe and, even worse, seriously damage (however truthfully) the reputations of distinguished members of the academic community. Would the president tolerate inappropriately deadpan “Gmail confession parodies” sent around campus in his name? See the documentation of America’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

        http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

        The full extent of the criminal conduct allowed by the University’s overtly declared policy can be seen by the fact that the criminal “satire” decision makes no distinction whatsoever between “truthful” and “malicious” harm to reputation, and thus signals an excellent clarification of our laws. Instead of clamping down on speech that damages reputations, however truthfully, the University’s president appears to be endorsing the outrageous “First Amendment dissent” of a single, isolated judge, who has since been obliged to step down from his position as “chief judge” of the New York Court of Appeals on account of his advanced age.

        1. Does the ‘report spam’ button work?

    3. “Students of color.”? What does that mean? I am “pink” and can actually trace my roots to “Africa”, like EVERYONE else on the planet. So?

  2. “I’m sure Anderson means well, but this kind of thinking is offensive in its own right…”

    Give this one up, you’re not going to be able to outflank them from the offensive side

    1. I don’t know where he gets that Anderson means well. Is he just a useful idiot, or is he trying to keep lgbts and minorities on the liberal reservation at all costs?

  3. Slate’s L.V. Anderson branded it “very odd,” while suggesting that the university is further marginalizing students who already feel marginalized.

    Where the fuck do they keep all those test tube babies? Where the fuck do colleges and universities find children who have been living in complete asocial isolation for 18-odd years?

    1. Tumblr, i think.

    2. Um, everywhere… sadly

    3. They are a very loud, very small minority at small number of unfortunately high-profile schools.

      1. I just wish the more normal students would make more noise pushing back on this crap. Though they probably have better things to spend their time on. Or sort of passively accept the received wisdom that all the activist silliness is somehow a good thing.

        I’ve been out of that environment for a long time, but I literally went to PCU, so I got a preview of some of the insanity and how the people who think that the point of college is to take classes and get educated (and fuck a round and party) deal with it.

        1. I just wish the more normal students would make more noise pushing back on this crap. Though they probably have better things to spend their time on. Or sort of passively accept the received wisdom that all the activist silliness is somehow a good thing.

          “As long as it doesn’t affect me, why should I give a damn? I’m just trying to get through this overpriced indoctrination center with my good name and sanity intact.”

        2. If they do, they’re expelled for disobeying groupthink.

      2. They are a very loud, very small minority at small number of unfortunately high-profile schools.

        You’d be surprised how many sympathizers there are. At least in law school, these people may not be protesting, but they’re on the SJW special snowflake train.

        1. And I guarantee most of the ones who don’t are keeping their heads down in order to avoid being ostracized.

          It’s funny, because 20 years ago the college where I did undergrad had an openly conservative op-ed writer for the student paper. This was a guy who thought pushing “white history month” blabber was the height of cleverness, but at least he was given a voice. I can’t imagine something like that happening now without screaming fits from the SJW Stasi.

        2. I really don’t know, but SF and some others here who still work in higher education seem to think that the real crazies remain a small minority. I certainly hope so.

          1. Most behave as the wind behaves. If they’re around people who think it’s all bullshit, they’ll agree. But when they’re around their SJW classmates, they’ll assent to all the bullshit just the same. They’re whatever the room temperature is, in my experience.

    4. +1 “Blast From The Past”

    5. They find them in public high schools. This crap starts in kindergarten!

    6. I drive through a cross-walk outside of a local college on my daily commute to work. The number of times I’ve had to honk and wave at a kid to start walking across the street because I’ve stopped completely but cars on the other side AREN’T GOING TO STOP TIL YOU GET IN THE INTERSECTION but they’re afraid to take that first step drives me nuts.

      There is something wrong with this generation.

      1. Wow, really? What the hell? College students are supposed to be oblivious and self absorbed so they step into the crosswalk without considering whether a car is coming.

    7. “—Where the fuck do they keep all those test tube babies? Where the fuck do colleges and universities find children who have been living in complete asocial isolation for 18-odd years?—”

      I honestly think college administrators inadvertently select for SJW snowflake types (I’m feeling charitable today by using the term ‘inadvertent’). College administrations at elitist schools made a huge deal about giving less weight to objective measurements like GPAs and SATs and more weight to other things. I’m sure that, all else being equal, the kid who was part of the high school environmental working group will get into the school over the kid who was part of the Future Farmers of America. Add the diversity mania to this and you get a campus full of …. well, you know.

      On top of that, the professors are old radical SJW types themselves, so they goad these kids into the ridiculous over-reactions to everything as a way of showing their (the profs’) power.

  4. Freedom of expression is a bourgeoisie concept aimed at drowning out the voices of those oppressed by the very system most likely to be in a position to leverage this so-called freedom.

  5. I’ve seen Anderson’s cooking videos. She is… not talented. If someone in my kitchen showed knife skills similar to hers, I’d take the knife away and keep them from touching any sharp or pointed objects.

  6. the University of Chicago is inadvertently sending a message that certain students?the ones who have never been traumatized, and the ones who have historically felt welcome on college campuses (i.e., white men)?are more welcome than others

    Yeah, maybe if it was 1960 this would make sense. But women and racial minorities have been plenty welcome at pretty much every American college for a generation. And there is no more welcoming and accepting place for gay/trans/etc. people than a contemporary college campus.

    For the few students who are so legitimately traumatized that they need trigger warnings, I have sympathy, but I would suggest that perhaps they need to work on some of their problems before attending college. Trigger warnings are supposed to be a temporary measure for people who are really messed up, not a way of life to cling to.

    1. Women outnumber men in college degrees now, don’t they? I even saw some facebook derp about black women now being the ‘most educated’ group. It’s not as if colleges are sneering at the idea of women walking their halls, and plenty of them give more consideration to non-whites for diversity’s sake.

      1. Yeah, but see, now women are just an oppressed majority on campus.

        1. Pretty much 1 in 3 are raped during their college careers. Without safe spaces it could be 1 in 2.

          1. Only if having your butt pinched equals rape.

            1. Or having consensual sex after first saying no. Having consensual sex and then regretting it the next day, All of which made you a victim according to the survey that caused that dumb stat.

            2. Are you suggesting it doesn’t?! Omg I can’t even!

          2. I thought it was 4 out of 3? When did this change?

            1. I was also under the impression rape is something that 120% woman have to deal with.

    2. Yeah, next thing you know minorities will not feel comfortable screaming “Shut Up!!” in to the faces of all those privileged white people.

      And don’t get me started on how this message from University of Chicago has a horrible chilling effect on their ability to physically assault all of those racist microaggressors…..

    3. The University of Chicago famously had no quotas on Jews and also did not exclude blacks or women when other schools did. It had a woman president, historian Hanna Holborn Gray, back in 1979. When I was there in the late 70s the libertarian group as well as one of the two feminist groups and the Democratic Socialists of America group were all run by gay people, as well as of course the gay group. (There were no GOP or Democrat groups except during presidential elections years.) Blacks and American-resident hispanics were “under”represented, though foreign Latin American students were common, and Asian Americans were very well represented.

      Transexual libertarian economist Deirdre Mccluskey was teaching undergraduates, though he was still Donald McCloskey.

    1. Wow. Just wow.

    2. The world is her safe space. It’s good to be queen.

    3. Well, at least he wasn’t killed in a “mugging” outside his house. I guess that’s progress.

      1. Give it time…

    4. I think it is safe to say we will see this sort of thing increasing. She has also vowed to shut down Breitbart because that site ‘has no right to exist’.

      The booger eating morons freaking out about Trump being dictator material are about to learn a hard lesson.

      1. The booger eating morons freaking out about Trump being dictator material are about to learn a hard lesson.

        She’s going after people they hate so they won’t give a shit.

  7. *scribbles ‘look for University of Chicago grads’ on Post-It note – sticks it on stack of resumes reviewing later*

    1. Their economics department isn’t enough reason?

  8. certain students?the ones who have never been traumatized, and the ones who have historically felt welcome on college campuses (i.e., white men)?are more welcome than others, and that students who feel marginalized are unlikely to have their claims taken seriously.

    I don’t think so.

  9. Many people on the right feel a need to berate teenagers for being delicate snowflakes and fragile crybabies every time a student does something stupid.

    I’m trying to figure out how this is germane to the rest of the article. Well, besides TU QUOQUE!!!!1111!!1!

    1. You should have read the line immediately following the one you quoted.

      1. The one that is completely germane to the rest of the article because it’s about the people who initiate the trigger warnings and safe spaces that this article is about?

        1. I guess some people were able to see it as a setup line to the one following. A setup which points out that, in general, students are being insulted by everyone.

          I guess some people just don’t get hung up when something critical of “the right” is printed.

          1. I don’t care about being critical of the right. I do think that Robby’s inability to criticize the left without concurrently criticizing the right is annoying and quite in line with Reason’s shift toward social justice, the right to be a dirty, sky daddy-worshipping bigot even though you’re horrible, and occasionally mentioning free markets.

            If the “Outrage Over U. Chicago Trigger Warning Letter Shows Power of Political Correctness,” then let’s talk about the outrage over the trigger warning letter. Putting snide insults against “the right” just comes off as petty and obnoxious. Write another article if you think that the right is too hard on college students.

            1. Oh, sorry. Didn’t realize you were part of the He-man Robby Haters club. Carry on.

          2. The “left” insults students by treating them like snowflakes.
            Some students become snowflakes demanding trigger warnings and safe spaces, and are indulged with those things. They act like crybabies.
            Then some on the “right” say, stop acting like a crybaby.

            I’m not seeing the equivalence. Being insulted someone tells you suck it up, life ain’t fair actually seems like more of the demand to be treated like snowflake.

      2. I thought it was a nice rhetorical flourish from Robby.

        And it’s always a good time to point out how people are stupid assholes in a whole variety of ways.

        1. Weren’t you the guy saying a couple of days ago that you’re not a misanthrope?

          1. “How can the truth be misanthropic?”

            Sorry, Zeb, I can’t speak for you.

          2. People are complicated. They can be amazing beings and stupid assholes at the same time. And I didn’t say people are all stupid assholes or only stupid assholes.

  10. Progressives and the left generally lie about wanting equality; it’s a pretty lie, but still a lie. They’re about logrolling special interests to maintain electoral unity. That’s the entirety of intersectionality, advancing common interests by communal means. And it’s so much bullshit that they’re taken seriously.

  11. I don’t coddle my kids at all, they’re out working with horses and other livestock on a regular basis. But their lives have access degree of comfort and indolence that simply wasn’t an option back when I was a kid. We didn’t have any internet or video games. We had 3-4 TV stations. We didn’t have microwaves. You had to go to the store to buy records. You had to go to the library to do research or to get books you didn’t have to pay for. Except for staying home and reading a book (a mind-expanding pastime in its own right), “back in the day” you pretty much had to go out in the world to live life.

    I’ve seen average fitness levels and ability to deal with routine discomfort and adversity declining.

    1. But did you wear an onion on your belt ?

      1. That was the fashion at the time.

  12. I don’t coddle my kids at all, they’re out working with horses and other livestock on a regular basis. But their lives have access degree of comfort and indolence that simply wasn’t an option back when I was a kid. We didn’t have any internet or video games. We had 3-4 TV stations. We didn’t have microwaves. You had to go to the store to buy records. You had to go to the library to do research or to get books you didn’t have to pay for. Except for staying home and reading a book (a mind-expanding pastime in its own right), “back in the day” you pretty much had to go out in the world to live life.

    I’ve seen average fitness levels and ability to deal with routine discomfort and adversity declining.

  13. This is the fundamental mistake of the anti-speech left: conflating physical safety with emotional safety.

    But I wouldn’t be so quick to call it a ‘mistake’: putting them in the same category makes it easier to devalue and ignore physical threats, sometimes until it’s too late. Leftist ideologies such as Socialism rely on threats that precede physical intimidation and violence. I’ve also seen death threats by right-wingers go unchallenged – often using the justification/excuse that their speech has been curtailed by the liberals. The BLM/BDS alliance is an example of this dynamic.

    1. Thats the whole point of microagresssions. When you can put your enemies down through physical assault because of something they said. You eventually become able to control what anyone says.

      Think of it this way:

      “Sticks and stones will break your bones because your words hurt me.”

  14. “Is Zimmer pandering to people who hate political correctness?”

    I sure hope so!

    If you’re going to pander, this is the group which needs a bit of pandering!

  15. ” such a strident condemnation of trigger warnings is a bit over the top”

    from Ellison’s letter:

    “Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called “trigger warnings,”

    Apparently a simple declaration of a position is now considered “strident” and over the top. I think I’m seeing the problem.

  16. I think this is the part the progs *really* object to:

    “we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial”

    1. i’m sure that simple declaration is also strident and over the top

  17. “I’m sure Anderson means well”

    How are we defining “means well”?

    Do you mean he subjectively believes that the things he supports are Good Things? By that standard, who *doesn’t* mean well?

    1. Or are we going to use the word “intentions”?

      Because that is also a legal term – and in many cases, people are presumed to intend the forseeable consequences of the things they try to do.

    2. Yeah, just about everyone means well. It’s a completely useless observation.

  18. I’m going to go full retard:

    Is this entire letter itself an elaborate trigger warning in and of itself?

    1. Ponder that on the Tree of Whoa!

    2. Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but I for one am not going to stand here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!

      1. +1 fat drink and stupid

  19. the University of Chicago is inadvertently sending a message that certain students?the ones who have never been traumatized, and the ones who have historically felt welcome on college campuses (i.e., white men)

    I love the obvious implications here, that those who go through traumatic experiences or are not ‘historically welcome’ on college campuses are therefore unable to to actually engage in exposure to ideas or concepts that challenge their bias, making those ‘white men’ inherently superior just by their ability to do so. Also that that white men cannot be traumatized, I will be certain to inform the victims of child abuse (both sexual and non) I know about that.

  20. RE: Outrage Over U. Chicago Trigger Warning Letter Shows Power of Political Correctness

    The University of Chicago is regressing to the Jurassic stage of political speech. Free speech should never be tolerated in our higher re-education camps. That’s why such noble and beneficent dictators as Stalin, Hitler, etc incorporated speech codes. Free speech only creates doubters and counter-revolutionaries. Political correctness eliminates all vestiges of opposition and free ups the mind to true political indoctrination by clueless, over-educated useful idiots who haven’t the brains or the guts to work and live in the real world. How are to achieve all the goals named in the Glorious People’s Revolution if there is opposition or doubt in its workings and applications? We will never obtain the worker’s paradise if we re-introduce such evil and vile concepts as free speech, capitalism, and independence from The State if political correctness is not present to censor what our ruling elitist vermin have in store for us. Therefore, it would be prudent for everyone, not those fortunate enough to afford the insane ramblings, blatant stupidity and pompous bullshit that comes from the enlightened professors in academia to accept as gospel for not only for our country, for our ruling class parasites but for anyone and everyone stupid enough to believe what they preach.

  21. “That’s all a ‘safe space’ is in the classical sense of the word.”

    No… in the classical sense of that word, it means a place where you can talk about your issues free of judgement. IE a anger management support group or other thing.

  22. So there’s definitely a bit of pandering in this language ? the letter is throwing up a flag for people who are concerned about political correctness on campus, saying, This isn’t that sort of school.

    As I said yesterday, I suspect this has more to do with parents and alumni than with students. Parents write checks. Alumni (and other givers) write checks. Anything that might make them less likely to write a check is bad.

    Some schools (my own alma mater, for instance) seem quite content to say, “Fuck you if you don’t like our aggressive lbgtxyz++ sustainability dogma social justice hive mind curriculum. We have a pile of applications that’ll reach from here to Denver, laid end to end; the long way. We have an endowment fund it will take us most of the century to piss away. Get your boooooshwar ass out of here, and never darken this door again.”

    Okay. goody for them. Markets need variety.

    Some people don’t want their kids trained to be useless, self indulgent morons, and Chicago obviously want that niche.

    1. *applause*

    2. My alma mater just published a letter from the president claiming that the constitution portrayed blacks as 3/5 of a person.

      I am having trouble processing such idiocy. The south wanted the blacks counted as WHOLE persons, and not because they respected them.

    3. ‘…and we get federal funding.’

  23. U Chicago Class of 2019.

    49% female.

    Less than 50% white.

    http://collegeadmissions.uchic…..class-2019

    They don’t list the actual percentage of “white.” Is that because kids aren’t dumb enough to check that box on an application?

    1. 18% how dare you assume my gender

  24. In discussions of this sort, the first question always to ask is, What would John Waters Think? The root of many current social problems is that for too long the young have been brought up without a proper respect for good, old-fashioned, offensive tastelessness. I am of course showing my antiquity, but Pink Flamingos should be required viewing by all college freshmen.

    1. Your comment is Divine.

    2. Another sign of how things have fallen. As I mentioned above, I literally attended PCU.

      And Pink Flamingos was shown twice in the student run film series (fancy name for movie night in the big lecture hall) and John Waters came and spoke and it was awesome. He is a very entertaining speaker.

    3. Double bill with Blazing Saddles?

      And for extra credit, watching an entire season of this?

      1. “Sledge Hammer: [to reporter] I would like to address that particular stereotype if I may. Now, your stereotypical donut is nothing but dough and sugar fried in fat, am I right? Now that fat gums up your arteries and goes to your brain, and you turn liberal. And the next thing you know, Barry Manilow is on the turn-table and you’re not going to work and you’re voting for gun control. You see what I’m saying? You see the connection? That’s why I eat granola.”

        How did I miss this? Oh yeah, because I had young children and watched only TMNT, Transformers, He-Man, and Return of the Jedi. Oh, and that fucking Care Bears Movie. Talk about trauma. Watch that piece of crap for 4 years and see how you feel.

    4. I have the 25th anniversary DVD somewhere-there is a bonus track at the end where they interview some people who had just seen it when it came out in 1972. One guy said it was a great movie and that “this is where this country is headed.” Boy was he right-frankly, I don’t think anything in Pink Flamingos would be considered terribly offensive anymore, especially to the snowflake generation. What used to be considered deviant behavior is now mainstream, if not celebrated, so long as those who practice it reflect racial and gender diversity and do not appropriate any culture.

  25. Is Zimmer appealing to people who hate political correctness? Sure.

    Its odd that every disagreement requires accusations of “hate” and “pandering”, rather than simply 2 sides with points of view that each should be expected to rationally defend.

    Instead, disagreement is by default cynically approached as a personal moral failing… or a mendacious appeal to some populist sentiment.

    As though the target-person *doesn’t really believe* the things he’s saying, but is simply saying them in order to appease a certain “*you know who*” group of disfavored people.

    Its a collectivizing instinct that allows people to ignore specific arguments, and just throw anyone who disagrees into a bucket of ‘wrongthinkers’. “He’s just trying to score points for *them*” and as long as “Them” is bad, the points are probably bad too by association.

    sort of like how every new piece of evidence about Hillary Clinton’s corruption is introduced by the media as…. “Republicans seize upon new documents…“….iow, its not ‘what those things say’ that matters, its “cui bono”

  26. $89 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening?And i get surly a chek of $1260……0 whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids.
    Here is what i did

    ?????? http://YoutubeJobs.Nypost55.com

  27. “I’m sure Anderson means well, but this kind of thinking is offensive in its own right…”

    He doesn’t mean well Robby. He doesn’t mean well at all.

  28. ” message that certain students?the ones who have never been traumatized, and the ones who have historically felt welcome on college campuses (i.e., white men)?are more welcome than others”

    Um, how far back do you have to go for it to be considered because women have outnumbered men on College Campuses for quite a while now

    1. Probably back to a time when Catholics still weren’t entirely welcome at historically Protestant universities like the ivy leagues and U of C. And yet, somehow I don’t think progs want safe spaces from criticism of the Catholic Church as its members are ‘historically marginalized.’

  29. If only the Second Amendment enshrined the right to bear victimhood. It’s the greatest weapon SJW’s have right now and don’t want it confiscated.

  30. I can no longer see the difference between elite universities and mental institutions. If you need a “safe space” where nobody can hurt your feelings, you belong in the latter. I attended an elite university back in the early ’90s and this shit was just starting to brew. It is so bad now that I will do everything I can to discourage my sons from going to one, assuming they can get in, but alas, they are probably too normal to even be considered.

  31. Often, universities do this to protect their own reputations: to quash forms of expression that they find embarrassing or problematic from a PR perspective.

    I think you mean to protect their own ass? Wasn’t this all started by a string of protests getting people fired?

  32. left-leaning thinkers

    Say, what?

    -jcr

  33. I would like to see him follow through with that thought, and put together a “Men’s Studies” degree, taught by someone without a Women’s Studies degree.

    1. I don’t know. Sounds kind of gay.

      1. That’s only the lecture on ‘the first Olympics’.

  34. I would suggest that these angry reactions were blocking moves by Professors of such bushwa as “Queer Studies”, who should know that the entire Secondary Educational establishment is in serious trouble, and sooner or later people are going to start asking them rude questions like “How do you justify your salary?” or “How do you sleep at night?”.

    Except I have no evidence that they are that smart.

  35. The fetishation of victimhood is going to be the shameful legacy of this stupid fucking generation. Their children are going to despise them.

    1. It’s truly a sad sight. People were once lauded for being strong, brave, and resilient. Now we’re heading towards a future where they’re rewarded for being an over-sensitive, over-dramatic, whiny little pissants.

  36. He’ll resign inside of this week.

    1. Sadly this was my first thought.

      These student activists aren’t quite the delicate snowflakes people think they are. They have gotten this far by threats and bullying, not by crying in the shower.

  37. “This is the fundamental mistake of the anti-speech left: conflating physical safety with emotional safety.”

    Or, put differently, presenting emotional responses as objective facts. But “THE fundamental mistake”??? How about

    1) “Their fundamental mistake is claiming as “principle” moral positions that can’t be applied to all equally, but rather are applied to some, sometimes, to varying degrees…whenever and however they want to.”? Such things aren’t really “principles” at all, are they?

    2) The constant projection of their own failings, resentments and dishonesty onto others is kind of fundamental.

    3) Others might object more to their “mind-reading”, which allows them to invent what their opponent really MEANT (and obviates the necessity of dealing with what was actually SAID) and using this “interpretive argumentation”? to extrapolate how bad their opponents really are (“It’s clear from this that UofC is at the heart of the white supremacist conspiracy.”).

    4) Begging the question…pretending every issue has been solidly decided exactly as they previously argued, then making recursive arguments from the “proven” position.

    Jebus, it’s quite a competition for “fundamental mistake” actually. I’ve thought about having that oft-referenced, much-touted “honest discussion”…but the progs’ assumptions and “feelz” are so far from logical, and so ungrounded in reality, that I don’t see how it could be done.

  38. And we wonder why we have a generation of over-sensitive babies who want the world to pander to them. “Political correctness” is going to neuter our society if we don’t watch out. I fear for my son since it’s going to these babies that will be his supervisors, college professors, etc.

    By the way, I am an African-American who went to a predominately White college back when free speech and controversial topics were NOT frowned upon. I didn’t have “trigger warnings” or cozy comfy “safe spaces;” I had fellow students who I could exchange ideas with; which laid the groundwork for encountering people of all stripes once I graduated.

    Freedom of speech is important to us as a Nation. To cede it to the “Political Correctness Politburo” will do more harm than good.

  39. U of C is a tough place, and I loved it.

    My favorite memory of a U of C public event. A couple of nobel laureates on a panel, taking questions from the audience (mostly male). A younger woman (not a current student) stands up and asks a question roughly equivalent to ‘wouldn’t it be useful for the government to provide this information, so people could make better decisions for themselves?’

    Nobel laureate response, “I’m surprised they gave you your degree.”

    Humorous uproar in the room. Woman remains standing while entire room sympathizes for her.

    Nobel laureate, “If this information actually had value, why wouldn’t some entrepreneur already be selling it for a profit?”

    The entire room, and the woman, was intellectually rigorous enough to understand – you are never too old to learn from a U of C nobel laureate.

  40. I think the only “solution” to safe spaces will be for college campuses to cease to exist. The students can live at home in the safest of spaces with mommy and/or daddy and get their degrees online-oh, whoops, we now have to make the internet a safe space! Oh well, who needs education anyway, these kids are so smart that apparently they don’t.

  41. This is such bleeping first world problem, it’s not even funny.

    90% of college kids don’t give a crap about diversity, safe space or trigger warnings. EVER. Most incoming freshmen will have a grand old time in their dorms playing video games or online shopping. Their outside activity will be trips to Jamba Juice or some drinking socials (and white and Latino kids drink OUT OF THEIR MINDS) . They’ll gain 10-15 pounds stuffing their faces with food.

    The first two years of college are like tax funded education camp for preteens who are finally out of their parent’s house. If some right winger is invited as speaker, they won’t care enough to crash the scene. It’s the noisy activists who make all the noise.

    By my third year at UCSD I was off campus and I didn’t spend more than 15 hours there a week. If there were safe spaces everywhere on college campuses, most college kids wouldn’t be there. Because they can just leave! And go home! Where you can lock the doors and be alone if they wanted to!

    This is an asinine debate created by the indoctrinated minority who has WAY more power than they should.

  42. the ones who have never been traumatized, and the ones who have historically felt welcome on college campuses (i.e., white men)

    Something tells me that the white dude from rural America is going to feel pretty unwelcome on a modern college campus thanks to dick holes like this guy.

  43. One of the first positive steps I’ve seen a university take in a long time. Unfortunately it’s likely not enough. Colleges should stop admitting students who are hostile to free speech or who are incapable participating productively in an intellectual environment.

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  47. The University of Chicago was of course the home of the fabulous libertarian publication “New Individualist Review.”

    When I was there in the late 70s and early 80s the small libertarian student group had supposedly had a previous organizer who had had an affair with a woman who ran the Trotskyist Spartacist Youth League. I’ve always wanted to hear more. Maybe he is a reason reader and can share stories/

    A group of B school students from this time – writer Claudia Rosette and former LNC chair William Redpath were MBA students then, but were not involved – formed a group called the Bourgeios Running Dog Capitalist Lackey’s Society. They’d wear 3 piece suits and their female and minority members would wear chains and allow themselves to be led, marching in circles around any socialist group having a demonstration. http://www.nationalreview.com/…..-podhoretz

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  51. I am a east coast liberal with a grad degree from UChicago. It is depressing that being a champion of free speech now seems to be associated with a right wing agenda in the minds of progressives. And it is equally depressing that many people conflate liberals with lefties – one of the main differences being the commitment that liberals have for free speech.

    UChicago’s only agenda is one of intellectual debate, rigorous inquiry and free speech. No dog whistles on the right or left. Their faculty truly encourages students and professors to have their own unique views. There may be students who can’t tolerate that; if so, there are many other group-think colleges they can attend. The administration does actively seek student input and I disagree with Kissinger’s comment that says otherwise.

    I don’t blame students for their fragility, I blame college admins that enable them. Getting into a top college has become an overwhelming, all-encompassing ordeal that leaves students little time to have a normal life.

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