Tuesday, October 4, 2016


A very smart guy, editor-in-chief of The Week Magazine, William Falk, described getting his daughter back to college. "Lugging her mini fridge, boxes, and a mammoth suitcase across the parking lot, up to her room, (he) searched the halls and campus for any sign of microaggression or hate speech, gave her a loaded handgun, hugged her, and tearfully headed home secure in the knowledge that she was in a safe space."

 He went on to say, "On College campuses, the pursuit of safety now rivals the pursuit of knowledge as the ultimate goal, and some people are willing to go to great extreme to achieve it."

Many campuses have already created "safe spaces" where students can express feelings and ideas, without being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe on account of biological sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, cultural background, religious affiliation, and age.

Aside from making rules to protect the students from rapes, drugs, and attacks by deranged, potential mass killers, universities are authorizing students to carry concealed weapons into classrooms as well as dorms. They're also protecting students from "triggering" ideas that may cause discomfort -- removing from the curriculum ideas that might upset students and their way of thinking -- for example, in literature, removing the "Great Gatbsy," and "Merchant of Venice."

...gee...don't think about upsetting subjects -- don't talk about them...?

Thank goodness the University of Chicago has started upsetting this applecart. The dean of students sent all new students this letter:
     "Members of our community are encouraged to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn, without fear of censorship. Civility and mutual respect are vital to all of us and freedom of expression does not mean the freedom to harass or threaten others. You will find that we expect members of our community to be engaged in rigorous debate, discussion and even disagreement. At times this may challenge you and even cause  discomfort.  
     "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...” 

Commenting on this, The New York Times said the letter was a not-so-veiled rebuke to the protests calling for limits on what kinds of speech should be condoned on campus, and who should be allowed to speak -- protests that have rocked Yale, Wesleyan, Oberlin and many other colleges and universities in recent years.

Hey guys, "trigger" warnings get you focused -- preoccupied with your feelings -- it restricts your horizons. Getting involved with current ideas involves risk, but slapping warnings on them undermines your ability to explore them. You can't anticipate every potential trigger -- the world's too large, but even if you could, why would you want to?
Guys, one of the reasons you go to college IS to get more knowledge by being exposed to new ideas, and observing, and participating in what's new. Being jarred, shocked, along with being amused and annoyed, expands everything about you and what you can do and be and enjoy in your life.

I say YAY for learning more! Trigger" warnings -- BIG BOO.


carola said...

I agree with you. However, microaggressions are real, and I'm glad to learn of the concept because I have witnessed them all my life against myself and against others. We need to learn not to case microaggressions.

Linda Vee Sado of Slippery When Wet said...

Sure not the world we grew up in They are socially neutering the young people

SCOOPDAA said...

It's a sad state of affairs on our college campuses nationwide w/ rape & other crimes being committed far too often = No wonder some students are armed w/ hand guns on college campuses

Arvel Mauldin said...

I find the thought of suppressing ideas because someone might be made uncomfortable unconscionable and I'm torn on the concealed carry on campus

Unknown said...

So good & wish all the best........