Campus Free Speech

Emory Students Formed a Literal Safe Space To Feel Protected from Heather Mac Donald's Words

One member of the student government argued the conservative speaker's presence was inherently discriminatory.

|

Conservative author Heather Mac Donald spoke at Emory University on Tuesday—despite the best efforts the student government's chief of staff, who filed a petition arguing that the event violated "the right of freedom from discrimination by any student group."

This petition was dismissed, since Mac Donald's talk was not funded by student fees and therefore was free of the non-discrimination requirement.

But many students agreed that Mac Donald's words were discriminatory and a threat to public safety. They gathered in a "safe space" while she spoke, watching her speech on a video feed from a remote location. The Emory Wheel reports:

Simultaneously, downstairs, a group of more than 80 students, faculty and staff members crowded into a lecture hall to watch a livestream of Mac Donald's remarks. This event, hosted by Emory NAACP, the Caucus of Emory Black Alumni (CEBA) and Rollins Earn and Learn, was advertised as "a safe space for students to be able to express their reaction to what Heather Mac Donald has to say."

CEBA President Natalie Gullatt (11C), who helped organize the response event, emphasized the need for an environment for individuals affected by Mac Donald's inflammatory remarks. Gullatt said that the two events were held at the same time to reduce attendance at Mac Donald's lecture.

"We don't want to give her any type of ammunition or any type of way to use anything that's done tonight to help propel her message," Gullatt said.

Mac Donald is the author of such provocative as The War on Cops and The Diversity DelusionThe latter argues that higher education administrators are wrong to focus on nominal diversity based on skin color, gender, sexual preference, and so on. She was invited to speak at Emory by the College Republicans.

Emory's administration admirably defended the conservative students' right to feature her. This did not sit well with some others:

Jocelyn Stanfield (20C), an attendee of the response event, was among the first to speak out against Mac Donald's visit and contacted the University to cancel the event, who cited their free expression policy in defense. She believes that the administration should have done more to assist minority communities by "reaching out and making sure [they] feel supported."

"A lot of minorities already don't feel comfortable in an all-white space or a white-majority environment," Stanfield said. "We just want them to know that they have a voice here, and the majority of the students on campus disagree with what Heather Mac Donald is proclaiming."

Students should feel welcome to disagree with Mac Donald. (They would find plenty of company here at Reason.com.) They are free to feel unsafe, too. But life outside Emory is going to be difficult indeed if mere words are enough to make them run for cover.

For more about students and safe spaces, check out my book, Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump.

NEXT: Otherwise Lawful Powers and Impeachable Offenses

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. Rather than polite expressions of sadness or fatigue, what we need is firm action, and the construction of safe spaces, especially for college professors, on campuses around this country, until the illegal “parody” stops. Here at NYU we did not hesitate to call in the police when action was needed, and we are happy to assist anyone who needs help or advice in a similar situation. See the documentation of our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

      https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

      1. P.s. notice the comment below which suggests that, contrary to what is stated in Mr. Suave’s article, there was in fact no safe space, “due to room allocation mishaps.” This, if true, is one more reason why we need a massive construction project around this country, so that safe spaces can emerge everywhere from the rubble of the failed “humanities” programs that people have tried to use to justify the teaching of outrageous texts like the Letters of Obscure Men (a sordid work of “satire” very appropriately banned by the Pope in 1616). Here at NYU, we have started a project of enormous dimensions–which can already be seen rising from the ground on Bleeker Street, despite the annoying complaints from the “public” that we had to deal with in the courts (no fears, a little money here, a phone-call or two there)–large sections of which will be allocated to safe spaces. Other universities around our great nation should clearly do the same.

        1. Why does a university need ‘safe spaces’ at all ? The entire campus is a safe space already.

          If students can’t handle opposing viewpoints, they don’t belong at a university.

          1. Quite to the contrary, here at NYU the “parody” had become so intolerable that we had to mobilize public safety (which some universities call campus security) and ultimately turn to state law enforcement authorities for help. Fortunately we have very good connections, a little bit of money here, a phone call there and we were able to get the right judge. Others might not be so lucky. Clearly the problem is very serious, and deserves appropriate remedial measures. That is why we have written safe spaces into our construction plans for the next decade and beyond.

    2. This is… not what happened.
      I’m a student at Emory, included in young Republicans and young Democrats. Was present at the event. Due to room allocation mishaps, the organizers got a room that couldn’t hold the interested population of students. Around 60 were put into the main room (many of whom were clearly interested in dissenting), and a live stream was set up to accommodate the remaining students in another room. The young Republicans collaborated with Black Students Organization on this.
      BSA also advertised post-event counseling in case anyone had actual issues. That was closest anything got to a ‘safe space’.

      1. If true, this paints Robby as a gullible rube for believing the safe space story.

        Was there any mention of safe spaces at all before the event? Is it possible you were merely not in the loop on that?

      2. Why do such idiotically fragile students need counseling after a mere discussion ?

        That’s the only question here. Are they that pathetic ? Who will ever hire such students ?

  1. “”They gathered in a “safe space” while she spoke, watching her speech on a video feed from a remote location.””

    How can you win a culture war if you hide in your safe space bunker?

    1. These people would like to turn the whole country into a safe space to keep out people that make them feel uncomfortable. Oh, wait.

      1. I’m wondering if they vet anyone before letting them into the bunker. Could I go in, and start expressing positive feelings for Mac Donald? “Hmm, she makes some sense there”.

        1. I am betting you would be assaulted and then charged by the student council, and promptly kicked off campus.

    2. “How can you win a culture war if you hide in your safe space bunker?”

      You do it by moving to the next logical positions and shouting people down, or assaulting them, or forcing people to change the curriculum, or by trying to outlaw free speech as an abomination.

      The thing is — all these have been, and are, ongoing efforts.

  2. “But life outside Emory is going to be difficult indeed if mere words are enough to make them run for cover.”

    Don’t think for a second that they are not going to be taking their safe spaces with them after they graduate.

    1. And wonder why they can’t keep a job.

      Not that I think they will get fired. I think they will leave because the job isn’t supporting them enough. As if that’s the job’s purpose.

    2. Firms do a pretty good job of filtering out such characters. You can sniff their pathetic ness on their resume. It’s usually full of woke language.

  3. If many minorities don’t feel safe to be in a place that is majority white, why do they stay living in the US? It isn’t like we have armed guards keeping them here. Note this is not a love it or leave it post but a question of the paradox of Stanfield’s point.

    1. Maybe not a paradox but more a intellectual discrepancy.

    2. I’m all for reparations. Any descendant of slaves gets one free one way ticket to Africa.

      1. You might like Greenland. Much whiter.

        1. I assume you were making a joke about how frozen Greenland is, because the population is 88% Inuit, hardly white.

          1. Well whiter, beige, tan, red, something.

            Just playing because we both know Ice Trey is a racist troll.

        2. Parts of NE are pretty white I hear. I wouldn’t know, I’ve lived west of the Rockies and mostly in the southern half the majority of my life. I see brown and black people daily.

  4. These nutjob students are going to have a tough time in the real World just like their professors do.

    1. I’m starting to see the nutjobs enter the real world. They’re not having a tough time, but are instead tailor made for the bureaucratic environment HR departments have erected in every corporate environment.

      Can’t succeed on the merits? Complain to HR and watch the heads roll.

      1. It’s a sad situation that in a lot of companies it’s become much easier to get fired for some dumb PC HR bullshit than for actual incompetence.

    2. It is a continued slow takeover. Just like in education.

    3. You haven’t been paying attention if you haven’t noticed that the “real world” is more and more resembling the safe space world.

      1. Yes, the Rev is not wrong when he says the loonies are winning the culture war.

  5. We don’t want to give her any type of ammunition or any type of way to use anything that’s done tonight to help propel her message,” Gullatt said.

    Natalie, you better hope and pray anyone doing a background check on you is utterly incompetent because someone as oblivious as you are is not going to find work requiring critical thinking skills.

  6. “A lot of minorities already don’t feel comfortable in an all-white space”

    Objection! Where the hell does such a thing even exist? Certainly not at Emory, nor anywhere in the Greater Atlanta area, Emory’s immediate vicinity.

    1. And if you are a minority, then kind of by definition, most people around you won’t be the same as you (in some way or other).

  7. Uh… somebody needs to explain the actual definition of the word discrimination/discriminatory. ‘Cause I’m thinking they have no idea what those words mean.

    1. To achieve a desired level of diversity one must discriminate against less desired identities. To argue against that is discrimination…or something.

    2. Princess Bride quote here?

      1. “My way is not very sportsmanlike….”

        1. “you killed my father, prepare to die”

          1. “Never go in against a sicilian when death is on the line!”

            1. Inconceivable!

              1. “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

                1. anybody want a peanut ?

    3. They have their own definition which seems to be “anything that upsets me”.

  8. Here’s a way to protect yourself from hurtful words, don’t watch the speech.

    1. I read “a safe space for students to be able to express their reaction to what Heather Mac Donald has to say” as meaning “a place we can scream obscenities at her without getting escorted out of the room.”

      1. And I approve. Let the protestors heckle and shout without letting them interrupt the people who actually want to hear what she has to say.

        1. Agreed.

        2. If protesters heckle and nobody hears, have they still made complete asses of themselves?

          1. The point is moot; they are already complete asses.

  9. …a group of more than 80 students, faculty and staff members crowded into a lecture hall to watch a livestream of Mac Donald’s remarks.

    Did the university at least reconfigure the acoustics in the hall to echo chamber industry standards?

  10. There must be something in the Atlanta water. Not so long ago, Emory students were terrified by chalk writing on the sidewalk that said “Trump 2016” and the city ran out of Play-Doh.

  11. Someone doesn’t agree with me! I don’t feel safe!

  12. “We don’t want to give her any type of ammunition or any type of way to use anything that’s done tonight to help propel her message,” Gullatt said.”

    Shouldn’t have tried to deplatform her then, bitch. Show up to the event, do some research, discuss issues rationally and calmly and maybe people will start taking you seriously!

    1. Show up to the event, do some research, discuss issues rationally and calmly and maybe people will start taking you seriously!

      What do you think this is, a college?!

    2. discuss issues rationally and calmly

      Even back in the ’90s, with a few exceptions, the most rational and calm discussion of issues was with classmates in the cafeteria.

      1. Same here when I was in college. It was neutral ground.

  13. “War on cops.” JTFC.

    1. It’s possible that there are simultaneously (a) crooked cops who don’t get the punishment they deserve and (b) people waging a war on cops in general.

      Anarchy and arbitrary government go together. The liberal/libertarian sweet spot is hard to maintain.

      Do you think the people blocking traffic and rioting are uniformly interested merely in liberal reforms to root out bad behavior by police, and eliminate bad laws which empower bad police actions?

      Or are they more interested in undermining law and order as reasonable people understand it?

  14. These students, for their own safety, need to be confined to a safe space. A room with padded walls, a door that locks from the outside, and a bevy of attendants in nice white coats to protect them. The great thing about this is that Emory, being primarily known as a medical school, itself operates several such safe spaces and, depending on the parents’ health insurance, it’s probably cheaper than the tuition at Emory University.

  15. Sometimes I wonder if opposition to immigration is due to the desire for a safe space. It probably is, the world is definitely changing.

    1. Not many are opposed to immigration, just opposed to illegal immigration. There is a difference.

      1. Specifically, so long as we don’t give visas to everyone in the world who wants one, we’ll have illegal immigration. So if we’re not sending out an invitation to the entire world, then we select which of the people who want to come, get to come.

        OMG safe spaces, right wing extremists are such snowflakes!

    2. “Sometimes I wonder if opposition to immigration is due to the desire for a safe space.”

      As has been rightly observed, there is opposition to ILLEGAL immigration. During the Nixon days the liberal press said no one is above the law, not even the President. Now their view is that mayors of sanctuary cities are above the law.

      In a literal sense, don’t we all want safe spaces? I have a lock on my front door, don’t you? And yes, I would like to keep Muslim Jihadists out of the country. There was a time when I would have wanted to keep members of the Irish Republican Army out of the US. I would like to keep America and Americans safe.

      But if “safe space” means the exclusion of conservative speakers, then the words are just a dishonest effort to limit free speech.

  16. I earned $5000 ultimate month by using operating online only for 5 to 8 hours on my computer and this was so smooth that i personally couldn’t accept as true with before working on this website…… Read more  

  17. Hi……..
    I am getting $120 to $150 consistently by wearing down facebook. i was jobless 5 years earlier , however now i have a really extraordinary occupation with which i make my own specific pay and that is adequate for me to meet my expences. I am really appreciative to God and my director. In case you have to make your life straightforward with this pay like me , you just mark on facebook and Click on big button thank you…
    c­h­e­c­k t­h­i­s l­i­n-k >>>>>

    ►►►►►►►► USA JOBS EARNING

  18. “Thinking about going to college.”

    “Let me tell you a story. There was a guy your age. Went to college. Spent most of his time doing bong hits and eating pizza for few years.“

    “He invented some sort of thing. Mouse balls or something. Made a fortune. Now he just hangs out drinking gin and eating sandwiches by the pool. Can I have another when you get a chance?”

    “Was that you? Heh”

    “No, Mike Schwartzman, no Sammy. My roommate. Good guy.”

    Ok stole from Chevy Chase a bit there.

    I don’t follow the dumb things college students do much. What is the point of it.

  19. ha ha..when I was a student at Georgia Tech in the late 80’s we joked about the “emerioid” losers…they were far lefties then..liberal art majors from NYC and LI who were constantly “aggrieved” on all things American. I see the school hasn’t changed much.

  20. I am making 8 to 10 dollar par hour at home on laptop ,, This is make happy But now i am Working 3 hour Dailly and make 40 dollar Easily .. This is enough for me to happy my family..how ?? i am making this so u can do it Easily…. Read more

  21. I am making 8 to 10 dollar par hour at home on laptop ,, This is make happy But now i am Working 3 hour Dailly and make 40 dollar Easily .. This is enough for me to happy my family..how ?? i am making this so u can do it Easily…. Click it here  

  22. Who knew that emory boards would prove so lucrative? 🙂

  23. I ᴊᴜsᴛ ɢᴏᴛ ᴀ ɢʀᴇᴀᴛ Jᴀɢᴜᴀʀ XJ ᴀғᴛᴇʀ ʜᴀᴠɪɴɢ ᴍᴀᴅᴇ $9180 ᴛʜɪs-ᴘᴀsᴛ/ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ᴀɴᴅ-ᴇᴠᴇɴ ᴍᴏʀᴇ ᴛʜᴀɴ, 10/ᴋ ᴛʜɪs ᴘᴀsᴛ-ᴍᴜɴᴛʜ . ᴛʜɪs ɪs ᴄᴇʀᴛᴀɪɴʟʏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴍᴏsᴛ-ᴄᴏᴍғᴏʀᴛᴀʙʟᴇ ᴡᴏʀᴋ Iᴠᴇ ʜᴀᴅ . I ʙᴇɢᴀɴ ᴛʜɪs 5 ᴍᴏɴᴛʜs ᴀɢᴏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴘʀᴀᴄᴛɪᴄᴀʟʟʏ sᴛʀᴀɪɢʜᴛ ᴀᴡᴀʏ ʙᴇɢᴀɴ ᴛᴏ ʙʀɪɴɢ ʜᴏᴍᴇ ᴍɪɴɪᴍᴜᴍ $83 ᴘ/ʜ .M#4. >>>>>> Read more

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.